Theater events: Marriott snags Broadway team for 'Honeymoon in Vegas'
Marriott Theatre scored a coup for its regional premiere of "Honeymoon in Vegas," snagging the original Broadway team of director Gary Griffin, choreographer Denis Jones and costume designer Brian Hemesath. Based on the 1992 film, the musical centers on Jack and Betsy, whose plans for a Vegas wedding are upended by gambler Tommy, who promises to forgive Jack's gambling debt if Betsy spends the weekend with him. Michael Mahler and Samantha Pauly star as the young couple. Sean Allan Krill, a veteran of the Broadway cast, plays Tommy. Previews begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. The show opens Aug. 30. $50-$60. (847) 634-0200 or marriotttheatre.com.
Girls night at Metropolis
The Second City brings "Girls Night Out," its female-driven sketch comedy revue, to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre for a limited run. The show, which runs through Sept. 2, is part of the theater's comedy series. Opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $30, $35. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.
Laurel Krabacher appears in The Second City revue "Girls Night Out" at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.
- Courtesy of Tim Schmidt
An aspiring rocker from Detroit and an aspiring actress from Kansas fall in and out of love while trying to save a fabled rock club on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip in "Rock of Ages," the campy, good-natured sendup of 1980s rock 'n' roll excess featuring hits by Journey, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon and Pat Benatar. Russell Mernagh and Cherry Torres star as the young lovers in Drury Lane Theatre's regional premiere of the jukebox tuner by writer Chris D'Arienzo. Previews begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, at 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. The show opens Sept. 7. $43-$60. (630) 530-0111 or drurylanetheatre.com.
Other theater events
• The third annual Chicago Musical Improv Festival continues through Sunday, Aug. 20, at iO Chicago, 1501 W. Kingsbury St., Chicago. Comedy legend Dickie Smothers, of Smothers Brothers fame, joins the cast of The Musical Armando as guest monologuist at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18. Smothers also participates in a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19. About 40 improv groups from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia and Kansas City will perform during the festival. (312) 929-2401 or chicagomusicalimprovfestival.com.
• One of the highlights of Music Theater Works' revival of "Gypsy" promises to be conductor Roger L. Bingaman's 25-member orchestra playing Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim's score. Mary Robin Roth plays Rose, the consummate stage mother to Louise (newcomer Lexis Danca), who finds success not as a vaudeville actress but as a stripper. The production opens Saturday, Aug. 19, at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston. (847) 920-5360 or musictheaterworks.com.
• A young woman, unlucky in love and unhappy at work, embraces a new career as a medium in "Reading Emily West," a new play by Schaumburg native Michael Pirovano and Vacketta Herzog. Performances run Friday through Sunday, Aug. 18-20, at the Pendulum Space, 1803 W. Byron St., Chicago. See readingemilywest.com.
• The 25th anniversary national tour of "Defending the Caveman," Rob Becker's comic examination of how men and women view relationships, comes to the Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. Ben Tedder stars in the MadKap Productions show at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20. (847) 677-7761 or skokietheatre.org.
• "Jihad Against Violence: Oh Isis Up Yours" -- Fawzia Afzal-Khan's "feminist response to the hijacking of Islam by patriarchal extremists" -- is the next in Silk Road Rising's Crescent and Star reading series chronicling Arab and Muslim experiences. The reading is at 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Aug. 19-20, at the Chicago Historic Temple, 77 W. Washington St., Chicago. (312) 857-1234 or silkroadrising.org.
• Walkabout Theater Company presents several free performances of "A Persephone Pageant," which consists of a modern interpretation of a classic Greek tale with an undercurrent of environmental justice. Free performances take place at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, at Smith Park, 2526 W. Grand Ave., Chicago; 6 p.m. Aug. 26 at Rainbow Beach Park, 2873 E. 75th St., Chicago; and 6 p.m. Aug. 27 at Walsh Playground Park, 1722 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. Additional performances -- on Sept. 2 at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., Chicago, and Sept. 19 at the Ragdale Foundation, 1260 N. Green Bay Road, Lake Forest -- are $25 and $20 respectively. See walkabouttheater.org.
• A crude, twentysomething comedian and a middle-aged man facing divorce take solace in each other after their mothers become roommates on a hospital cancer ward in Halley Feiffer's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center of New York City." Route 66 Theatre company concludes its ninth season with the Chicago-area premiere of the dark comedy. Keira Fromm directs the production, which begins previews Thursday, Aug. 24, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The show opens Aug. 29. See route66theatre.org.
• Performances begin Thursday, Aug. 24, for "The Tragedy of He-Manlet, Prince of Eternia," playwright Adam "Roz" Rosowicz's mashup of William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and the 1980s animated TV series "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe." New Millennium Theatre Company's world premiere runs through Sept. 10 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. See nmtchicago.org.
• Mercury Theater Chicago has extended its 50th anniversary revival of "Hair," the "tribal love-rock musical" depicting the political upheaval, generational conflict, sexuality and drug use of the late 1960s. Performances continue through Sept. 24 at 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. (773) 325-1700 or mercurytheaterchicago.com.
• Elise Cismesia, a 2017 graduate of Downers Grove North High School, has been awarded a $500 scholarship from the Bernie G. Yvon Memorial Fund, established in honor of the beloved Chicago-area actor who passed away in 2014. The scholarship was established to provide assistance to collegiate theater artists like Cismesia, who will attend Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in the fall. To donate to the fund, go to jaxcf.org/donate.
• In other theater news, Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake announced the appointment of Evan Swanson as resident musical director and Miriam Naponelli as marketing director. Steppenwolf Theatre welcomed Karena Fiorenza Ingersoll as its new general manager. Today Tix, a free mobile ticketing app, announced it will waive convenience fees through Aug. 31 for tickets purchased for performances at The Second City in Chicago.
• Redtwist Theatre opens its 14th season -- which examines "the way we are" -- on Sept. 9 with a revival of "Our Town," Thornton Wilder's ode to small-town American life that never really was. That's followed on Nov. 18 by the Chicago-area premiere of "I Saw My Neighbor on the Train and I Didn't Smile," Suzanne Heathcote's comedy about three generations of women from the same family and the impact they have on each other's lives. Next up is "Surely Goodness and Mercy" (Feb. 17-March 18, 2018), Chisa Hutchinson's drama about a newly orphaned boy who befriends a cantankerous lunch lady at his new school. A revival of Peter Morgan's "Frost/Nixon," chronicling the 1977 television interviews between broadcast journalist David Frost and disgraced President Richard Nixon, runs April 21 to May 20, 2018. The season concludes with the Chicago-area premiere of MJ Kaufman's "Sagittarius Ponderosa" (June 30-July 29, 2018), a domestic drama about a transgender man who returns home to care for his ailing father. Performances take place at 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago. (773) 728-7529 or redtwist.org.
• Emerald City Theatre begins its 2017-2018 season on Nov. 12 with "Ken Ludwig's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas,'" a comic take on the classic poem in which a young girl and an elf team up to find Santa's missing naughty or nice list. That's followed on Jan. 27, 2018, with "Magic Tree House: Showtime With Shakespeare," a hip-hop version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in which siblings overcome stage fright to save William Shakespeare's production. The season concludes March 24, 2018, with "Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical," adapted from Mo Willems' book about a family's search for a stuffed bunny inadvertently left at a laundromat. The holiday show takes place at the Broadway Playhouse, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. The other productions take place at 2933 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Two-show season subscriptions range from $29 to $40.50 per ticket. See emeraldcitytheatre.com.