Spotlight: Family-friendly ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus’ opens at Marriott

From page to Marriott stage

A determined Pigeon eager to drive longs to take the wheel from the Bus Driver in the Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences production of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.” Adapted from Mo Willems’ children’s book, the hourlong musical is directed by Lorenzo Rush Jr. Matty Bettencourt plays the Pigeon and Lydia Burke plays the Bus Driver. Previews at 10 a.m. Friday through Sunday, July 12-14, and Thursday and Friday, July 18-19, at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. The show opens July 20. $15.75. (847) 634-0200 or

Theater at the Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum’s summer Walking Plays presents “House at Pooh Corner,” an adaptation of A.A. Milne’s tale about the adventures Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, Tigger and Eeyore share with their friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. Note: Performances may require some walking. 6-8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, July 13 through Aug. 25, at 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. $25 for adults; $15 for kids 2-17; free for kids 2 and younger.

New play readings

Six playwrights participating in Goodman Theatre’s yearlong New Stages Residency program will share their in-progress works, which include “Nightbirds” by Terry Guest and NJ Draine, “Disillusioned” by Brynne Frauenhoffer, “Leftover Men” by Rammel Chan and Matthew C. Yee, and a new play by Dolores Diaz, starting this week. 7 p.m. Friday, July 12, Sunday, July 14, and July 19 and 22 at the Alice Rappoport Center for Education and Engagement, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Free, but reservations are required. (312) 443-3800 or

A tuner ‘worthy of the gods’

Upon discovering he’s a demigod, teenager Percy Jackson embarks upon an epic quest to find Zeus' missing lightning bolt and prevent a war among the gods in Otherworld Theatre’s “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.” Adapted from Rick Riordan’s 2005 novel, the musical is by composer/lyricist Rob Rokicki and writer Joe Tracz. Tiffany Keane Schaefer and Collin Borisenko direct. Opens at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 12-13, and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. $40.

Cast members rehearse for Citadel Theatre's family-friendly “Cinderella … Really?,” a musical adaptation of the Grimm Brothers' tale. Courtesy of Citadel Theatre

Fairy tale for the family

Citadel Theatre presents “Cinderella … Really?” Mark Adamczek’s outdoor, family-friendly musical adaptation of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale. Theatergoers are encouraged to bring their own blankets, chairs and snacks. 3 and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14 and 20; 6 p.m. July 19; and 3 p.m. July 21 at 350 N. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. $15.

A salute to physical theater

The 11th annual Physical Theater Festival showcasing contemporary, physical theater from Brazil, France, the United Kingdom and Mexico takes place at Chicago parks and indoor venues. In addition to performances, the fest includes workshops and panels. 1-7 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at Nichols Park, 1355 E. 53rd St., Chicago. Free. 1-3 p.m. July 20 at Wrigley Plaza in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago. Free. Performances through July 21 at Theatre Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago and Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio St., Chicago. $100 for a six-ticket festival pass; $85 for artists, veterans, seniors and students. Individual tickets: $22.75; $17.75 for artists, veterans, seniors and students. for the schedule.

Caitlyn Cerza and Joe Giovannetti star in Kokandy Productions’ Midwest premiere of “Alice by Heart.” Courtesy of Collin Quinn Rice

Midwest ‘Alice’ premiere

Kokandy Productions presents the Midwest premiere of “Alice by Heart,” a musical inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by the Tony Award-winning duo of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik (“Spring Awakening”) and writer Jessie Nelson (“Waitress”). Set during World War II’s London blitz, the musical centers on Alice (Caitlyn Cerza) and her best friend Alfred (Arlington Heights native Joe Giovannetti) who seek solace from Carroll’s novel while they take refuge from the German bombardment in the underground tube station. Previews at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 18-19, and July 20, 25, 26, 27 and Aug. 1, and 5 p.m. July 21 and 28 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. The show opens Aug. 2. $25-$55.

Improv at Goodman

TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi — masters of the long-form improv — make their Goodman Theatre debut. The acclaimed improvisers step onstage without a plot or characters and improvise an hourlong comedy. They’re joined by singer/songwriter/guitarist Ike Reilly. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, July 18-20, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. $20-$40. (312) 443-3800 or

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