Theater events: McAninch stages Shakespeare, Twain double-bill this weekend
Double bill in DuPage
The McAninch Arts Center presents a comedy-tragedy double bill of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" and Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" courtesy of New York City's The Acting Company and Minnesota's Guthrie Theater. "Macbeth" is at 8 p.m. Friday, March 20, and "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" is at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. $39-$49. (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org.
Life and fashion
First Folio Theatre's season continues with "Love, Loss and What I Wore," a series of sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant vignettes based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, in which several women discuss milestone life moments and the role fashion played in them. Ensemble members Melanie Keller and Hayley L. Rice appear, alongside Lydia Berger and Barbara Figgins. The revival is helmed by artistic associate Rachel Lambert. Previews begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook. The show opens March 28. $22-$39. (630) 986-8067 or firstfolio.org.
Motel farce at FVR
A pair of undercover cops try to catch a corrupt mayor in "Unnecessary Farce," a comedy by actor/writer Paul Slade Smith -- a veteran of Goodman, Drury Lane and Marriott theaters -- that features mistaken identities, slamming doors and falling pants. Ronan Marra, of Signal Ensemble Theatre, directs Fox Valley Repertory's revival. Previews begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 26, at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. The show opens April 4. $32, $42. (630) 584-6342 or foxvalleyrep.org.
Other theater events
• Stage 773 presents David Ives' sextet of one-act comedies "All in the Timing," performed by six Chicago ensembles, as part of its Spring One-Act Festival. Works include the boy-meets-girl comedy "Sure Thing," the "Twilight Zone"-inspired "The Philadelphia" and "Variations on the Death of Trotsky," about the famed revolutionary's last day. Featured ensembles include: Hobo Junction, Organic Theater Company, (Re) Discover Theatre, The Ruckus, Red Theater and Stage 773. Performances begin Friday, March 20, and run Fridays through April 17 at 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 327-5252 or stage773.com.
• The Seldoms examine the relationship between political power and social change in an interdisciplinary theatrical piece centered around President Lyndon B. Johnson and titled "Power Goes." Performances run Friday through Sunday, March 20-22, and March 26-29, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago. (312) 397-4010 or mcachicago.org.
• Environment Encroachment, a performance group that incorporates circus arts and music in its interactive productions, performs at 11 a.m. Friday, March 20, at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, and 11 a.m. Saturday, March 21, at Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago. The free, family-friendly performances are part of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Juicebox series. (312) 744-3316 or chicagoculturalcenter.org.
• The New Colony hosts a free cabaret/open mic event titled Show & Tell at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 20, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See thenewcolony.org.
• The Actors Gymnasium hosts a benefit performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston. "Circuscope Magnified" includes the closing performances of the company's latest show "Circuscope" along with a special access reception featuring drinks, desserts and a raffle. (847) 328-2795 or actorsgymnasium.org/support-us/benefit-performance.
• A silverback gorilla named Ivan, a dog named Bob and a young human team up to save an endangered baby elephant named Ruby in Katherine Applegate's children's book "The One and Only Ivan." Lifeline Theatre ensemble member James E. Grote adapted the 2012 best-seller for the company's KidSeries. Performances begin Saturday, March 21, at 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. (773) 761-4477 or lifelinetheatre.com.
• Singer/actress Annaleigh Ashford ("Kinky Boots," "Masters of Sex") performs her show "Lost in the Stars," featuring music by Stephen Sondheim and Kurt Weill, and songs made popular by Donna Summer and Alanis Morrisette, at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. Music director Will Van Dyke and The Whiskey 5 Band also perform. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.
• Pegasus Theatre Chicago performs a concert reading of August Wilson's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., Chicago. The reading is part of the citywide August Wilson Celebration produced by The Goodman Theatre. A concert reading of Wilson's "Seven Guitars" follows at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, at Chicago State University, 9501 S. King Drive, Chicago. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.
• The Annoyance Theatre presents "Improvised Twilight Zone" at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-9693 or theannoyance.com.
