Director William Brown's production of the bittersweet love story "A Moon for the Misbegotten" marks the first time Writers Theatre has staged a Eugene O'Neill play. Jim DeVita plays dissolute alcoholic and landlord James Tyrone Jr. opposite Bethany Thomas' Josie, a sharp-tongued woman with a bad reputation who's in love with him. A.C. Smith co-stars as Josie's father, Phil, who schemes to take over the farmland he has long rented from the Tyrone family. Previews at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 7-9; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10; and 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. Opens at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14. $35-$80. (847) 242-6000 or writerstheatre.org.
Katie Spelman, who choreographed Paramount Theatre's "Oklahoma," returns to the Aurora theater to helm and choreograph its revival of "Cabaret," the 1966 musical by John Kander and Fred Ebb. Set in 1930s Berlin on the eve of the Nazis' assumption of power, "Cabaret" chronicles the relationship between aspiring American writer Clifford Bradshaw and carefree nightclub chanteuse Sally Bowles. Garrett Lutz and Kelly Felthouse play the lovers and Joseph Anthony Byrd plays the ever-present Emcee, who presides over the Kit Kat Klub where Sally works. Previews at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 7-8, and 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, at 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. Opens at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. $36-$64. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.
Underscore Theatre Company's Chicago Musical Theatre Festival returns for its fourth year. The 10-day showcase includes seven full productions of new works and two staged readings. They include: "Musical Therapy," about a couple's counselor who can't maintain a romantic relationship, by Roselle composer/lyricist Joe Katsiroubas and Crystal Lake writer Dan Hass; "Iron Irene," a post-Civil War tale about two sisters' fight for equality by Cary native and composer/lyricist Ashley Flanagan; and "Tru," about the many incarnations of love by Downers Grove native Leo Fotos, who composed the music and wrote the book and lyrics for the show. Since its 2014 debut, the mini-fest has introduced 35 new musicals to local audiences. Starting Thursday, Feb. 8, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Performances run through Feb. 16. $20 ($15 during Chicago Theatre Week). cmtf.org.
Haven Theatre's season continues with a production of Bertolt Brecht's 1938 drama "Fear and Misery in the Third Reich," directed by Josh Sobel from Eric Bentley's translation. Elk Grove Village native Joe Bianco and Huntley native Siddhartha Rajan appear in the production, which chronicles the anxiety and fear average Germans experienced during the Nazi rise to power. Previews at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 8-10, plus Monday, Feb. 12, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Opens at 8 p.m. Feb. 13. $18. haventheatrechicago.com.
Other theater events
• Performances continue for Oil Lamp Theater's production of Neil Simon's "Last of the Red Hot Lovers," about a long-married, middle-aged restaurateur who decides to spice up his boring life by having an affair. The revival runs through Feb. 25 at 1723 Glenview Road, Glenview. See oillamptheater.org.
• Strawdog Theatre Company's season continues with Henrik Ibsen's 1877 play "Pillars of the Community," adapted by Samuel Adamson. Elly Green directs the drama about respected shipbuilder Karsten Bernick, whose long-buried secrets could put his wealth and position in jeopardy. Performances run through March 3 at 1802 W. Berenice Ave., Chicago. (773) 644-1380 or strawdog.org.
• Performances begin Friday, Feb. 2, for MadKap Productions' revival of "Crossing Delancey," Susan Sandler's romantic comedy about Isabelle, a successful young woman whose grandmother is determined to see her married to a nice Jewish man. The production runs through Feb. 18 at the Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. (847) 677-7761 or skokietheatre.org.
• Silk Road Rising presents staged readings Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 3-4, of "Pure Land," German Iranian playwright Mehdi Moradpour's drama about a pregnant Middle Eastern woman dealing with "crippling bureaucracy and crumbling relationships" in her quest for political asylum. The readings take place at 4 p.m. at 77 W. Washington St., Chicago. (312) 857-1234 or silkroadrising.org.
• Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents "Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream," a 75-minute abridged version of William Shakespeare's comedy about mischievous fairies, mismatched lovers and mistaken identity. Performances begin Saturday, Feb. 3, at CST's new venue The Yard, at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com/ssmidsummer.
• "Encounter," Collaboraction's winter festival consisting of theater, visual art, music and dance performances centered on racism and racial healing, comes to the newly renovated Theater on the Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Performances are at 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. The festival then moves to Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St., Chicago, on Feb. 10; Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave., Chicago, on Feb. 17; and La Follette Park, 1333 N. Laramie Ave., Chicago, on Feb. 24. (312) 226-9633 or collaboraction.org.
• The Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers presents CLLAW XXIX: CLLAWentine's Day Brawl, on Saturday, Feb. 3, at Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago. Doors open at 9 p.m. for the adults-only event. Proceeds benefit Sideshow Theatre Company and the Chicago Women's Health Center. See cllaw.org.
• An invitation to his aunt's country house lands Bertie Wooster in a romantic misadventure with his best friend's fiance as well as a jewel heist, which only his resourceful valet Jeeves can resolve, in "Jeeves in Bloom," Margaret Raether's adaptation of the P.G. Wodehouse comedy. Robert Scogin directs ShawChicago's revival, which begins performances Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Ruth Page Theater, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. See shawchicago.org.
• Previews begin Wednesday, Feb. 7, for Windy City Playhouse's world premiere of "Southern Gothic," an immersive theater piece by Leslie Liautaud. The action unfolds in Georgia during the 1960s at a cocktail party during which guests reveal dark secrets. The show opens Feb. 14 at 3014 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago. Northwestern University professor David H. Bell, artistic director of the university's American Music Theatre Project, helms the production. (773) 891-8985 or windycityplayhouse.com.
• "You & Me," a two-person improv set featuring actor and Gift Theatre artistic director Michael Patrick Thornton and a guest artist, runs at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, as part of Steppenwolf Theatre's LookOut series. It takes place at the 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org/lookout.