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posted: 6/20/2014 6:00 AM

Theater events: Writers Theatre extends 'Days Like Today' and more

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  • James (Will Mobley) falls head-over-heels with the recently jilted Tessa (Emily Berman) in "Days Like Today," a new musical by Alan Schmuckler and Laura Eason in its world premiere at Writers Theatre, which has extended the production through July 27.

      James (Will Mobley) falls head-over-heels with the recently jilted Tessa (Emily Berman) in "Days Like Today," a new musical by Alan Schmuckler and Laura Eason in its world premiere at Writers Theatre, which has extended the production through July 27.
    Courtesy of Michael Brosilow

 
 

• Writers Theatre has extended its world premiere of Alan Schmuckler and Laura Eason's "Days Like Today," a modern musical about love in all its permutations. Performances run through July 27 at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. (847) 242-6000 or writerstheatre.org.

• Behrendt does standup in Schaumburg: If you're in the mood for standup comedy with a side of relationship advice, comedian/writer Greg Behrendt's your man. A onetime script consultant on HBO's "Sex in the City," Behrendt co-authored with Liz Tuccillo the self-help book turned film "He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Guide to Understanding Guys." He headlines the Chicago Improv this weekend. 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, June 20; 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday, June 21; and 7 p.m. Sunday, June 22, at 5 Woodfield Road, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg. $22, plus a two-item minimum. (847) 240-2001 or chicago.improv.com.

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• Gender wars: Peter Story stars in the one-man comedy "Men are From Mars -- Women are From Venus Live!," which plays the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre as part of its comedy series. Made up of a series of vignettes, this standup-inspired show examines the many humorous aspects of romantic relationships. 8 p.m. Friday, June 20, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $30, $35. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

• Funny about faith: Writer/performer Dave Konig brings his one-man comedy "Hebrew School Dropout" to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre for one show only. It's about the spiritual journey of a middle-aged, self-described "lousy Jew," who loses his faith and finds it again. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $25. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

• Silk Road Rising presents a staged reading of "The Translator" by Rana Kazkaz at 8 p.m. Friday, June 20, at the Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St., Chicago. Anas Khalaf and Kazkaz direct the screenplay about Sammy, an English-Arabic translator who defected from Syria, and his younger brother, Zaid, who is arrested during a peaceful demonstration against the regime. Tickets are $10. (312) 857-1234 or silkroadrising.org.

• The Temperance Beer Co. Tap Room, 2000 Dempster St., Evanston, hosts a fundraiser for The Actors Gymnasium from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 20. Admission is free for the event, which includes circus entertainment. Temperance will donate a portion of the evening's drink sales to AG's school. (847) 328-2795.

• Performance art group Cataclysm Collaborations presents its world premiere performance piece "Quit While You're Ahead," in which twentysomething artists battle the Failure Monster. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 20-21, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.

• Previews begin Saturday, June 21, for LiveWire Chicago Theatre's Chicago premiere of Dorothy Fortenberry's "Partners," about four friends -- gay and straight -- who share everything "until it turns out they don't." Kendra Miller directs the production, which opens Monday, June 23, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (312) 533-4666 or livewirechicago.com.

• Waltzing Mechanics debuts its latest show inspired by the lives of people who ride Chicago's public transportation. "EL Stories: Listen to the Music," recounts tales from musicians and musical flash mobs. It opens at 11 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, (773) 404-7336 or greenhousetheater.org or waltzingmechanics.org. Also, Waltzing Mechanics recently announced the addition of five new members to its ensemble. They include: Patrice Foster, Kanome Jones, D.J. Reed, Elise Spoerlein and Lew Wallace.

• Spectralia Theatre, along with the Chicago Park District and Friends of the Park, presents a 90-minute, family-friendly production of William Shakespeare's "The Two Gentlemen of Verona." Set in the late 19th century during Alaska's Yukon gold rush, the comedy is about two best friends who fall for the same woman. Performances are at 5 p.m. beginning Saturday, June 21, and running through Aug. 3, at various Chicago parks. Performances are free, but donations are accepted. See spectralia.org for a schedule.

• The late Divine, star of John Waters' 1970s and 1980s cult films, resurfaces (following an adventure in Japan), as a character in The Chicago Mammals' "My Dinner With Divine," inspired by the film "My Dinner With Andre." Performances for this adults-only production begin at 10 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at Zoo Studios, 4001 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago. See chicagomammals.com.

• Profiles Theatre rescheduled the opening of its Midwest premiere of Sharr White's "Annapurna" for Sunday, June 22, at 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago. The play centers on a woman who reunites with her cowboy-poet husband 20 years after she walked out on him. (773) 549-1815 or profilestheatre.org.

