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posted: 10/5/2012 5:00 AM

Local theater: Don't push it

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Comic temptation

Metropolis Performing Arts Centre presents "Do Not Push," a show inspired by the antics of Britain's Mr. Bean that combines clowning and comedy about a man charged with guarding a special button, which he is forbidden to push. The show is part of the Metropolis comedy series.

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7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $15. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

Operetta favs

Johann Strauss, Franz Lehar and Sigmund Romberg are among the composers whose music Light Opera Works features as part of its latest show, "Operetta's Greatest Hits." Artistic director Rudy Hogenmiller directs and choreographs the show, which features Natalie Ford, James Rank, George Andrew Wolff, Alicia Berneche, Matthew Geibel and Colette Ford.

Opens at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Maple Ave., Evanston. $30-$60. (847) 920-5360 or lightoperaworks.com.

Silk Road premiere

Silk Road Rising presents the world premiere of "Night Over Erzinga," Adriana Sevahn Nichols' drama that spans three generations of an Armenian-Dominican family's struggle to "make peace with the past and reclaim one's heritage. Lisa Portes directs the production.

Previews begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St., Chicago. The show opens at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. $30-$40. (312) 857-1234, ext. 201, or silkroadrising.org.

• The opening of American Theater Company's season-opening double bill of John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt" and John Pielmeier's "Agnes of God" has been rescheduled to Friday, Oct. 5, at 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago. (773) 409-4125 or atcweb.org.

• The Alluvium Group, in association with Oracle Productions, presents the world premiere of "Happiness: The Pursuit & Other Tragedies" A play with music by writer/composer James Manno, "Happiness" is about Proteus, an everyman who journeys through a dangerous dream in the search for happiness. Performances begin Friday, Oct. 5, at 3809 N. Broadway, Chicago. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. See publicaccestheatre.org.

• Dean Evans returns with a revamped version of the one-man show "Honeybuns," the physical comedy and audience interactive show he premiered last summer at Sketchbook. Previews begin Friday, Oct. 5, at Collaboraction, at Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The show opens Monday, Oct. 8. At 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Oct. 6, 20 and 27, Evans and members of the Chitown Clown Revue perform an adults-only version. Lastly, there will be a special performance at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, as part of Collaboraction's annual Beggar's Banquet fundraiser. Tickets are $100, $110 with the "Honeybuns" performance. (312) 226-9633 or collaboraction.org.

• Just in time for Halloween, Gorilla Tango Burlesque brings to the stage its "Walking Dead Burlesque" parody beginning Friday, Oct. 5, at 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.

• Performances begin Saturday, Oct. 6, for Emerald City Theatre's season opening production of "Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical," adapted by Mo Williams from his children's picture book about a trip to the Laundromat that threatens to separate a little girl from her beloved stuffed animal. The show runs through Jan. 6, 2013, at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 529-2690 or emeraldcitytheatre.com.

• Performances begin Saturday, Oct. 6, for Theatre Zarko Puppet Symbolist Theatre's first full-length children's production "Fools Tango." It's comprised of a series of comic vignettes written and performed by puppeteer Michael Montenegro, with music by Jude Mathews. Performances continue through Nov. 11, at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston. (773) 510-4751 or theatrezarko.org.

• Another seasonal offering "Splatter Theater," an adults-only, comic parody of horror films like "Friday the 13th," opens at 10:01 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago. Also running at The Annoyance is "Zombie Genius." Set in a world where human's prevailed during the zombie apocalypse and zombies are treated as second-class citizens, a speaking zombie named Albert champions civil rights for his kind. The show runs at 10 p.m. Wednesdays, through Oct. 31. (773) 561-4665 or theannoyance.com.

• Salsation Theatre Company presents its latest poetry slam, "Word Up!" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com or salsation.org.

• Barrel of Monkeys puts a new spin on its long-running show, "That's Weird, Grandma." The company kicks off its 15th season with "Chicago's Weird, Grandma," in which arts organizations like Steppenwolf Theatre, BONEdanse and the Noah Ginex Puppet Company team up with BOM to transform creative writing from Chicago schoolchildren into theater using dance, puppetry and clowning. Performances begin Monday, Oct. 8, at the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. (312) 409-1954 or barrelofmonkeys.org.

• Heidi Kettenring, cabaret singer Tom Michael and performer Kim Zuma headline Simply Sensational 2, Pride Films & Plays fall benefit on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The evening begins at 6 p.m. and includes appetizers and beverages followed at 7 p.m. by the show featuring selections from Bailiwick Chicago's "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" and Theo Ubique's "Smokey Joe's Cafe." Tickets are $50. See brownpapertickets.com or pridefilmsandplays.com.

