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Article updated: 4/18/2013 9:50 AM

Local theater: 'Party' time

'Party' people

Clockwise Theatre presents the world premiere of artistic director/playwright's Madelyn Sergel's "The Party in the Kitchen," set in the place where party guests invariably congregate. Andrea Dymond directs the play, which centers on three couples in September 2001 whose lives are affected by events unfolding halfway around the world as well as close to home.

Opens at 8 p.m. Friday, April 19, at 221 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. $20. (800) 838-3006 or clockwisetheatre.org.

Porchlight's 'Pal'

Adrian Aguilar stars as the womanizing entertainer Joey Evans in Porchlight Music Theatre's revival of the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical "Pal Joey," inspired by John O'Hara's short stories. Susie McMonagle stars as socialite Vera and Laura Savage plays good girl Linda in the production helmed by Porchlight artistic director Michael Weber with music direction by Doug Peck and choreography by Lincolnshire's Brenda Didier.

Previews begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens Tuesday, April 23. $30, $39. (773) 327-5252 or porchlightmusictheatre.org or stage773.com.

Griffin at Zanies

Erik Griffin, a regular on Comedy Central's "Workaholics," headlines Rosemont's Zanies this weekend. A veteran of Showtime and Comedy Central, the multicultural comedian/actor was also featured in national commercials including Bud Light's "Swear Jar."

8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 19-20, at MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont. $25, plus a two item food/beverage minimum. (847) 813-0484 or zanies.com.

Ÿ Previews continue through Sunday, April 21, for the conclusion to Strawdog Theatre Company's 25th anniversary season, Charles L. Mee's "Big Love." Artistic associate Matt Hawkins directs Mee's battle of the sexes (inspired by Aeschylus "The Suppliants"), in which a group of brides-to-be flee their fiances and seek shelter at an Italian villa. The show opens Monday, April 22, at 3829 N. Broadway St., Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or strawdog.org.

Ÿ Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, 3801 S. Central Ave., Cicero, concludes its season with "Monty Python's Spamalot," Eric Idle and John Du Prez's "musical comedy lovingly ripped off" from the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Dante J. Orfei's directs the show which opens Friday, April 19. (708) 656-1800 or jpactehatre.com.

Ÿ Concert pianist Mona Golabek stars in "The Pianist of Willesden Lane," adapted and directed by Hershey Felder ("An American Story," "George Gershwin Alone") from the true story of Golabek's mother, pianist Lisa Jura, whose experiences in Europe during World War II inspired the play. As a child in 1938, Jura dreamed of making her concert debut, but was instead sent to London on the kinder transport to protect her from the Nazi regime. Previews begin Friday, April 19, at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The show opens Monday, April 22. (312) 988-9000 or theroyalgeorgetheatre.com.

Ÿ Raven Theatre celebrates its 30th anniversary at a party titled Opa! on Friday, April 19, at the Parthenon, 310 S. Halsted St., Chicago. The evening a Greek dinner, silent auction, raffle and scenes from past, current and future seasons. Tickets are $100 each and free valet parking is available. (773) 338-2177 or raventheatre.com.

Ÿ Previews begin Friday, April 19, for The Factory Theater's "Incident on Run #1217," about a tragedy that befalls unsuspecting passengers on board a train bound for hell. The show opens Friday, April 26, at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave., Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or thefactorytheater.com.

Ÿ Ten actors will share their talents and shed their inhibitions as part of the Annoyance Theatre's sketch variety show "Dream Come True," at 8 p.m. Friday, April 19, at 4830 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 561-4665 or theannoyance.com.

Ÿ Stage Left Theatre presents the Chicago area premiere of Nina Raine's 2006 play "Rabbit," which begins previews Saturday, April 20, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Elly Green directs the play which is set at a bar where Bella and her friends are celebrating Bella's 29th birthday. (773) 975-8150 or stagelefttheatre.com.

Ÿ The 1934 film "Death Takes A Holiday," inspired the musical of the same name by Maury Yeston (music and lyrics) and book writers Peter Stone and Thomas Meehan, which gets its Midwest premiere courtesy of Circle Theatre. Performances begin Saturday, April 20, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Elizabeth Margolius directs this play set in post World War I Italy where Death disguises himself as a handsome young prince in order to experience the joy and heartbreak of life. The show opens Wednesday, April 24. (773) 327-5252 or circle-theatre.org.

Ÿ Oracle Theatre concludes its third season of public access theater with a musical version of "The Mother" by Bertolt Brecht featuring original music by Jonathan Guillen. Set during the reign of Czar Nicholas II, "The Mother" is about a widow who becomes involved in the growing labor movement in order to protect her activist son. The show opens Saturday, April 20, at 3809 N. Broadway St., Chicago. Admission is free but donations are accepted. See publicaccesstheatre.org for more information.

Ÿ The EEK! Theatre Company returns to Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, with its all-new annual comedy-variety show "Marijuanarama!" The show runs at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.

Ÿ Eta Creative Arts Foundation honors four longtime board members during its annual spring benefit from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at 7558 S. South Chicago Ave., Chicago. The party includes hors d'oeuvres, champagne, and musical excerpts from the company's youth ensemble. (773) 752-3955 or etacreativearts.org.

