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Article posted: 11/16/2012 5:50 AM

What's new in theater

Previews continue through Sunday, Nov. 18, for Next Theatre Company's production of Julie Marie Myatt's "Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter," at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston. Jessica Thebus directs the darkly funny play about U.S. Marine Jenny Sutter (Lily Mojekwu) who has a difficult time adjusting to civilian life in the U.S. following her tour of duty in Iraq, and finds solace among a group of desert-dwelling misfits. The show opens Monday, Nov. 19. (847) 475-1875, ext. 2, or nexttheatre.org.

Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, presents the world premiere of Chicago writer Philip Dawkins' "Failure: A Love Story," a play with music about the Fail sisters who live on society's fringe, in a rundown building on the Chicago River that houses a clock shop. Previews begin Friday, Nov. 16. The show opens Monday, Nov. 26. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.

Friday, Nov. 16, through Sunday, Nov. 18, marks Quest Theatre's 10th anniversary celebration which begins at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and includes a musical retrospective as well as an exhibition of set pieces, cutouts and masks from performances over the last 10 years. The Quest hosts family day with hourly events for kids from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18. It all takes place at the Blue Theater, 1609 W. Gregory St., Chicago. (312) 458-0895 or questensemble.org.

After the residents of a small Ohio town discover a prize thoroughbred in the stables at the local track, they become locked in a battle with a corporation whose interests differ from their own in Carter W. Lewis' "American Storm," which has its world premiere courtesy of Theatre Seven of Chicago. Previews begin Friday, Nov. 16, at the Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens Monday, Nov. 19. See theatreseven.org for more information.

Pride Film & Plays present the world premiere of "At The Flash," the winner of its 2012 Great Gay Play and Musical Contest. Written by Sean Chandler and David Leeper, the play unfolds in the same gay bar, The Flash, over five decades. Leeper stars, playing five different patrons including a drag queen, lesbian activist and a closeted man. It opens Friday, Nov. 16, at the Center on Halsted's Hoover-Leppen Theatre, 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (773) 250-3117 or pridefilmsandplays.com.

Performances take place this weekend for the "Fifty Shades of Grey" parody, "50 Shades! The Musical" by the musical improv ensemble Baby Wants Candy, which had a long residence at iO Chicago. The adults-only show runs at 10:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 935-6100 or apollochicago.com.

Clockwise Theatre, 221 N. Genesee St., Waukegan, presents a staged reading of "A Day at Stateville," a coproduction with FIST (Former Inmates Striving Together), performed by former inmates from a script written by Illinois Department of Correction inmates who are all serving life sentences without parole. The performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18. (800) 838-3006 or clockwisetheatre.org.

Steve Connell of Crystal Lake reprises his role as the miser who turns magnanimous in Steel Beam Theatre's "Scrooge the Musical," adapted from the 1970 film written by Leslie Bricusse. Kevin Wiczer of Wheeling directs the holiday production which opens Saturday, Nov. 17, at 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. (630) 587-8521 or steelbeamtheatre.com.

Comedians Kent Rader and Jan McInnis bring "The Baby Boomer Show" to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, for two performances as part of the Metropolis' comedy series. Show times are at 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

Porchlight Music Theatre presents the Chicago area premiere of the musical adaptation of "The Gifts of the Magi," inspired by the O. Henry stories "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Cop and the Anthem," with book and music by Mark St. Germain and Randy Courts. Mark Lococo directs Chelsea Morgan and Jason Richards, who star as the penniless lovers, and Kevin McKillip, who plays a bum hoping to be arrested so he has a warm place to spend Christmas. Elizabeth Doran handles music direction and Brenda Didier creates the choreography for the show, which begins previews on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens Tuesday, Nov. 20. (773) 777-9884 or porchlightmusictheatre.org.

Justin Adair, Amanda Hartley, Amanda Horvath and Michael Reyes are among those performing in the Theo Ubique Christmas Cabaret "Joy to the World" which begins performances Saturday, Nov. 17, at No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. Artistic director Fred Anzevino directs the show, which features holiday favorites and includes a preperformance dinner option. (773) 347-1109 or theo-u.com.