• Previews begin Wednesday, Oct. 10, for redtwist theatre's revival of Arthur Miller's "Broken Glass." Michael Colucci and Jan Ellen Graves codirect Miller's play set in 1938 New York, around the time of Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany. The play centers on Phillip Gellburg and his wife Sylvia, who becomes paralyzed upon reading about the attacks of Nov. 9-10, 1938, against German Jews, synagogues and Jewish businesses that left more than 90 people dead and resulted in some 30,000 incarcerated in concentration camps. Redtwist first produced "Broken Glass" in 2001 as Actors Workshop Theatre. The company produced another revival in 2004-2005 after it moved to its current home. Jacqueline Grandt and Neal Grofman reprise their roles as Sylvia and Phillip. The show opens Sunday, Oct. 14, at 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago. (773) 728-7529 or redtwist.org.

• The National Theatre of Scotland returns to Chicago to remount its critically acclaimed "Black Watch," which played here last year. as part of Chicago Shakespeare Theater's World's Stage Series. Performances of the show, which chronicles the history of Scotland's celebrated regiment, begin Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway, Chicago. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com

• Magicians P.T. Murphy and David Parr celebrate Halloween all month long as part of their "Magic Cabaret," which they perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The shows will incorporate seasonal lore, urban legends and fortunetelling as well as magic. Recommended for ages 13 and older. (773) 404-7336 or magic-cabaret.com.

• Just in time for the election, director/producer Billy Pacholski remounts the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical "Assassins," at the Viaduct Theatre, 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago. Previews begin Wednesday, Oct. 10. The show chronicling assassinations and attempted assassinations of U.S. presidents by individuals who failed to achieve the American dream, opens Friday, Oct. 12. (312) 212-3470 or assassins-chicago.com.

• Chicago Slam Works season begins Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago, with "Two Sides," a competition where storytellers team up with poets to tell tales from their lives. "Two Sides" runs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 24. (847) 556-8679 or chicagoslamworks.com.

• Thursday, Oct. 11, marks Chicago Children's Theatre's inauguration of its new home at the Ruth Page Center with a musical adaptation of the children's book "Harold and the Purple Crayon," by Crockett Johnson. Sean Graney directs the tale of a 4-year-old who draws his own worlds using only his imagination and a crayon. Nate Lewellyn plays Harold in the production, which previews on Thursday, Oct. 11, at 1016 N Dearborn St., Chicago. It opens Friday, Oct. 12. (872) 222-9555 or chicagochildrenstheatre.org. The production transfers to the Beverly Arts Center, 2401 W. 111th St., Chicago, Nov. 7-11, then moves to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie from Nov. 14-18.

• The experience of working on a presidential campaign inspired the new musical "Clear," with book, music and lyrics by About Face Theatre artistic associate Paul Oakley Stovall with additional music from Stew ("Passing Strange"). About Face Theatre presents free concert performances of the show at 7 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, Oct. 11-13, at the Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago. Reservations available at aboutfacetheatre.com or by phone at (773) 784-8565, ext. 111.

• The Chicago Kids Company performs the musical adaptation of "Cinderella," Thursday to Sunday, Oct. 11-13, as part of Indiana's Theatre at the Center's Theatre for Young Audiences series. Performances are at 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Ind. (219) 836-3258 or theatreatthecenter.com.

• Writers' Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, announced a two-week extension of its production of "Hamlet." Performances continue through Nov. 25. (847) 242-6000 or writerstheatre.org.

• Rivendell Theatre has extended its production of Anne McGravie's "WRENS," about a group of Women's Royal Navy Servicewomen on the eve of V-E Day. Performances run through Saturday, Oct. 20, at 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago. (773) 334-7728 or rivendelltheatre.org.

• The Illinois Theatre Association named Drury Lane Theatre in Oak Brook as professional theater of the year for 2012. Adventure Stage Chicago received the 2012 award for Excellence in Theatre for Young Audiences. The ITA also named Kevin Long of Palatine's Harper College as college or university instructor of the year.

• Pride Films and Plays announced the five finalists in its 2012 Great Gay Screenplay Contest, which will be performed in staged readings Thursday to Sunday, Oct. 18-21, at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre, 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The finalists are: "A Friend of Dorothy's" by Jim Piazza; "Barrio Boy" by Dennis Shinners; "Father Frances" by Thomas Ziegler; "Snowmen" by Ethan Steers and "Visalia by Dennis Nivens. (773) 250-3112 or pridefilmsandplays.com.

-- Barbara Vitello

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