• Chicago Children's Theatre brings its production "Red Kite, Blue Sky," geared toward children with autism, to Harrison Park, at 1824 S. Wood St., Chicago, on Saturday and Sunday, March 21-22. Performances are at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The tour concludes March 27 and 28 at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Drive, Chicago. (773) 227-0180, ext. 15, or chicagochildrenstheatre.org.
• The House Theatre of Chicago hosts its third annual Secret Soiree at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, 17 E. Monroe St., Chicago. The event, honoring Broadway in Chicago president Lou Raizin, features a magic performance by ensemble member Dennis Watkins, along with cocktails and a silent auction. (773) 769-3832 or thehousetheatre.com.
• As children, three Scottish boys befriended a young outsider who told magical fairy tales. Years later, they reunite to try to piece together the disappearance of their friend in Douglas Maxwell's "Our Bad Magnet." Mary-Arrchie Theatre re-stages its 2008 Jeff Award-nominated production, with original director Carlo Lorenzo Garcia, as the opening production of its 29th season. Previews begin Tuesday, March 24, at Angel Island, 735 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago. The show opens March 26. (866) 468-3401 or maryarrchie.com.
• Previews begin Tuesday, March 24, for Theater Oobleck's "Song About Himself," a new play by Mickle Maher set in "a dystopian near future." It's the story of a woman looking for human interaction who logs onto a social media site created by "a rogue artificial intelligence." The play opens March 27 at the Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph St., Chicago. See theateroobleck.com.
• Previews begin Wednesday, March 25, for Remy Bumppo's revival of Tom Stoppard's "Travesties," about an elderly British civil servant who reminisces about his time in 1917 Zurich and his experiences with James Joyce, Vladimir Lenin and Dadaist poet Tristan Tzara. Artistic director Nick Sandys directs the comedy, which opens March 30, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 244-8119 or remybumppo.org.
• Genesis Theatrical Productions presents the Chicago-area premiere of "Creation's Birthday," Cornell University professor Hasan Padamsee's play about how American astronomer Edwin Hubble and a moonshine-making janitor challenged Albert Einstein's theory of the universe. Performances begin Thursday, March 26, at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. (773) 935-6975 or genesistheatricals.com or athenaeumtheatre.org.
• Playwright Elaine Romero examines the roles several people play in a soldier's death while also looking at the impact a killing has on a soldier in "Graveyard of Empires," which centers on a predator-drone, friendly-fire incident in the Middle East. Performances of 16th Street Theater's world premiere production begin Thursday, March 26, at North Berwyn Park District, 6420 16th St., Berwyn. The show, the first in Romero's war trilogy, opens April 2. The second, "A Work of Art," will be a joint production between Chicago Dramatists and Goodman Theatre. (708) 795-6704 or 16thstreettheater.org.
• Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre has extended its production of the Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Jesus Christ Superstar," which stars Arlington Heights native Max DeTogne in the titular role. Performances run through May 17 at No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. (800) 595-4849 or theo-u.org.
• Actress Emjoy Gavino, a casting consultant on several Chicago-area theater projects over the last three years, has joined The Gift Theatre as its new casting director. "What draws me most to The Gift is its ability to tell stories with as much honesty and simplicity as possible, and as so beautifully put in The Gift's mission statement: revealing the joy and pain of being human," Gavino said in a prepared statement.
• The League of Chicago Theatres announced recently that participating theaters sold more than 9,500 tickets during last month's third annual Theatre Week celebration. That represents an increase of 21 percent over 2014 sales. "Theatre Week 2015 far exceeded our expectations and brought an increased visibility to the 11-day celebration and the theater industry as a whole," said Deb Clapp, executive director of the League of Chicago Theatres in a prepared statement.
• The Hypocrites recently announced that its trio of Gilbert and Sullivan productions will be remounted around the country. "Mikado" runs at Massachusetts' American Repertory Theater this month. "Pirates of Penzance" runs at California's Berkeley Repertory Theater in October and "H.M.S. Pinafore" goes to The Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky, in November.
