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posted: 8/1/2014 6:00 AM

Theater events: 'Rick Bayless in Cascabel' gets extension

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  • Lookingglass Theatre extends its remount of the theatrical and dining event "Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner-Dancing-Daring" through Aug. 31.

    Lookingglass Theatre extends its remount of the theatrical and dining event "Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner-Dancing-Daring" through Aug. 31.
    courtesy of Darris Lee Harris Photography


• Lookingglass Theatre and Frontera Grill have extended their remount of "Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner-Daring-Desire," a theatrical event combining a Mexican feast, music and dance, circus arts and a love story. Performances run through Aug. 31 at The Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. (312) 337-0665 or

• 'Charlie Brown': Theatre-Hikes forgoes its "progressive play style" for performances of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," about the little round-headed boy and his friends. The Morton Arboretum production of the "Peanuts" comic-strip-inspired musical is stationary, with hikes taking place during intermission and after the performance. Runs select days beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at 4100 Route 53, Lisle. Members: $5 child, $10 adult. Nonmembers: $10 child, $20 adult. (630) 725-2066 or

• 'Tragic' event: A theatrical event three years in the making and encompassing all 32 surviving Greek tragedies premieres this week in Chicago. Conceived, adapted and directed by Joseph Jefferson Award-winner Sean Graney, the 12-hour "All Our Tragic" was inspired by The Hypocrites production of Graney's "Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses." Graney describes his latest project -- produced by The Hypocrites and dubbed a "contemporary festival of Dionysus" -- as the most meaningful piece of theater he has created. Previews begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at The Den Theatre, 1329 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The show opens Aug. 10. $30 Friday and Saturday; $75 Saturday and Sunday. See

• Reader event: The Daily Herald co-hosts a theater event with The Gift Theatre that includes a performance of the company's contemporary take on William Shakespeare's "Othello" along with a cocktail reception at nearby Gale Street Inn. Kareem Bandealy plays the Moor with Gift artistic director Michael Patrick Thornton as Iago. Cocktail reception at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, at Gale Street Inn, 4914 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, followed by a 2:30 p.m. performance of "Othello" at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. $25. Register at

• "A love letter to vaudeville" is how Silent Theatre Company describes its world premiere "The Dueling Gentlemen," opening Friday, Aug. 1, in the third floor loft at 1914 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Performed without dialogue, the story examines the dissolution of the friendship between two performers whose partnership splinters despite their longtime success. Conceived and written by Marvin Eduardo Quijada, the show stars Quijada and Dan Howard, with music by Ian Custer. See

• Ronald Keaton stars as Winston Churchill in "Churchill," a solo show about the famed British prime minister adapted and written by Keaton and directed by Kurt Johns. Previews begin Friday, Aug. 1, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. It opens Monday, Aug. 4. (773) 404-7336 or

• Seanachai Theatre Company remounts its production of Eugene O'Neill's "Hughie" starring Brad Armacost as down-on-his-luck gambler Erie Smith at The Three Oaks Theater Festival in Harbor County, Michigan. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, and Saturday, Aug. 2, at Lakeside Inn, 15251 Lakeshore Road, Lakeside, Michigan. See for more information.

• Red Theater Chicago hosts a Red Party beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at 3031 N. Honore, Chicago. A fundraiser for the company's American Sign Language production of "Romeo and Juliet," it includes beer, food, live music, a DJ and a performance of "I Saw You" by Bruised Orange Theater Company. $5. See

• Victory Gardens Theater presents the next installment of its Access Project, designed to raise interest in theater among people with disabilities. Small Fish Radio Theatre and Thespinarium will perform the show "Mercury Considers the Last Layer" in an open-captioning and American Sign Language production at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The adults-only performance is about the search for love and self. (773) 871-3000 or (773) 871-0682 tty or

• Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland Ave., Chicago, hosts the premiere screening of David A. Holcombe's film "Graffito" about the street artists of Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood. See

