Theater events: Magician David Parr opens his Cabinet of Curiosities

 
 
Posted6/21/2018 6:00 AM
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  • Magician David Parr examines his "Cabinet of Curiosities" Wednesdays at the Chicago Magic Lounge.

    Magician David Parr examines his "Cabinet of Curiosities" Wednesdays at the Chicago Magic Lounge. Courtesy of David Linsell

• Magician David Parr, of the long-running Magic Cabaret, opens his Cabinet of Curiosities from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the Chicago Magic Lounge, 5050 N. Clark St., Chicago. Parr, who bested his competition on The CW's "Penn & Teller: Fool Us," shares items including an 18th-century toy, a favorite childhood book and a spool of thread whose "magical possibilities" he conjures. The evening begins with tableside magic and concludes with post-show magic at the bar. Audience members must be 21 or older, 16 or older with a legal guardian. See chicagomagiclounge.com.

Susie Steinmeyer and Michael Dwiggins appear in MadKap Productions' revival of Neil Simon's "California Suite."
Susie Steinmeyer and Michael Dwiggins appear in MadKap Productions' revival of Neil Simon's "California Suite." - Courtesy of MadKap Productions

• Exes bicker over their daughter, a fading actress questions her marriage of convenience and vacationing couples find their friendship tested in Neil Simon's "California Suite," the 1976 sequel to his comedy "Plaza Suite." MadKap Productions revives the play beginning Friday, June 22, at the Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. (847) 677-7761 or skokietheatre.org.

• Drag artists perform the titular roles in The Artistic Home's revival of Jean Genet's "The Maids," about two women who fantasize about killing their mistress. Michael Conroy directs the play, which was inspired by the real-life case of two sisters who killed their employer and her daughter in 1933. Performances begin Friday, June 22, at 1376 W. Grand Ave., Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or theartistichome.org.

• Previews begin Friday, June 22, for Circle Theatre's Chicago-area premiere of the 2017 off-Broadway musical "The View Upstairs" by writer/composer/lyricist Max Vernon. Derek Van Barham directs Circle's production of the show based on the 1973 arson murders of 32 people at a New Orleans gay bar called the Upstairs Lounge. Prior to the 2016 murders of 49 patrons at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the Upstairs Lounge assault was the deadliest attack on a gay club in the U.S. The show opens Wednesday, June 27, at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago. See circletheatrechicago.org.

Marie Tredway plays Honey Girl in Nothing Without a Company's production of "Not One Batu," a drama about Hawaii's meth epidemic.
Marie Tredway plays Honey Girl in Nothing Without a Company's production of "Not One Batu," a drama about Hawaii's meth epidemic. - Courtesy of Ray Goldberg

• Nothing Without a Company examines Hawaii's meth epidemic in "Not One Batu," which begins previews Friday, June 22, at the Berger Park Cultural Center Coach House, 6205 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago. Written by co-artistic director Hannah li-Epstein and directed by Rachel Slavick in association with Lanialoha Lee and the Aloha Center Chicago, the play centers on Honey Girl, a former user turned drug dealer struggling to stay clean. The production is the first Hawaiian/Pidgin-English play produced in the city. Pidgin English refers to Hawaii Creole, a language that emerged on the state's sugar plantations during the late 19th and early 20th century. Recovering meth user li-Epstein, who used her experiences as inspiration, wrote in her playwright's note: "Although not one person can be truly free of addiction, it's a choice we make every day to be better." The play opens Wednesday, June 27. See nothingwithoutacompany.org.

• City Lit Theater's 11th annual Art of Adaptation festival returns Friday through Sunday, June 22-24, at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. Science, political philosophy, poetry and mythology by thinkers including Karl Marx, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Neil deGrasse Tyson inspired the six featured adaptations. They include: Brian Pastor's "Capacity for Curiosity," about Rosco, an example of advanced artificial intelligence; Jake Gonnella's "Last Night of the World," about a couple who learns the world will end the next morning; and Germain Shames and Nadav Amir-Himmel's musical inspired by "The Communist Manifesto." Also featured is "Of Bulls & Bullies," Bennett Ayres' adaptation of the Minotaur myth; "Tired/Merry," Marjorie Muller's work about two Depression Era girls; and "The Carpenter, The Flood and The Fart" adapted from "The Miller's Tale" by Geoffrey Chaucer. (773) 293-3682 or citylit.org.

