'Nutcracker' for kids
Marriott Theatre gets a jump on the holiday season with its young audiences production of "The Nutcracker." It stars Dara Cameron ("Old Jews Telling Jokes") as Marie, the young girl whose Christmas gift comes to life. Devin DeSantis ("Mary Poppins") plays the Nutcracker prince in the show featuring Tchaikovsky's music with additional music and lyrics by frequent Marriott director and choreographer Marc Robin. Matt Raftery directs and choreographs.
Previews begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. The show opens Nov. 16. $15. (847) 634-0200 or marriotttheatre.com.
City on fire
Siblings Chelle and Lank find their business -- an after-hours club located in the basement of their parents' home -- and their relationship threatened by an eruption of violence in "Detroit '67," Dominique Morisseau's retelling of that city's late-1960s racial unrest through the experiences of one family. Northlight Theatre's regional premiere is helmed by Ron OJ Parson, in his Northlight directing debut.
Previews begin at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. The show opens Nov. 15. $25-$75. (847) 673-6300 or northlight.org.
Contact information ( * required )
Elmhurst native John Taflan is among the six actors performing dozens of characters in Gale Childs Daly's new adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations." Jason W. Gerace directs Strawdog Theatre's fast-paced production of Dicken's coming-of-age tale of the orphaned Pip, who's plucked from poverty and placed among London's upper-crust.
Opens at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at 3829 N. Broadway St., Chicago. $28. (773) 528-9696 or strawdog.org.
What's new in theater
• Previews begin Friday, Nov. 8, at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, for the Victory Gardens Theater and the Actors Theatre of Louisville world premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' "Appropriate." Developed partly during Ignition 2012, the drama is about three adult siblings who make some disturbing discoveries when they gather at the family's plantation to dispose of their late father's assets. Jeff Award-winner Gary Griffin makes his VGT directing debut with this production, which stars Cheryl Graeff, Keith Kupferer and Stef Tovar. The show opens Nov. 15. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.
• Profiles Theatre, 4139 N. Broadway St., Chicago, remounts its 2012 revival of "Hellcab," Will Kern's classic Chicago drama about a beleaguered cabdriver's experiences one especially stressful Christmas Eve. Paul Dillon, who starred in the original Famous Dorr Theatre production in 1992, plays the cabbie, the role he originated. Scheduled to run for 12 performances in 1992, the original "Hellcab" ran more than nine years. Profiles artistic director Darrell W. Cox returns to direct a cast of 34. The show opens Nov. 13. (773) 549-1815 or profiles theatre.org.
• Daytime performances begin Friday, Nov. 8, for Adventure Stage Chicago's restaging of "Six Stories Tall" by Marco Ramirez. Inspired by Hispanic folk tales, the family-friendly play uses comic books, video games and hip-hop to answer the question: What is a hero? The Nov. 8 performance takes place at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. Performances run Nov. 13 to 15 and 19 to 21 at Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., Chicago. (773) 342-4141 or adventurestage.org.
• The House Theatre of Chicago announces its fifth annual holiday production of "The Nutcracker," the family-friendly production by Jake Minton and Phillip Klapperich, with music by Kevin O'Donnell. Tommy Rapley directs this unique take on the holiday favorite in which Clara attempts to unite her family after the death of her older brother. Previews begin Friday, Nov. 8, at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. The show opens Nov. 17. (773) 769-3832 or thehouse theatre.com.
• Also, the House's hit show "The Magic Parlour," starring magician Dennis Watkins, has added November performances at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 15, 22 and 29, at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, 17 E. Monroe St., Chicago. Only 32 seats are available per performance. Tickets are $75. (773) 769-3832 or themagicparlourchicago.com.
• Chicago Children's Theatre hosts its Making a Scene fundraising gala beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at Germania Place, 108 W. Germania Place, Chicago. Motown recording legend Lamont Dozier ("Baby Love," "Heat Wave," "You Can't Hurry Love"), co-composer of CCT's family musical "Mr. Chickee's Funny Money," which premieres in January, is the special guest for the evening, which includes cocktails, dinner, dancing and a live auction. Tickets are $225. They're available by at (773) 227-0180, ext. 25, or jstax@chicagochildrens theatre.org.
