Theater events: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' 'Everybody' premieres at Brown Paper Box Co.

 
 
Posted7/13/2018 6:00 AM
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  • Tim Campos wrote and stars in Silent Theatre's production of his solo show, "Keep Your Guard Up, Smitty Harbinger," running July 19-22 at The Den Theatre in Chicago.

    Tim Campos wrote and stars in Silent Theatre's production of his solo show, "Keep Your Guard Up, Smitty Harbinger," running July 19-22 at The Den Theatre in Chicago. Courtesy of Silent Theatre

• Brown Paper Box Co. presents the regional premiere of the Pulitzer Prize finalist "Everybody," Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' contemporary riff on the 15th-century morality play "Everyman." Performers of various ages, gender identities and ethnicities make up the cast, whose roles are determined by a lottery at each performance. Previews are Friday and Saturday, July 13-14, at 4147 N. Broadway St., Chicago. The show opens Sunday, July 15. See brownpaperbox.org.

• Previews begin Saturday, July 14, for Black Ensemble Theater's "Rick Stone and the Blues Man," a jukebox tuner written by founder and CEO Jackie Taylor that press materials describe as a "true blues lover's smorgasbord." The show opens July 22 at 4450 N. Clark St., Chicago. (773) 769-4451 or blackensemble.org.

• Otherworld Theatre, a Chicago company devoted to science fiction and fantasy theater, opens its new home at 3914 N. Clark St., (former home to Live Bait and Public House theaters) on Saturday, July 14. The celebration begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include food, drinks, entertainment and the 2018-2019 season announcement. See otherworldtheatre.org.

• Lookingglass Theatre, located inside the Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, recently announced special performances for "20,000 Leagues Under the Seas." Recommended for families with children 8 to 12, they take place on Saturdays, July 14 and 28 and Aug. 9. They begin with a 2 p.m. matinee followed at 4:30 p.m. meet-and-greet with the cast. When ordering, use the code FAM40 to secure $40 tickets. Also, Lookingglass has extended the run of the play adapted from Jules Verne's novels by David Kersnar and Steve Pickering. Performances run through Aug. 26. (312) 337-0665 or lookingglasstheatre.org.

• Goodman Theatre showcases in-development works by members of its playwrights unit Saturday through Wednesday, July 14-18, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. During their yearlong residency, Chicago-based writers have a chance to develop their plays-in-progress in partnership with Goodman and Chicago Dramatists. Featured playwrights include Sam Collier, Ricardo Gamboa, Isaac Gomez, Kristin Idaszak and Nigel O'Hearn. Admission is free, but reservations are required. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.

• "Scary Stories to Save Your Life," a new work inspired by social and political anxieties experienced by LGBTQ youth, devised and performed by The About Face Youth Theater Ensemble, has its world premiere at The Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Performances run from Saturday, July 14, through Sunday, July 22. (773) 784-8565 or aboutfacetheatre.com.

• Citadel Theatre hosts Cirque de Citadel, this year's annual gala, beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at the Marriott Lincolnshire Resort, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. Tickets are $225 and include dinner, dancing, open bar, cabaret entertainment and live music. (847) 735-8554, ext. 2, or citadeltheatre.org.

• Broadway in Chicago presents the national tour of director John Doyle's Tony Award-winning revival of "The Color Purple." Performances begin Tuesday, July 17, at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.

• Silent Theatre Company returns with the world premiere of the silent play "Keep Your Guard Up, Smitty Harbinger," a one-person show written and performed by actor/playwright Tim Campos set to music by Elliot Taggart. Inspired by 1920s slapstick comedies, this family-friendly show chronicles Harbinger's efforts to man his guard booth. Performances run Thursday through Sunday, July 19-22, at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-3830 or silenttheatre.com.

Kara Davidson plays Flo, an elderly woman succumbing to dementia, whose memories become tangled with TV commercials in Manual Cinema's "The End of TV."
Kara Davidson plays Flo, an elderly woman succumbing to dementia, whose memories become tangled with TV commercials in Manual Cinema's "The End of TV." - Courtesy of Judy Sirota Rosenthal

• Manual Cinema's three-week Chicago premiere of "The End of TV" begins Thursday, July 19, at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. A multimedia meditation on advertising and TV culture set in a Rust Belt city during the 1990s, the show centers on the unlikely friendship between an elderly white woman and a young African-American woman who takes a job as a Meals on Wheels driver after she's laid off from the local auto plant. It incorporates music by Ben Kauffman and Kyle Vegter who also wrote the screen play, as well as live visuals and puppetry. Claire Chrzan, of Des Plaines, designed the lighting in director Julia Miller's production. See manualcinema.com.