• GayCo presents its adults-only, improvised show "Pride Comedy Party" on Friday and Saturday, June 22-23, at The Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (773) 871-3793 or gayco.com.

• The Chicago One-Minute Play Festival returns for its ninth incarnation Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26-27, at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Juli Del Prete, Lonnie Carter, David Cerda, Elena Feliz, Evan Linder, Coya Paz, Cassandra Rose and Jon Steinhagen are among the more than 70 Chicago-area playwrights participating in the festival. See thedentheatre.com.

• Redtwist theatre presents the Chicago-area premiere of "Sagittarius Ponderosa," MJ Kaufman's play about a transgender man's struggle with identity and the challenges of reconciling with his family. Previews begin Wednesday, June 27, at 1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. The show, directed by James Fleming, opens June 30. (773) 728-7529 or redtwist.org.

Johnny Shea plays Peter and Elizabeth Stenholt plays Wendy in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's production of "Peter Pan -- A Musical Adventure."
Johnny Shea plays Peter and Elizabeth Stenholt plays Wendy in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's production of "Peter Pan -- A Musical Adventure." - Courtesy of Michael Brosilow

• Previews begin Wednesday, June 27, for Chicago Shakespeare Theater's family-friendly, newly updated production of "Peter Pan -- A Musical Adventure." Directed and choreographed by Amber Mak, the musical follows Peter and the Darling siblings to Neverland, where they join forces with the Lost Boys to take on the evil Captain Hook. Johnny Shea plays Peter and Elizabeth Stenholt plays Wendy in the production, which opens July 3 at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com.

• Stories about a semester abroad, a blind date, moving away from home and a new job are among the true tales storytellers will share during Short Story Theatre's next storytelling event. It takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28, at Miramar Bistro, 301 Waukegan Ave., Highwood. Dinner reservations available. (847) 433-1078 or shortstorytheatre.com.

• Performances continue through July 14 for "Side Eye for the Straight Guy," the Wig Bullies' revue offering a comedic take on gay life. The adults-only show runs at 8:30 p.m. June 30, July 7 and 14 at the de Maat Theater at Second City, 230 W. North Ave., Chicago. (312) 337-3992 or secondcity.com.

• The biases we all have that make us "predictably stupid in many situations" inspire "Clear Conscience," a new sketch revue that runs at 8 p.m. Wednesdays at the Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-9693 or theannoyance.com.

• Trap Door Theatre announced an extension for its production of "Monsieur D'eon is a Woman," based on the true story of an 18th-century French diplomat turned spy. Exiled from his homeland, he was allowed to return on the condition he lived as a woman. Performances continue through July 7 at 1655 W. Cortland Ave., Chicago. In other news, Trap Door will represent the United States with its production of "Occidental Express" at the International Festival -- from National to Universal taking place in Moldova this fall. (773) 384-0494 or trapdoortheatre.com.

• Griffin Theatre's stellar revival of "Ragtime" earned top honors at the recent non-equity Joseph Jefferson Awards ceremony, honoring excellence in non-equity/nonunion Chicago theater. Griffin's revival earned the Jeff for outstanding musical production, outstanding ensemble, director Scott Weinstein and supporting actress Katherine Thomas, who played Sarah, a role she also played in Marriott Theatre's revival earlier this year. Other winners include: Steep Theatre Company, whose "Lela & Co. received awards for best play, director Robin Witt and principal actress Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel. The Jeff Committee honored principal performers Jacquelyne Jones and Phillip Torre for their performances as Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney in Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre's production of "Sweeney Todd," which also earned awards for music director Jeremy Ramey and lighting designer James Kolditz. See the entire list at jeffawards.org.

• In other Chicago-area theater news, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, in residence at the College of DuPage, announced six new ensemble members. They are Robyn Coffin, Rebecca Cox, Lisa Dawn, Nick DuFloth, Laura Leonardo Ownby and Norm Woodel.

• The Greenhouse Theater Center announced that artistic director Jacob Harvey will depart at the end of the month. Harvey curated and produced the Solo Celebration! Series and launched several playwriting programs including the Trellis Residency Initiative for playwrights under 30 and the MC-10 for playwrights in mid-career.

• ShawChicago announced that producer/director/playwright Luther Goins ("Love Child") will take over as the company's new managing director beginning July 1. He succeeds Tony Courier, who is retiring after 16 years as managing director. Formerly the assistant to Northlight Theatre's producer, Goings also served as resident director for the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre in Evanston.

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