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posted: 11/14/2014 5:30 AM

Stage events: Steel Beam takes on 'Charlie Brown'

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  • Terry A. Christianson (foreground) plays the titular role in Steel Beam Theatre's "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" opening Nov. 14.

    Terry A. Christianson (foreground) plays the titular role in Steel Beam Theatre's "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" opening Nov. 14.
    Photo courtesy of Steel Beam Theatre

 
 

Happiness is ...
Steel Beam Theatre presents a revival of the charming, family musical, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," about a day in the life of an Everyman, inspired by Charles M. Shulz's "Peanuts" comic strip. Steel Beam founder and artistic director Donna Steele directs the show, which includes music direction from Matt Gruel.
Opens 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, at 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. $23-$28. (630) 587-8521 or steelbeamtheatre.com.

Haunting rep
The Side Project begins its 15th season with a pair of suspense-filled plays running in repertory. "Jet Black Chevrolet," a world premiere by local playwright Scott T. Barsotti, is about a strange car parked across the street from an increasingly anxious family. Mary Hamilton's "We Three" centers around a town's efforts to find a missing girl, whose disappearance may have supernatural explanation.
Previews for "We Three" begin at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19; previews for "Jet Black Chevrolet" begin Thursday, Nov. 20, at 1439 W. Jarvis St., Chicago. Shows open Nov. 23. $5-$20, two-for-one admission Nov. 24-26. (773) 340-0140 or thesideproject.

Artists Lounge Live
Michael Ingersoll ("Jersey Boys," Under the Streetlamp) and the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre recently announced Broadway and Broadway in Chicago veterans will perform in concert at the Arlington Heights theater as part of a new series titled "Artists Lounge Live."
Performances begin Feb. 12, 2015, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. Individual tickets: $40, $45. Three-show series: $96. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

What's new

• Ann Filmer adapts and directs three stories from 16th Street Theater's favorite authors as part of "Our Holiday Stories," running through Dec. 13, at the Berwyn Cultural Center, 6420 16th Street, Berwyn. Elizabeth Berg's "Over the Hill and Through the Woods" is about a woman hiding in the attic from her family on Thanksgiving. Tanya Saracho's "Our Good Night," centers on a daughter returning to her mother and an empty house on Christmas. Associate artist Robert Koon's "The Chaplain" is about a World War II chaplain looking for answers in Belgium in December, 1944. (708) 795-6704 or 16thstreettheater.org.

• A sex therapist and hotel proprietor assists her guests with their issues in the sex farce "Hotel Aphrodite," by Angelina Martinez. The Factory Theater production opens Friday, Nov. 14, at 3502 N. Elston Ave., Chicago. Also, The Factory hosts its fundraiser Night of the Factory Jams, featuring performances by ensemble members, beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, at The Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace St., Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or thefactorytheater.com.

• Previews begin Friday, Nov. 14 for The Annoyance Theatre's annual, family-friendly holiday double-bill "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The shows open Nov. 28. "Spaceboy," a comedy about a young boy kidnapped by renegade NASA workers, opens Sunday, Nov. 16. "Lady Balls," a comedy about a tyrannical women's basketball coach trying to win her 20th title, opens Thursday, Nov. 20. Lastly, a collection of improvised scenes titled "No Boys Allowed" runs Sundays through Dec. 14. (773) 697-9693 or theannoyance.com.

• Mary narrates the last days in the life of her son Jesus in Colm Toibin's Tony Award-nominated "The Testament of Mary," in its Midwest premiere at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Linda Reiter stars in director Dennis Zacek's production, which begins previews Friday, Nov. 14. The show opens Nov. 21. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.

• American Theater Company presents the world premiere of "The Humans" by Stephen Karam ("columbinus") in advance of its New York City premiere next season. Previews begin Friday, Nov. 14, for Karam's examination of family dysfunction, which plays out over a Thanksgiving celebration. The show opens Monday, Nov. 17, at 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago. (773) 409-4125 or atcweb.org.

• Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, presents its family-friendly, holiday mash-up -- "It's a Wonderful Santaland Miracle, Nut Cracking Christmas Story ... Jews Welcome!" -- beginning performances Friday, Nov. 14. The interactive show featuring original Christmas carols, puppetry, dance and spoken word and Stage 773's unique twist on classic tales, opens Sunday, Nov. 16. (773) 327-5252 or stage773.com.

"Always ... Patsy Cline," a musical about the special friendship between the country superstar and one of her biggest fans, a housewife named Louise Seger, begins previews Friday, Nov. 14, at Theo Ubique, at No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. Artistic director Fred Anzevino directs Christina Hall and Danni Smith. The show opens Monday, Nov. 17. (800) 595-4849 or theo-u.org.

• An openly gay artist moves into a quiet California suburb in 1955 and strikes up an unlikely friendship with a 15-year-old female neighbor in "Point and Shoot," a new play about the early days of the AIDS crisis by Jake L. Fruend and Liz Ellison. Cold Basement Dramatics' world premiere is directed by Fruend and stars Sonja Lynn Matta and Alexander Lavelle. Previews begin Friday, Nov. 14, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The show opens Sunday, Nov. 16. See pointandshoot.brownpapertickets.com.

