Spotlight: ‘Beetlejuice’ and The Beatles tribute return to Chicago stages

At Broadway in Chicago

• Two touring shows return to Chicago this week, including “Rain — A Tribute to the Beatles,” a concert experience including costumes and visuals that celebrates the legendary band. 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at The CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago. $41.50-$71.50. broadwayinchicago.

• Six months after it first played Chicago, “Beetlejuice,” the musical adapted from Tim Burton’s 1988 film about a comically malevolent ghost hired by a recently deceased couple to rid their home of its new residents, including a quirky teenage daughter, returns for a brief run. 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, and Thursday, May 23; 1 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 22; 7:30 p.m. May 24; 1 and 7:30 p.m. May 25; and 1 p.m. May 26 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago. $49-$239.

Libby Conkle plays Viva in The Conspirators production of “Viva la Mort.” Courtesy of Logan Conner, Oomphotography

Pop icon re-connects with ex

Aging pop star Viva returns to her Michigan hometown where she encounters her ex in “Viva la Mort,” a play with music by The Conspirators co-founder Sid Feldman that questions Viva’s motives. Is she returning out of the goodness of her heart or to exact revenge? Wm. Bullion directs The Conspirators’ production. The show opens at 7 p.m. Friday, May 17, at Otherworld Theatre, 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. $30. or

A new take on ‘Next to Normal’

The South Asian Institute, in collaboration with Pop Up! Productions, stages a South Asian version of “Next to Normal,” Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical about mental illness and its impact on a family. Nina Jayashankar plays Diana, matriarch of a biracial Hindu-Punjabi South Asian family, who is dealing with bipolar disorder. Adrian Thornburg plays her husband, Dan, and Asha Grace and Arjun Shah co-star as their children Natalie and Gabe. The show opens at 8 p.m. Friday, May 17, at the South Asia Institute, 1925 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. $35-$55. (312) 929-3911 or

Jackalope Theatre premiere

Jackalope Theatre premieres “The Singularity Play,” Jay Stull’s dramedy rooted in artificial intelligence technology that examines human-AI interactions. Set in an empty room at Google headquarters, the play centers around a group of theater artists who are rehearsing a play generated by an advanced AI named “Denise.” Georgette Verdin directs. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18; Monday, May 20; and Wednesday, May 22, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at Berger Park, 6205 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago. The show opens Thursday, May 23. $15-$35. (773) 340-2543 or

Glen Ellyn native Erica Stephan, currently playing Sarah Brown in Drury Lane Theatre's “Guys and Dolls,” is among the Second City Divas performing in a Season of Concern benefit Monday, May 20, in Chicago.

Second City Divas support Season of Concern

Some of the Chicago area’s brightest theater artists — including McKinley Carter, Mary Ernster, Cory Goodrich, Marya Grandy, Angela Ingersoll, Heidi Kettenring, Donica Lynn, Susan Moniz, Harriet Nzinga Plumpp, Peggy Roeder, Erica Stephan, Malkia Stampley and Bethany Thomas, among others — perform Broadway classics and pop and soul hits during the upcoming Season of Concern benefit concert. This marks the first time in five years these Second City divas have united in song to benefit Season of Concern, an organization that offers financial assistance to theater professionals coping with incapacitating health concerns such as illness, injury and mental health issues. 7 p.m. Monday, May 20, at the Studebaker Theater, Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. $25-$100. (312) 753-2100, ext. 102, or

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