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posted: 4/11/2014 5:00 AM

Theater events: 'Gathering' a contemporary Last Supper

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The 'Gathering'
The Improv Playhouse presents its seasonal production of "The Gathering," Josephine Raciti Forsberg's contemporary version of the Last Supper. Artistic director David Brian Stuart directs the production which features Shahab Astabraghpour of Waukegan as The Teacher.
Opens at 8 p.m. Friday, April 11, at 735 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville. $22.50, $25, discounts for seniors, military personnel and groups. (847) 968-4529 or

Clockwise premiere
Doug McDade, Shattered Globe ensemble member, stars in Clockwise Theatre's world premiere of "A Fine Line," an examination of gender identity and self-acceptance by Rob Winn Anderson. Andrea J. Dymond directs the play about an intersex artist, who has spent his life negotiating the line between male and female, attempting to reconnect with his grown foster son.
Opens at 8 p.m. Friday, April 11, at 221 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. $20. (847) 775-1500 or (800) 838-3006 or

Teatro Vista's 'Bridge'
Suburban actors Diane Pina of Lombard and Joel Maisonet of Des Plaines appear in Teatro Vista's all-Latino revival of Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge." Artistic director Ricardo Gutierrez directs Miller's examination of desire, betrayal and revenge that unfolds in a 1950s Brooklyn tenement, where longshoreman Eddie Carbone's romantic feelings for his wife's niece threaten the entire family.
Previews begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens April 22. $20-$30. (773) 871-3000 or or

What's new

• Previews begin Friday, April 11, for The Ruckus Theater's world premiere of "The Deer," an examination of life and death written by Brooke Allen and directed by Eric Hoff. After their car hits a deer, a trio of college-age pals confront their circumstances as they survey the wreckage in what artistic director Allison Shoemaker describes as a "funny, ethereal new work." The production opens Sunday, April 13, at the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See

• Human rights activist Mario Venegas joins the cast of 16th Street Theater's "Pinkolandia" for a post-show discussion on Friday, April 11, at the North Berwyn Park District, 6420 16th St., Berwyn. The show, about two sisters who create imaginary worlds to explain their family's past, runs through May 10. (708) 795-6704 or

• After eight weeks of secondary education training, a woman quits her corporate job to teach English in a Chicago public high school where the equipment isn't the only thing that's broken in Joe Zarrow's "Principal Principle." Theatre Seven of Chicago and Stage Left Theatre have teamed up for the play's world premiere, which begins previews Saturday, April 12, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens April 18. (773) 975-8150 or or

• Oracle Theatre presents "The President," Ferenc Molnar's critique of corrosive capitalism, in an adaptation by Morwyn Brebner. Artistic director Max Truax directs the Midwest premiere of Brebner's adaptation of the farce about a businessman whose financial future rests on how quickly he can convert a communist taxi driver into an unrepentant capitalist. It opens Saturday, April 12, at 3809 N. Broadway St., Chicago. Admission is free, but donations are accepted and reservations are recommended. See

• Magician and House Theatre of Chicago member Dennis Watkins has added performances of his long-running show, "The Magic Parlour." Watkins performs at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, April 18, April 25, May 2 and May 9, at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, 17 E. Monroe St., Chicago. The spring schedule also includes a 1 p.m. performance May 11; 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. performances on May 16, and 7:30 p.m. performances on May 17 and 29. (773) 769-3832 or

• The Pavement Group, along with Steppenwolf's young adult council, hosts its fourth annual Amuse Bouche Festival, a showcase of emerging theater artists, beginning Monday, April 14, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Participating playwrights include: Bixby Elliot, Dominic Finocchiaro, Idris Goodwin, Cory Hinkle and Janine Napers. Participating directors include Kaiser Ahmed, Lea Karpel, Laura Lapidus, Tyrone Phillips and Sara Sawicki. Participating actors include Jaclyn Hennell, Morgan McNaught, Leah Raidt, Tony Santiago, Dominique Worsley and John Zinn. See for more information.

• The International Voices Project's fifth season showcasing playwrights from around the world continues at 7 p.m. Monday, April 14, with a staged reading of Ugandan writer Judith Lucy Adong's "Just Me, You and The Silence." That's followed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, with Sideshow Theatre's staged reading of Swedish writer Jonas Hassen Khemiri's "I Call My Brothers," translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles. The readings are presented in collaboration with Chicago consulates and cultural institutions. They're performed at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 250-7055 or

• The Chicago Kids Company brings its family-friendly, musical adaptation of "Sleeping Beauty" to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. The show, which is recommended for children in prekindergarten through third grade, runs Tuesday, April 15, through April 25. (847) 577-2121 or

• Previews begin Wednesday, April 16, for Lookingglass Theatre Company's world premiere of "In the Garden: A Darwinian Love Story." Written by artistic associate Sara Gmitter, the play is about the unlikely romance between father of evolution Charles Darwin, a skeptic, and his wife Emma Wedgewood, a woman of faith. Jessica Thebus directs the play featuring ensemble member Andrew White as Darwin and Rebecca Spence as Emma. The show opens April 26 at the Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. (312) 337-0665 or

