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posted: 10/19/2012 5:59 AM

What's new on stage

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• Theatre-Hikes temporarily leaves Lisle's Morton Arboretum to perform its Halloween show "The Werewolf's Curse: or Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow," at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at Metro South Park, at Western Avenue and 127th Street in Blue Island. Admission is free. The show runs at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 28 at the arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. See theatre-hikes.org/werewolf for more information.

• Underscore Theatre Company presents its 21 and older production of the cult film turned camp musical "The Rocky Horror Show," running Friday, Oct. 19; Saturday, Oct. 20; and Wednesday, Oct. 31, at O'Malley's Liquor Kitchen, 3551 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago. See chicagorocky.com.

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• Twelve actors play more than 50 characters in Saint Sebastian Players' season-opening production of "The Dining Room," A.R. Gurney's "anthropological study" of an upper middle-class family during the mid 20th century. SSP founder Jim Masini directs the show which opens Friday, Oct. 19, at St. Bonaventure Church, 1625 W. Diversey, Chicago. (773) 404-7922 or saintsebastianplayers.com.

• The American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University debuts the new musical "The Verona Project." Inspired by Shakespeare's "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," as seen through the eyes of a group of young musicians, the show was written, directed and composed by Amanda Dehnert. It opens on Friday, Oct. 19, at the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston. (847) 491-7282 or veronanu.com.

• "Anna, in the Darkness," a one-woman psychological thriller written and directed by Jeremy Menekseoglu, runs through Sunday, Oct. 21, and then from Thursday, Oct. 25, to Wednesday, Oct. 31, at Dream Theatre, 556 W. 18th St., Chicago. The adults-only production features Megan Merrill. (773) 552-8616 or dreamtheatrecompany.com.

• Anam Gan Ainm (Gaelic for "soul without a name"), a new company that produces plays with interesting language, presents its inaugural production, "The Player Queen," by Irish poet W.B. Yeats, beginning Friday, Oct. 19, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Set in an imaginary kingdom, the play examines power and ego. Also coming up at Gorilla Tango: the new comedy "Roseannkenstein: The Ballad of Roseanne, As Told by Frankenstein's Monster" in which TV's Roseanne Connor swaps bodies with Frankenstein's monster "Freaky Friday" style. The show runs through Saturday, Oct. 27. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.

• Griffin Theatre invites audience members for a behind-the-scenes look at its upcoming production "The Burnt Part Boys" from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at 3711 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago. Director Jonathan Berry discusses the play and presents musical numbers from the production. The $30 admission also includes food and beverages. (773) 769-2228 or griffintheatre.com.

• Lifeline Theatre remounts its acclaimed children's production "Duck for President," adapted by James E. Grote from Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin's popular children's book. The tale centers around young Duck who decides to run for president when conditions on the farm get out of control. Performances for this Lifeline Theatre KidSeries production begin Saturday, Oct. 20, at 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. (773) 761-4477 or lifelinetheatre.com.

• Rob Riley plays maverick physicist Richard Feynman, a key figure in the field of nanotechnology, in the Chicago premiere of Peter Parnell's "QED." a coproduction between theatre4humanity and Collaboraction Theatre. The show begins previews on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Collaboraction Theatre, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The show opens Wednesday, Oct. 24. (866) 212-4077 or theatre4humanity.org.

• "Freud's Last Session" playwright Mark St. Germain, Dr. Richard Rosengarten of the University of Chicago's divinity school and Dr. Ann Kaplan and Dr. Joshua Kellman from the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis will participate in a post-show talkback following the 8 p.m. performance on Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport, Chicago. The discussion will center on love, sex, the meaning of life and the existence of God. (773) 325-1700 or mercurytheaterchicago.com.

• The Neo-Futurists host Raucous in the Caucous, a fundraiser beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. The event includes a craft beer tasting, wine and cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, politically themed entertainment and a silent auction. Tickets start at $80.87, a penny a play for the 8,087 plays and playlettes the company has produced since 1988. (773) 878-4557 or neofuturists.org.

• The next in a series of concert readings of in-development musicals, presented by Midwest New Musicals and Light Opera Works, takes place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, at LOW's second stage at 1420 Maple St., Evanston. The show is titled "Now and Then a Hero" by Larry Todd Johnson and Jake Anthony. (847) 920-5360 or lightoperaworks.com/midwest-new-musicals.html.

• Just in time for the general election, Pine Box Theatre Company presents Election Fest 2012 comprised of a dozen 10-minute plays examining current political issues. Performances run Mondays and Tuesdays, Oct. 22-23, and Oct. 29-30, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Featured playwrights include Laura Eason, Sarah Gubbins, Andrew Hinderaker, Paul Oakley Stovall and Michael Patrick Thornton, among others. (773) 975-8150 or theaterwit.org.

• Hobo Robo 5: Hobos Across America marks Hobo Junction's fifth annual showcase of nine new short comedies selected from more than 400 entries. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, and Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Strawdog Theatre's Hugen Hall, 3829 N. Broadway Ave., Chicago. See hobojunctionproductions.com.

• The puppet theater ensemble Blair Thomas & Company previews its new production of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Coyle & Herr, a home furnishings warehouse at 12000 W. 35th St., Chicago. See blairthomas.org.

• Trap Door Theatre recently opened "The Arsonists," Alistair Bead's adaptation of Max Frisch's play about a mild-mannered man who allows two smooth talkers to burn down his home. Performances run through Saturday, Nov. 17, at 1655 W. Cortland St., Chicago. (773) 384-0494 or trapdoortheatre.com.

• First Folio Theatre has added matinees for "The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe: A Love Story" at 3 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 24, and Thursday, Nov. 1. The company has also added shows at 8 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Performances run through Sunday, Nov. 4, at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st. St., Oak Brook. (630) 986-8067 or firstfolio.org.

• Lookingglass Theatre has extended its revival of writer/director Mary Zimmerman's "Metamorphoses." Performances continue through Dec. 16 at the Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. (31) 337-0665 or lookingglasstheatre.org.

• "Million Dollar Quartet," the jukebox show about the 1956 jam session including Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley at the Sun Records studio in Memphis, has entered its fifth year in Chicago. Tickets for performances at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, are on sale through April 28. (773) 935-6100, milliondollarquartetlive.com or ticketmaster.com.

• The Goodman Theatre recently named four Chicago-based writers to its Playwrights Unit, a one-year residency program in partnership with Chicago Dramatists, designed to assist in the development of new works. The playwrights include Neo-Futurists found Greg Allen ("The Last Two Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen," "H2O"); Chicago Dramatists resident playwright, Alice Austen ("Water"); Ike Holter, whose work has been produced at the Steppenwolf Garage, LiveWire Chicago and Collaboraction's Sketchbook Festival; and Christopher Oscar Pena ("maelstrom," "l (y) re").

-- Barbara Vitello

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