'Jungle Book' debut
Goodman Theatre presents its long-awaited premiere of "The Jungle Book," inspired by Rudyard Kipling's stories and the 1967 Disney animated film. Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman adapted and directs the show, with music direction by Jeff Award winner Greg Peck and a score by Academy Award-winner Richard M. Sherman that combines swing with Indian music and includes such film favorites as "Bare Necessities" and "Trust in Me."
Previews begin at 8 p.m. Friday, June 21, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The show opens Monday, July 1. $34-$105. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.
There's no reason to fear Shakespeare, not with The Eclectic Theater Company dispensing the wit and wisdom of the Bard's 37 plays in less than two hours in "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)." The company brings this condensed version of the Bard's comedies, tragedies and histories, as well as his pesky problem plays, to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre as part of a comedy series showcasing performers and companies from throughout the Chicago area.
Performances begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $30. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.
Various Chicago area parks, including Lisle's Morton Arboretum, stand in for the French countryside when Theatre-Hikes presents its production of Ken Ludwig's "The Three Musketeers" based on Alexandre Dumas' 19th century swashbuckler. Bradley Baker directs, with fight choreography by Greg Poljacik.
Opens at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23, at the North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski, Chicago; free. (312) 744-5472. 1 p.m. July 6-28, at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle; $13-$19. (630) 735-2066. 1 p.m. Aug. 3-4 at the Pullman State Historic Site, 11111 S. Forestdale Ave., Chicago. $7.50/$15. See theatre-hikes.org.
• Collaboraction celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Flat Iron Arts Building, home to several dozen artists, some small businesses and the Collaboraction Theatre Company, with a two-night performance event comprised of 11 original short plays commemorating each decade of the building's existence. Titled The Decades Project: Celebrating 100 Years of the Flat Iron Arts Building, it takes place at 10 p.m. Friday, June 21, and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Participating playwrights include: Tanya Saracho, Ronan Marra, Brett Neveu, Laura Jacqmin and Ike Holter among others. $25, $15 with student identification. See collaboraction.org.
• Using dance and live music, Chicago Tap Theatre tells a story about a fictional young man who becomes seduced by the gangster lifestyle embodied by Chicago mobster Boss Brady. Director/choreographer Harrison McEldowney helms the 1920s-inspired show "Mama's Boy," written and narrated by poetry slam founder Marc Smith. Performances run Friday through Sunday, June 21-23 and June 28-30, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 327-5252 or stage773.com or chicagotaptheatre.com.
• GayCo Productions presents an improv comedy in honor of Gay Pride Month and support marriage equality titled "Married But Still Slutty." It runs Friday and Saturday, June 21-22, and June 28-29, at The Playground Theatre, 3209 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (773) 871-3793 or gayco.com.
• Chicago-area musical theater veterans Michael Ingersoll ("Jersey Boys") and his wife, Angela Ingersoll ("The 39 Steps"), bring their cabaret show "My Baby Just Cares for Me" to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. The duo perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22. $40, $45. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.
• Oracle Productions concludes its third season of free, public-access theater with Clifford Odets' classic 1935 play "Waiting for Lefty" about corporate corruption and inspired by the New York City taxicab drivers strike in 1934. Matt Foss directs the production, which begins performances on Saturday, June 22, at 3809 N. Broadway, Chicago. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. See publicaccesstheatre.org.
• Griffin Theatre Company hosts its family friendly GriffinFest, a celebration of the company's 25th anniversary, from 1 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at 1940 W. Foster Ave., Chicago. The event includes music, entertainment food and beer tent, trampoline, dunk tank, face painting and games. Admission is $10, $5 for children younger than 16. See griffintheatre.com.
• Tap Man Productions presents "The Traveling Tap Dance Super Show" at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. (847) 677-7761 or gorillatango.com.
• Black Ensemble Theater hosts its first International Theater Festival featuring film, dance and music with discussions following each performance. The festival opens Sunday, June 23, with "Curfew," a multimedia dance production from North Africa choreographed and performed by Karim Tonsy, that continues through Tuesday, June 25. Tomorrow Pictures Inc. production of the Romanian film, "After the Fall -- HIV Grows Up," runs July 21-22. The festival concludes August 25-26, with a show to be determined. Performances take place at 4450 N. Clark St., Chicago. (773) 769-4451 or blackensemble.org.
• Erasing the Distance, a not-for-profit organization devoted to raising awareness of mental health issues, presents "Outspoken: A Call for LGBTQ Voices," a performance and storytelling event at 6 p.m. Monday, June 24, at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The performance consists of stories about an incest survivor, a young gay man confronting family violence and a transgender woman dealing with sexual and emotional abuse. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. They're available at etdoutspoken.brownpapertickets.com.
• Chicago Shakespeare Theater partners with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago to present Picolo Teatro di Milano's production of "Inner Voices," as part of CST's World's Stage series. The 1948 play by Eduardo De Filippo centers on man who dreams so vividly the murder of a friend, that he believes a neighbor's family actually committed the crime. Performances run June 25-29 at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com.
• A Filipino American family coping with the loss of their matriarch finds familiar bonds tested when a longtime secret comes to light in "Mahal," a new play about cultural identity, assimilation and relationships by Bailiwick Chicago Theater resident playwright Danny Bernardo. Erica Weiss directs Bailiwick Chicago's world premiere production, which begins previews Wednesday, June 26, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens June 28. (773) 327-5252 or stage773.com.
