Theater events: 'Peter and the Starcatcher' makes regional premiere at Drury Lane
ComedySportz in the 'burbs
ComedySportz, the long-running interactive improv ensemble, begins a summer residency this weekend at the Leela Arts Center in Des Plaines. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, and continue Friday and Saturday through Sept. 12 at 620 Lee St., Des Plaines. $15-$25. (800) 838-3006 or leelaartscenter.com.
Fox Valley Repertory examines the search for a soul mate in "Maybe Baby It's You." A romantic comedy revue that chronicles modern relationships from the first blush of romance to the end of the marital line, the show stars Joseph Galizia and Marika Mashburn. Brigitte Ditmars directs. Previews at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. Opens Aug. 29. $32, $42. (630) 584-6342 or foxvalleyrep.org.
Peter Pan prequel
Artistic director William Osetek helms Drury Lane Theatre's regional premiere of "Peter and the Starcatcher," the Tony Award-winning coming-of-age play with music by Rick Elice ("Jersey Boys"). Based on the 2004 novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, this "Peter Pan" prequel chronicles the transformation of a 13-year-old orphan into the heroic "Boy Who Never Grew Up." Caleb Donahoe makes his Chicago-area debut as the Boy, while Chicago Shakespeare Theater veteran Matt Mueller plays the pirate Black Stache. Previews begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, at 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. Opens Sept. 3. $40-$55. (630) 530-0111 or drurylane.com.
• Previews begin Friday, Aug. 21, for Profiles Theatre's Midwest premiere of "The Jacksonian" by Beth Henley. Set in 1964 in the town of Jackson, Mississippi, the darkly comic suspense tale centers on respectable dentist Bill Perch, whose downward spiral commences after his wife kicks him out and he moves into the seedy Jacksonian Motel. Joe Jahraus directs the production, which ushers in the company's 27th season when it opens Aug. 27 at Profiles main stage at 4139 N. Broadway St., Chicago. (773) 549-1815 or profilestheatre.org.
• Terra Nova Collective and the Playground Theater in association with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events presents the world premiere of "Don Chipotle." Written by Juan Francisco Villa ("Empanada for a Dream") and inspired by "Don Quixote," the play is the coming-of-age tale of a Latino superhero in which two 11-year-old urban boys struggle to right the world's wrongs. The production, which includes puppetry, animation and music, begins previews on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at the Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph St., Chicago. The show opens Aug. 29. Singing in the children's choir are 12-year-old North Aurora native/Geneva resident Audrey Webb and 12-year-old Hampshire native Jessica Farfan. See adventuresofdonchipotle.com or tix.com.
• Portland, Oregon, trio Box of Clowns performs the show "Mom? A Comedy of Mourners" about a trio of clown siblings who find humor at their mother's funeral. The group performs at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.
• Rita Lyons' husband is dying, her children are floundering and she can't decide on a living room redesign. All those problems come to a head in "The Lyons," a dark family comedy by Nicky Silver. AstonRep Theatre Company presents the Chicago premiere directed by ensemble member Derek Bertelsen. Previews begin Thursday, Aug. 27, at The Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens Aug. 30. (773) 828-9129 or astonrep.com.
• Hunter Lindner, a 2014 graduate of North Central College in Naperville, co-stars in "Glory Days," the 2008 musical about four young men coming-of-age, in a Chicago-area premiere courtesy of newcomer Refuge Theatre Project. Rounding out the four-person cast are Roy Brown, Billy Rude and Brad Atkinson. Previews begin Thursday, Aug. 27, at Collaboraction, Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See refugetheatre.com.
• American Theater Company named as its new managing director Dee Sandt, who had been managing director for Synchronicity Theatre in Atlanta since 2012. ATC board president Art Cunningham welcomed Sandt to the staff saying in a prepared statement "she has a terrific track record of taking each theater she's managed to the next level and will play a pivotal role in ATC's growth as we begin our 31st season."
• Griffin Theatre announced it will open its 28th season with the Midwest premiere of "Pocatello" (Nov. 7-Dec. 13 at Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice Ave., Chicago), Samuel D. Hunter's comedy about the manager of an Italian chain restaurant living in a small town transformed by big box stores and strip malls. Ensemble member Jonathan Berry directs. That's followed by "London Wall" (Jan. 9-Feb. 14, 2016, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago), a rarely performed romantic drama by British playwright John Van Druten ("I Am a Camera," "Bell Book and Candle") about the lives of female office workers in 1930s London. The season concludes with the Chicago premiere of "Bat Boy: The Musical" (June 4-July 24, 2016, at The Den Theatre) by writers Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming and composer/lyricist Laurence O'Keefe. Based on a tabloid newspaper story, "Bat Boy" is about a half bat/half boy creature discovered in a Virginia cave and the attempts by a local family to make him a "normal boy." Additionally Griffin Theatre will present a workshop premiere in spring 2016 of "The Bristol Sessions" about a series of 1927 recording sessions that marked a key moment in the evolution of country music. Tickets for all shows go on sale at a later date. See griffintheatre.com.