• Oracle Productions closes its season with the next installment of "The Revenge of Radio Goggles," opening Saturday, Nov. 9, at 3809 N. Broadway St., Chicago. Admission is free (but reservations are recommended) for this salute to the golden age of radio featuring three staged version of classic episodes from "The Adventures of Philip Marlow," "The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Plot to Overthrow Christmas" starring Orson Welles in a tale about a fiends' attempts to assassinate Santa Claus. Performances run through Dec. 14. See publicaccesstheatre.org for more information.
• H.O.P.E. Productions premieres its examination of the crises impacting families, "God, I Got Issues," on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Christian Arts Auditorium, 2500 Dowie Memorial Drive, Zion. (847) 672-8596 or hopeproductionsonline.com.
• A Red Orchid Theatre's Michael Shannon ("Boardwalk Empire," "Man of Steel") co-hosts the company's fundraising gala beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at The Underground, 56 W. Illinois St., Chicago. The party features cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and an auction. Tickets are $100. A VIP dinner begins with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Sunda, 110 W. Illinois St., Chicago. The dinner also includes a sneak peek at the company's upcoming season. Tickets are $275. (312) 943-8722 or aredorchidtheatre.org.
• The Pavement Group hosts its 4th annual Black & Blue Ball, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Chicago Truborn, 1418 W. Division St., Chicago. The fundraiser includes food, spirits and dancing. Tickets are $25. A $35 donation includes a ticket to the company's current production "Harry & The Thief." See pavementgroup.org.
• Youth Company Chicago kicks off its 2013-2014 season with the Fall Family Cabaret featuring vocalist LaShera Moore, theater games for kids, finger food and a Broadway singalong. The event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at 5340 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago. Tickets are $10, $5 for children. See youthcompanychicago.org.
• Erasing the Distance, an organization that illuminates mental health issues through theater, premieres "Veterans' Voices," a play focusing on soldiers and their families. The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Filament artistic director Julie Ritchey directs the show which runs Nov. 11 to 14 and Nov. 18 to 20. See erasingthedistance.org.
• Silk Road Rising hosts a panel discussion on its current production "Paulus," an examination of the life of the Apostle Paul by playwright Motti Lerner, at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at The Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington St., Chicago. Participants include Lerner; playwright Nicholas Patricca; Rabbi Yehiel Poupko, of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago; Margaret M. Mitchell, dean of the University of Chicago Divinity School; and Steven Philip, a rabbinical student and masters candidate at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Admission is free. (312) 857-1234, ext. 201 or silkroadrising.org.
• Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, remounts its acclaimed 2011 show, "An Iliad," starring Jeff Award-winner Timothy Edward Kane, and adapted from Homer's epic by Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare. Artistic director Charles Newell directs this meditation on war, which begins previews on Wednesday, Nov. 13. The show opens Nov. 15. (773) 753-4472 or courttheatre.org.
• Bob Becker's "Defending the Caveman" returns to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights for a brief run. Performances run Thursday, Nov. 14, to Saturday, Nov. 16. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.
• Emerald City Theatre and First Stage team up for "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical," the all-ages holiday show running Thursday, Nov. 14, through Sunday, Dec. 29, at the Broadway Playhouse, Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. Adapted by director Jeff Frank from the animated TV special, the play follows the efforts of Rudolph and his friends to ensure Santa makes his appointed rounds. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.
• "Mikado," The Hypocrites' hit re-imagined adaptation of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta about a wandering minstrel in love with a young maiden and unfortunately betrothed to an old hag, returns Thursday, Nov. 14. Sean Graney adapts and directs the 80-minute remount, which runs through Dec. 29 at the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org or the-hypocrites.com.
• W.C. Turck ("Occupy My Heart, A Revolutionary Christmas Carol") presents his new satire, "The People's Republic of Edward Snowden," a fictionalized account of the life of the man accused of leaking NSA documents. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave., Chicago, and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, at the Berger Park Mansion, 6205 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago. For tickets and information, see revolutionandbeer.com.
• Previews begin Thursday, Nov. 14, for Theatre at the Center's "A Christmas Carol: The Musical," with songs by Alan Menken ("The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast"). Larry Adams stars as Scrooge in the production directed by artistic director William Pullinsi. The show opens Nov. 14 at 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Ind. (219) 836-3255 or (800) 511-1552 or theatreatthecenter.com.
• Redtwist Theatre has extended its intimate, engrossing production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Clybourne Park," Bruce Norris' contemporary response to Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun." Performances continue through Nov. 24 at 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago. (773) 728-7529 or redtwist.org.