Theater events: Otherworld previews superhero comedy 'All I Want is One More Meanwhile'

  • Elizabeth MacDougald plays a superhero who gave up her powers to become a mom in Otherworld Theatre Company's Midwest premiere of "All I Want is One More Meanwhile ..."

    Elizabeth MacDougald plays a superhero who gave up her powers to become a mom in Otherworld Theatre Company's Midwest premiere of "All I Want is One More Meanwhile ..."

 
 
Updated 9/27/2018 8:20 AM

• Eclectic Full Contact Theatre opens its seventh season with J.M. Barrie's play "Dear Brutus," about the guests at a country house -- including an artist, a philanderer, an unhappily married couple and an aristocrat -- who spend a midsummer evening in the woods. Opening performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, and 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Regular performances run Thursday, Oct. 4, through Oct. 28. (773) 935-6875 or eclectic-theatre.com.

• The last preview for Otherworld Theatre's the superhero comedy "All I Want is One More Meanwhile" is Friday, Sept. 28, at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons' play about a former superhero who gave up her career to become a mother opens Saturday, Sept. 29. Otherworld ensemble member Nathan Pease directs. Also at Otherworld, the company collaborates with Happy Underground for an adults-only, superhero-inspired improv titled "Secret Origins" at 10 p.m. Fridays through Oct. 26. See otherworldtheatre.org.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Citadel Theatre inaugurates its new Theatre for Young Audiences series with the musical "Elephant and Piggie's We Are in a Play!" based on Mo Willems' children's books about best friends Gerald (an elephant) and Piggie (a pig) who are invited to a birthday party hosted by singing squirrels. Performances are at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays beginning Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest. (847) 735-8554, ext. 1, or citadeltheatre.org.

Amy Johnson, left and Tracey Green co-star in The Side Project's premiere of "OXY, OHIO," S.J. Spencer's drama about the opioid epidemic's impact on middle America.
Amy Johnson, left and Tracey Green co-star in The Side Project's premiere of "OXY, OHIO," S.J. Spencer's drama about the opioid epidemic's impact on middle America. - Courtesy of Sarah Larson Photography

• The Side Project Theatre Company premieres "OXY, OHIO," a drama by S.J. Spencer about average Americans living in Dayton, Ohio, who are casualties of the opioid epidemic. Previews begin Sunday, Sept. 30, at 1439 W. Jarvis Ave., Chicago. The production, directed by artistic director Adam Webster, opens Thursday, Oct. 4. It will run in repertory with Daniel Talbott's "Nick & Zoe," about a couple's volatile relationship. See thesideproject.net.

• Metropolis Performing Arts Centre hosts its 15th Sunday Soiree fundraiser from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. Tickets are $55 and include hors d'oeuvres, drinks, a concert featuring Lisa Rock and Sari Greenberg and a gift bag. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

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• To mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of "Frankenstein," Mary Shelley's seminal novel, several Chicago theaters will premiere new adaptations or stage revivals of the gothic horror tale. Lookingglass Theatre, whose adaptation by ensemble member David Catlin opens next May, hosts Frankenstein: Unearthed, described as a citywide conversation about the novel and its author with principals from Lifeline, Remy Bumppo, Court (in association with Manual Cinema) and Lookingglass theaters. It takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, at 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. "That a theatrical endeavor of this scale and diversity is happening here speaks not just to the artistic dynamism of Chicago but to the sophistication and curiosity of its arts patrons," said Nick Sandys, Remy Bumppo producing artistic director in a prepared statement. Tickets are $15. (312) 337-0665 or lookingglasstheatre.org.

• Previews begin Monday, Oct. 1, for Inglis Hall Productions' premiere of "Edge of Life," a drama by Joel Z. Cornfield about dying and the choices people make (or others make for them) at the end of their lives. In the play, a man with terminal cancer elects to enter hospice care while a woman lingers on life support. The production opens Oct. 11 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. (773) 935-6875 or athenaeumtheatre.org.

