Spotlight: Northlight stages classic thriller 'Dial M for Murder'

Thriller on stage

After marrying socialite Margot for her money, Tony Wendice becomes jealous of her affair and schemes to kill her in "Dial M for Murder," a thriller by Frederick Knott, who also wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's acclaimed 1954 film version. Lucy Carapetyan plays Margot opposite Ryan Hallahan's Tony in Northlight Theatre's revival directed by Georgette Verdin from Jeffrey Hatcher's 2022 adaptation.

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1-2, and Tuesday, Dec. 5, and Thursday, Dec. 7, and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. The show opens Dec. 8. $39-$84. (847) 673-6300 or

'Hershel' returns

Strawdog Theatre remounts its popular holiday tale "Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins," adapted from Eric Kimmel's book, in which a troupe of actors arrive in a town to find no one celebrating Hanukkah. In an effort to save the holiday, they tell the story of Hershel of Ostropol (Amanda Giles), who outwitted the goblins haunting the old synagogue.

The preview is 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at The Chicago Loop Synagogue, 16 S. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 3. Free, but reservations are required and donations are accepted.

Two-handed tuner

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents "Islander," a new Scottish folk musical conceived and directed by Amy Draper and written by Stewart Melton and composer/lyricist Finn Anderson. Part of CST's WorldStage Series, the two-hander incorporates live sound looping to tell the story of Eilidh - the sole child remaining on an island whose population is dwindling - who meets a mysterious girl along the shore.

7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays; and 2 and 6 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 17 at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Tickets start at $65. (312) 595-5600 or

'Singular' comedy

Steel Beam Theatre revives "Absurd Person Singular," Alan Ayckbourn's farce examining three married couples over the course of three years on three successive Christmas Eves. Larry Boller directs the 1972 comedy about shifting relationships and changing fortunes.

7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 23 at 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. $12-$28. (630) 587-8521 or

New play festival

Staged readings of two new musical theater projects along with three new plays comprise Goodman Theatre's 19th annual New Stages Festival. The lineup includes "Revolution(s)" by writer Zayd Ayers Dohrn and composer/lyricist Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine); "Slippin' Through the Cracks: The Blues Journey of Bobby Rush" by writer/composer/lyricist Bobby Rush and co-writer Stephen Helper; "Black Bear Island" by Karissa Murrell Myers; "Perry Street" by Lucy Thurber; and "Cephianne's Reflection" by Mallory Raven-Ellen Backstrom.

Runs through Dec. 10 at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Free. (312) 443-3800 or

Bingo + holiday = fun

Former nun and current bingo caller Mary Margaret O'Brien answers questions like: Did Santa babysit Baby Jesus? during the interactive holiday comedy "Christmas Bingo: It's A Ho-Ho-Holy Night." Vicki Quade, co-creator of "Late Nite Catechism," wrote and stars in the show.

8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 30 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. $35. (773) 404-7336 or

Julia Murray, left, plays Arran and Lois Craig plays Eilidh in "Islander," a new folk musical from Scotland presented as part of Chicago Shakespeare Theater's WorldStage Series. Courtesy of Steve Tanner
Vicki Quade plays former nun turned bingo caller Mary Margaret O'Brien in her interactive holiday comedy "Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night." Courtesy of Vicki Quade
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