Chicago Kids Company brings its musical version of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre as part of its family-friendly, educational series Stories in Action!
Performances begin at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, April 2, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $12-$14. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.
Broadway veteran Stephen R. Buntrock ("Oklahoma," "Beauty and the Beast") stars as Emile de Becque opposite Elizabeth Lanza's Nellie Forbush in the Marriott Theatre revival of "South Pacific" inspired by James Michener's short stories about U.S. sailors and nurses stationed on a South Seas island during World War II. The responsibility for realizing the lush Rodgers and Hammerstein score falls to music director Ryan T. Nelson and choreography to Matt Raftery.
Previews begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. The show opens Wednesday, April 10. $40-$48. (847) 643-0200 or marriotttheatre.com.
Drury Lane Theatre's production of "Oliver!" is proving to be a family affair with director Rachel Rockwell helming a revival that features her mother, Glory Kissel, and her son, Jake Helm, in the cast; her husband, Garth Helm, is the sound designer. The all-star cast also features Fox Valley Repertory artistic director John Gawlik s Bill Sikes opposite Heidi Kettenring's Nancy, John Reeger as Fagin, J.D. Rodriguez as Artful Dodger and Brady Tutton as the orphaned Oliver whose journey from living among thieves to living in the lap of luxury is accompanied by humor, heartbreak and bloodshed.
Previews begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. The show opens Thursday, April 11. $35-$49. (630) 530-0111 or drurylane.com.
Other theater events:
• Abuse, secrets and conflict that have plagued a family for generations manifest into a supernatural creature that threatens the birthday party three sisters are throwing for their mother in "Maria/Stuart." Sideshow Theatre Company presents the Chicago premiere of Jason Grote's dark comedy directed by Marti Lyons. Previews begin Saturday, March 30, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens Thursday, April 4. (773) 975-8150 or sideshowtheatre.org.
• Previews begin Saturday, March 30, for The Annoyance Theatre's "Manic Pixie Dreamland," a new musical about a stereotypical female character whose "sole purpose is to teach depressed male leads to embrace life's mysteries and wonders." The show opens April 6 at 4830 N. Broadway St., Chicago. (773) 561-4665 or theannoyance.com.
• The Filament Theatre Ensemble inaugurates its weekly concert series on Monday, April 1, at the company's new home at 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Ensemble member and Jeff Award winner Peter Oyloe and Marc Walloch of the Chicago band Company of Thieves kick off the series at 7 p.m. Admission is free (but donations are accepted) for the performances, which will run the first Monday of every month. (773) 270-1660 or filamenttheatre.org.
• Chicago hosts the pre-Broadway premiere of "Big Fish," the new musical inspired by the 2003 film based on Daniel Wallace's 1998 novel, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and book by John August. Tony Award winner Susan Stroman directs the fantasy about a man who -- as his life draws to a close -- seeks to know the real man behind his father's self-created myths. Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz stars. Previews begin Tuesday, April 2, at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago. The show opens April 21. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.
• The national tour of 2011's Broadway musical "Catch Me If You Can," adapted from the film about a teenage con artist and the FBI agent who pursues him, begins in previews on Tuesday, April 2, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.
• Previews begin Thursday, April 4, for Steppenwolf Theatre Company's world premiere of "Head of Passes," by ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney ("The Brother/Sister Plays"). The action takes place in the marshlands at the mouth of the Mississippi River dubbed Head of Passes, where guests (and ghosts) gather to celebrate the birthday of matriarch Shelah. Inspired by the biblical book of Job, "Head of Passes" reunites McCraney with "The Brother/Sister Plays" director Tina Landau. The show opens April 13 at 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
• Estranged siblings Bo and Ally arrive home for their father's funeral to find their mother has painted everything in the house white, which causes them to question their mother's mental health in Samuel D. Hunter's "A Permanent Image." LiveWire Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center team up for the Chicago premiere of this play about a broken family. Executive director Joshua Aaron Weinstein directs the show, which begins previews Thursday, April 4, at The Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph St., Chicago. The show opens April 6. (312) 533-4666 or livewirechicago.com or livewirechicago.brownpapertickets.com.