• Previews for the side project theatre company's Chicago premiere of "Miles Away" begin Monday, Aug. 4, at 1439 W. Jarvis St., Chicago. Christine Whitley's three-hander centers on a couple of pool hustlers on the run looking to get out of the life. They then meet a man who wants to back one of them in a high-stakes game. Scott Weinstein directs the play, which opens Aug. 6. (773) 340-0140 or

• Theater historian Charles Troy discusses the stories behind Leonard Bernstein musicals "On the Town" (beginning previews Aug. 8 at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire) and "Wonderful Town." Titled "Bernstein, Comden & Green's Two Town Triumph," the multimedia event includes recorded songs, photos and video. It takes place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, at 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette. See

• The newly renovated MCL Chicago (formerly Studio BE), at 3110 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago, hosts improv groups beginning at 8 p.m. Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 11 a.m. Saturdays. Saturday shows include "Improvised Sondheim" at 9 p.m., during which the actors improvise musicals in the style of Stephen Sondheim. Another improvised musical, "Anarchy: An Improvised Rock Opera," begins its two-month run at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 29. See

"Down Range," Jeffrey Skinner's examination of the struggles of career soldiers returning home after multiple deployments in Iraq, opens Thursday, Aug. 7, at National Pastime Theater, 941 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago. Produced by Genesis Theatrical Productions, the show is directed by Kay Martinovich and stars Carl Herzog and David Lawrence Hamilton. (773) 724-1554 or

• American Theater Company partners with The Araca Group (Broadway producers of "Urinetown," "The Wedding Singer" and other shows) to develop new plays in Chicago. Known as AracaWorks: Chicago, the partners' early efforts resulted in "Yeast Nation" and Ayad Akhtar's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Disgraced." AracaWorks debuts its latest efforts on Aug. 9 at ATC's home at 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago. Featured plays include: David Bar Katz's "Ask/Tell" about a gay soldier shot to death after he came out to his men, and Idris Goodwin's "The Realness," a dramedy set during the 1990s underground hip-hop scene. See

• Performances run through Sept. 3 for Annoyance Theatre's double-bill of "Get Your Hands Off Me, Chekhov," a sendup of the famous playwright's style, and "Flip-flop," in which Ashley Thornton and Andrew J. Daniels play the opposite gender in various improvised situations. Also at Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, is "The Broken Gay Folk Revue: Stories and Songs to Scare You Sexless," which runs through Sept. 4. (773) 697-9693 or

• The League of Chicago Theatres recently announced it will expand its annual Chicago Theatre Week celebration to two weekends. The event runs from Feb. 12-22, 2015, and features more than 100 productions. Writers Theatre executive director Kate Lipuma, chair of the League of Chicago Theatres, said in a prepared statement: "The 10-day celebration in 2015 will offer Chicagoans and visitors even more opportunities to visit their favorite theaters and explore new companies all across Chicago." A list of participating theaters will be available online later this fall at

• BoHo Theatre, in residence at 7016 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, has announced its 11th season. It begins Feb. 13, 2015, with the musical "Ordinary Days" by composer/lyricist Adam Gwon. It's about four not-so-ordinary people in New York City. That's followed by "Scotland Road" (May 15-June 14, 2015), Jeffrey Hatcher's suspense drama about a young woman found floating on an iceberg in the North Atlantic who may be a survivor of the Titanic. The season concludes in October 2015 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, with "Dogfight," the stage adaptation of the 1991 film with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and a book by Peter Duchan. Set in 1963, the story centers on a young man about to ship out for Vietnam, and the shy young woman with whom he spends his last stateside hours. Subscriptions go on sale in September at "Parade," the final production of BoHo's 10th season, opens Oct. 16.

• Polarity Ensemble Theatre awarded its seventh annual 2014 Dionysus Cup to Chicago playwright Kristina Rae Colon for her play "Octagon," about the private lives and public performances of a group of talented but volatile slam poets. "My work aims to blur the boundaries between spoken word and theater," said Colon in a prepared statement. See

• The Second City recently announced the expansion of its training center at Pipers Alley, 230 W. North Ave., Chicago. The additional space will be used primarily for classrooms, digital production, theaters and a screening room.

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