Buffalo Theatre Ensemble opens its season with "Leading Ladies" by Ken Ludwig, the playwright who penned the backstage farces "Lend Me a Tenor" and "Moon Over Buffalo." BTE's production stars Bryan Burke and Robert Jordan Bailey as a pair of unemployed Shakespearean actors who pretend to be who they are not, in order to fool an elderly woman into leaving them her fortune. BTE ensemble member Kurt Naebig directs.
Opens at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at Building K Theatre, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. $28-$36. (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org.
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Lifeline Theatre remounts its 2004 commission of "The Killer Angels," adapted by Karen Tarjan from Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel chronicling not just the battles that took place from July 1 to 3, 1863, but the thoughts, fears and hopes of the men who fought them. The production marks director Matt Miller's Lifeline debut.
Previews begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. The show opens Sept. 15. $20-$40. (773) 761-4477 or lifelinetheatre.com.
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Salute to Twain
Theatre-Hikes invites nature-loving theater fans to "A Walk With Mark Twain." The double-bill includes Joseph McDonough's adaptation of Twain's 1865 story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" and David Birney's "The Diaries of Adam and Eve," adapted from two short stories Twain wrote toward the end of his career. Frank Sjodin stars as Mark Twain.
Performances begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at 4100 Ill. Route 53, Lisle. $18, $19. (630) 725-2066 or theatre-hikes.org or mortonarb.org.
Other theater events
• Coriolis Theater Company's Chicago area premiere of "The Rubenstein Kiss" has its last preview Friday, Sept. 6, at The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Inspired by the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, executed in 1953 for passing information on the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union, James Phillips' play spans 30 years in its examination of three couples weighing family obligations and political convictions. The show opens Saturday, Sept. 7. See coriolistheater.org.
• Previews begin Friday, Sept. 6, for Teatro Vista's world premiere of Martin Zimmerman's "White Tie Ball," about two brothers, one easily identified as Latino and the other not, and the emotional conflicts that result. The show opens Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org or teatrovista.org.
• Brad Sherrill, artistic associate for the Georgia Shakespeare Theatre, brings his faith-based play "Red Letter Jesus," drawn from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, to Provision Theater, 1001 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago. Performances run Friday, Sept. 6, to Oct. 13. (312) 455-0066 or provisiontheater.org.
• Hell in a Handbag Productions presents a benefit performance on Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Coach House at Berger Park, 6205 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, of its stage version of Alfred Hitchcocks "The Birds" featuring the film's star Tippi Hedren in a cameo. Additionally, Hedren will join the cast and audience at a 6 p.m. reception and will participate in a post-performance question and answer session. Tickets are $150 for the reception, show and Q-and-A. Performances run through Saturday, Sept. 21. (800) 838-3006 or handbagproductions .org.
• Eta Creative Arts Foundation hosts its annual benefit gala from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Sept. 7, at eta Square, 7558 S. South Chicago Ave., Chicago. The evening includes dinner, dancing, a performance by Muntu Dance Theatre and a silent auction. Eta will honor business leaders Edward G. Gardner, Spencer Lear Sr. and Dee Robinson Reid; Grammy Award winner Lupe Fiasco; and WVON radio at the event. Tickets are $125. They're available online at etacreativearts.org and by phone at (773) 762-3955.
• The Midnight Circus continues its summer-long Night Out in the Parks in partnership with the Chicago Park District. The Circus performs at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, and 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Drive, Chicago. Tickets range from $5 to $20. Proceeds go to improve Chicago parks. See circusintheparks.org for tickets.
• Barrel of Monkeys opens its 16th season with a new incarnation of its long-running series "That's Weird, Grandma," conceived and written by Chicago Public School students. BOM artistic director Molly Brennan directs the show made up of short sketches. Performances begin Monday, Sept. 9, at the Neo-Futurists Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. (312) 409-1954 or barrelofmonkeys.org.
• The Chicago Commercial Collective and Broadway in Chicago will remount TimeLine Theatre's 2010 commission "To Master the Art," William Brown and Doug Frew's dramedy about the romance between Julia and Paul Child and their love affair with food. Karen Janes Woditsch and Craig Spidle reprise their roles as Julia and Paul. Performances begin Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. The show opens Tuesday, Sept. 17. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.
• Aurora's Paramount Theatre presents the regional premiere of "In The Heights," the Tony Award-winning musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes set in a changing New York City neighborhood. Previews begin Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 23 E. Galena Blvd. The show opens Sarturday, Sept. 14. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.
• Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member Joan Allen returns to the theater for the first time in 22 years to star in the U.S. premiere of Zinnie Harris' "The Wheel," beginning previews Thursday, Sept. 12, at 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The play centers on a woman in 19th century Spain who becomes the de facto guardian of a young girl who she tries to reunite with her father. Opens Saturday, Sept. 21. (312) 932-2422 or steppenwolf.org.
• Previews begin Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, Chicago, for Interrobang Theatre Project's season-opening production of "Terminus," a supernatural fantasy made up of interlocking monologues, written by Mark O'Rowe. In the play, three people are plucked from their lives and set down in a world of lovesick demons and serial killers. The show opens Saturday, Sept. 14. (773) 935-6875 or athenaeumtheatre.org or interrobangtheatreproject.org.
• Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Ind., revives the Stephen Schwartz musical "Godspell," taken from the Gospel of St. Matthew. Previews begin Thursday, Sept. 12. The show, directed by William Pullinsi, opens Sunday, Sept. 15. (219) 836-3255 or theatreatthecenter.com.
• "The Paper Hat Game," a puppet show about a prankster who brightens the days of commuters by handing out folded paper hats to people riding the El, continues through Sunday, Sept. 22, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See thepaperhatgame.com.
• Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago, has announced its 2013-14 main stage season, which begins Oct. 5, with "Clybourne Park," Bruce Norris' Pulitzer Prize-winning "Raisin in the Sun"-inspired drama. Goodman Theatre's Steve Scott directs. Next up is the Chicago area premiere of "Elemeno Pea" (Dec. 5-29), Molly Smith Metzler's satire on how people deal with money. Elly Green (of TV's "The Tomkat Project") directs Robert Caisley's "Happy" (Feb. 14-March 16, 2014), about whether the choices we make really make us happy. Griffin Theatre's Jonathan Berry directs John Osbourne's 1956 drama "Look Back in Anger" (May 17-June 15, 2014) about the love triangle between an intelligent young man of working-class origins, his upper-middle-class wife and her arrogant friend. The season concludes with the world premiere of Tommy Lee Johnston's "Geezers" (July 26-Aug. 24, 2014) about a group of people enjoying their golden years in a retirement home. For ticket information call (773) 728-7529 or see redtwist.org.
• Three Cat Productions' first full season consists of world premieres by Chicago area writers, produced in cooperation with the Chicago Park District's Berger Park Cultural Center at 6205 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago. The season begins Oct. 24 with "Joint Attention," Pat Curtis' examination of a couple coping with their son's autism. Next up is Lisa Scott's "Tell Me When It Hurts" (Nov. 21-Dec. 21), about an emergency room doctor with a troubled personal and professional life, who spends a fantastical night in the ER. The season concludes with "Hang Your Hat at Mr. K's" (April 23-May 1, 2014), a behind-the-scenes look at the long-shuttered Mr. Kelly's, a famous Chicago jazz club which closed in 1975 after 18 years. Tickets are available at threecatproductions.com.