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posted: 2/7/2014 5:30 AM

Theater events: See Alton Brown in action at the Oriental

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  • "Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour" plays the Oriental Theatre in Chicago at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8.

    "Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour" plays the Oriental Theatre in Chicago at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8.


A fine romance
Williams Street Repertory continues its season with the Sheldon Harnick-Jerry Bock musical "She Loves Me," about a pair of bickering work colleagues who are unaware that they are each other's pen pals. Deric Gochenauer plays Georg and Katherine Damisch plays Amalia in WSR's revival directed by Roger Zawacki with music direction by Mike Potts.
Opens at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at the Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. $25. (815) 356-9212 or

Seal the deal
A salesman, a marketing expert and a young engineer team up to try to save their company by landing the biggest client in the Midwest in Roger Rueff's "Hospitality Suite." Citadel Theatre presents the dramedy, whose 2000 film adaptation was titled "El Kahuna Grande" and starred Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito. Raven Theatre ensemble member Cody Estle directs.
Opens at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. $35, $37.50. (847) 735-8554 or citadel

'Frindle' live
Griffin Theatre brings to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre its adaptation of "Frindle," the Andrew Clements' book about a boy named Nicholas who creates a stir in his school and beyond when he comes up with a new word. The production is part of Metropolis' family-friendly Stories in Action! series.
Continues select days and times through Friday, Feb. 14, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $14, $12. (847) 577-2121 or

Other theater events

• Previews continue for The Hypocrites production of Stephen Sondheim's fairy tale-inspired musical "Into the Woods." A Baker and his Wife, who've been cursed by a Witch, set out into the woods in an attempt to break the course and along the way encounter Little Red Riding Hood, Jack of beanstalk fame, Cinderella and a couple of princes charming. Ensemble member Geoff Button directs and Matt Deitchman serves as musical director for the show, which opens Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. A a post-show discussion titled "Stephen Sondheim: The Man and the Music" follows the 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, performance of the musical. Participants include Dr. Mark E. Lococo, professor and director of theater at Loyola University Chicago; Dr. Sarah Gabel, chairwoman of Loyola's department of fine and performing arts; and director Button. (773) 325-1700 or or

• Performances continue for Circle Theatre's "Edges: The Musical," a 2007 song cycle by Justin Pasek and Benji Paul ("A Christmas Story: The Musical") about twentysomethings facing love and loss on their way to discovering themselves. Circle's production, directed by Daren Leonard with music direction by Ilana Atkins, features new arrangements from Pasek and Paul. The show runs through March 2, at the Chicago Actors Studio, 2040 N. Elston Ave., Chicago. (773) 904-8756 or

• Silk Road Rising hosts a staged reading of Sheri Winkelmann's play "Rumi: Love, Madness & Ecstasy" at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 8-9, at The Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St., Chicago. Winkelmann's play is about a woman who travels to India to work with Tibetan exiles, only to end up in a whirlwind romance with a man who has a dark side she never suspected. (312) 857-1234 or

• The two-man sketch duo Pinque Pony remounts their adults-only comedy show "69," an examination of the iconic summer of 1969 including Woodstock, the moon landing and the Stonewall riots among other events. It opens at 10:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at Donny's Skybox, 1608 N. Wells St., Chicago. (312) 337-3992 or

• The youth ensemble Pigeons with Teeth performs "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," by Daily Herald correspondent Jack Helbig as part of Curious Theatre Branch's 25th annual Rhino Fest running at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave., Chicago. Inspired by a Norwegian fairy tale, the play is about a girl and an enchanted bear and is narrated by mythology expert Joseph Campbell. Performances are at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, and Feb. 15. (773) 492-1287 or

• Jessica Thebus directs Goodman Theatre's Chicago-area premiere of "Buzzer," Tracey Scott Wilson's relationships drama about a young, African-American attorney; his white girlfriend, an inner city high school teacher; and his white, troubled best friend. Previews begin Saturday, Feb. 8, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The show opens Feb. 18. (312) 443-3800 or goodman

• TV personality and "Iron Chef" host Alton Brown brings his combination standup comedy, talk and food show, "Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour," to the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Brown performs at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. (800) 775-2000 or

• First Floor Theater presents the Chicago-area premiere of "The Reckoning of Kit and Little Boots," Nat Cassidy's "metaphysical buddy comedy" in which playwright Christopher "Kit" Marlowe, near death after a stabbing, encounters an apparition of the Roman emperor Caligula, known as "Little Boots." The show, directed by Gus Menary, opens Saturday, Feb. 8, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See firstfloor

• An awkward young woman takes a job as an assistant to a businessman and discovers the price one must pay for success in Leslye Headland's comedy "Assistance." LiveWire Chicago Theatre and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events present the Chicago-area premiere of the play. Previews begin Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph St., Chicago. The show, directed by LiveWire executive director Joshua Aaron Weinstein, opens Feb. 14. (312) 533-4666 or or livewire

• Up Comedy Club, at Piper's Alley, 230 W. North Ave., Chicago, debuts its new revue, "The Second City's Incomplete Guide to Everything," on Thursday, Feb. 13. Directed by Ryan Bernier, the PG-13 show skewers everything people learned in college or should have learned. (312) 662-4562 or

• Short Story Theatre presents an evening of storytelling beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Cellar Gate Wine Bar, 524 Sheridan Road, Highwood. Denise Kirshenbaum of Wilmette considers, "Maybe Boys Have the Right Idea"; Eileen Donohue of Evanston tells about a "Megatrip"; and Vernon Hills resident David Edler share his story "Three Four." (847) 748-8086 or

• New York City ensemble trip presents the Midwest premiere of "4Play sex in a series," which also marks the company's first production outside New York. Originally produced in 2004, the boy-meets-girl play is told in a sitcom style with four acts running 22 minutes each. Co-written by Graham Brown, Nathan Faudree and Lisa Roth, the show is directed by Brown. Performances begin Thursday, Feb. 13, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See

• A cross between "Pee Wee's Playhouse," "The Carol Burnett Show" and vaudeville, "The Plucky Show" -- a monthly urban cabaret hosted by Plucky Rosenthal (AKA Alisa Rosenthal) -- opens Thursday, Feb. 13, at Gorilla Tango, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 598-4549 or

• The College of DuPage recently named Glen Ellyn native Diana Martinez as the new director of the McAninch Arts Center. Martinez had served as interim director since September 2013. Martinez's management experience includes The Second City in Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles. Martinez also worked at Aurora's Paramount Theatre where she oversaw a $6.5 million lobby addition, and at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, where she directed and produced more than 50 productions.

• Light Opera Works recently announced its 2014 season, which begins on June 7 with a revival of "Damn Yankees," about a die-hard New York Yankees fan who makes a deal with the devil to live out his dream. Next up is the Joseph Stein-Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick classic "Fiddler on the Roof" (Aug. 10-24). That's followed by a Cole Porter revue "Cole Porter's Greatest Hits" (Oct. 3-12, at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston). The season concludes on Dec. 19 with Franz Lehar's "The Merry Widow," about a vivacious widow who makes her suitors dance to her tune, adapted from German by Gregg Opelka and Jack Helbig. All productions, except for the revue, take place at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston. For season subscriptions or tickets, call (847) 920-5360 or

-- Barbara Vitello

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