Spotlight: Aurora’s Paramount Theatre revives Tennessee Williams’ classic ‘Streetcar’

‘Streetcar’ revival

Paramount Theatre’s BOLD series concludes its second season with a revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Tennessee Williams’ classic about a fading Southern belle who takes refuge at the New Orleans home of her younger sister and her sister’s brutish husband. Amanda Drinkall plays Blanche, Alina Taber plays Stella and Casey Hoekstra plays Stanley Kowalski in Copley Theatre’s revival directed by Jim Corti and Elizabeth Swanson. Previews at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, March 13-14; 8 p.m. Friday, March 15; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 16; and 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, March 17, at 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. The show opens March 20. $40-$55. (630) 896-6666 or

Steppenwolf Theatre’s premiere of Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ “Purpose” stars Harry Lennix, left, Alana Arenas, Glenn Davis, Jon Michael Hill, Tamara Tunie (standing) and Ayanna Bria Bakari. Courtesy of Joel Moorman

Steppenwolf premiere

Two-time Tony Award-winner Phylicia Rashad directs Steppenwolf Theatre’s premiere of “Purpose,” Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ drama about a politically influential Black family whose youngest son returns home with an uninvited friend, forcing everyone to face their faith and family legacy. Previews at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, March 14-15, and March 19-21; 3 and 7:30 p.m. March 16 and 23; and 3 p.m. March 17 at 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The show opens March 24. $20-$102. (312) 335-1650 or

Comedic thriller

A playwright and his young former student attempt to kill each other in order to claim authorship of the mystery on which they collaborated in “Deathtrap,” Ira Levin’s hit comedy thriller in a revival at BrightSide Theatre. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 8-9, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10, and through March 24 at the Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth, Naperville. $35-$40. (630) 447-8497 or

Salute to Sondheim

Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre presents a “Sondheim Tribute Review,” produced in association with MTI and the Sondheim estate. “This is the story of Sondheim,” said director Fred Anzevino in a prepared statement. “You’ll be able to watch the evolution of his work and gain a sense of how he grew as a composer.” The revue includes songs from “Anyone Can Whistle,” “Company,” “Sweeney Todd” and other musicals. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 8-9; 6 p.m. Sunday, March 10, and Thursdays through Sundays through April 28 at 721 Howard St., Evanston. $30-$59. (773) 939-4101or

City Lit doubleheader

City Lit Theater presents “Two Hours in a Bar,” a double-bill of one-act plays consisting of “Waiting for Tina Meyer” and the premiere of “Text Me.” “Waiting for Tina Meyer,” by Kristine Thatcher (with material by Larry Shue) is about best friend actors (a man and a woman) waiting in a bar for a woman named Tina who the man expects to meet. “Text Me,” a musical commissioned by City Lit as a “Waiting for Tina Meyer” companion piece, is about 21st-century dating entangled with 21st-century technology. Previews at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, March 8-9 and 15-16, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. The show opens March 17. $25-$34. (773) 293-3682 or

Whose role is it?

Should any actor have an opportunity to play any role? Writer/director/actor J. Elijah Cho (“Halt and Catch Fire”) poses that question in his solo show, “Mr. Yunioshi,” an examination of yellowface, which involves Caucasian actors playing Asian characters. Inspired by Mickey Rooney’s infamous performance as Mr. Yunioshi in the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Cho asks the question: What compels an actor to play a character that they really probably shouldn’t be playing? 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $35. (847) 577-2121 or

Irish standup at Oil Lamp

Writer/comedian Adam Burke, a regular on National Public Radio’s “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me,” performs selections from his latest album, “Weaponized Empathy,” as part of Oil Lamp Theater’s Sham RockStars. The Irish-themed comedy show, produced in cooperation with The Laughing Academy, also features Peter-john Byrnes. 7 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at 1723 Glenview Road, Glenview. $25. (847) 834-0738 or

Life after Broadway

The Woodstock Opera House welcomes actor/musician and Broadway veteran Eric Gutman in his solo show, “Eric Gutman: From Broadway to Obscurity.” Gutman, who spent nearly three years playing multiple roles in “Jersey Boys,” chronicles his career, shares behind-the-scenes tales and examines what happened after he left New York to live his true dream. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at 121 W. Van Buren St., Woodstock. $25-$50. (815) 338-5300 or

Broadway tuners return

Two Broadway musicals return to Chicago this week: Lincoln Center Theater’s acclaimed production of Lerner & Loewe’s “My Fair Lady” and “Pretty Woman,” the musical adaptation of the hit 1990 film that premiered here in 2018. “My Fair Lady” runs Tuesday through Sunday, March 12-17, at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago. $27-$98. “Pretty Woman” runs Tuesday through Sunday, March 12-17, at the CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago. $20-$100.

Rom-com premiere

About Face Theatre stages the Midwest premiere of “The Brightest Thing in the World,” Leah Nanako Winkler’s romantic comedy chronicling the relationship between barista Lane and her regular customer Steph and the real-world challenges they face. Previews at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, March 14-15, and March 21; 3 and 8 p.m. March 16; and 3 p.m. March 17 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The show opens March 22. $5-$35 (pay-what-you-can).

Alternative ‘Macbeth’ perspective

“Macbeth” inspired Idle Muse Theatre Company’s “What the Weird Sisters Saw.” Adapted from William Shakespeare’s tragedy by artistic director Evan Jackson and Tristan Brandon (originally produced in 2009), it tells of Macbeth’s bloody rise and swift fall from the perspective of Shakespeare’s three witches. Previews at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, March 14-15, at the Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave., Chicago. The show opens March 16. $20, $30. (773) 340-9438 or

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