• The holiday version of the adults-only Kiss Kiss Cabaret opens at 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. It runs through Dec. 26. See kisskisscabaret.com.

• Previews begin Saturday, Nov. 15, for Goodman Theatre's 37th annual production of "A Christmas Carol" starring 2014 Jeff Award winner Larry Yando, in his seventh year as Ebenezer Scrooge. As part of its "Share the Joy Day" on Nov. 15, Goodman donated more than 800 free tickets to charitable organizations including USO of Illinois, the Chicago Fire Department, Lurie Children's Hospital, Mercy Home for Boys & Girls and other organizations. The show opens Nov. 23, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.

• iO Chicago adapts "Red, White and Blaine," the musical featured in Christopher Guest's community theater satire "Waiting for Guffman," to the stage beginning Saturday, Nov. 15, at 1501 N. Kingsbury, Chicago. The musical tells the story of Blaine, Missouri, a faux town celebrating its sesquicentennial. (312) 929-2401 or ioimprov.com.

• The Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers presents CLLAW XX at 10 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Youth Empowerment Performance Project and Sideshow Theatre Company, which produces the event. See cclaw.org.

• It's 1996, and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are struggling to adapt "Catcher in the Rye" for the big screen, when the script for "Good Will Hunting" falls from the ceiling, forcing them to re-examine their friendship in the light of Hollywood success in "Matt & Ben." First Floor Theater opens its third season with a revival of the satire by Mindy Kaling ("The Mindy Project) and Brenda Withers. It opens Sunday, Nov. 16, at Collaboraction's Pentagon Theater at The Flat Iron Arts Building, 1565 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See firstfloortheater.com.

• The adults-only holiday sendup, "The Second City's Holidazed and Confused," opens Sunday, Nov. 16, at Up Comedy Club, Piper's Alley, 230 W. North Ave., Chicago. (312) 662-4562 or upcomedyclub.com.

Short Story Theatre hosts its next installment at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, at the Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette. Featured storytellers include: Cyn Vargas; Rick Leslie, whose father-son story focuses on World War II; Joel Ramsey, who examines post-divorce dating; and Elizabeth Brown, who worries about buying baby shower gifts. Also featured are musicians Al Day and Rich Logan. See shortstorytheatre.com.

• Court Theatre artistic associate Ron OJ Parson discusses his shuttered Onyx Theatre Ensemble and its 2015 relaunch as the New Onyx Theatre with David Alan Grier at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago. The evening includes a conversation with Parson, performance by Tony Award-nominated singer/actress Felicia Fields, and a staged reading from The New Onyx's spring 2015 production of "East Texas Hot Links." (773) 445-3838 or beverlyartcenter.org.

"Annie," the 1977 musical about an orphaned girl adapted by a wealthy industrialist, returns to Chicago for a brief run as part of its national tour. The Broadway in Chicago production opens Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.

• Waltzing Mechanics opens its latest show, "Line One," on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. John Kaufman conceived of the show which unspools from the cellphone calls actors receive while they're onstage. (773) 404-7336 or waltzingmechanics.org.

• Mercy Street Theatre inaugurates its first season with The Mercy Street Affair, featuring four plays by resident playwrights EJC Calvert, Dusty Wilson, Rachel DuBose and Dakota Parobek. The showcase takes place Tuesday, Nov 18, at The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Suggested donation is $10. See mercystreettheatre.org.

• Chicago Shakespeare Theater puts a new spin on holiday theater with "A Q Brothers Christmas Carol," a hip-hop version of Charles Dickens' classic, written and performed by GQ, JQ, Jackson Doran and Postell Pringle and DJ Super Nova. Previews begin Wednesday, Nov. 19, at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. The show opens Nov. 23. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com.

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical," inspired by the Dr. Seuss tale, returns to Chicago for a brief run beginning Thursday, Nov. 20. Performances run through Nov. 29, at The Chicago Theatre, 170 N. State St., Chicago. (866) 858-0008 or thechicagotheatre.com.

• Writers Theatre has extended its Midwest premiere of Lucas Hnath's "Isaac's Eye" starring Jurgen Hooper and Marc Grapey. Performances continue through Dec. 21, at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe. (847) 242-6000 or writerstheatre.org.

• Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, has extended its popular children's production of "The Velveteen Rabbit." Performances continue through Dec. 7. (773) 761-4477 or lifelinetheatre.com. • Profiles Theatre has extended its 20th anniversary revival of David Mamet's "The Cryptogram," starring Abigail Boucher, Darrell W. Cox and Aaron Lamm. Performances continue through Dec. 6, at the Alley Stage, 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago. (773) 549-1815 or profilestheatre.org.

• Chicago Children's Theatre has extended its family-friendly production of Leo Lionni's "Frederick." Performances continue through Nov. 23, at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. (872) 222-9555 or chicagochildrenstheatre.org.

• Curious Theatre Branch's production of Beau O'Reilly and Julia Williams' new play "March," about curators bickering about what exhibits to feature at their unusual museum, continues through Dec. 7, at The Side Project, 1439 W. Jarvis St., Chicago. (773) 492-1287 or curioustheatrebranch.com.

• The Annoyance Theatre's Triple Feature showcasing emerging directors and experimental works, runs Wednesdays, through Nov. 26, at 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-9693 or theannoyance.com.

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