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posted: 2/28/2014 5:00 AM

Theater events: 'Schoolhouse Rock' comes to Marriott

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'Schoolhouse Rock'
Marriott Theatre brings to the stage a popular 1970s cartoon as part of its young audiences series. "Schoolhouse Rock Live!" tells the story of a young teacher, played by Brian Bohr, who wins over his students when he uses music to teach them grammar, history and math. Co-creator George Keating directs. The 60-minute show is recommended for children ages 5 and older.
Previews begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. The show opens March 8. $15. (847) 634-0200 or marriotttheatre.com.

Questions by Quinn
Actor-comedian Colin Quinn juxtaposes the Founding Fathers' intentions with what the U.S. has become in his latest one-man show, "Unconstitutional." Quinn, who brought his Broadway show "Long Story Short" to Chicago several years ago, brings his latest to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, for one performance only.
8 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie. $40. (847) 673-6300 or northshorecenter.org.

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Pulitzer winner at Court
Court Theatre presents the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning dramedy "Water by the Spoonful," by Quiara Alegria Hudes. The second in Hudes' trilogy centered around Iraq War veterans, this play's multiple threads examine Elliot Ruiz's attempts to define himself after he returns from the battlefield, as well as his cousin Yaz's struggles and his mother Odessa's attempts to stay drug-free. The production marks the Court directorial debut of Henry Godinez, Goodman Theatre artistic associate.
Previews begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at 5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago. The show opens March 15. $35-$65. (773) 753-4472 or courttheatre.org.

What's new


• The meeting of two mothers -- one who watches her son struggle and the other who watches her son succeed -- inspires "The Gospel of Lovingkindness," by Victory Gardens Theater ensemble playwright Marcus Gardley. Previews for the world premiere, directed by artistic director Chay Yew, begin Friday, Feb. 28, at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens March 7. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.

• redtwist theatre presents the world premiere of resident playwright Scott Woldman's "44 Ways to End Your Sex Life," part of his "luv cycle" examining the evolution of relationships. In this adults-only installment, a man tries to recover from the ruins of his relationship. Performances begin at 10:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at 1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. DePaul University MFA graduate Jason Fleece directs the production which is part of the theater's late-night, "Dark Red." (773) 728-7529 or redtwist.org.

• Also at redtwist theatre is the Chicago-area premiere of British playwright Joe Penhall's "Love and Understanding," about stressed-out doctors whose lives are further upended by the arrival of an irresponsible boyhood pal. Jaclynn Jutting directs the show, which opens Saturday, March 1. (773) 728-7529 or redtwist.org.

• Performances begin Saturday, March 1, for The Chicago Mammals' new show "(expletive) kicking Amazons." Created and conceived by Bob Fisher and inspired by the struggles of the band Pussy Riot, the show is set 12 years in the future when the leader of a punk band is tapped as a terrorist, forcing the remaining members to consider whether to continue their political agitation. Performances continue Fridays and Saturdays through March 22 at Zoo Studios, 4001 N. Ravenswood Ave., suite 205, Chicago. See chicagomammals.com for more information.

• iO Theater, 3541 N. Clark St., Chicago, debuts new late-night sketch shows on Saturday, March 1. The adults-only "Nice to Meet You Show" and "Virgin Daiquiri Presents: Lean Back" run at 10:30 p.m. Saturdays. (773) 880-0199 or ioimprov.com.

• NPR personality and writer Joe Frank returns to Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago, with his new show "Murdered by the Mind," a combination of spoken word and music directed by ensemble member Terry Kinney and featuring musicians Danny Frankel and David Ralicke. Frank performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.

• Barrel of Monkeys debuts its first musical revue "That's Weird, Grandma: Behind the (Monkey) Music" featuring musical adaptations of Chicago Public School students' stories. Molly Brennan, Erick Deshaun Dorris and Gwen Tulin direct the show which begins previews Sunday, March 2, at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. The show opens March 10. (312) 409-1954 or barrelofmonkeys.org.

• After more than five months, the Chicago production of the off-Broadway comedy "Old Jews Telling Jokes" is closing. Performances conclude Sunday March 2, at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (312) 988-9000 or oldjewstellingjokesonstage.com.

• Previews begin Monday, March 3, at 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, for The Den Theatre's world premiere of "The Roper" by Chicago Dramatists resident playwright Will Dunne. Inspired by a true story, Dunne's play is set in 1876 Chicago, when the petty criminal hired by the U.S. Secret Service to infiltrate a gang of counterfeiters discovers a plot to steal President Lincoln's body. Ron Wells directs the show, which stars Tony Bozzuto. It opens March 6. See thedentheatre.com for more information.

• UrbanTheater Company presents the Midwest premiere of Desi Moreno-Penson's urban fairy tale "Devil Land" about a childless Latino couple who kidnap a young girl. She then turns the tables on them with help from her imaginary friend. Previews begin Tuesday, March 4, at 2628 W. Division St., Chicago. The show opens March 7. (312) 239-8783 or urbantheaterchicago.org.

• Broadway in Chicago presents the U.S. premiere of "Heartbeat of Home," a music and dance revue from the producers and director of "Riverdance" featuring Irish, Latin and Afro-Cuban music. The two-week engagement begins Tuesday, March 4, at the Oriental Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com or heartbeatofhome.com.

• Theater Oobleck brings the latest installment of its ongoing series "Baudelaire in a Box" to Links Hall, 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago, from Wednesday, March 5, to March 8. The Chicago premiere consists of 16 poems from the poet's "Les Fleurs du mal" set to music. See theateroobleck.com or linkshall.org.

• The unlikely friendship between a white woman named Ruth Sutton, abandoned by her husband and living on an isolated farm, and an escaped slave seeking shelter, inspires the based-on-fact musical "Dessa Rose," by Lynn Ahrens (book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music). Bailiwick Chicago artistic director Lili-Anne Brown directs the production which stars Sydney Charles as Dessa and Harmony France as Ruth. Previews begin Thursday, March 6, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens March 9. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org or bailiwickchicago.com.

• Oracle Productions' Oracle Films showcases the short films of South Side native and iO Chicago veteran Todd Looby as part of its Aperture Series. Free screenings take place Thursday, March 6, through March 9, at 3809 N. Broadway, Chicago. See publicaccesstheatre.org for reservations.

• Three Layer Cake, a new iO show made up of three solo sketch shows, premieres at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at 3541 N. Clark St., Chicago. Nick Mestad's "Critics Say You'll Love It" examines universal desires. John O'Toole's "Split" examines a collection of lovable losers and Dan Bazaldua's "Old Chicago" recounts stories about characters from Chicago neighborhoods. (773) 880-0199 or ioimprov.com.

• Members of A Red Orchid Theatre ensemble host a screening of the new USA Network comedy "Sirens" at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at the Rockit Burger Bar, 3700 N. Clark St., Chicago. AROT artistic director Kirsten Fitzgerald plays Mac in the new show, which is shot on location in Chicago. Tickets are $25. Proceeds benefit the theater. Call (312) 943-8722 for reservations.

• The House Theatre of Chicago has announced an extension for its original, all-ages play "Rose and the Rime" starring Naperville native Paige Collins as a young girl who saves her friends and family "from the icy clutches of the Rime Witch." Performances continue through March 23 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. (773) 769-3832 or thehousetheatre.com.

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