• Previews begin Wednesday, June 26, for The Artistic Home's world premiere of senior playwright Scott Woldman's "Beaten." The play centers on a housebound young woman, the victim of domestic violence, who is cared for by her cancer-stricken, pot-smoking grandmother and her tightly wound mother. Ensemble member Katherine Swan directs the production, which opens June 30, at 1376 W. Grand Ave, Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or theartistichome.org.
• The 61st season of Theater on the Lake continues Wednesday, June 26, at Fullerton Avenue and Lake Michigan, in Chicago with Manuel Cinema's "Lula del Ray," a feature-length shadow play by Brendan Hill about a lonely girl who leaves home to follow the soulful country music duo she hears on the radio. Performances run through Sunday, June 30. (312) 742-7994 or chicagoparkdistrict.com.
• Young American expats enjoy a seemingly idyllic life in a multiethnic Paris neighborhood until tension develops between them and their Senegalese landlords in Amy Herzog's thriller "Belleville." Anne Kauffman, who staged the world premiere at the Yale Repertory Theater two years ago, directs Steppenwolf Theatre's Chicago-area premiere, which begins previews on Thursday, June 27, at 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The show opens July 7. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
• Lance Baker reprises his Jeff Award-winning role in Theater Wit's 2007 hit "Thom Pain (based on nothing)," Will Eno's play about a perfectly ordinary man searching for answers to his own life questions. Previews begin Thursday, June 27, at 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens July 2. (773) 975-8150 or theaterwit.org.
• The Ruckus Theater presents the world premiere of Scott T. Barsotti's "Facing Angela," which the playwright wrote 10 years ago and reworked during a recent Ruckus workshop. It centers on a woman who has lost her face and acquires a new one, which impacts her relationship with her husband, Wes, and alters her sense of self. Kyra Lewandowski directs the play, which begins previews on Thursday, June 27, at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. The show opens June 29. See ruckustheater.org.
• Short Story Theatre presents an evening of tales about fathers and sons beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at Cellar Gate, 524 Sheridan Road, Highwood. (847) 748-8086 or shortstorytheatre.com.
• Mary-Arrchie Theatre has extended its acclaimed production of Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie." Performances of director Hans Fleischmann's production continue through July 28 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 975-8150 or theaterwit.org or maryarrchie.com.
• Profiles Theatre, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago, has extended its world premiere production of Neil LaBute's revised version of his dark comedy "In the Company of Men." Steppenwolf Theatre's Rick Snyder directs the play about young executives who take out their frustrations over their stalled careers and bad luck with women on an unsuspecting secretary. Performances run through July 28. (773) 549-1815 or profilestheatre.org.
• The deadline to apply for membership in Goodman Theatre's playwright's unit for 2013-2014 is July 1. Participating playwrights receive a commission fee and a midseason reading at Chicago Dramatists in January 2014. The one-year residency concludes with a final public reading at the Goodman in June 2014. See goodmantheatre.org/about/play-submissions for more information.
• Northlight Theatre recently appointed as its new artistic associate director Kimberly Senior, whose relationship with the Skokie theater began more than 12 years ago. Senior recently directed "The Whipping Man" and will direct "4000 Miles" during the upcoming season. "Northlight has been a home to me for many years and I am thrilled to begin a more formal relationship to this great Chicago company," Senior said in a prepared statement.
• Oak Brook's First Folio Theatre offers boxed suppers for theatergoers attending this summer's productions of "Cymbeline" and "The Rainmaker." To order, call (630) 986-8067.
• Strawdog Theatre Company recently announced its 26th season, which begins Aug. 26, with Tom Murphy's 1985 play "Conversations on a Homecoming" about a man who returns to his native Galway, Ireland, after 10 years to find his romantic view of the past colliding with the reality of the present. Griffin Theatre's Jonathan Berry directs. Next up is Gale Childs Daly's adaptation of Charles Dickens "Great Expectations" (Nov. 11-Dec. 13), in which six actors play 40 characters in this classic tale of an impoverished orphan given the chance to ascend to the upper class and possibly obtain the love of his life. The season concludes with the world premiere of Phillip Dawkins' "Miss Marx: or the Involuntary Side Effect of Living" (Feb. 24-March 29, 2014), about Eleanor Marx, the youngest daughter of Karl Marx charged with being the standard-bearer of his legacy. Performances take place at 3829 N. Broadway, Chicago. Subscriptions and single tickets are available at (773) 528-9696 or strawdog.org.
• The Artistic Home opens its 2013-2014 season on Oct. 6, with the world premiere stage adaptation of Paddy Chayefsky's "The Goddess," about a beautiful young woman who pursues fame during Hollywood's golden era, hoping the adulation of fans will make up for a lifetime of heartache. That's followed by French playwright Jean Cocteau's farce "Les Parents Terribles" (March 2-April 13, 2014), about the love triangles and forbidden attractions within one dysfunctional family. The season concludes with Sam Shepard's family drama "The Late Henry Moss" (June 22-Aug. 4, 2014), about two brothers sifting through their memories to uncover the truth of their childhoods and the death of their father. Performances take place at the company's theater at 1376 W. Grand Ave., Chicago. For information on subscriptions and single tickets, see theartistichome.org or call (312) 243-3963.
-- Barbara Vitello