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posted: 3/1/2013 6:00 AM

Local theater: 'Fiddler' at Paramount

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Paramount's 'Fiddler'

Paramount Theatre concludes its second season of self-produced musicals with the Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick-Joseph Stein classic, "Fiddler on the Roof," directed by Jim Corti and starring Peter Kevoian as Tevye, the Jewish milkman struggling to keep his family together and their religion intact in early 20th century Russia.

Previews begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. The show opens Friday, March 8. $34.90-$46.90. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.

'Proof' comes home

Artistic director Charles Newell directs Court Theatre's revival of "Proof," David Auburn's drama set at the University of Chicago, which is also home to Court Theatre. The play centers on Catherine (Chaon Cross), who has been caring for her ailing mathematician father (Kevin Gudahl) and believes she may have inherited his mental illness as well as his genius evidenced from the mathematical proof she claims she wrote.

Previews begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at 5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago. The show opens Saturday, March 16. $35-$65. (773) 753-4472 or courttheatre.org.

'columbinus' extends

American Theater Company has extended PJ Paparelli and Stephen Karam's newly revised "columbinus," a riveting, expertly told examination of the events at Columbine High School, where two teens murdered 12 fellow students and one teacher on April 20, 1999. Matthew Bausone of Des Plaines and Eric Folks in his Chicago debut impress as the disturbed teens. A revised version of 2008's "Speech & Debate" about high school students who expose a teacher's secrets, follows "columbinus."

Performances through April 7 at 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago. $38, $43. (773) 409-4125 or atcweb.org.

• Previews begin Friday, March 1, for the Neo-Futurists' "Analog," inspired by ensemble member Kurt Chiang's "self-prescribed task" of transcribing William Golding's 1954 novel "Lord of the Flies." Inspired by an exhibition of minimalist and conceptual artists, the show takes audiences into Chiang's thought process. It runs through April 6 at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. (773) 275-5255 or neofuturists.org.

• New Lincoln Theatre presents the world premiere of "When Angels Wept," a semi-fictitious account by Chicago attorney/playwright Charles Grippo of the devastating fire at Chicago's Our Lady of the Angels Catholic School, which killed 92 children. Performances begin Friday, March 1, at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave., Chicago. (800) 838-3006 or propthtr.org.

• Puppeteer/performer and Jeff Award-winner Michael Montenegro brings his solo performance piece, the adults-only "Fools Tango Two," to Theatre Zarko beginning Friday, March 1. The show consists of several darkly comic puppet and mask works accompanied by music from Joel Hatch and Noah-Silver Mathews. Performances run through May 11 at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston. (847) 350-9275 or theatrezarko.org.

• Performances begin Friday, March 1, for newcomer Leftend Productions' inaugural production, a stage adaptation of Harry Kurnitz's "A Shot in the Dark," inspired by the film of the same name and adapted from Marcel Achard's comic mystery, "L'Idiot." The play centers on the good-hearted Josefa who is accused of murdering her lover and whose innocence is championed by a French magistrate who is determined to find the real killer. Performances continue through March 31 at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. For tickets, see brownpapertickets.com.

• Singer/actress Suzanne Petri, a member of American Blues Theater, brings her salute to composer NoŽl Coward, "A Little Touch of Coward in the Night," to Davenports, 1383 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. It runs Fridays in March beginning March 1. (773) 278-1830 or davenportspianobar.com

• The improvised reality television show spoof "Reality Recap Reunion" opens Friday, March 1, at The Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago. (773) 561-4665 or theannoyance.com.

• Goodman Theatre artistic director Robert Falls discusses his latest production, Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure," at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 1, during "The Interview Show" at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago. Admission is $8. (773) 227- 4433 or hideoutchicago.com. Falls will also answer questions about the production at Twitter.com from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 13. Tweet questions to him @GoodmanTheatre; use hashtag #MforM.

• The Ruckus Theater and Tympanic Theatre Company collaborate on the world premiere of "Brewed," a show eight years in the making. It's about six sisters charged with continuously stirring a pot and what happens when two of them begin shirking their burden, causing tension and long-held grievances to boil over. Previews begin Saturday, March 2, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens Monday, March 4. (773) 975-8150 or theaterwit.org or tympanictheatre.org or facebook.com/theruckustheater.

• "Things Fall Apart: A Zombie Apocalypse Musical" by writer Axel Arth and composer Tyler Welton premieres Saturday, March 2, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The action centers on Walt, who after three years running from zombies decides to take back the world from the "brain-munching monsters." (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.

• Comedian Stephen Colbert hosts Lookingglass Theatre Company's gglassquerade, a celebration of the company's 25th anniversary beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at The Four Seasons, 120 E. Delaware Place, Chicago. Since his days doing improv with Lookingglass founders at Northwestern University, "Stephen has been a great friend to Lookingglass and a champion of and ambassador for, the city of Chicago," said artistic director Andrew White. The company will award Colbert Lookingglass' Civic Engagement Spirit Award. (773) 477-9257 or lookingglasstheatre.org.

• Emerald City Theatre celebrates Dr. Seuss' birthday during its Saturday, March 2, performances of "The Cat in the Hat" featuring a post-show party with the titular character. A portion of the proceeds from the 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. performances will benefit the company's One Play, One Child Fund, which offers free performances and new books to low-income Chicago Public School students. Performances take place at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 935-6100 or emeraldcitytheatre.com.

