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posted: 8/16/2013 6:00 AM

Theater events: Mike Toomey examines 'TV & Me'

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TV generation
Comedian Mike Toomey brings his one-man show "TV & Me," an examination of how television shaped his life and the lives of other members of his generation, to Pheasant Run Resort. Toomey's performance is part of Fox Valley Repertory's ongoing comedy series, which also includes performances from The Second City.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 16-17, at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. $32. (630) 584-6342 or

Nora Dunn solo
Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Nora Dunn, who recently co-starred in Drury Lane's "Boeing Boeing," debuts her solo show, "Mythical Proportions," at Theater Wit. Inspired in part by Dunn's childhood in Chicago, the show consists of monologues from characters ranging from an octogenarian Hollywood doyenne to a 7-year-old mystified by television.
Previews continue at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19. $24-$38. (773) 975-8150 or

Chicago story
TimeLine Theatre begins its new season with Lorraine Hansberry's "Raisin in the Sun," the poignant story of an African-American family living on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s. TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers calls the tale of racial intolerance and family conflict "a story about Chicago -- then and now and hopefully not forever."
Previews start at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, with press opening at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington, Chicago. $22-$48. (773) 281-8463, ext. 6, or

Other theater happenings:

• Performances began this week for The Hypocrites season-opening productions of "12 Nights." Drawn from Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" and two other works said to have inspired the Bard's play -- Barnabe Riche's "Apolonius and Silla" and an anonymous Italian play titled "Gl'ingannati" -- the show was adapted and directed by founder and former artistic director Sean Graney and features a cast of four. Performances run through Oct. 6 at the Chopin Theater, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. In addition to "12 Nights," The Hypocrites' 17th season features a remount of the company's hit production of "Mikado," a re-imagined version of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta beginning performances on Nov. 14. On Jan. 15, 2014, the company debuts "The Tennessee Williams Project (working title)," an evening of rarely produced one-act plays written by Williams between 1937 and 1982 and directed by Jeff Award winner Matt Hawkins. The season concludes Feb. 5, 2014, with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's "Into the Woods," a co-production with the Mercury Theater Chicago. Season subscriptions are available. (773) 525-5991 or

• Performances continue for Barely Concealed Productions world premiere "O'Brien and O'Brian," a romantic comedy by John J. Enright about a young lawyer Alan O'Brian, his fellow law school student Darlene O'Brien and the client who doesn't know which O'Brien he wants. Performances continue through Sept. 8 at Dream Theatre, 556 W. 18th St., Chicago. (773) 552-8616 or

• Griffin Theatre associate artistic director Jonathan Berry makes his Strawdog Theatre directing debut with the company's season-opening production of "Conversations on a Homecoming," by Irish writer Tom Murphy. The story centers on Michael, who returns home to Galway after 10 years in America, hoping to "reconnect with old friends and rekindle old flames." Previews begin Friday, Aug. 16, at 3829 N. Broadway, Chicago. The show opens Aug. 26. (866) 811-4111 or

• Nothing Without A Company has remounted "Alice," its walkabout adaptation of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland." The show opens Friday, Aug. 16, in Lincoln Park, near the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. Admission is free, but reservations are required at

• Redmoon continues its free summer performance summer series from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Amundsen Park, 6200 W. Bloomingdale, Chicago. The event features emcee Lamar Jordan and performers DJ Such and Such, Jose Olivarez, Noname, Fatimah and the Bucket Boys along with Redmoon's latest invention, a 16-foot-tall mobile soapbox and speaker system complete with DJ booth, drum kit, slide and other elements. For more information, see

• The Music Theatre Company presents the next in its 48-hour musical series at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 19-20, at 1850 Green Bay Road, Highland Park. Titled "Autokorrekt," these 15-minute works are written, rehearsed and performed within 48 hours. See themusictheatre