• Actor/comedian/writer Ike Barinholtz ("The Mindy Project," "Blockers") returns to the iO Theater, 1501 N. Kingsbury Ave., Chicago, for a 10 p.m. show Monday, Oct 1. Barinholtz is on a promotional tour for his new film, "The Oath," about citizens who must sign a loyalty oath to the president. (312) 929-2401 or ioimprov.com.

• Chicago Dramatists continues its Monday Night Drama Series consisting of public readings of in-progress plays at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, at 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago. Next up is Isaac Gomez's "Throwaway Kids," about a group of homeless young people struggling with their pasts, produced in cooperation with DePaul University. See chicagodramatists.org.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Writer Dan Kois discusses his book "The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America" at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. K. Todd Freeman, Philip E. Johnson, Natasha Lowe, Barbara Robertson, Ian Owens and Keith Phipps are among the local theater artists and writers who have performed in Tony Kushner's "Angels in America" (whose national tour commenced at the Royal George Theatre in 1994) and will read from Kois' book. Admission is free, but reservations are required. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.

• The national tour of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," the musical inspired by Roald Dahl's children's novel about a boy's adventures inside the factory of candy maker Willy Wonka, comes to Chicago for a brief run beginning Tuesday, Oct. 2. Performances run through Oct. 21 at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com or charlieonbroadway.com.

• "Destinos," the Chicago International Latino Theater Festival produced by the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance and featuring artists from Chicago, Los Angeles, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Puerto Rico, continues at Chicago-area theaters. This week's performances include: Mexico's Los Colochos Teatro's U.S. premiere of "Mendoza," a re-imagined version of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" -- co-written and directed by Juan Carrillo -- running Oct. 3-7 at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Other productions include "Culture Clash: An American Odyssey," which runs Oct. 4-7 at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Culture Clash consists of Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza, whose work involves uncovering and telling the stories of people who exist outside the mainstream. Argentina's Grupo Humo Negro presents "Quiero Decir Te Amo (I Want to Say I Love You)" about a young woman who falls in love with a man she meets following a car accident. It runs Oct. 4-7 at Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Lastly, the Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago, presents "La Prietty Guoman/Pretty Woman," about an exuberant transgender woman who loves the film "Pretty Woman," from Mexico City's Teatro De La Ciudad. For a schedule and ticket information, see clata.org or call (312) 631-3112.

• Cast members from Victory Gardens Chicago-area premiere of Paula Vogel's "Indecent" perform selections from the award-winning play at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, at the Illinois Holocaust Museum, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie. The latest event in a season-long partnership between the theater and the museum to combat prejudice and indifference, the performances will be followed by a panel discussion on #WhyArtMatters. See victorygardens.org or ilholocaustmuseum.org.

• Previews begin Wednesday, Oct. 3, for The Artistic Home's revival of "Rock 'n' Roll," Tom Stoppard's 2006 drama that begins in 1968 -- when Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia -- and concludes in 1990 when the Rolling Stones tour rolled into Prague. Kathy Scambiatterra directs the play about politics, music, revolution and love that centers on an ambivalent dissident and his mentor, a committed Communist. It opens Oct. 7 at 1376 W. Grand Ave., Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or theartistichome.org.

• By day, Tom is an Everyman working an ordinary job. By night, he's a master gamer who gets sucked into an online community the Order of the Sword in "Fun Harmless Warmachine," a new play by The New Colony co-artistic director Fin Coe. James Fleming directs New Colony's world premiere, which begins previews Wednesday, Oct. 3, at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The show opens Oct. 9. See thenewcolony.org.

• Chicago-area newcomer The Impostors Theatre Company presents its inaugural production "The Wood," a modern fairy tale by ensemble member Mallory Swisher. The play is about a boy and a girl who awake in a mysterious forest and join forces to navigate their way through it. Performances begin Wednesday, Oct. 3, at Collaboraction Studios in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See theimpostorstheatre.com.

• Rwandan performance artist Dorthée Munyaneza brings her work "Unwanted" to the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 3-7. "Unwanted" tells the stories of the female survivors of the 1994 attempted genocide against the Tutsis by Rwanda's ruling Hutu party. The piece features music by French electronic composer Alain Mahé, vocals by Holland Andrews and set design by South African artist Bruce Clarke. (312) 280-2660 or mcachicago.org.

