Spotlight: First Folio premieres 'Frankenstein'-inspired drama

  • Courtney Abbott co-stars in First Folio Theatre's premiere of "The Jigsaw Bride" by ensemble member Joseph Zettelmaier.

    Courtney Abbott co-stars in First Folio Theatre's premiere of "The Jigsaw Bride" by ensemble member Joseph Zettelmaier.

 
 
Posted10/8/2021 6:00 AM

The Creature's bride

Young Justine (Heather Chrisler) awakens in a ruined castle in the Swiss Alps without a clue as to how she got there except for the scars on her body and a pair of mismatched eyes. She attempts to piece together her memories with help from scientist Maria von Moos (Courtney Abbott) in "The Jigsaw Bride: A Frankenstein Story" by First Folio Theatre ensemble member Joseph Zettelmaier, who also penned the horror-themed plays "The Gravedigger," "Dr. Seward's Dracula" and "The Man-Beast." Hayley Rice directs the First Folio premiere.

 

Previews at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, and 3 and 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 31st St., Oak Brook. The show opens Oct. 15. $29-$59. COVID-19 precautions: Proof of vaccination and/or a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the performance, or a negative antigen test the day of the performance required. Masks required. (630) 986-8067 or firstfolio.org.

Poe's 'Madness'

Oak Park Festival Theatre revives "The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe: A Love Story," a promenade adaptation of the writer's stories and poems by First Folio Theatre executive director David Rice. Bryan Wakefield directs a cast that includes Christian Gray in the titular role and Erica Bittner as Poe's beloved wife, Virginia, whose death inspired the writer's madness.

Previews at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 13-14, at Pleasant Home, 217 Home Ave., Oak Park. The show opens Oct. 15. $25-$44. COVID-19 precautions: Proof of vaccination, masks required. (708) 300-9396 or oakparkfestival.com.

Black Button Eyes Productions stages the internet musical "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," featuring Kevin Webb as the titular doctor.
Black Button Eyes Productions stages the internet musical "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," featuring Kevin Webb as the titular doctor. - Courtesy of Derek Van Barham
Black Button Eyes benefit

Black Button Eyes Productions resumes in-person performances with a benefit production of the 2008 web series "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" by Joss Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon. Producing artistic director Ed Rutherford directs the musical about a wannabe supervillain who plots to defeat his nemesis Captain Hammer, win the girl of his dreams and join the Evil League of Evil. Proceeds from the production benefit Season of Concern.

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The preview is 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway Ave., Chicago. The show opens Saturday, Oct. 9. $30. COVID-19 precautions: Proof of vaccination, masks required. See blackbuttoneyes.com.

Linda Reiter, left, and Aila Ayilam Peck play friends and former inmates in Shattered Globe Theatre and Interrobang Theatre Project's Chicago co-premiere of "This Wide Night."
Linda Reiter, left, and Aila Ayilam Peck play friends and former inmates in Shattered Globe Theatre and Interrobang Theatre Project's Chicago co-premiere of "This Wide Night." - Courtesy of Joe Martinez
Friends forever?

Shattered Globe Theatre in collaboration with Interrobang Theatre Project present the Chicago-area premiere of "This Wide Night," Chloe Moss' drama inspired by true stories of women incarcerated in the United Kingdom. It centers on Lorraine, who after her release from prison after 12 years, seeks out her former cellmate Marie who isn't exactly eager to welcome Lorraine back into her life. Shattered Globe's Aila Ayilam Peck and Linda Reiter star as Marie and Lorraine.

Previews at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8-9, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11. $25-$45. COVID-19 precautions: Proof of vaccination and/or a negative PCR test within 48 hours of the performance, masks required. (773) 975-8150, theaterwit.org or sgtheatre.org.

In other news

Check with theater companies or venues regarding COVID-19 admission requirements including masking, proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID-19 test.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Previews continue for "Recipe for Disaster," Windy City Playhouse's new immersive production conceived by award-winning chef Rick Bayless, artistic director Amy Rubenstein and associate artistic director Carl Menninger. Previews for director David H. Bell's production continue through Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Petterino's, 150 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The "food-filled farce" unfolds on an "influencer night" at a popular restaurant where the head chef is sick, the health inspector arrives unannounced, a spy from a competing restaurant may have infiltrated the staff, and a busboy is hiding a wild pig. Tickets range from $75 to $130. See windycityplayhouse.com.

• Chicago Shakespeare Theater's new production of "As You Like It" pairing William Shakespeare's comedy with Beatles love songs continues previews at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. The show opens Oct. 15. Tickets range from $49-$90. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com.

• In time for Halloween, "Grimm," a new play by Michael Dalberg combining several fairy tales including "Rumpelstiltskin" and "Little Red Riding Hood" among others, previews Friday, Oct. 8, at the Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave., Chicago. The show opens Saturday, Oct. 9. Tickets are $15-$23. See theatreatl.org.