• 16th Street Theater hosts a Backyard Arts Bash benefit from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 22, at 3131 Wisconsin Ave., Berwyn. The event includes food, beverages, a live auction and entertainment courtesy of Tony Fitzpatrick, Shayne Kennedy, Steven Simoncic and Robert Koon who will share their stories with guests. Tickets are $42.50 to $65. Proceeds benefit the theater. (708) 795-6704 or 16thstreettheater.org.

• Raven Theatre presents a staged workshop production of Chris Hodak's "The Iroquois" as part of its [Working Title] play development series, at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, June 23-25. A semifinalist at the 2013 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, the play is set during the floods of 2008 and involves a woman who must decide about moving her mother into a nursing home. (773) 338-2177 or raventheatre.com.

• WGN radio's Judy Markey, Rebecca Adler, David Edler and Peggy Lewis share tales during Short Story Theatre's evening of storytelling beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, at Cellar Gate, 524 Sheridan Road, Highwood. Tickets are $10. (847) 748-8086 or shortstorytheatre.com.

• Actress/playwright/activist Madeline Burrows brings her solo show "Mom Baby God," examining the conflict over reproductive rights, to Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Burrows performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 25. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.

• Among the Annoyance Theatre's new shows is the double bill of "Get Your Hands off Me, Chekhov" about a North Shore couple whose lives are hijacked by famous playwrights, and "Flip Flop" an examination of male-female relationships in which the male plays the female roles and the female plays the male roles. The double-bill opens Wednesday, June 25, on the small stage at 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Also running at 10 p.m. Fridays on the small stage is the black comedy "Becker," about the terrible consequences that befall three longtime friends after a wild night on the town. Running at 8 p.m. Wednesdays on the main stage is "Hideous Love Mutants: Marriage Will Change You," a musical comedy about a young woman whose friends transform from party girls to sensible housewives following their marriages. (773) 697-9693 or theannoyance.com.

• redtwist theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, has extended its production of John Osborne's classic drama, "Look Back in Anger," about an angry young man in postwar Britain railing against the status quo while his marriage to his upper-middle-class wife teeters on the edge of collapse. Performances continue through June 28. (773) 728-7529 or redtwist.org.

• The Chicago Commercial Collective has extended its revival of "5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche." Set during 1956, Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder's play is about the revelations that result when the members of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein learn that an atomic bomb is headed for their city. Performances run through June 29 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. (773) 404-7336 or 5lesbianseatingquiche.com.

"Jack Lemmon Returns," a tribute to the Academy Award-winning actor written and directed by Hershey Felder and starring Lemmon's son, Chris Lemmon, has been extended. Performances resume after a brief hiatus on Wednesday, June 25, and continue through July 20 at The Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (312) 988-9000 or theroyalgeorgetheatre.com.

• The Neo-Futurists have extended Trevor Dawkins' "Haymaker," a play inspired by an action movie the playwright wrote when he was 13. It centers on a maverick hiding out from the Nazis in 1930 Shanghai. Performances run through July 11 at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. (773) 275-5255 or neofuturists.org

• Broadway in Chicago announced recently that special rush tickets will be available for all performances of "The Last Ship," the Broadway-bound, semi-autobiographical musical by Sting and writers John Logan and Brian Yorkey. A total of 20 $25 tickets will be available at the Bank of America Theatre box office at 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago, beginning at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday and at 11 a.m. Sunday. Also, BIC recently announced a return engagement for "Jersey Boys." The jukebox docudrama about the rise and fall and rise of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons returns to the Cadillac Palace Theater, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago, from May 12-24, 2015. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.

• Single tickets for Emerald City Theatre's family-friendly 2014-2015 season are available at the Apollo Theatre box office at 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, (773) 935-6100 or emeraldcitytheatre.com.

• TUTA Theatre Chicago opens its 2014-2015 season Oct. 17 at the Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph St., Chicago, with the world premiere of "The Anyway Cabaret (an animal cabaret)," a comedy about animals performing cabaret, written and composed by Slovenian artist Martin Marion. That's followed in February 2015 by the U.S. premiere of Jean-Luc Lagarce's "Music Hall," about three facing actors who continue to perform every night. Location to be announced. The season also includes staged readings. For ticket information, call (773) 680-0826 or see tutato.com.

• American Demigods' 2014-15 season includes three world premieres from local playwrights. It begins Aug. 28 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, with "The Last Cadillac," Reginald Edmund's drama about an auto shop, the African gods who inhabit it and an old Cadillac Eldorado. That's followed by "A Very Orwellian Christmas," Jim Trapp's play about a dictatorial Santa Claus who rules the world "with an iron mitten" until anti-hero Dirk Action challenges him in an attempt to restore order. The play will run in December at a location to be announced. American Demigods' season concludes next summer with "Fanatical!" a new musical by Reina Hardy (book) and Matt Board (music and lyrics) about the efforts of fans of a sci-fi TV series to save their show. See americandemigods.com.

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