• MadKap Productions presents Marc Jaffe and Eric Coble's "Side Effects May Include ..." a solo show about a comedian whose wife is diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's, inspired by Jaffe's personal life. Performances are at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, and 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 18, at the Skokie Theatre, 7924 N. Lincoln Ave., Skokie. MadKap will donate 10 percent of its proceeds to Shaking with Laughter, a charity that supports the Michael J. Fox Foundation. (847) 677-7761 or

"Eyes and Ears: The Musical," about a deaf artist's search for his mother and her search for him, opens Thursday, April 17, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Mondisa Monde Productions presents the world premiere. The cast consists of deaf and hearing performers. (773) 598-4549 or

• The Waltzing Mechanics' 15th edition of "El Stories" focuses on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender El riders. The ensemble performs the tales, inspired by actual encounters, at 11 p.m. Saturdays at the Greenhouse theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 404-7336 or or

• Steppenwolf Theatre Company is accepting applications for Garage Rep 2015, which showcases productions from three emerging Chicago theater companies in rotating repertory. The sixth annual showcase runs during March and April 2014, at 1624 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Companies interested in submitting an application for next year's festival are invited to attend an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at the Yondorf Rehearsal Hall, 758 W. North Ave., Chicago. Applications are due by 5 p.m. May 30. See for more information.

• Goodman Theatre's 90th anniversary season begins this fall with the world premiere coproduction with the Manhattan Theatre Club of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's "The World of Extreme Happiness" (Sept. 13-Oct. 12, in the Owen Theatre). The play is about a Chinese girl, abandoned by her parents as an infant, who works her way from a factory job into a coveted office position and finds herself questioning the system she has embraced. Goodman follows that with a remount of Noah Haidle's "Smokefall" (Sept. 20-Oct. 26, in the Albert Theatre), the somewhat surreal family dramedy that premiered last year at Goodman. Kimberly Senior directs the Chicago premiere of Gina Gionfriddo's "Rapture, Blister, Burn" (Jan. 17-Feb. 22, 2015, in the Albert) about two estranged friends who reconnect after 10 years and impulsively decide to trade places. That's followed by a revival of August Wilson's "Two Trains Running" (March 7-April 12, 2015, in the Albert), part of a citywide celebration of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Part of Wilson's 20th Century Cycle, the play is about the regulars who frequent a Pittsburgh diner whose owner must decide whether to sell his property to a rival or let the city take it over. Next up is the world premiere of Kristoffer Diaz's satire on our obsession with fame, "The Upstairs Concierge" (March 28-April 26, 2015, in the Owen). It's about a woman who finally gets her dream job at a chic hotel. The season concludes with "stop. reset" (May 23-June 21, 2015, in the Owen). Written and directed by artistic associate Regina Taylor, the play is about a man confronting the demise of his longtime African-American book publishing company. The theater's 90th anniversary season also includes the annual new play festival this fall, the 37th annual production of "A Christmas Carol" (Nov. 15-Dec. 28, in the Albert) and a companion satire "The Second City's A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens" (Dec. 5-28, in the Owen.). Subscriptions, which start at $90 in honor of the milestone season, are available for a limited time at the box office at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, by phone at (312) 443-2800 or online at

• Porchlight Music Theatre recently announced it will devote its 20th anniversary season to the works of Stephen Sondheim. The season begins Oct. 3 with "Sweeney Todd," starring David Girolmo and Rebecca Finnegan (who earned a Jeff Award for her performance in Porchlight's 2004 revival). That's followed by the first Chicago production of "Sondheim on Sondheim" (Feb. 6-March 15, 2015), featuring new arrangements of more than two dozen Sondheim songs. The season concludes on April 17, 2015, with "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," about the Roman slave Pseudolus who promises to unite his master with the pretty girl next door in exchange for his freedom. Performances take place at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Among Porchlight's special events are one-night-only staged performances of lesser-known musicals including: "Bells are Ringing" (Oct. 29); "City of Angels" (March 4, 2015) and "Mack and Mabel" (May 13, 2015). Subscriptions are available online at and by phone at (773) 327-5252. Single tickets go on sale June 16. Additionally, Porchlight welcomed new associates including: lighting designer Nick Belley, music director/actor Austin Cook; actor/director/choreographer Matthew Crowle; actress/choreographer Dina DiCostanzo; actors Rebecca Finnegan and David Girolmo; lighting designer Greg Hofmann; set designer Jeffrey Kmiec; music director Linda Madonia; music director/cabaret artist Beckie Menzie; sound designer Jenna Moran and production manager Aaron Shapiro. Lastly, artistic director Michael Weber named longtime artistic associates Brenda Didier and Rob Lindley as creative consultants to the company.

• Pride Films and Plays announced Sean Chandler and David Leeper's "At the Flash," winner of the company's Gay Play Contest, will be featured at the 2014 Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival. There will be one more performance at 7 p.m. April 29, at 1411 W. Wilson Ave., Chicago, before the cast departs for Dublin. See

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