Theater events: Underscore reveals revised Chicago-set 'Haymarket'

 
 
Posted6/8/2018 6:00 AM
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  • Barrel of Monkey's ensemble members Michael Turrentine, left, and Jean Carlos Claudio perform the student-written story "The Chicken" as part of BOM's "Celebration of Authors."

    Barrel of Monkey's ensemble members Michael Turrentine, left, and Jean Carlos Claudio perform the student-written story "The Chicken" as part of BOM's "Celebration of Authors." Courtesy of Beth Bullock

• Workers at a yoga store find their lives upended after violence takes place nearby in "Clearing," a dark, coming-of-age comedy by Beth Hyland. Commission Theatre's production opens Friday, June 8, at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago. General admission is pay-what-you-can. A reserved seat is $15. See commissiontheatre.com.

• The ensemble known as The MoonSharks bring their show "The MoonSharks Present: An Improvised Play" to Steppenwolf Theatre as part of its LookOut Series at the 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The nine-person ensemble performs Friday and Saturday, June 8-9. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.

• Impressionist Alan Palmer brings his adults-only musical revue "Fabulous Divas of Hollywood" to Pride Films and Plays, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago. Palmer channels Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn and Cher among others at 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 8-9. Also at PFF, We-Fest, a celebration of "queer female, nonbinary and trans artists ... who are often underrepresented in the LGBTQ community." The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, at 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or pridefilmsandplays.com.

• The Annoyance Theatre's "Steamworks the Musical," in partnership with Steamworks Baths, returns Friday, June 8, with new songs and a new cast. Performances take place at 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-9693 or theannoyance.com.

• The Chicago Children's Theatre hosts the BOING! (Big Outdoor Indoor Neighborhood Gathering) Festival from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 10, at 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago. The family-centered festival includes live performances, a dance party and other activities. (312) 374-8835 or chicagochildrenstheatre.org.

• Previews begin Monday, June 11, for Pride Films and Plays production of the British drama "The Green Bay Tree," Mordaunt Shairp's 1933 drama with homosexual undertones about a young man forced to choose between his female fiancee and his male mentor. Amy Sarno directs the play, which opens Wednesday, June 13, at 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or pridefilmsandplays.com.

• Previews of the Broadway-bound jukebox tuner "The Cher Show," the new bio-musical written by Rick Elice ("Jersey Boys") and directed by Jason Moore ("Avenue Q"), begin Tuesday, June 12, at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Tony Award-nominee Stephanie J. Block, Teal Wicks and Micaela Diamond play the singer and TV star at various points in her life. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.

• Barrel of Monkeys hosts its Celebration of Authors beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, at The Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., Chicago. A salute to the student-authors who participated in BOM's after-school program, it includes performances of the students' stories following a preshow reception. Admission is free, but reservations are necessary. (773) 506-7140 or barrelofmonkeys.org/coa.

Erik Pearson and Bridget Adams-King appear in Underscore Theatre Company's revised production of the musical "Haymarket" at The Den Theatre.
Erik Pearson and Bridget Adams-King appear in Underscore Theatre Company's revised production of the musical "Haymarket" at The Den Theatre. - Courtesy of Juli Del Prete

• Beginning Wednesday, June 13, Underscore Theatre artists reveal the new incarnation of "Haymarket," the folk and bluegrass-inspired musical by Alex Higgin-Houser and David Kornfeld formerly known as "Haymarket: The Anarchist's Songbook." The musical tells the story of labor unrest in 1886 Chicago that resulted in the death of five innocent men. Nick Thornton directs the musical featuring 12 actor-instrumentalists. The show opens June 18 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-3830 or underscoretheatre.org.

• Oak Park Festival Theatre begins its summer season with a revival of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy "You Can't Take It With You," about a young woman who falls in love with an upwardly mobile young man and brings him and his family home to meet her extended, eccentric family. Previews begin Thursday, June 14, at Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Ave., Oak Park. The show, under director Jason Gerace, opens June 16. (708) 300-9396 or oakparkfestival.com.

• "RIFF," a combination music and improv show runs at 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in iO Chicago's downstairs event space at 1501 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago. Also at iO, the ensembles Alterboyz and Wet Bus team up for the adults-only sketch show "Oh (expletive) Yeah!" in the Jason Chin Harold Cabaret. Lastly, Cat McDonnell and Catharine Savage perform their sketch show "Squeaky Wheels," which examines women speaking up in a world that often tells them to be quiet, at 10:30 p.m. Fridays in the Chris Farley Cabaret. (312) 929-2401 or ioimprov.com.

• Stage 773 producers are accepting applications for the 7th Annual Chicago Women's Funny Festival, which takes place Aug. 23-26 at 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The festival showcases comedic forms including stand-up, sketch, solo, vaudeville and improvisational comedy among others. The application deadline is July 1. See chicagowomensfunnyfestival.com.

• "The Rosenkranz Mysteries: Physician Magician" featuring Dr. Ricardo Rosenkranz, a faculty member at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has been extended. Performances run through June 17 at the Royal George Theatre Cabaret, 1641 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (312) 988-9000 or theroyalgeorgetheatre.com.

• Marissa McKown, the onetime managing director of Oak Park Festival Theatre, has taken over as managing director of the 16th Street Theater in Berwyn. McKown, who has spent nearly six years in Japan and Seattle, replaces Maeli Goren, who is leaving to pursue an MFA in directing at Yale University.

• Original works will make up the 17th-anniversary season at The House Theatre of Chicago, which opens its season with a sibling tale by Bennett Fisher titled "Borealis" (Aug. 30-Oct. 21). That's followed by the return of the ballet-free "The Nutcracker" (Nov. 8-Dec. 30), The House's unique adaptation of the holiday tale, which in this incarnation finds Clara attempting to assuage her family's grief. The company teams up with Cards Against Humanity to present "Nova to Lodestar" (dates to be determined), an interactive, future-set game in which audience members must rescue a crew stranded at the edge of the solar system. Next up is a new adaptation of "Pinocchio" (March 28-May 19, 2019), the classic fairy tale about the wooden boy who wants to become real. Lastly, ensemble member Dennis Watkins continues to mystify audiences during "The Magic Parlour" in an open run at The Palmer House Hotel, 17 E. Monroe St., Chicago. Except for The Magic Parlour, all performances take place at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. Membership packages range from $99 (for three shows) to $175 (for five shows). Single tickets go on sale June 30. (773) 769-3832 or thehousetheatre.com.

• A Red Orchid Theatre's 26th season begins Oct. 18 with the Chicago-area premiere of "Small Mouth Sounds," Bess Wohl's drama about six urbanites on a spiritual retreat where they may not speak for an entire week. The Chicago-area premiere of Abe Kugler's "The Fulfillment Center" follows on Jan. 31, 2019. It's about four lonely people -- a struggling folk singer working at a retail shipping center, her young manager, his girlfriend and a drifter -- searching for fulfillment. The season concludes with Eugene Ionesco's "The Killing Game" (May 2-June 23, 2019) about the panic that ensues after a plague overwhelms a town. Performances take place at 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago. Subscription options include a preview Flashpass for $60; a three-show Flashpass for $90; and a three-show, opening-night Flashpass for $150. Individual tickets go on sale later. (312) 943-8722 or aredorchidtheatre.org.

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