Spotlight: Broadway favorites with a twist at Steel Beam; First Folio honors first responders

  • Janet Ulrich Brooks plays an advice columnist in Victory Gardens Theater's Chicago-area premiere of "Tiny Beautiful Things."

    Janet Ulrich Brooks plays an advice columnist in Victory Gardens Theater's Chicago-area premiere of "Tiny Beautiful Things." Courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography

  • Lydia Berger Gray stars in First Folio's "The Guys."

    Lydia Berger Gray stars in First Folio's "The Guys."

 
 
Updated 9/5/2019 2:10 PM

'Gender benders'

Steel Beam Theatre kicks off its season-long examination of women's lives with the musical revue "Broadway Gender Benders." Conceived and directed by Douglas Orlyk, the show consists of eight performers singing Broadway tunes -- some familiar, some obscure -- which are typically performed by members of the opposite sex.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Opens at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. $23-$28. (630) 587-8521 or steelbeamtheatre.com.

Life advice

Janet Ulrich Brooks plays an advice columnist in Victory Gardens Theater's Chicago premiere of "Tiny Beautiful Things," adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding") from Cheryl Strayed's book "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar." Vanessa Stalling directs.

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, and Sept. 10-12; 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens Sept. 13. $25-$65. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.

Mark L. Montgomery stars in First Folio's "The Guys."
Mark L. Montgomery stars in First Folio's "The Guys."
Honoring 'the guys'

Nick, a New York City fire department captain struggling to write eulogies for his colleagues killed on Sept. 11, 2001, enlists an editor to help him organize his thoughts in "The Guys," a semi-autobiographical play drawn from the real-life experience of journalism professor Anne Nelson. Mark L. Montgomery stars opposite Lydia Berger Gray in First Folio Theatre's three-night revival.

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8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 9-11, at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 31st St., Oak Brook. $35. (630) 986-8067 or firstfolio.org.

Kate Fry, left, and Grace Smith star in "Mother of the Maid," beginning previews Thursday, Sept. 12, at Northlight Theatre.
Kate Fry, left, and Grace Smith star in "Mother of the Maid," beginning previews Thursday, Sept. 12, at Northlight Theatre. - Courtesy of Greg Inda
An exceptional child

In 15th-century France, a young woman named Joan announces that God has instructed her to lead the French army in a war against the English. Meanwhile, her pious, protective mother struggles to parent her determined daughter in "Mother of the Maid," a drama by Jane Anderson. Northlight Theatre artistic director BJ Jones directs the company's season-opening production, which stars Kate Fry as Isabelle and Grace Smith as her daughter, Joan of Arc.

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Sept. 12-13; 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14; 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, and through Sept. 18 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. The show opens Sept. 20. $30-$89. (847) 673-6300 or northlight.org.

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