• "Angela of Death," a darkly comic musical about a high school girl whose boyfriends die in odd ways, opens Wednesday, Oct. 3, at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-9693 or theannoyance.com.

• On the eve of his execution, a prisoner escapes from Cook County jail and ends up in the press room, giving a hot young reporter the scoop of a lifetime. Except the reporter, Hildy Johnson, is leaving the business to marry a debutante and work for an advertising agency in "The Front Page," Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's classic comedy about tabloid journalism. Oil Lamp Theater revives the 1928 slapstick comedy that both sends up and pays homage to the fourth estate. The production opens Thursday, Oct. 4, at 1723 Glenview Road, Glenview. (847) 834-0738 or oillamptheater.org.

• Set in 2003 during the Liberian civil war, "Eclipsed" -- an examination of self-preservation by writer/actress and "Black Panther" star Danai Gurira -- chronicles what the designated "wives" of a rebel leader must endure to survive. Pegasus Theatre Chicago begins its 2018-19 season with a revival of the play, directed by artistic director Ilesa Duncan. Previews begin Thursday, Oct. 4, at Chicago Dramatists, 773 N. Aberdeen, Chicago. The show opens Oct. 8. See pegasustheatrechicago.org.

• In theater news, The Gift Theatre welcomed actress Jennifer Glasse to the ensemble while Goodman Theatre, in partnership with Chicago Dramatists, named Chicago-based writers Georgette Kelly, Dianne Nora, Marisela Trevino Orta and Stacey Rose to its 2018-19 playwrights unit. Their residency concludes next summer with staged readings of the writers' works.

• Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel designated 2019 as the "Year of Chicago Theatre" as part of a citywide cultural initiative that will include theater performances, dance, improv, puppetry and opera at venues, parks, theaters and in neighborhoods throughout the city. Accompanying the initiative will be $200,000 in grants to not-for-profit theaters via the Cultural Grants Program.

• The League of Chicago Theatres announced the seventh annual Chicago Theatre Week will take place from Feb. 7 to Feb. 17 at venues throughout the city and suburbs. Tickets, priced at $30, $15 or less, go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at chicagotheatreweek.com.

• First Floor Theater's 2018-19 season at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, begins Oct. 20 with the Chicago-area premiere of "Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies." Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm's play is about two 14-year-old African-American boys -- one a prep-school student from an affluent suburb, the other an inner-city resident -- who meet in a holding cell. That's followed by the premiere of Dan Giles' "Mike Pence Sex Dream" (Feb. 16-March 16, 2019), about newlyweds Gary and Ben whose relationship changes after the 2016 presidential election. First Floor's season concludes with Halley Feiffer's "I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard" (April 20-May 28, 2019), about an actress desperate to make her playwright father proud. The company offers membership subscriptions ranging from $10 to $25 per month that provide patrons with tickets to main stage productions along with other perks including admission to a rehearsal, opening nights and the after party. See firstfloortheater.com.

• Refuge Theater Project's season opens Oct. 26 at Atlas Arts Media, 4809 N. Ravenswood, Chicago, with "The Last Session." The musical by composer/lyricist Steve Schalchlin, with additional lyrics by John Bettis and Marie Cain, chronicles Schalchlin's battle with AIDS. The season concludes with "Hands on a Hardbody" (March 22-May 5, 2019, location not indicated). Based on the 1997 documentary by S.R. Bindler, the musical by Doug Wright, Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green is about 10 Texans competing to win a new truck, which will be awarded to the contestant who outlasts the others and keeps his or her hand on it the longest. See refugetheatre.com.

• Now in its fifth year, Chicago Fringe Opera's season begins Nov. 16 with a production of Paul Hindemith's 1963 chamber opera "The Long Christmas Dinner," adapted by Thornton Wilder from his play chronicling a series of family dinners over 90 years. Performances are at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. The next production, "Love Wounds," a collection of works by composer Christopher Cerrone about love and loss, will take place at a location to be determined in May. See chicagofringeopera.com.

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