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posted: 3/15/2013 3:29 PM

What's new in theaters

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• A cast of nine incorporates vaudeville, dance and poetry, along with modern text, to tell the story of "Red Hamlet," in Red Theater's Chicago premiere of director Aaron Sawyer's adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy. Gage Wallace stars as the Danish prince in the production, which begins previews Friday, March 15, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens Thursday, March 21. (773) 327-5252 or stage773.com or redtheater.org/chicago.

• The Music Theatre Company holds its 2013 gala Children Will Listen from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, March 18, at the Birchwood Club, 1174 Park Avenue West, Highland Park. The event, emceed by Patrick Martin and Jill Sesso, features musical entertainment, refreshments, a raffle and a silent auction. Tickets are $75 and benefit the company. (847) 579-4900 or themusictheatre.comany.org.

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• Jim Post brings "Mark Twain and the Laughing River," to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20. Post uses music to tell the story of the writer, humorist and one-time riverboat pilot. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

• Eta Creative Arts Foundation celebrates Women's History Month with its second of three shows written and directed by women. Cheryl L. West's drama "Jar the Floor," centers around a 90th birthday party, during which four generations of family members test boundaries and reveal secrets. The show opens Thursday, March 21, at 7558 S. South Chicago Ave., Chicago. (773) 752-3955 or etacreativearts.org.

• The "crime of the century," the 1932 kidnapping of Charles Lindberg Jr. and the subsequent execution of the alleged culprit a German immigrant ex-con named Bruno Richard Hauptmann, inspired Chicago playwright John Logan's "Hauptmann." Bohemian Theatre Ensemble revives this courtroom drama about the influence of power, wealth and the media on justice. Previews begin Friday, March 22, for director Stephen M. Genovese's production which stars Jeremy Trager in the title role. The show opens Saturday, March 23, at the Heartland Studio, 7016 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or bohotheatre.com.

• Previews begin Friday, March 22, for The Side Project's world premiere of Robert Tenges' "Elsewhere," a drama set in 1969 that examines loss and grief in suburban Chicago. The action centers around a widowed single mom desperate to keep her teenage son from the draft. Adam Webster directs the show, which opens Sunday, March 24, at 1439 W. Jarvis Ave., Chicago. (773) 340-0140 or thesideproject.net.

• Profiles Theatre's Midwest premiere of "The Dream of the Burning Boy" has been delayed while cast member and Profiles co-artistic director Darrell W. Cox recovers from emergency eye surgery. The play by David West Read concerns the impact of the sudden death of a high school student on school administrators and his peers. Previews will likely resume at the company's Alley Stage, 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago, in late March. (773) 549-1815 or profilestheatre.org.

• Theater Oobleck has extended its production of Mickle Maher's "There is a Happiness That Morning Is," about two college professors who indulge in a tryst and must then justify their behavior using William Blake's poetry. Performances continue through Sunday, April 7, at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 871-3000 or theateroobleck.com or victorygardens.org.

• Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, announced a six-week extension of its Midwest premiere of Itamar Moses' "Completeness," about a budding romance between computer science graduate student Elliot and molecular biologist Molly. Performances of the adults-only play continue through May 4. (773) 975-8150 or theaterwit.org.

• Remy Bumppo Theatre Company has announced its 2013-2014 season titled The Human Puzzle: Mysteries Revealed. Histories concealed. "All three plays (a comedy, a thriller and a history) are mysteries about the human condition, in very different modes," said artistic director Nick Sandys in a prepared statement. The season opens Oct. 2 with Tim Luscombe's adaptation of Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey." Ensemble member Annabel Armour stars in the comedy about a precocious, 17-year-old girl so immersed in the Gothic tale she's reading that she begins to misinterpret what's happening around her. Next up is J.B. Priestley's "An Inspector Calls" (Dec. 4, 2013-Jan. 12, 2014). Set in 1912 England, this whodunit centers on a police detective whose news of a sudden death threatens to reveal a wealthy family's dark secrets. The season concludes with Polish writer Tadeusz Slobodzianek's prize -winning play "Our Class" (April 2-May 25, 2014), in which a group of former classmates in 1941 Poland uncover the truth about what was believed to be a Nazi atrocity. Additionally, the company will remount Sandys' adaptation of Charles Dickens' "The Chimes" for five performances in December. Subscriptions are on sale. Single tickets go on sale in August. See remybumppo.org for more information.

• Sandra Oh ("Grey's Anatomy") is among the guest artists set to perform at Victory Gardens Theater during the 2013-2014 season recently announced by artistic director Chay Yew. It opens with the world premiere of Branden-Jacobs-Jenkins' "Appropriate" (Nov. 8-Dec. 8) in a coproduction with the Actors Theater of Louisville. Gary Griffin directs the play, which was part of VGT's 2012 Ignition series, and which centers around three adult children charged with liquidating their father's estate. Next up is "The Gospel of Loving Kindness" (Feb. 21-March 23, 2014), a play by Marcus Gardley -- a new member of the theater's playwright's ensemble -- set in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood in 1996 and centered around a minister and his wife who must decide whether to leave their home in a strife-ridden housing project or stay and tend to their flock. The season concludes with Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman's Olivier Award-winning drama "Death and the Maiden" (June 13-July 13, 2014). Oh stars as a former political prisoner in an unnamed Latin American country who had been raped by her captors, who years later encounters -- by chance -- her attacker, from whom she is determined to force a confession. Subscriptions for the three-play season are on sale at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.

• Columbia College Chicago announced recently that it will partner with The Second City to offer a new B.A. Theater degree with a specialization in comedy writing and performance beginning in fall, 2013. Its Chicago location makes Columbia College uniquely suited to offer the degree, said college president Warrick L. Carter in a prepared statement. For more information, see colum.edu/comedy.

-- Barbara Vitello

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