• Visión Latino Theatre Company premieres "Y Tu Abuela, Where is She? Part I: Cuando Me Muera" at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, as part of the Destinos Festival. An examination of racism and identity by Nelson Diaz-Marcano, the play tells the story of interracial couple Adalina and Xavier who have an opportunity to modify the genes of their unborn child. Problems arise when it comes time to determine what color skin their child should have. Previews begin Friday, Oct. 8. The show, for ages 14 and older, opens Monday, Oct. 11. Tickets are $30-$60. (773) 697-3830 or thedentheatre.com.

• Comedian Moses Storm ("Arrested Development," "This is Us") headlines two shows at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. He performs at 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9. Tickets are $26. Also at The Den Theatre, Maria Bamford, star of the Netflix comedy series "Lady Dynamite" and ABC's "Fresh off the Boat," headlines Thursday, Oct. 14, through Oct. 17. Tickets range from $25 to $55. (773) 697-3830 or thedentheatre.com.

• Chicago Children's Theatre marks National Indigenous People's Day at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11, with the premiere of its original film "The Relocation of Nokwsi." Created, written and narrated by Robert Hicks Jr., the film is set during the 1950s and 1960s when the Bureau of Indian Affairs established a relocation program to encourage Native Americans to relocate to urban areas to "assimilate into mainstream society." The play centers on the experiences of a young man named Nokwsi who moves to the city. See chicagochildrenstheatre.org.

• Lewis University will stage a production of "N," by former Hoffman Estates High School math teacher David Alex, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, at Philip Lynch Theatre, Oremus Fine Arts Center, One University Parkway, Romeoville. The 2019 play is about an African American woman's Caucasian caregiver -- who is also an actor -- who refuses to use the N-word in a play he's rehearsing. See lewisu.edu. The play also will be streamed at luartsandideas.org/streaming_2021-22/N_10-12-2021.html.

• First Flight Theatre Company kicks off its season with a benefit streaming production of "Theodosia's A Midsummer Night's Dream," adapted and directed by Frank Farrell. Set in 1782, it's about Aaron Burr's new bride who falls asleep and dreams she is in William Shakespeare's comedy. The play will be streamed Wednesday, Oct. 13, through Oct. 17. Donations start at $10. See showtix4u.com/event-details/56679. Also, First Flight will present "Dickens by Candlelight" an adaptation of "A Christmas Carol." Upcoming productions include a play by Zora Neale Hurston in February 2022 followed by "The Group" by Mercy Otis Warren in March 2022. See firstflighttheatreco.com.

• Trap Door Theatre's 28th season continues with its online production of "Dinner With Marx," comprised of musical videos inspired by the poetry of Romanian playwright, Matei Visniec. The production begins streaming Friday, Oct. 15, at trapdoor.ticketleap.com/dinner-with-marx. Tickets are $10.

• Food Network veteran Alton Brown brings his show "Alton Brown Live -- Beyond the Eats" -- which combines cooking and comedy -- to the CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago, at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16. Tickets start at $25. See broadwayinchicago.com or altonbrownlive.com.

• Collaboraction hosts its in-person, annual fundraiser titled The Utopian Ball beginning at 6 p.m. Oct. 23 at Venue West, 221 N. Paulina St., Chicago. Tickets are $250 and include cocktails, dinner, performances and a DJ. LeeAnn Trotter, of NBC Chicago, hosts. (312) 226-9633 or collaboraction.org.

• Steel Beam Theatre has named Catie Early as its new managing director. A director and stage manager for the Children's Theatre of Elgin, Early is currently serving her second term as the children's theater's board president.

• Amber D. Montgomery, whose assistant directing credits include Goodman, Shattered Globe, Timeline and Steppenwolf theaters, has been named Shattered Globe Theatre's associate artistic director.

• Applications are due by Nov. 15 for the The League of Chicago Theatres' Samuel G. Roberson Jr. Resident Fellowship, a grant awarded to fund a Black artist's residency at a Chicago theater. This year's award is earmarked for a director who will work with a host theater to produce a workshop or full production of a play or musical. The director will receive $20,000 for the residency and the host theater will receive $7,500 to support the director. See leagueofchicagotheatres.org for eligibility and requirements.

• The Chicago Inclusion Project -- a collective of artists committed to facilitating inclusive experiences and hiring practices throughout Chicago theater by bringing together artists and audiences normally separated by ethnic background, economic status, gender identity, physical ability and countless other barriers -- hosts a virtual workshop titled "Being Anti-Racist: An Active Action" on Nov. 5. See thechicagoinclusionproject.com.

• Redtwist theatre announced its upcoming season, which begins this week with Stephen Karam's "The Humans," also will include Lucas Hnath's "Isaac's Eye" (March 17-April 24, 2022) about Sir Isaac Newton's attempts to make a seminal discovery and Sophocles' "Antigone" (May 19-June 25, 2022) about a woman prepared to fight the patriarchy to give her brother a proper burial. The season also includes another play to be determined set to run Jan. 6-Feb. 14, 2022. Performances take place at 1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. A four-performance flex pass is $99. See redtwisttheatre.org.

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