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posted: 7/25/2014 9:00 AM

Theater events: Jedlicka brings 'Big Fish' to the stage

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  • Edward J. MacLennan stars as Edward Bloom and Landon Barnickel as young Will in Jedlicka Performing Arts Center's production of "Big Fish."

      Edward J. MacLennan stars as Edward Bloom and Landon Barnickel as young Will in Jedlicka Performing Arts Center's production of "Big Fish."

  • Matthew Brumlow stars as the title singer in American Blues Theater's remount of "Hank Williams -- Lost Highway," which starts previews Friday, July 25, at Greenhouse Theater Center.

      Matthew Brumlow stars as the title singer in American Blues Theater's remount of "Hank Williams -- Lost Highway," which starts previews Friday, July 25, at Greenhouse Theater Center.
    courtesy of Johnny Knight

  • Chef Rick Bayless, right, appears with Chiara Mangiameli in "Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner -- Daring -- Desire." The event -- presented by Lookingglass Theatre, Bayless' Frontera Grill and Silverguy Entertainment -- features dinner, comedy and dance at Goodman's Owen Theatre.

      Chef Rick Bayless, right, appears with Chiara Mangiameli in "Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner -- Daring -- Desire." The event -- presented by Lookingglass Theatre, Bayless' Frontera Grill and Silverguy Entertainment -- features dinner, comedy and dance at Goodman's Owen Theatre.
    courtesy of Darris Lee Harris Photography

 
 

First Look

In-development works by Martyna Majok, Tanya Saracho and Joshua Conkel are among the plays featured as part of Steppenwolf Theatre's ninth annual First Look Repertory of New Work. Saracho's "Hushabye" is about a recently sober young woman trying to break free from her overprotective sister. Mojak's "Ironbound" spans 22 years in the romantic life of a Polish immigrant woman, and Conkel's "Okay, Bye" is about two thirtysomethings attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting who recognize each other from high school. Performances continue in repertory through Aug. 24. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Garage Theatre, 1642 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Opens Aug. 9. $20. (312) 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.

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Triple play at LOL

Three improv teams compete in this Sunday's latest installment of Laugh Out Loud Theater's "Triple Play." 7 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at Streets of Woodfield, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. $10. (847) 240-0386 or laughoutloudtheater.com.

Theater event

The Daily Herald co-hosts a theater event with The Gift Theatre and Gale Street Inn that includes a cocktail reception and a performance of William Shakespeare's "Othello," Gift's contemporary retelling of the tragedy and the first Shakespeare play in the company's 13-year history. Jonathan Berry directs Kareem Bandealy as the Moor and Michael Patrick Thornton as Iago, the man who ruins him. Cocktail reception at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, at Gale Street Inn, 4914 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, followed at 2:30 p.m. by a performance of "Othello" at Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. $25. Register at events.dailyherald.com.

Other theater events

• American Blues Theater remounts its hit production of "Hank Williams: Lost Highway," the musical chronicling the rise and fall of the Louisiana-born singer-songwriter who was a seminal figure in country music. Ensemble member Matthew Brumlow reprises his role as Williams under director Damon Kiely and music director Malcolm Ruhl. Previews begin Friday, July 25, at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens Aug. 1. (773) 404-7336 or americanbluestheater.com.

• Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, 3801 S. Central Ave., Cicero, opens the first local production of "Big Fish," the musical inspired by the 2003 film about a traveling salesman who has a knack for finding adventure and a flair for telling tall tales. Dante J. Orfei directs the production, which opens Friday, July 25. (708) 656-1800 or jpactheatre.com.

• Previews begin Friday, July 25, for The Factory Theater's new show, "Take the Cake," a darkly comic tale about girlfriends, dessert and manslaughter. The show opens Aug. 1 at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave., Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or thefactorytheater.com.

• The Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers hosts its 19th bout featuring outrageously dressed participants at 10:30 p.m. Friday, July 25, at Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago. Chicago bands Homer Marrs and the Excellent Adventure and The Cell Phones perform during the event, which benefits the Sideshow Theatre Company and its partner charity {she crew}, which introduces the arts to adolescent girls. See cllaw.org for more information.

