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updated: 8/10/2014 1:01 AM

Theater events: Tour Janus' Walkabout fest in Elgin

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Bases loaded in Elgin
Janus Theater Company hosts its seventh annual short play festival, Walkabout: Theater on your Feet, this weekend in Elgin. Each of the four plays centers on baseball, "its nostalgia, controversy, comedy and power to bring people together," said festival founder and Janus artistic director Sean Hargadon. Plays will be performed at the Elgin Public House, Side Street Studio Arts, Al's Cafe and Blue Box Cafe, all within walking distance of each other.
Tours begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9-10, at Elgin Public House, 219 E. Chicago St., Elgin. Tours run every 15 minutes. $18 online, $20 at the door. See

'Fiddler' returns
Light Opera Works, under director/choreographer Rudy Hogenmiller, revives the beloved "Fiddler on the Roof" by composer Jerry Bock, lyricist Sheldon Harnick and book writer Joseph Stein. Inspired by Sholem Aleichem's stories, the musical centers on dairyman Tevye (Alex Honzen), whose traditional beliefs are challenged by his daughters.
8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston. $34-$94. (847) 920-5360 or

'Swing' fan
The "Sisters of Swing" -- Fox Valley Repertory's musical review chronicling the career of late 1930s and 1940s singing group The Andrews Sisters -- struck a chord with an Arlington Heights man. Robert Sylvester, 89, told FVR marketing manager Audra Sybert the show, which recently wrapped up its run, brought back memories. "During World War II, everyone pulled together," he said in a prepared statement. "There was a vitality to the times and the play captures that." Sylvester recalled he and his best friend meeting Laverne, Maxine and Patty at the Brass Rail, when the sisters were in town for a Chicago Theatre performance. Sylvester, who saw FVR's production four times, shared his experiences with the cast and the audience, which artistic director John Gawlik called inspiring.

What's new

• The comedy theater challenge sponsored by ComedySportz continues through Saturday, Aug. 9, at 929 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Chicago improv companies competing against each other in this family-friendly competition include: The Annoyance, iO, Chemically Imbalanced Comedy, The Playground and pH Productions. Matches are at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8; and 6, 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9. (773) 549-8080 or

• Found Objects Theatre Group presents a pair of one-act plays at the Charnel House, 3421 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago, under the title "Painting Molly." The plays include the Chicago premiere of writer/performer Mark Chrisler's "The Art of Painting," a partly true story of renowned Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and renowned forger Hans Von Meegeren as told by a malcontent art history instructor. The other half of the double bill is Chris Bower's "Notes to Molly," about an alcoholic couple with one bed, which only one of them uses as a time. Performances run Friday, Aug. 8, through Aug. 31. (872) 228-9799.

• Performances begin Friday, Aug. 8, for Dream Theatre Company's production of Jeremy Menekseoglu's re-imagined "Medea," which focuses on the soured relationship between Medea and Jason and the impact on their two young children. In this version, Jason demands Medea take the payoff and leave Corinth so he can marry the princess. The problem is, neither one of them wants the kids. Performances continue through Sept. 14 at the Dream Laboratory, 5026 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 552-8626 or

• Amazing Sammo Productions stages a brief revival of Tracy Letts' "Bug," about a cocaine addicted waitress holed up with a paranoid Gulf War veteran who believes his imagined bug infestation is a government conspiracy. Performances begin Friday, Aug. 8, and run weekends through Aug. 16 at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 598-4549 or

• The Neo Futurists partners with Salonathon to present the adults-only "Infiltration," a weekly showcase for Chicago's underground artists beginning Friday, Aug. 8, and continuing through Sept. 26, at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. Filipino performance artist Kiam Marcelo Junio performs on Aug. 8. Dancer/choreographer Darling Shear performs on Aug. 15, and interdisciplinary artist Sid Branca, who specializes in pastiche performances, headlines Aug. 22. (773) 275-5255 or

• redtwist theater presents "The Size of the World," the final show in the company's More Red series, running in repertory at 1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, with main stage show, "Geezers." Charles Evered's play centers on Peter, a charming young man eager for success, whose main problem is his inability to confront reality. Adam Goldstein directs the show which opens Saturday, Aug. 9. (773) 728-7529 or

"Option Up!" a combination music theater cabaret and talk show, returns to Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, on Sunday Aug. 10. Co-hosts Christopher Pazdernik and Aaron Benham welcome local performers Ryan Lanning and Patrick Andrews for the 7:30 p.m. show. (773) 327-5252 or

• In its never-ending mission "to expose bad writing for what it really is: (expletive) funny," Stage Left Theatre hosts Drekfest 2014, a celebration of the country's worst 10-minute plays. Finalists this year include: "Dragons in America: A Fantasia on the Theme of How (expletive) Awesome Dragons Are" by Jonathan Baude; "Troubling Innocence" by Anderson Lawfer and Michael Daily; "Grape Jelly: A Play About a Prostitute" by Rory Leahy and "Behind the Wax Myrtle Shrub" by Cynthia Shur Petts. They'll be presented as staged readings at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, at ComedySportz Theatre, 929 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 883-8830 or

• Previews begin Thursday, Aug. 14, for Pride Films and Plays' Chicago premiere of "Some Men." A dramedy by Terrence McNally about various generations of gay men, the play unfolds at various times and places including the 1969 Stonewall riots, a hospital at the height of the AIDS epidemic and the Hamptons during the 1920s. It opens Aug. 16 at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago. See

• After five years and a broken marriage, a Russian nobleman returns to his extended family, including a widowed cousin and her two daughters, an elderly aunt, a gossipy neighbor and an ambitious government official in Ivan Turgenev's "Home of the Gentry." Mike Brayndick adapts the work for On The Spot Theatre, whose production runs Thursday, Aug. 14, through Aug. 31 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 404-7336 or or

• Performances continue through Aug. 17 for Awkward Pause Theatre's revival of "Urinetown," the very funny musical satire by writer/lyricist Greg Kotis and composer/lyricist Mark Hollmann about a time when water is rationed and one company regulates all the public amenities, including restrooms. Elana Boulos directs the production running at the Flat Iron Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See

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