Theater spotlight: Buffalo Theatre Ensemble stages first world premiere

Buffalo Theatre premiere

Buffalo Theatre Ensemble stages its first world premiere, “Into the Earth With You,” a sibling drama by Brian Watkins. Ensemble member Kurt Naebig directs the play about three sisters who try to reconcile their relationships with each other and with the past following the death of the grandfather who raised them. Ensemble members Lisa Dawn, Laura Leonardo Ownby and Kelli Walker star. The preview is at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at the McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. The show opens May 3. $44. (630) 942-4000 or

17th-century tragedy revived

Newcomer Blue in the Right Way theater makes its Chicago-area debut with a new adaptation of “Women Beware Women,” from 17th-century playwright Thomas Middleton’s bloody tragedy of the same name about infidelity, betrayal, sexual assault and false friendship. Kevin V. Smith directs this queer, feminist examination of gender violence. Previews at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28, at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway, Chicago. The show opens Monday, April 29. $20-$40.

Tony Award nominee Megan Hilty plays actress Madeline Ashton in Broadway in Chicago's pre-Broadway premiere of “Death Becomes Her.”

‘Death Becomes Her’ premiere

Broadway in Chicago presents the Broadway-bound “Death Becomes Her,” adapted from the dark 1992 comedy starring Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis. Tony Award nominees Megan Hilty and Jennifer Simard star. Hilty plays successful actress Madeline Ashton and Simard plays writer Helen Sharp, whose boyfriend Madeline steals, inspiring Helen to exact revenge on her longtime frenemy. Tony winner Christopher Gattelli directs and choreographs Noel Carey and Julia Mattison’s score and Marco Pennette’s book. Previews at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, through Saturday, May 4, and through May 18 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. The show opens May 19. $33-$113.

Tony Award nominee Jennifer Simard plays writer Helen Sharp in Broadway in Chicago's pre-Broadway premiere of “Death Becomes Her.”

Other shows returning to Chicago include:

• The 25th anniversary tour of “Mamma Mia!” running Tuesday, April 30, through May 19, at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago. $82.50-$182.50.

• “The Simon and Garfunkel Story,” a concert-style theater tribute show that runs Tuesday, April 30, through May 5, at the CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago. $25-$85.

Dakota Hughes plays Li’l Orphan Arnie in Hell in a Handbag's musical theater sendup “Poor People! The Parody Musical.” Courtesy of Rick Aguilar Studios

Musical theater sendup

Hell in a Handbag’s 22nd season continues with the premiere of “Poor People! The Parody Musical,” a sendup by ensemble member Tyler Anthony Smith of very expensive Broadway tuners centered around impoverished people, including “Annie,” “Oliver,” “Les Miserables” and “Sweeney Todd.” Previews at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, May 2-4, and May 9, and 4 p.m. May 5 at The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. The show opens May 10. $25-$60.

Red Orchid premiere

Two-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon returns to his artistic home A Red Orchid Theatre for the premiere of “Turret.” Ensemble member Levi Holloway’s post-apocalyptic play is about two men hiding from who-knows-what in an underground facility somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Founding ensemble member Shannon co-stars with artistic director Travis A. Knight and founding ensemble member Lawrence Grimm. Previews at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 2-3, and also May 8-10; 3 and 7 p.m. May 4 and 11; and 3 p.m. May 5 at The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. The show opens May 12. $45-$70. (312) 943-8722 or

One-act play fest

The Artistic Home presents its 21st “Cut to the Chase” festival of new, one-act plays. Of the seven featured works ranging from drama to dark comedy to sci-fi, five are world premieres and two are Chicago premieres. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, May 2-4, and 3 p.m. May 5 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. $20. (773) 697-3830 or

New at the Neo-Futurists

The Neo-Futurists examine controversial phenomenon as part of their latest production, “Cult Show.” Created by Jasmine Henri Jordan and Audrey Polinski, the show features a surprise guest nightly. Masks are required. 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, May 2-25, at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. $25. (773) 878-4557 or

Continuing at Steel Beam

Steel Beam Theatre’s revival of “Steel Magnolias” runs at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through May 12 at 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. $22-$28. (630) 587-8521 or

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