• The world premiere of Nicholas Rudall's translation of Aeschylus' "Agamemnon" and the Midwest premiere of Richard Bean's comedy "One Man, Two Guvnors" mark Court Theatre's 61st season, which was announced recently. It begins Sept. 10 with director Ron OJ Parson's revival of August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean," the first in the playwright's century cycle about Aunt Ester who tries to cleanse the soul of a murderer by taking him on a spiritual journey to the mythical City of Bones. That's followed by "Agamemnon" (Nov. 5-Dec. 6), about the bloody homecoming of the king who 10 years earlier sacrificed his oldest daughter Iphigenia to the gods in exchange for fair winds. Artistic director Charles Newell directs the Midwest premiere of Terry Teachout's one-man show "Satchmo at the Waldorf" (Jan. 7-Feb. 7, 2016), in which the legendary Louis Armstrong reminisces about his career after one of his final performances. Playwright David Auburn directs Eugene O'Neill's semi-autobiographical "Long Day's Journey Into Night" (March 10-April 10, 2016), about the members of the Tyrone family uncovering unsettling secrets over the course of a traumatic day. The 2015-16 season concludes with "One Man, Two Guvnors" (May 12-June 12, 2016), a comedy with music starring Timothy Edward Kane based on the comedia dell-arte play "Servant of Two Masters." Subscriptions range from $90 to $280. Individual tickets go on sale Aug. 1 and are available at the box office at 5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, by phone at (773) 753-4472 or online at courttheatre.org.
• Goodman Theatre announced its 2015-16 season, which includes the first, post-Broadway production of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning "Disgraced" and a revival of Lorraine Hansberry's lesser-known play, "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window." Previews begin Sept. 12 in the Albert Theatre for "Disgraced," Ayad Akhtar's examination of Muslim American identity under director Kimberly Senior, who helmed the world premiere several years ago at Chicago's American Theater Company. On Sept. 19, the world premiere of Charise Castro Smith's "Feathers and Teeth" begins previews in the Owen Theatre. Henry Godinez directs the comic thriller about a 13-year-old girl who believes her father's live-in fiance is evil. The Goodman-commissioned world premiere of "Another Word for Beauty" (Jan. 16-Feb. 21 in the Albert) is Jose Rivera's drama about female prisoners in Colombia who compete in a beauty pageant intended by their jailers as rehabilitation. Thornton Wilder's "The Matchmaker," about a late 19th-century New York widower who recruits the vivacious Dolly Levi to find him a wife, runs March 5 to April 10, 2016, in the Albert. That's followed by another Goodman commission, "Carlyle" (April 2-May 1, 2016, in the Owen), a dark political comedy by Thomas Bradshaw about an African-American Republican. Next up is Hansberry's last play, "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window," about a man who buys an alternative newspaper to express his point of view and finds himself at odds with his artistic-minded friends and neighbors. It runs April 30 to June 5, 2016, in the Albert. Rebecca Gilman's play "Soups, Stews and Casseroles: 1976" gets its Chicago premiere under artistic director Robert Falls, beginning May 21, 2016, in the Owen. The play is about a woman who must decide if she will risk the enmity of her longtime co-workers and family by accepting a promotion from her company's new owners, whose new policies leave everyone fearing for their livelihoods. The season concludes June 25, 2016, with director Mary Zimmerman's production of "Wonderful Town," Leonard Bernstein's musical homage to New York City. Additionally, Goodman pairs its 38th annual production of "A Christmas Carol," in the Albert from Nov. 14 to Dec. 27, with a remount of The Second City's seasonal sendup "Twist Your Dickens, or Scrooge You!" Dec. 4-27, in the Owen. Lastly, the theater hosts the world premiere of Robert Falls and Seth Bockley's adaptation of Roberto Bolano's novel "2666" (Feb. 6-March 20, 2016), about a group of European academics pursuing an elusive author who end up in a Mexican border town where the murders of hundreds of women have remained unsolved. Performances take place at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Season subscriptions are available. Individual tickets go on sale in August. They're available at the box office, (312) 443-3800 and goodmantheatre.org.