• Remy Bumppo Theatre Company "takes a bite out of the unknown" during its 2015-2016 season examining the concept of change and new ideas. The season begins Sept. 24 with Caryl Churchill's "Love and Information" about romance in the Internet age. That's followed on Nov. 25 by Noel Coward's 1925 comedy "Fallen Angels," about two happily married women who encounter the former lover both of them shared. The season concludes with Bertolt Brecht's "The Life of Galileo" (March 23-May 1, 2016), an examination of how knowledge threatens the power structure in a translation by David Hare. The drama centers on the great Italian scientist, astronomer and philosopher Galileo Galilei who was forced by the Vatican to recant his defense of Copernicus' model of planets revolving around the sun. Performances take place at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Subscriptions and single tickets are available. (773) 404-7336 or remybumppo.org.
• Shattered Globe Theatre kicks off its 25th season with Scott McPherson's "Marvin's Room" (Oct. 1-Nov. 14). It's about a woman caring for her elderly father who learns she has leukemia and reaches out to her estranged sister for a bone-marrow transplant, a request that reopens old wounds. Previews begin Jan. 14, 2016, for Rajiv Joseph's "Animals Out of Paper" about how lives are transformed when a teacher and origami fan convinces a noted origami artist to mentor a troubled teenager. The season concludes with a production of "In the Heat of the Night" (April 21-June 4, 2016). Adapted from John Ball's novel by Matt Pelfrey, it's the racially charged tale of an African-American detective investigating a murder in a segregationist town in 1965 Alabama. Performances take place at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Tickets will be available at a later date. (773) 975-8150 or shatteredglobe.org. In other Shattered Globe news, ensemble member David Dastmalchian co-stars as Kurt in the Paul Rudd action-adventure film "Ant-Man" and ensemble member Joseph Sikora plays Tommy Egan in the Starz drama "Power," alongside Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Omari Hardwick.
• In addition to its 12th annual production of "The Santaland Diaries" (Nov. 20-Dec. 27), Theater Wit's 2015-2016 season includes a new version of Madeleine George's 2014 Pulitzer Prize finalist "The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence." Previews begin Sept. 17 for the time-shifting comedy about a computer programmer named Watson eager to find love who develops a new artificial intelligence at the same time Watson the computer competes in its first Jeopardy tournament. The play then flashes back to 1891 and Dr. Watson's first case without his partner Sherlock Holmes, then to 1876 and the first voice communication at Bell Labs. On Feb. 25, 2016, Theater Wit stages the Midwest premiere of Alena Smith's "The New Sincerity" about a young journalist who gets involved in an Occupy-inspired movement at the same time she gets sucked into a love triangle. In addition to its main stage season at the company's home at 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, Theater Wit's acclaimed production of Joshua Harmon's comedy "Bad Jews" reopens Aug. 28 at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St., Chicago. In lieu of subscriptions, Theater Wit offers patrons a monthly membership that allows them to see as many productions as they like at the Belmont Avenue space -- including those by resident and itinerant companies -- for a monthly fee of $36, $22 for students. Theater Wit also offers a 10-play Flex Pass for $215, which includes admission to any play presented at the building. Single tickets go on sale about two months before each production's first preview. (773) 975-8150 or theaterwit.org.
• The Other Theatre Company, which focuses on the stories of marginalized communities, announced its second season opens with the world premiere of "Daughters of Ire" (Sept. 2-20), about legendary Irish women by ensemble member Savanna Rae. That's followed on Dec. 2 by the world premiere of the holiday-themed "Barney The Elf," company member Bryan Renaud's parody of the film "Elf" with "a very queer twist." Next up is the world premiere of "Other Letters" (Feb. 7-29, 2016), inspired by A.R. Gurney's "Love Letters." Then there's "The Hole" (April 13-May 8, 2016), which incorporates stories from former female prisoners. Performances take place at The Side Project, 1429 W. Jarvis Ave., Chicago. Ticket are available online at buzzstage.com or theothertheatrecompany.com.