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updated: 6/6/2014 2:09 PM

Theater events: 'Annapurna' a cowboy tale of sorts

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Midwest premiere
A woman tracks down the cowboy-poet husband she left 20 years earlier at his battered Colorado trailer where he's working on his "magnum opus" in Sharr White's "Annapurna." Profiles Theatre presents the Midwest premiere directed by ensemble member Eric Burgher and featuring ensemble member Darrell W. Cox.
Previews begin at 8 p.m. Friday, June 6, at 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago. The show opens June 12. $20-$40. (773) 549-1815 or profilestheatre.org.

'Ya Gotta Have Heart'
Light Opera Works revives "Damn Yankees," the 1955 Richard Adler and Jerry Ross musical based on Douglass Wallop's novel "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant." It's about die-hard baseball fan Joe Boyd (Kirk Swenk), who's willing to do anything to ensure his team wins the pennant, even sell his soul to the devil (Rudy Hogenmiller). Kevin Bellie directs and choreographs the production, which features a 28-piece orchestra conducted by music director Roger L. Bingaman.
Opens at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 7, at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston. $34-$94. (847) 920-5360 or lightoperaworks.com.

'The Last Ship'
The world premiere of "The Last Ship," the Broadway-bound, semi-autobiographical musical based on the childhood of composer/lyricist Sting, opens a limited run in Chicago. John Logan ("Red") and Brian Yorkey ("Next to Normal") wrote the book of this tale about a man who leaves the British town where he grew up to travel the world. He returns 14 years later to find the local shipyard about to close, imperiling the residents' livelihood, and his former sweetheart about to marry someone else. Joe Mantello ("Wicked") directs.
Previews begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 10, at the Bank of America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago. $42-$164. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.

What's new


• Previews begin Friday, June 6, for American Blues Theater's Chicago area premiere of George Brant's "Grounded," a solo show starring Gwendolyn Whiteside as a fighter pilot whose unexpected pregnancy ends her flying career. Assigned to fly remote control drones from a trailer near Las Vegas, she struggles to balance her job hunting terrorists with her responsibilities as a wife and mother. The show opens June 12 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 404-7336 or americanbluestheater.com.

• Honest Theatre makes its Chicago debut on Friday, June 6, with Theresa Rebeck's "Spike Heels," running through June 15 at Mussetter-Strubel Theater, at Northwestern University, 1949 Campus Drive, Evanston. The play examines the ambition, love and power vis-a-vis the romantic entanglements of a street-smart secretary, college professor, a rich girl and a sleazy lawyer, (757) 513-4761 or honesttheatre.com.

• Trap Door Theatre celebrates its 20th anniversary season with a performance of "Regarding the Just" at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 7, at 1655 W. Cortland St., Chicago. Adapted from Albert Camus' "Les Justes," an examination of the moral issues surrounding insurgency and terrorism. The $125 admission includes the performance, dinner and after party. (773) 384-0494 or trapdoortheatre.com.

• Performances continue Saturday, June 7, and June 13, for Nealshow Productions' production of the dark comedy "My Boy," loosely based on an album produced by the late Irish actor Richard Harris. Performances are at Gorilla Tango Bucktown, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.

• The next season of Barrel of Monkeys' "That's Weird, Grandma," featuring stories conceived and written by Chicago public school students, begins Monday, June 9, at the Neo-Futurists Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. (312) 409-1954 or barrelofmonkeys.org.

"The Harmonious Hunks: Live Radio Show," a comedic take on old-time radio broadcasts, opens Monday, June 9, at the Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave., Chicago. (773) 597-5403.

• Previews begin Tuesday, June 10, for Steppenwolf Theatre Company's pre-Broadway production of "This Is Our Youth," Kenneth Lonergan's dramedy about three lost young adults. There's 19-year-old Warren, who's stolen $15,000 from his abusive father, his drug-dealing pal Dennis and Jessica, the young woman Warren pines after. Ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro directs the show which opens June 18 at 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.

• The wives of seven submarine seamen form a support group during their husbands' deployment. Unusual things happen when one of them is visited by the ghost of submarine inventor Horace Hunley in "Hello Failure," a "neorealist whimsical comedy" by playwright/performer Kristen Kosmas. The Side Project's Midwest premiere is directed by Adam Webster. It begins previews Wednesday, June 11, at 1439 W. Jarvis Ave., Chicago. The show opens June 15 and runs in repertory with side project's "What to Listen For." (773) 340-0140 or thesideproject.net.

• Wayward Productions presents an immersive, reinterpretation on the Salem Witch Trials in Natalie DiCristofano's drama "Burn the Black Dog," set at an upscale private girls school where faculty and students have lots of secrets. Previews begin Thursday, June 12, at Luther Memorial Church, 2500 W. Wilson Ave., Chicago. The production, directed by Mary Patchell and Nathan Robbel, opens June 13. See waywardproductions.org.

• A drunken woman mistakenly stumbles into a young girl's bedroom, once. The next time it happens, it's no accident, in Jenny Magnus' darkly comic play "The Strange" about two strangers connecting. The Ruckus Theater kicks off its sixth season with a remount of the play presented in collaboration with the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Previews begin Thursday, June 12. The play, directed by Allison Shoemaker, opens June 13. See ruckustheater.org.

• The Pajama Men -- Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez -- perform their newest show "Just the Two of Us" from Thursday, June 12, to Sunday, June 15, at Up Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave., Chicago. (312) 662-4562 or upcomedyclub.com.

• Theatre Y has extended Robinson Jeffers' adaptation of Euripides' "Medea" starring Melissa Lorraine in the title role of the woman who kills her children after her lover Jason rejects her. Performances continue through June 8 at 2649 N. Francisco Ave., Chicago. (708) 209-0183 or theatre-y.com.

• AstonRep Theatre Company begins its 2014-2015 season Oct. 23 in its new home at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago, with "The Lieutenant of Inishmore," Martin McDonagh's dark comedy about a mentally unstable soldier in the Irish National Liberation Army, who's determined to exact revenge for the death of his beloved cat. That's followed on May 14, 2015, by "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," Christopher Hampton's period drama about sometime rivals and sometime lovers who use sex to humiliate and destroy those unfortunate enough to make their acquaintance. AstonRep's season concludes in summer 2015 with the company's 6th annual Writers Series, showcasing five to seven in-development works by local and regional writers. Tickets will be available at a later date at astonrep.com.

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