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posted: 3/14/2014 5:45 AM

Theater events: Former 'Idol' contestants star in 'Joseph'

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  • Joseph (Ace Young), right, wins over Pharaoh (Ryan Williams) in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," coming to Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre.

    Joseph (Ace Young), right, wins over Pharaoh (Ryan Williams) in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," coming to Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre.
    courtesy of DANIEL A. SWALEC


• Former "American Idol" contestants Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young star as The Narrator and Joseph in the national tour of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," which returns to Chicago Tuesday, March 18. Performances continue through March 30 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. (800) 775-2000 or

• Paramount Theatre's season concludes with "Rent," Jonathan Larson's rock musical inspired by Giacomo Puccini's "La Boheme," about a group of young, East Village artists and activists falling in and out of love. Artistic director Jim Corti directs Paramount's production of the Tony Award-winning show, which stars Adam Michaels and Adaeze Kelley. Previews at 8 p.m. Friday, March 14, at 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. The show opens Saturday, March 15. $36.90-$49.90. (630) 896-6666 or

• In addition to its regular weekend improv shows, Laugh Out Loud Theater hosts a bimonthly open mic night the first and third Sunday of every month. Family-friendly improv at 7:30 p.m., adults-only show at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, March 14, and Saturday, March 15. Open mic at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at the Streets of Woodfield, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. $12-$19. (847) 240-0386 or

• BrightSide Theatre revives "Bleacher Bums," the classic 1977 Chicago comedy created by the Organic Theater Company. Set during an afternoon game between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals, it's about those die-hard fans who populate the Wrigley Field bleachers. They might have nothing in common but their love of the team, but -- for a few hours -- they become a family. Greg Kolack, Jeff Award-winning director from Downers Grove, directs. Opens at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 20, at Meiley-Swallow Hall, North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth Ave., Naperville. $20, $24; (630) 637-7469 or

• Elevator Repair Service, an experimental theater company from New York City, returns to perform at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, from Friday through Sunday, March 14-16. The ensemble brings its show "Arguendo," which revisits a Supreme Court case about Indiana go-go dancers who asserted a First Amendment right to dance nude. The show combines transcripts of oral arguments with an interview with an exotic dancer to determine whether dancing nude constitutes artistic expression or a crime. (312) 397-4010 or

• Teatro Luna and the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago, team up for a Teatro Luna storytelling series titled "Beauty By Moonlight." The next installment takes place at 7 p.m. Friday, March 14, at the Center on Halsted and features transgender performer Rebecca Kling, spoken word performer Janeida Rodriguez and literature professor and Teatro Luna ensemble member Liza Ann Acosta. They address "How I Learned to be a Woman." (773) 819-5862 or

• Edward Gorey's Edwardian-style pen and ink drawings and mini-parables inspired "The Vinegar Works," the latest Blair Thomas & Company puppet show opening at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at the Loyola University Museum of Art, 820 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Tickets to performances are free with museum admission. (312) 915-7600 or

• Oracle B Sides and The Dunworth Puppets team up for "Here Comes the Circus," a puppet show for kids and adults featuring marionette characters including Stripes the clown, Lance the lion and Joey the roller skating monkey among others. Admission is free, but registration is recommended for performances, which run at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 15-16, at 3809 N. Broadway, Chicago. See

• Redmoon Theater hosts its annual gala fundraiser Spectacle Lunatique beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at 2120 S. Jefferson St., Chicago. Organized around the theme "At the Scale of the City," the event features tasting stations with cocktails and food from Chicago restaurants Frontier, Shaw's Crab House, The French Pastry School and Nightwood along with costumed performers and artists from Aerial Dance Chicago. VIP tickets start at $5,000, other tickets are $450, with late-night admission $100. Admission is 21 and older. (312) 850-8440, ext. 123, or

• Stories on Stage returns at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, at the First United Methodist Church at The Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington St., Chicago. The title for this showcase is "Everything Old is New Again." It features Judy Blue reading "Returns and Exchanges" by Elizabeth Berg. David Pasquesi reads "The Man Who Invented the Calendar" by B.J. Novak and Kevin Theis reads "Balloon Night" by Tom Barbash. Tickets are $25. Proceeds benefit "Under One Roof: A Documentary Film" about black housekeepers and their white northern employers in the 1950s to the 1970s. (800) 838-3006.

• Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, hosts its second annual Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival from Wednesday, March 19, through March 22. Highlights include: the best of "Hey, I'm a Big Fan: A Night of Fan Fiction Readings," "Jack and the Nerds: A Nerdy Cabaret" featuring performances of non-hit songs from TV shows and films, a standup showcase and improvised episodes of shows like "Doctor Who" and "Star Trek." Tickets are $10, $50 for an all-festival pass. (773) 327-5252 or

• The Hypocrites have extended their acclaimed production of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods." Performances continue through April 5 at the Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. (773) 325-1700 or or

• Emerald City Theatre has extended its young children's production of "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" through the summer. Performances continue through Aug. 10 at 2933 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. The interactive show is for children 4 and younger. (773) 529-2690, ext. 810, or

• Adventure Stage Chicago has named Mary Kate Barley-Jenkins as its new managing director. Former managing director of programming and production for the Chicago Humanities Festival, Barley-Jenkins produced more than 150 educational and performance events per year and established CHF's performing arts festival for young audiences. For more about the company, see

• American Blues Theater recently announced its 29th season. It begins July 25 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, with a revival of the tribute show "Hank Williams: Lost Highway." ABT will collaborate with Court Theatre on a world premiere adaptation of Richard Wright's "Native Son" adapted by ensemble member Nambi E. Kelley. Performances are scheduled for fall 2014 at 5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago. Also, Nov. 21 marks the return of "It's A Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!" ABT's annual radio-style production of Frank Capra's classic film. Performances begin Feb. 20, 2015, at the Greenhouse Theater Center for the Chicago premiere of "Yankee Tavern," Steven Dietz's drama set in a New York tavern on September 11, 2001. The season concludes with ABT's revival of the Tony Award-winning play "Side Man," beginning April 24, 2015, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, Warren Leight's examination of a fractured family is recalled by son Clifford, whose family's decline parallels the decline in the popularity of jazz, the true love of his trumpet player father's life. Flex passes and season subscriptions are available at

• Welcome to the fun house. Remy Bumppo Theatre Company recently announced it will devote its upcoming 18th season entirely to comedy. The season begins Oct. 1 with Maxwell Anderson's "Both Your Houses." Founding artistic director James Bohnen directs this sendup of Congress. A revival of Sara Ruhl's 2004 play "The Clean House" -- about a Brazilian maid who wants to be a comedian, her employer and others -- follows on Dec. 3. The season concludes with Tom Stoppard's "Travesties" (March 25-May 3, 2015). It's a zany comedy about revolutions in art and politics featuring James Joyce, Vladimir Lenin and others. Artistic director Nick Sandys directs. Performances take place at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. See for subscription information. Also, Remy Bumppo recently welcomed five new ensemble members. They are Kelsey Brennan, Peter Davis, Emjoy Gavino, Sandra Marquez and Eliza Stoughton.

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