Fresh from his appearance last week on "Late Night with David Letterman," comedian Pat McGann headline Zanies in Rosemont. Since 2007, McGann has been the house emcee at Zanies in Chicago. He also created "The Chicago Stand-up Project," a show airing on WTTW in which prominent Chicagoans try their hands at stand-up.
8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont. $22, plus a two-item food or beverage minimum. (847) 813-0484 or zanies.com.
Joint is jumpin'
Lorenzo Rush of West Chicago and Lina Kernan-Wass of Hoffman Estates are among the cast members in Porchlight Music Theatre's revival of "Ain't Misbehavin'" a celebration of the music of Thomas "Fats" Waller and the Harlem Renaissance. Lincolnshire native Brenda Didier directs and choreographs the show, written by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby Jr.
Previews begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens Tuesday, Feb. 4. $30-$39. (773) 327-5252 or porchlightmusictheatre.org.
'Gypsy' at CST
Tony Award nominee Louise Pitre stars as Rose, stage mother extraordinaire, in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's revival of "Gypsy," the Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim-Arthur Laurents' musical inspired by the memoirs of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee. Directing is Gary Griffin, one of the foremost Sondheim interpreters whose CST revivals of "Follies" and "Sunday in the Park with George" earned multiple Jeff Awards.
Previews begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. The show opens Feb. 14. $48-$78. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com.
• Previews begin Friday, Jan. 31, at 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago, for American Theater Company's Chicago area premiere of "Sons of the Prophet," by Stephen Karam ("Columbinus," "Speech & Debate"). The play centers on two brothers' attempts to keep their Lebanese-American family together despite many personal losses. The show opens Tuesday, Feb. 4. (773) 409-4125 or atcweb.org.
• Shakespeare's sexiest scenes comprise (re)discover theatre's latest production, "Fifty Shades of Shakespeare," an examination of power and gender roles in which audience members select which of the four actors will play each of the 27 roles. Performances begin Friday, Jan. 31, at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St., Chicago. See rediscovertheatre.com.
• A handsome stranger steps into a small pub in Ireland and starts boasting of his deeds to the delight of the crowd, except for a feisty bartender in J.M. Synge's "The Playboy of the Western World," beginning previews on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show, directed by co-artistic director Michael Menendian, opens Feb. 10. (773) 338-2177 or raventheatre.com.
• Mary-Arrchie Theatre presents Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus' adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment," beginning previews on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at Angel Island, 731 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago. This 90-minute adaptation features three actors playing all the characters. The tale is about the psychological and moral implications of a murder committed by a former student against an unpleasant pawn broker and money lender. Richard Cotovsky directs Jack McCabe, Ed Porter and Maureen Yasko. The show opens Thursday, Feb. 6. (773) 871-0442 or maryarrchie.com.
• The winners of Bailiwick Chicago Theater's casting auction take on roles in "The Drowsy Chaperone," the affectionate salute by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison (music and lyrics) to 1930s madcap musicals and the people who love them. Performances take place Tuesday, Feb. 4, through Saturday, Feb. 8, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. More than 35 roles were auctioned off last November, raising $60,000 for the theater. Get tickets at bailiwickchicago.com.
• Previews begin Thursday, Feb. 6, for Steppenwolf Theatre's Chicago area premiere of "The Russian Transport," by Erika Sheffer. Ensemble member Yasen Peyankov directs the drama about a Russian family living in Brooklyn and pursuing the American dream until Uncle Boris arrives from the old country, his presence disrupting the family dynamic. Ensemble members Mariann Mayberry, Tim Hopper and Alan Wilder are joined by Aaron Himelstein and Melanie Nellan in this production which opens Saturday, Feb. 15, at 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
• Interrobang Theatre Project continues its 4th season with the dark comedy "The Pitchfork Disney," by Philip Ridley. Directed by co-artistic director Jeffry Stanton, Ridley's "gothic fairy tale" is about siblings Presley and Haley who have hidden for 10 years in their dead parent's apartment in an attempt to "keep the big, bad world at bay." Then, a cockroach-munching Cosmo Disney and his pal Pitchfork Cavalier intrude. Previews begin Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. The show opens Saturday, Feb. 8. (773) 935-6875 or athenaeumtheatre.org or interrobangtheatreproject.org.
• Beloved Beverly Cleary protagonist Ramona Quimby inspired Emerald City Theatre's new family friendly production of "Ramona Quimby." Adapted by Len Jenkins and directed by Jacqueline Stone, the show follows Ramona and her family over the course of a year through which Ramona experiences a series of challenges. Performances begin Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Apollo Theater 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 529-2690 or emeraldcitytheatre.com.
• Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, has extended its acclaimed production of "Seven Guitars," August Wilson's drama (part of his Century Cycle) set in a 1948 Pittsburgh tenement in which friends and loved ones gather to mourn the passing of talented bluesman Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton, who died just as he was about to hit it big. Performances of director Ron OJ Parson's revival continue through Sunday, Feb. 16. (773) 753-4472 or courttheatre.org.
• Lifeline Theatre has extended its KidSeries production of the musical "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!" based on the children's book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith with script and lyrics by ensemble member Robert Kauzlaric and music by Paul Gilvary and William Rush. The show looks at the Wolf's side of the story, which comes to light as his trial unfolds in a Piggsylvania court. Performances continue through Sunday, March 2, at 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. Also, children attending either the 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. performances can participate in Lifeline's Stories Come Alive! Hour, which includes a closer look at the book through interactive storytelling and theater games. It takes place at noon on performance days. (773) 761-4477 or lifelinetheatre.com.