Goodman stages 'Meet Vera'
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage examines Hollywood's perpetration of African-American stereotypes during the 1930s and what black actors endured to have a film career in the satire "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark." Chuck Smith directs Goodman Theatre's Chicago-area premiere starring Tamberla Perry and featuring Patrick Clear, who last appeared together in Goodman's "Race."
Previews begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The show opens May 6. $25-$81. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.
Davidoff at Zanies
"Chelsea Lately" and Comedy Central regular Dov Davidoff headlines two shows this weekend at Zanies in Rosemont. He recently appeared on NBC's short-lived series "Raines" and in the film "Invincible" with Mark Wahlberg.
8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, at Zanies, MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont. $25, plus a two-item food or beverage minimum. (847) 813-0484 or zanies.com.
Raven Theatre revives the Neil Simon coming-of-age comedy "Brighton Beach Memoirs," the first in the trilogy that also includes "Biloxi Blues" and "Broadway Bound." Charlie Bazzell (Court, RedTwist theaters) stars as a teenager growing up poor in a crowded house just before World War II. JoAnn Montemurro and Ron Quade play his parents. Maine West High School junior Elizabeth Stenholt plays his young cousin Laurie, who comes to live with the family with her mother and sister after her father dies.
Previews begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, at 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens May 6. $22-$45. (773) 338-2177 or raventheatre.com.
Also in theaters:
• Chicago's second oldest Equity ensemble, American Blues Theater concludes its 27th season with "Collected Stories," Donald Margulies' chronicle of the professional and personal relationship between a celebrated New York writer (Carmen Roman) and her protégé (Gwendolyn Whiteside) over six years. The mother-daughter team of Mary Ann Thebus and Jessica Thebus direct the play, which opened this week at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. See americanbluestheater.com for tickets.
• John O'Toole brings his solo show "Split," about what happens when people get off a train the wrong way, to the Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted St., Chicago, Fridays through May 25. Also at the Playground, Phat Beethoven perform their show "Boy Geniuses." (773) 871-3793 or the-playground.com.
• Four British women rent a castle on an Italian island and spend a month contemplating their lives and relationships in "Enchanted April," adapted by Matthew Barber from Elizabeth Von Arnim's novel. Citadel Theatre Company ensemble member Scott Phelps directs the production, which opens Friday, April 26, at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. (847) 735-8554 or citadeltheatre.org.
• On its 45th anniversary, American Theater Company revives the musical "Hair" by Galt MacDermot (music) and James Rado and Gerome Ragni (book and lyrics). Director PJ Paparelli and Rado describe their production of the tribal love rock musical as containing original, never-before-seen material. Previews begin Friday, April 26, at 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago. The show opens May 6. (773) 409-4125 or atcweb.org.
• The Duke of Vienna turns over governance of his morally corrupt dukedom to the seemingly righteous Angelo then disguises himself in order to observe Angelo's cleanup in Shakespeare's problematic "Measure for Measure," which also finds a young nun pleading the case of her brother who's accused of impregnating his fiance. Director Jack Dugan Carpenter sets Saint Sebastian Players' production in the Southern U.S. during the 1970s. Performances begin Friday, April 26, at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey Ave., Chicago. (773) 404-7922 or saintsebastianplayers.org.
• Trap Door Theater, 1655 W. Cortland St., Chicago, revisits the legend of Faust with "Core of the PUDEL" in which a man sells his soul to Mephistopheles in exchange for intellectual enlightenment. He believes he got the better end of the bargain until he falls in love with a beautiful girl. Performances of the play, conceived and directed by Thom Pasculli, begin Friday, April 26. See trapdoortheatre.com for tickets.
• "Wizard Quest," a new musical inspired by fantasy board games, begins previews on Friday, April 26, at the Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway St., Chicago. Kellen Terrett directs the musical, which unfolds during game night at Skeech's Comics featuring an oddball group that includes community college students, a former athlete and a mysterious woman among others. (773) 561-4665 or annoyanceproductions.com.
• About Face Theatre celebrates its 17th anniversary on Friday, April 26, at its annual fundraiser titled Wonka Ball 2013: Circus Maximus, a "three-ring party of colossal entertainment and excessive elegance." The event runs from 8 to 11 p.m. at Architectural Artifacts, 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago. The evening includes dancing, dinner, a silent auction and the presentation of several awards. Tickets are $135. (773) 784-8565 or aboutfacetheatre.com.
• The Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights hosts its annual fundraising gala from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Rolling Green Country Club, 2525 E. Rand Road, Arlington Heights. Tickets are $125 per person and include hors d'oeuvres, drinks, dinner, dancing and a preview of the upcoming season. Proceeds help to fund productions and the Metropolis performing arts school. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.
