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posted: 6/28/2013 6:00 AM

Theater events: Michael Shannon returns home for 'Simpatico'

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'Exit Interview'
A university lecturer fired from his position is subjected to a final chat with his superior that causes him to reflect on his past in the dark comedy "The Exit Interview," by William Missouri Downs, running at Aurora's Comedy Shrine, a venue best known for improv and standup comedy.
8 p.m. Friday, June 28, and Saturday, June 29, at 4034 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora. $20, plus a two-beverage minimum. (630) 585-0300 or

Shannon returns
Academy Award nominee and A Red Orchid Theatre ensemble member Michael Shannon ("Man of Steel") returns to his home theater company to appear in "Simpatico," Sam Shepard's tragicomedy about blackmail and score settling set in the high-stakes world of thoroughbred racing. Dado directs Shannon and fellow founding ensemble member Guy Van Swearingen.
Begins previews at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at 1531 N. Wells Ave., Chicago. The show opens July 8. $15-$30. (312) 943-8722 or

Citadel's new season
Citadel Theatre this week announced its 2012-2013 season, which opens Sept. 21 with the Midwest premiere of Idris Goodwin's "How We Got On," about four youngsters who establish their identity through pop music. Margaret Lewis' new adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" runs Nov. 29 to Dec. 29, followed by "Hospitality Suite" (Feb. 7-March 9, 2014), a drama about three businessmen trying to woo a CEO to help save their company, by Chicago playwright Roger Rueff. Citadel's season concludes with the John Kander-Fred Ebb musical "Cabaret," opening April 25, 2014.
Performances take place at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. Four-show flex packages are available for $94 and three-show flex passes are available for $75 through July 1. Tickets are available by phone at (847) 735-8554 or online at

What's new
• A famous director struggles to come up with a plot for a new film while he pursues and is pursued by various women in the Maury Yeston-Arthur Kopit musical "Nine," inspired by Federico Fellini's film "8." BAMTheatre presents a revival of the show, directed by Melanie Lamoreux with music direction by Peter Bromann and choreography by Christopher Pazdernik. Performances begin Friday, June 28, at the Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, 3801 S. Central Ave., Cicero. See for more information.

• National Pastime Theater presents its annual summer festival Salon des Naked July: Art Stripped Down 2013, beginning Friday, June 28 and continuing through July 27, at the Preston Bradley Center, 941 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago. Activities include "Le Chat Noir," a weekly salon at 8 p.m. Fridays featuring figure drawing and live music. The "Urban Jungle" cabaret follows at 10 p.m. Fridays. "The Living Canvas," ongoing movement, dance and theater workshops, take place at 10 p.m. Saturdays. Lastly, Pride Films and Plays' "Kill Your Boyfriends," about couples whose relationships are strained, opens July 6. (773) 327-7077 or

• Silk Road Rising presents a staged reading of Farid ud Din Attar's poem "Conference of the Birds," about the world's birds who make a pilgrimage to find their king and encounter hardship and disappointment on the way. Meena Natarajan adapted the poem. Dipankar Mukherjee directs the performances, which take place at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 28 and 29, and 4 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at The Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St., Chicago. (312) 857-1234, ext. 201 or

• The Neo-Futurists host their annual Pride Weekend benefit "30 Queer Plays in 60 Straight Minutes," an adults-only production of their weekly installment of "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind: 30 Plays in 60 Minutes." Performances are at 11:30 p.m. Friday, June 28, and Saturday, June 29, and 7 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. Proceeds benefit UCAN's LGBTQ Host Home Program, which helps find housing and support services for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or questioning young people ages 18 to 24. (773) 275-5255 or

• TV newsman Walter Jacobson will be among the guests at Shattered Globe Theatre's 22nd annual benefit gala, "Party with a Purpose," from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 28, at City Church Chicago, 777 N. Green St., Chicago. The evening begins with a meet-and-greet with Secretary of State Jesse White, Bill Kurtis and Jacobson and comedian Caryn Bark. It includes hors d'oeuvres, an open bar, silent auction, music, live auction and a raffle. Tickets to the meet-and-greet and gala are $100. Tickets to the gala only are $75. They're available at (773) 770-0333.

• Previews begin Saturday, June 29, at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, for Sideshow Theatre Company's world premiere of "The Burden of Not Having A Tail." Carrie Barrett's dark comedy about a woman riding out the apocalypse in an underground bunker stars Karie Miller stars. Megan A. Smith directs the show which opens July 2. See for more information.

• Spectralia Theatre brings its 90-minute, family-friendly production of Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors," about two sets of twins separated at birth, to various Chicago parks beginning Saturday, June 29, and continuing through Aug. 4. Renae Stone directs the outdoor production. (773) 654-3097 or

• The Noah Ginex Puppet Company and Playground Theater present a sneak peek of "SNORF! The Saturday Afternoon Monster and Piggie/Comedy-Variety Show," an all-ages puppet-based variety show. Performances are at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29, and Saturday, July 20, at 3209 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Tickets are $5. (773) 871-3793 or

• Sideshow Theatre Companys hosts an Independence Day rooftop benefit from 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at 2251 W. Wabansia, Chicago. The suggested donation ($10 in advance, $15 at the door) includes a 360-degree view of various Chicago fireworks displays; standard picnic fare including hot dogs, potato salad and vegetarian options; as well as beer, wine and cocktails. See

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