Artistic association Steve Scott directs Goodman Theatre's 35th annual production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" starring Larry Yando in his fifth performance as Ebenezer Scrooge. Previews begin Saturday, Nov. 17, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The show opens Sunday, Nov. 25. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.

Philip Markle brings his adults-only, autobiographical one-man show to The Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago, Sunday nights beginning Nov. 18. (773) 561-4665 or sparklehour.com or annoyanceproductions.com.

Midwest New Musicals in association with Light Opera Works presents a concert performance of "Wanting Miss Julie" by writer John Sparks, lyricist Patricia Zehentmayr and composer Jake Anthony as part of the Words and Music series showcasing in-development works. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, at LOW's second stage at 1420 Maple St., Evanston. (847) 920-5360 or lightoperaworks.org

Street Tempo Theatre packs an entire holiday season into one family-friendly multimedia show in, "It's a Wonderful Santa Land Miracle Nut Cracking Christmas Story ... Jews Welcome," beginning Monday, Nov. 19, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Stage 773 artistic director Brian Posen directs. (773) 327-5252 or stage773.com.

Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Nora Dunn is among the performers appearing in Strawdog Theatre's annual benefit, The Phone Book, an evening of music, improv and stories performed by artists so talented, "you'd pay to watch them read the phone book." Appearing along with Strawdog ensemble members are Will Clinger of "Wild Chicago;" directors Steve Scott, Sean Graney, Dexter Bullard and Jonathon Berry; and magician Dennis Watkins. A reception at 7 p.m. is followed by the 8 p.m. performance at 3829 N. Broadway, Chicago. (773) 528-9696 or strawdog.org.

Gilbert and Sullivan tuners "The Pirates of Penzance" and "The Mikado" run in repertory courtesy of The Hypocrites, whose new adaptations -- featuring only 10 actors -- begin Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. (773) 989-7352 or the-hypocrites.com.

Previews begin Wednesday, Nov. 21, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, for Remy Bumppo Theatre's production of George Bernard Shaw's "You Never Can Tell," reportedly written to show up Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest." The comedy of errors and mistaken identity centers around a mother whose three children return to England after 18 years in self-exile with no idea who their biological father is. Meanwhile, a local dentist falls in love with the oldest daughter who is a modern woman determined not to marry. Shawn Douglass directs the production which opens Monday, Nov. 26. (773) 404-7336 or remybumppo.org.

In time for the holiday season, Provision Theater Company remounts its original musical "The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey," based on the children's book by Susan Wojciechowski and adapted by director Timothy Gregory, with music by Michael Mahler. James Ranks stars as an ill-tempered woodcarver who agrees to create a nativity set for a young boy to replace the one his late father carved for him. Previews begin Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 1001 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago. The show opens Saturday, Nov. 24. (312) 455-0066 or provisiontheater.org.

Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland St., Chicago, has extended its production of Alistair Beaton's translation of Max Frisch's "The Arsonists," about a man who allows two smooth talkers to burn down his home. Performances continue through Saturday, Dec. 1. (773) 384-0494 or trapdoortheatre.com.

The "Full House" meets "Sweeney Todd" adult satire, "Attend the Tale of Danny Tanner: A Full House Musical," runs Fridays through Dec. 21, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.

Light Opera Works recently announced its 2013 season which begins June 8 with Gilbert and Sullivan's "H.M.S. Pinafore." That's followed by John Kander and Fred Ebb's "Cabaret" (Aug. 10-25) and a review of "Gershwin's Greatest Hits" (Oct. 4-13). The season concludes with Irving Berlin's "Annie Get Your Gun," opening Dec. 21, 2013. The musicals take place at the main stage at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston. The Gershwin revue takes place at the Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. Tickets are available at (847) 920-5360 or lightoperaworks.com.

The Annoyance Theatre, now in its 25th year, recently announced that Jonathan Silver takes over this month as the company's new managing director. Silver takes over for Tyler Wolff-Ormes, who held the position for five years.

-- Barbara Vitello

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