• The culture minister of a fictitious Middle Eastern country commissions an American architect to "build him a thing of beauty, something to remind him of his happiest childhood memories" until politics and pop culture get in the way in Howard Korder's "In a Garden." Lou Contey helms A Red Orchid Theatre's Chicago premiere beginning previews Thursday, April 4, at 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago. The show opens April 8. (312) 943-8722 or aredorchidtheatre.org.
• Hell in a Handbag Productions begins its 11th season of camp-inspired parodies with "L'imitation of Life." A drag adaptation of the film "Imitation of Life" by Ricky Graham with Running With Scissors Theater Company, the melodrama examines race and the relationship between mothers and daughters. Previews begin Thursday, April 4, at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens April 6. (800) 838-3006 or handbagproductions.org.
• Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland Ave., Chicago, remounts its production of "The Word Progress on My Mother's Lips Doesn't Ring True" in advance of its five-city Romanian tour of Matai Visniec's avant-garde drama examining the psyche of the refugee. Performances run Thursday, April 4, to April 13. (773) 384-0494 or trapdoortheatre.com.
• The City Life Supplement, a comedy-variety show inspired by "The Prairie Home Companion," will be part of Steppenwolf Theatre's Garage Rep after party performances beginning at 11 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at the Steppenwolf Garage, 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (312) 335-1650 or citylifesupplement.org.
• Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, recently introduced its new late-night, multimedium, storytelling revue titled "The Inconvenience Presents ..." The monthly revue takes place the fourth Saturday of each month. Tickets are $6 in advance, $8 at the door. (773) 975-8150 or theaterwit.org.
• Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, has extended its production of David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Proof" starring Chaon Cross as a brilliant young mathematician who fears she has inherited her father's (Kevin Gudahl) genius as well as his mental instability. Performances continue through April 14. (773) 753-4472 or courttheatre.org.
• Lifeline Theatre will present four world premieres as part of its 2013-2014, but begins on Sept. 6, with a remount of the company's brilliant 2004 production of "The Killer Angels" adapted from Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the Battle of Gettysburg told from the perspective of Union and Confederate soldiers. Next up is ensemble member Christopher M. Walsh's adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" (Feb. 14-April 6, 2014). Terry Pratchett's novel "Monstrous Regiment" runs May 30-July 20, 2014. Ensemble member Chris Hainsworth adapted the darkly comic novel about "the absurdities of war and the ambiguities of identity" in which a young woman who disguises herself as a man and enlists in the army after her brother is reported missing in action. Lifeline's KidSeries opens Oct. 19, with a new musical "Click, Clack, Boo! A Tricky Treat" premiering in conjunction with the production of the Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin book about Duck, Pig, Cow and Hen attempting to throw a Halloween party despite Farmer Brown's objections. Next up is the musical based on Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith's "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs" (Jan. 11-Feb. 16, 2014). The series concludes with the world premiere of "Lyle Finds His Mother" (March 22-April 27, 2014) about a devious showman who invites Lyle to meet his mother in the land of crocodile. Season subscriptions and single tickets are available at the Lifeline box office, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, (773) 761-4477 or lifelinetheatre.com.
• Raven Theatre announced the appointment of Kelli Strickland as its new executive director. Strickland will take over in June after she completes her Kennedy Center fellowship in arts management. "Kellie brings leadership, expertise and creativity along with a deep connection with Raven. It's hard to find the administrative skill set and the passion for both theater and arts education," said Raven board president Carol Zsolnay in a prepared statement.
• Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire announced its original production of the Jeff Award-winning "Hero: The Musical" by Aaron Thielen and Michael Mahler, will have a production next month in Sarasota, Fla., courtesy of the Asolo Repertory Theatre. David H. Bell directs.