Ÿ The women of GayCo presents an all-female, lesbian-centered sketch revue show titled "Breast in Show" beginning Sunday, April 21, at pH Theater, 1515 W. Berwyn Ave., Chicago. (773) 961-8214 or gayco.com.

Ÿ Silk Road Rising begins its 2013 season with the world premiere of "The Lake Effect," by Rajiv Joseph ("Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo"). Beginning previews will be Tuesday, April 23, at the Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St., Chicago. A co-commission with New Jersey's Crossroads Theatre, the play is about a long estranged Indian American brother and sister who reunite after their father's sudden death to discover more than a few family secrets. The show opens Saturday, April 27. (312) 857-1234, ext. 201, or silkroadrising.org.

Ÿ Broadway in Chicago presents the national tour of Roundabout Theatre Company's national tour of Cole Porter's 1934 musical comedy "Anything Goes" about two couples finding love on a transatlantic cruise. Performances begin Tuesday, April 23, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.

Ÿ Performance begin Wednesday, April 24, for Drury Lane Theatre's young audiences production of "Seussical," which incorporates classic Dr. Seuss tales like "Horton Hears a Who," "Yertle the Turtle" and "The Cat in the Hat." Performances run through June 1, at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oak Brook Terrace. (630) 530-0111 or drurylane.com.

Ÿ An atheist and his devoutly religious partner manage to make their relationship work despite their differences, until an accident forces the nonbeliever to seek support from his partner's family in Geoffrey Nauffts' Tony Award-nominated "Next Fall." AstonRep Theatre Company presents the Chicago area premiere beginning Wednesday, April 24, at Heartland Studio, 7016 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. Derek Bertelsen directs the show, which opens Friday, April 26. (773) 828-9129 or astonrep.com.

Ÿ The Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway St., Chicago, remounts "So I Killed a Few People," Gary Rudoren and David Summers' examination of violence in which a serial killer marked for execution gets permission from the Supreme Court for a final jailhouse performance where he recounts the crimes that landed him on Death Row. The show opens Thursday, April 25. (773) 561-4665 or theannoyance.com.

Ÿ Porn stars try to break into legitimate films in Elaine May's "Adult Entertainment." Bard and Fool Theater Group's production begins Thursday, April 25, at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 935-6100 or bardandfool.org or ticketmaster.com.

Ÿ The real-life love triangle behind the film "Singin' in the Rain," involving Gene Kelly, co-director Stanley Donen and Donen's ex-wife Jeanne Coyne inspired the backstage musical "What A Glorious Feeling," which begins previews Thursday, April 25, at Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Ind. William Pullinsi directs the show, which opens Sunday, April 28. (219) 836-3255 or theatreatthecentre.com.

Ÿ The Teatro Luna-16th Street Theater collaboration "Living Large in a Mini Kind of Way," Diane Rodriguez's examination of two sets of Mexican-American sisters: one assimilated and the other still struggling, continues through May 11, at The Viaduct, 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago. (773) 819-5862 or teatroluna.org.

Ÿ Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, has extended its production of The Q Brothers' "Othello: The Remix," their first hip-hop adaptation of a Shakespeare tragedy. Performances of the acclaimed show run through June 15. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com.

Ÿ The puppet theater company Blair Thomas & Company, the music ensemble eighth blackbird, and the dance theater company Lucky Plush Productions have joined forces to launch a new venture called Creative Partners, which will broaden the reach of each member organization. The new partners combine for an introductory performance beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E Chicago Ave., Chicago. Tickets are $40. See cptheunexpected.eventbrite.com.

Ÿ Lookingglass Theatre Company has announced several premieres will make up its 2013-2014 season, which begins Sept. 25, with the world premiere of "The North China Lover." Adapted from French novelist Marguerite Duras' autobiographical about a teenage girl in 1930s Indochina (Vietnam) who has an affair with an older, Chinese man. It's followed by Rick Cummins and John Scoullar's adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "The Little Prince" (Dec. 4-Feb. 2, 2014) about a pilot stranded in the Sahara Desert, who encounters a charismatic youngster from a small asteroid, who shares with the pilot profundities about life, love and responsibility. The season concludes with the world premiere of "In The Garden: A Darwinian Love Story" (April 16-June 15, 2014), by artistic associate Sara Gmitter about the romance between Charles Darwin and his first cousin and wife, Emma Wedgewood. Subscriptions are available at the box office in the Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, by phone at (312) 337-0665 or lookingglasstheatre.org.

Ÿ Interrobang Theatre Project's 2013-2014 season begins on Sept. 12 with Mark O'Rowe's "Terminus," which first played at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art in 2011 in a Abbey Theatre production. Interrobang stages the Midwest premiere of the "demonic fantasy" with an all-American cast. Next up is Philip Ridley's "The Pitchfork Disney" (Feb. 6-March 2, 2014), about a modern-day, grown-up Hansel and Gretel whose isolation in a post-apocalyptic world is shattered by a nightclub entertainer and his mute partner. The season concludes with "Doll's House" (May 8-June 8, 2014), writer Calamity West's re-imagined adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House." Ticket will go on sale soon through the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago (773) 935-6875 or interrobangtheatreproject.org.

-- Barbara Vitello

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