• Red Tape Theatre hosts workshop productions of three plays developed through the company's (Working Title) program created to assist playwrights in developing their plays. Free performances take place July 19-21 at 4546 N. Western Ave., Chicago. The in-development plays include Ambrose Cappuccio's "Cigarettes," a two-hander about a widowed man who hires a sex worker who resembles his late wife; Mishka Lavigne's "Albumen," about a once-promising artist who ritualistically donates blood every 56 days; and Sophie Weisskoff's "Queen of Sock Pairing," about a woman who initiates a new game with her boyfriend that unearths some unexpected truths. Also, Deirdre Connelly has been named the company's new managing director. The company announced new company members Maryam Abdi, Nora King, Peter Laughlin, Eddie Lynch, Moriah Martel, Felix Mayes, Caleb Roitz and Ann Sonneville. Playwright Ambrose Cappuccio, director/educator Aaron Arbiter and stage manager/designer Jenn Thompson have also joined the company. See redtapetheatre.org.

• Performances continue through July 22 for the Runaways Lab Theater science-fiction double-bill of "Adventures of Astroman," about a TV-loving youngster, and "Ysentia," about a cybernetic being who awakes on a deserted planet and sets off to find her purpose. Performances take place at Voice of the City, 3429 W. Diversey Ave., Chicago. See runawayslab.org.

• "Anarchy: An Improvised Rock Opera" continues at 8 p.m. Saturdays at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-9693 or theannoyance.com.

• Nothing Without a Company has extended "Not One Batu," Hannah li-Epstein's examination of Hawaii's meth epidemic. The production runs through July 28 at the Berger Park Cultural Center Coach House, 6205 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago. See northingwithoutacompany.org.

• Court Theatre announced the appointment of Angel Ysaguirre, former director of the not-for-profit Illinois Humanities, as the new executive director working in partnership with artistic director Charles Newell.

• Steel Beam Theatre's 2018-2019 season begins Sept. 7 with "Girls Night," a musical theater review conceived and directed by Doug Orlyk. That's followed by Conor McPherson's "The Weir" (Oct. 12-Nov. 4) about patrons at an Irish pub sharing ghost stories. Next up is the radio play version of "Miracle on 34th Street" (Nov. 23-Dec. 23). Janus Theatre artistic director Sean Hargadon returns to direct Lauren Gunderson's "Silent Sky" (Jan. 11-Feb. 3, 2019) about 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. Steel Beam artistic director Marge Uhlarik-Boller helms Gary McGowan's "Scatter the Pigeons" (Feb. 22-March 17, 2019) about a real estate developer's efforts to buy a trailer park. Next up is Tom Stoppard's whodunit parody "The Real Inspector Hound" (April 5-28, 2019) about two theater critics who become involved in the action of the play they're reviewing. The season concludes with "The Savannah Sipping Society" (May 17-June 9, 2019) about four women who use happy hour to escape their everyday routines. Performances take place at 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. A seven-show package is $150, $135 for seniors. Subscriptions are available online, at (630) 587-8521 or at steelbeamtheatre.com.

• Interrobang Theatre Project takes up residence at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago, for its ninth season examining identity/crisis. It begins Sept. 7 with a revival of Edward Albee's "The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?" about a middle-aged, married architect whose life is upended when he falls in love with a goat. On Jan. 5, 2019, Interrobang stages the Chicago-area premiere of "I Call My Brothers," Jonas Hassen Khemiri's dramedy about Amor, who fears being targeted by authorities after an explosion rocks Stockholm, Sweden. The season concludes with the Midwest premiere of Emily Schwend's "Utility" (April 5-May 4, 2019), about a woman juggling two jobs and a tumultuous marriage who unravels while planning her daughter's birthday party. Complementing the season is a production of Nassim Soleimanpour's solo show "White Rabbit Red Rabbit" (Monday nights Sept. 24-Nov. 12 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago) in which a new theater artist performs a script without the benefit of a rehearsal. A season subscription is $90. See interrobangtheatreproject.org.

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