• Hamlet, Othello, Juliet and Romeo search for a powerful wizard who can assist them in their battle against Richard III, Lady Macbeth and Iago in Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery's adaptation of their graphic novel "Kill Shakespeare," which debuted in 2011 at Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre. "'Kill Shakespeare' is a great opportunity to pique teens' interest in Shakespeare as well as give a new dimension to longtime Shakespeare fans," said director Anderson Lawfer in a prepared statement. Strawdog Theatre's Midwest premiere opens Monday, March 4, at 3829 N. Broadway St., Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or strawdog.org.

• Her Story Theater presents a staged reading of "The Greens," an adults-only coming-of-age story set in 1970s Cabrini Green by Ben Joravsky and Rick Stone. The reading takes place at 7 p.m. Monday, March 4, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. See herstorytheater.org for more information.

• Susan Block, Denise Kirshenbaum, Ron Levitsky and Donna Lubow are among the local writers participating in an evening of storytelling beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at the Laughing Chameleon, 1830 Tower Drive, Glenview. Tickets for Short Story Theatre are $10 and are available online at laughingchameleon and at the door.

• The Hypocrites ensemble member Geoff Button directs the company's streamlined 90-minute production of William Shakespeare's tragedy "Coriolanus." The play features the return to The Hypocrites' stage of Donna McGough, company member and Jeff Award winner. The show runs through April 23 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. See the-hypocrites.com for more information.

• Previews begin Thursday, March 7, for Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre's remount of its acclaimed 2012 production of "Smokey Joe's Cafe -- The Songs of Lieber and Stoller" at the Royal George Cabaret Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The commercial transfer is directed by Lincolnshire native Brenda Didier and features Woodridge native Justin Adair, along with Kasey Alfonso, Sydney Charles, TJ Crawford, Robin K. Dasilva, Vasily Doris, James Osborn, Steven Perkins and Britt-Marie Sivertsen. The revue -- featuring such early rock 'n' roll, Lieber-Stoller favorites as "Hound Dog," "Yakety Yak" and "Jailhouse Rock" -- opens Saturday, March 16. (312) 099-9000 or smokeyjoescafechicago.com or theoubique.org.

• Composer/pianist/actor Hershey Felder ("George Gershwin Alone," "Monsieur Chopin") returns to the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St., Chicago, with his latest productions, "An American Story for Actor and Orchestra." Felder wrote the book and composed the score for the musical which chronicles the last day of Abraham Lincoln's life using classic songs like "Beautiful Dreamer" and "My Old Kentucky Home" as well as the 16th president's own words. The tale unfolds through the eyes of Dr. Charles Leale, the Union Army medic who was the first to reach the president's box at Ford Theatre on the night of his assassination. It's inspired by Leale's report of those events, which was discovered in 2012. Previews begin Thursday, March 7. The show opens Sunday, March 10. (312) 988-9000 or theroyalgeorgetheatre.com.

• Amleth, princess of Denmark, returns home for her father's funeral to find her mother remarried, the house filled with partygoers and Amleth herself questioning everything she ever believed in Jeremy Menekseoglu's "The Tragedy of Amleth, Princess of Denmark." Inspired by Shakespeare's "Hamlet," "Amleth" gets its world premiere courtesy of Dream Theatre. Performances begin Thursday, March 7, at 556 W. 18th St., Chicago. (773) 552-8616 or dreamtheatrecompany.com.

• Playwrights from Canada, Switzerland, France, Austria, Italy, Brazil and Wales will participate in the fourth annual International Voices Project, Thursday, March 7, to Sunday, March 17, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Presented in collaboration with each country's consulate, the festival consists of concert readings of the plays, followed by discussion with the cast and audience and a reception by the country's cultural partner. Admission is free but reservations are encouraged. (773) 250-7055 or ivpchicago.org.

• Cosmetologist/comedian Monique Madrid brings her show, "(Expletive), I'll Cut You," combining improv and haircutting, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St., Chicago. Joining Madrid to chat about the week's news are comedians Justin Kauffman, Kelsie Huff and Corey Rittmaster, while a surprise celebrity guest gets a haircut. See moniquemadrid.com.

• Gorilla Tango, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, presents "Bikini Shakespeare: The Tempest," which re-imagines Shakespeare's romance as a beach romp. The show runs Thursdays, beginning March 7, through April 25. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.

• Steppenwolf Theatre Company hosts after parties following its Garage Rep series beginning Thursday, March 8, at 1624 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The lineup includes Salonathon, the rock trio Paper Mice, classical musicians Spektral Quartet and more. Performances begin at 11 p.m. Tickets are $5. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.

• Oracle Productions announces the second in its Aperture Series showcasing free screenings of films by independent filmmakers continues Thursday, March 7, through Saturday, March 9, at 3809 N. Broadway, Chicago. The theater will showcase films by the Chicago-based Michael Janicki, who worked with Chicago's Trap Door Theatre as resident photographer and poster designer. Admission is free but donations are accepted. See publicaccesstheatre.org or facebook.com/OracleProductions.

• "A Million Dollar Quartet" has extended for a fifth year. A fictionalized account of the impromptu meeting between Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash at Sun Studios in 1956, the jukebox musical runs through Sept. 1, at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 935-6100 or ticketmaster.com or milliondollarquartetlive.com.

• A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago, has extended its production of Annie Baker's "The Aliens." The play centers around two slackers who hang out behind a coffee shop discussing music, friendship, sex and philosophy, who welcome a 17-year-old barista/disciple into their midst. Performances continue through Saturday, March 16. (312) 943-8722 or aredorchidtheatre.org.

-- Barbara Vitello

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