• Pride Films and Plays hosts a fundraiser for its Women's Words Weekend at 7 p.m. Monday, July 28, at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St., Chicago. Titled LezFest: A One Night Fling, the event features storyteller Lauren Sivak, singers Liz Pazik and Libby Lane and performance artists Rebecca Kling, Angelica Roque and Ali Hoefnagle. (800) 838-3006 or pridefilmsandplays.com.

• Celebrated chef Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill) returns to Lookingglass Theatre to reprise his role in the theatrical event "Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner-Daring-Desire" featuring a gourmet Mexican feast, circus acts, comedy and flamenco all wrapped around a love story. Previews begin Wednesday, July 30, at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The event opens Aug. 2. (312) 337-0665 or lookingglasstheatre.org.

• "Crime Scene," Collaboraction's theatrical response to violent crime in Chicago, returns as part of the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks. Retitled "Crime Scene Chicago 2014: Let Hope Rise," the remount opens Wednesday, July 30, at the company's home in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Subsequent performances take place Aug. 7 and 8 at Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St.; Aug 14 and 15 at Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St.; Aug. 21 and 22 at Loyola Park, 1230 W. Greenleaf Ave.; and Aug. 28 and 29 at Taylor Park, 39 W. 47th St. Showtime is 6:30 p.m. Performances are free. (312) 226-9633 or collaboraction.org.

• Daniel Talbott's two-hander "Mike and Seth" -- an examination of two twentysomething men, one straight and one gay, the night before one of them gets married -- leads off the side project's repertory series. Derek Garza and Michael Manocchio star in the Midwest premiere, which begins previews Thursday, July 31, at 1439 W. Jarvis St., Chicago. The show, directed by artistic director Adam Webster, opens Aug. 2. (773) 340-0140 or thesideproject.net.

• Performances continue for The Annoyance Theatre's "The Weirdos of Oz," a family-friendly puppet adaptation of L. Frank Baum's classic novel featuring a talking Toto, a vegetable army and a Munchkin who thinks he's king. Performances are at 3 p.m. Sunday at 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-9693 or theannoyance.com.

• 16th Street Theater has extended its world premiere of EM Lewis' "The Gun Show," inspired by the playwright's experience with firearms. Performances run through Aug. 9 at 6420 16th St., Berwyn. (708) 795-6704 or 16thstreettheater.org.

• The performing arts venue Studio Be, at 3110 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago, has changed its name to MCL (Music. Comedy. Live.) Chicago to reflect its emphasis on musical improvisation and musical comedy. (773) 610-5930 or mclchicago.com.

• Adventure Stage Chicago, a theater for young audiences, announced its 2014-2015 season, which begins Nov. 4 with Theater Unspeakable's "The American Revolution" in which seven actors depict the colonists' fight for independence. On Jan. 17 and 18, 2015, ASC teams up with the Chicago Humanities Festival for "Le Petit Cirque." Part of the first Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, it's the brainchild of musician Laurent Bigot who uses windup toys, salvaged items and gadgets to create "The Little Circus." The season concludes in April 2015, with a new ASC piece created by Dani Bryant. "Project Worthy" is the working title of the piece that challenges themes and stereotypes found in classic fairy tales that foster the "Princess Culture." The ASC season also includes a new work devised by participants in the company's youth mentoring program for children ages 11 to 15. Performances take place at Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., Chicago. Tickets are available beginning Sept. 2. (773) 342-4141 or adventurestage.org.

• The award-winning Oracle Productions announced its fifth season of public access theater, which begins in January 2015, with "Full Circle" (Jan. 24-March 14, 2015), Charles Mee's version of the Chinese play "The Chalk Circle." In Mee's version, set as the Berlin Wall falls in 1989, an American tourist is left holding the newborn belonging to Communist Party secretary Erich Honecker. Next up is Suzan-Lori Parks' "The America Play" (June 13-Aug. 1, 2015), about a black gravedigger who's been told he looks like Abraham Lincoln and who makes money by allowing people to pretend to shoot him while he's dressed as the president. The season concludes with "No Beast So Fierce" (Oct. 24-Dec. 12, 2015), artistic director Max Truax's adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Richard III" featuring Katherine Keberlein as Richard, a political schemer who seeks the throne for herself. Performances take place at 3809 N. Broadway St., Chicago. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. See publicaccesstheatre.org.

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