• Stage Left Theatre and Comedy Sportz celebrate the nation's worst 10-minute play during DrekFest 2013, taking place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at The ComedySportz Theatre, 929 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The competition consists of staged readings of the finalists including: "Murder Most Foul, and Heinous, and Foul" by Joseph Keefe; "Mommy, Get Your Gun" by Jake Lindquist; "Brilliant Play By the Liberal Agenda for the Midwest, Which Will Appeal to Critics and Make An (expletive) Ton of Money" by Kyle Martin; and "(Expletive) You Janine: A Play Ruined By My Ex, Like Everything Else in My Life" by Peter Papachronopoulos. Theater critic Kerry Reid, The Factory Theater's Eric Roach and performer Ele Matelan will choose the Grand Loser. (773) 883-8830 or stageleft

• Saint Sebastian Players presents as part of its Sebastian Studio Project, a double-bill made up of Eudora Welty's myth-inspired "Shower of Gold," about a Southern love story at the turn of the last century, and "An Evening With Percy," about the character actor Percy Killbridge, whose Ma and Pa Kettle movies reportedly saved a studio from bankruptcy, written and performed by ensemble member Ed McGuire. Performances take place from Aug. 21-25 at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, Chicago. (773) 404-7922 or

• Signal Ensemble Theatre opens its season with the U.S. premiere of "This is War" by Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch. Co-artistic director Ronan Marra directs the play about Canadian soldiers stationed in a volatile region of Afghanistan during 2008. Previews begin Thursday, Aug. 22, at 1802 W. Berenice Ave., Chicago. The show opens Aug. 24. (773) 698-7389 or

• "Mr. Marmalade," Noah Haidle's play about the relationships between a 4-year-old girl named Lucy and her imaginary friend -- the middle-aged, cocaine-addicted Mr. Marmalade -- opens Thursday, Aug. 22, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Amber Gensterblum directs the production by Dream Sequence Theatre, a new ensemble founded by Columbia College Chicago alumni. See for tickets.

• The Upstairs Gallery hosts A Jangleheart Circus, a three-day, sketch and improv comedy festival featuring improv groups from around the country, beginning Thursday, Aug. 22 and continuing through Aug. 24, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Tickets are $20 per day or $50 for the entire festival. See for a schedule.

• Previews begin Friday, Aug. 23, for "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot," Stephen Adly Guirgis' dramatization of the imagined trial of Judas, Christendom's greatest sinner, featuring as witnesses Caiphas, Sigmund Freud and Satan. Led by executive producers Julia Albain and Corey Lubowich of Team StarKid, the revival opens Aug. 25 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 327-5252 or

• Steppenwolf Theatre has extended its production of "Slowgirl," starring William Petersen as an isolated man visited by his teenage niece (Rae Gray) who is running from the repercussions following an incident at a Massachusetts house party. Performances continue through Sept. 1 at 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (312) 335-1650 or

• Court Theatre and American Blues Theater announced recently that they will collaborate on a new adaptation of Richard Wright's "Native Son." Nambi E. Kelley's adaptation will open in fall 2014, which marks Court's 60th season and ABT's 29th season. The novel chronicles the descent of Bigger Thomas, an oppressed and impoverished young African-American man, whose fatal mistake leads him to ruin. "The story is, unfortunately, still relevant and demands to be produced for a new generation," said Court artistic director Charles Newell in a prepared statement. "We are thrilled to be working with American Blues Theater on this particular play, which we think will resonate in Chicago and throughout the nation."

• After 25 years, The Neo-Futurists have welcomed new artistic associates. Joining the Chicago company are: Anthony Courser, Clifton Frei, Evan Hanover, Halena Kays, Molly Plunk and John Szymanski. "The Neo-Futurists chose to honor these six artists dues to their talent, generous spirit, and passion for our work and aesthetic," said artistic director Bilal Dardai in a prepared statement. "This inaugural crop of artistic associates have proved on multiple occasions to be invaluable to our prime-time productions."

• Adventure Stage Chicago founder and producing artistic director Tom Arvetis recently received the American Alliance for Theatre and Education's Orlin Corey Award for artistic excellence. The award honors a theater artist for contributions to children's theater. Arvetis received the award for his direction of Marco Ramirez's "Six Stories Tall," which premiered last year at ASC. In accepting the award Arvetis said: "Orlin Corey said he was waging a war against mediocrity in theater for young people, and I am proud to say that I am a soldier in that fight."

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