• Newcomer Lost Note Theater Company presents as its inaugural production a concert version of the musical "I Can Get It for You Wholesale," by writer Jerome Weidman and composer/lyricist Harold Rome. The musical is about a cutthroat businessman determined to conquer the New York garment trade. Performances are at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 27, and 7 p.m. April 30 and May 1, at Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway, Chicago. See brownpapertickets.com for tickets and facebook.com/lostnotetheatrecompany for information.
• The International Voices Project showcasing playwrights from around the world presents three performances of "The Sultan's Dilemma" based on Tawfiq Al-Hakim's tale about a slave who ascends the throne but is sold and must subsequently earn his freedom. Performed in Arabic with English subtitles, performances are at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 27, and Monday, April 29, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at the University of Chicago, International House, 1414 E. 59th St., Chicago. (773) 250-7055.
• The Inconvenience presents its latest storytelling installment at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. "Urban Lore: Take It to Your Grave" features guest including Theater Wit's Jeremy Wechsler and Inconvenience's Brian Rad telling bizarre tales that could only happen in a city. (773) 975-8150 or theaterwit.org.
• Speaking of storytelling, Short Story Theatre, comprised of north suburban writer/performers, hosts a fundraiser to benefit Northbrook's Cancer Wellness Center on Sunday, April 28, at the Szechwan Kingdom, 545 Waukegan Road, Northbrook. Dinner begins at 6:15 p.m., followed by storytelling at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $50. See shortstorytheatre.com.
• Chicago Shakespeare Theater will present the first Chicago-area professional production of Shakespeare's "Henry VIII," about the king's divorce from Katherine of Aragon and his marriage to Anne Boleyn, which prompted the establishment of the Church of England. Artistic director Barbara Gaines helms the production, which stars Kate Buddeke, David Darlow, Kevin Gudahl, Ora Jones, Scott Jaeck and Mike Nussbaum, with Gregory Wooddell as Henry. Previews begin Tuesday, April 30, at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. The show opens May 8. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com.
• Shattered Globe Theatre salutes Samuel Beckett in a double-bill featuring Beckett protégé and former San Quentin state prison inmate Rick Cluchey performing the one-act "Krapp's Last Tape," about a man tracking his life via audiotapes he has made each year on his birthday. The double bill also includes Cluchey's own solo piece "Sam & Rick," which chronicles his experiences with the Irish playwright. Performances run Thursday, May 2-May 12, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 327-5252 or shatteredglobe.org.
• An American expatriate living on a Greek island with his young wife has his idyllic life interrupted by the arrival of a former lover in Sheila Callaghan's "Lascivious Something," beginning previews on Thursday, May 2, at 1802 W. Berenice Ave., Chicago. The show, helmed by co-artistic director Ronan Marra, opens on May 4. (773) 698-7389 or signalensemble.com.
• Commedia Beauregard presents Master Works: The Van Gogh Plays, a mini-fest of original, short plays inspired by the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh from May 2-5 at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. (800) 838-3006 or cbtheatre.org.
• Performances begin Thursday, May 2, for Pegasus Theatre's world premiere "If You Split a Second," an examination of crime and punishment by Chicago playwright Dana Lynn Formby. The two-hander is about a man who has it all then throws it away during a moment of rage and winds up in prison as a result. "I am fascinated in the concept that we are defined by the decisions we make. What we do in a moment can redefine who we are," said Formby in a prepared statement. Pegasus artistic director Ilesa Duncan directs the show, which opens May 7, at the Leo Lerner Theatre, 4520 N. Beacon St., Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or pegasusplayers.org.
• Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, offers $10 tickets to its circus musical "Barnum" on rainy days through the end of April. Call (773) 325-1700 or see mercurytheaterchicago.com and use the code "April."
• About Face Theatre Company has named Andrew Volkoff as its new artistic director. Volkoff, former associate artistic director of Massachusetts' Barrington Stage Company and Genesius Theatre Group in New York City, succeeds Bonnie Metzgar. "In About Face, I saw an organization founded in strong LGBTQA tradition by Eric Rosen and Kyle Hall and strengthened under the leadership of Bonnie Metzgar," said Volkoff in a prepared statement. "I look forward to collaborating with ATF's talented group of artistic associates as well as other local and national artists ... Additionally I want to expand the successful model of About Face's unparalleled youth program."
• The 60-year-old Sarah Siddons Society of Chicago announced that it will honor five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as the recipient of its 2013 Artist of the Year Award on Monday, June 17, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chicago. "She is, without a doubt, one of our great American actor-singers," said Siddons artistic director Dominic Missimi in a prepared statement. For tickets and information, call Sherry Hoel at (773) 248-4860.