Local theater: Unhappy holidays at Steel Beam
Moody holiday tale
Steel Beam Theatre's Donna Steele directs the company's production of "The Seafarer." Written by the great chronicler of isolation and despair, Conor McPherson, the play unfolds on Christmas Eve day, in a ramshackle Dublin house shared by brothers Richard and Sharky, whose booze-fueled poker game with friends takes a dark turn with the arrival of a mysterious guest.
Opens Friday, April 5, at 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. $25, $23. (630) 587-8521 or steelbeamtheatre.com.
Remy Bumppo Theatre continues its season with August Strindberg's tragicomedy "Creditors." Sandy Shinner directs David Greig's adaptation of the late 19th century play in which the relationship between a young man and his older, successful novelist wife is threatened by the arrival of an older man. Ensemble member Linda Gillum joins Mark L. Montgomery and Gabriel Ruiz for this three-hander.
Previews begin Wednesday, April 10, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens Sunday, April 14. $27.50-$42.50. (773) 404-7336 or remybumppo.org.
Christine Mary Dunford adapts and directs Lookingglass Theatre Company's world premiere of "Still Alice," based on Lisa Genova's novel about a professor whose expertise is the human brain and who learns that she is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Dunford's interest in adapting the novel grew out of her work with The Memory Ensemble, which uses improvisational theater as therapy for people in the early stages of Alzheimer's.
Previews begin Wednesday, April 10, at 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. The show opens Saturday, April 20. $28-$70. (312) 337-0665 or lookingglasstheatre.org.
Other theater events:
• After his boyfriend dies, the morbidly obese Charlie retreats to his Idaho apartment intending to eat himself into oblivion but not before he connects with the daughter he has not seen in 17 years in "The Whale," by Victory Gardens Theater ensemble playwright Samuel D. Hunter. Joanie Schultz directs the Midwest premiere of the play, which begins previews Friday, April 5, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 871-3000 or victoryagrdens.org.
• The female version of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple," about a pair of mismatched divorcees living together after their marriages break up, opens Friday, April 4, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. (847) 677-7761 or gorillatango.com.
• Light Opera Works holds its spring benefit beginning at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner, a live auction and musical entertainment featuring performers from the 2013-2014 season. Tickets start at $185 per person and are available by phone at (847) 920-5360.
• Scoop Skupien chronicles the adventures he and his wife had wandering the world searching for paradise in his one-man show "Questing For Shangri-La," opening Sunday, April 7, at The Annoyance Theater, 4830 N. Broadway St., Chicago. (773) 561-4665 or theannoyance.com.
• Erasing the Distance, an organization that uses theater to address mental illness issues, presents the world premiere of "The Small Dark Room," in which six characters share true stories about dealing with depression, and other mental health issues. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, Tuesday, April 9, Monday, April 15, and Tuesday, April 16, at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Purchase tickets at thesmalldarkroom.brownpapertickets.com or erasingthedistance.org.
• Five playwrights, including Laura Jacqmin ("Dental Society Midwinter Meeting") will participate in the Pavement Group's third annual Amuse Bouche festival celebrating new voices in American theater. Each playwright must within 24 hours, "cook up" a 15-minute script using 10 "ingredients" supplied by students from Steppenwolf Theatre's Young Adult Council. Five directs will help the performances, which run from Monday, April 8, to Wednesday, April 10, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See pavementgroup.org.
• Chicago Children's Theatre and Redmoon Theatre collaborate on "The Children and The Whale," beginning Wednesday, April 10, at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Conceived by Frank Maugeri with script and songs by Seth Bockley, the play centers on the friendship between a circus elephant named Ella, who befriends a homesick baby whale. The May 4 performance will be an "autism-friendly" show reserved for families with children who are on the autism spectrum. (773) 327-3778 or chicagochildrenstheatre.org.
• Previews begin Thursday, April 11, for TUTA Theatre Chicago's U.S. premiere of "The Silent Language" by Serbian playwright Miodrag Stanisavljevic. Translated by Zoran Paunovic, this 1981 darkly comic fairy tale about our failure to listen, is based on an old Serbian folk tale about a young villager who has the ability to understand the language of animals. The show opens Friday, April 19, at TUTA Studio Theatre, 2010 W. Fulton Ave., Chicago. (800) 838-3006 or tutato.com.
• The Neo-Futurists announced their 2013-2014 season, which begins Sept. 5, with the U.S. premiere of "Sweet Child of Mine" a coproduction with Australia's The Last Tuesday Society in which Australian performer Bron Batten shares the stage with her 60-year-old parents to discuss art, theater and what Batten does for a living. Next up is the world premiere of Bilal Dardai's "The Sovereign Statement" (Oct. 17-Nov. 23), a kind of political thriller in which the company and audience members try to establish a modern nation while battling misinformation, politicking and paranoia. The season concludes with the world premiere of Trevor Dawkins' "Haymaker" (May 22-June 28, 2014), an examination of the urge to fight. Performances are at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. (773) 275-5255 or neofuturists.org.
• The League of Chicago Theatres has announced the five finalists for the 2013 Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theater Award, created in 2007 to encourage and support emerging theaters in Chicago. The finalists include: 16th Street Theater, Bailiwick Chicago, Filament Theatre Ensemble, Pavement Group and Sideshow Theatre Company. The winner will be announce in mid-April and the award will be presented May 20, during the league's annual gala at the InterContinental Chicago, 505 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago.
• American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wis., has announced its 2013 season running from June 8 to Oct. 20. It begins with "Molly Sweeney" (Touchstone Theatre), Brian Friel's drama about a blind woman who gets a chance to see. Also June 8, is "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" (outdoors). That's followed by W. Somerset Maugham's comedy "Too Many Husbands" (June 14-Sept. 14, outdoors), about a woman who remarries after World War I thinking her husband is dead, only to find him alive. Next up is James DeVita's "Dickens in America" (June 26-Oct. 19, Touchstone Theatre), in which the writer becomes his own characters. "Hamlet" runs outdoors June 21-Oct. 4, followed by Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" (Aug. 2-Oct. 5, outdoors) which examines Hamlet's tragedy through the eyes of two minor characters. Remy Bumppo Theatre founder James Bohnen directs. The season concludes with Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" (Aug. 11-Oct. 20, Touchstone Theatre) and Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" (Aug. 9-Sept. 23, outdoors), directed by Chicago stalwart, William Brown. Subscriptions and single tickets go on sale to the general public on April 14. (608) 588-2361 or americanplayers.org.
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