Spotlight: Paramount promises blockbuster 'Beauty and the Beast'

  • Paul-Jordan Jansen, left, plays the Beast and Beth Stafford Laird plays Belle in Paramount Theatre's production of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."

    Paul-Jordan Jansen, left, plays the Beast and Beth Stafford Laird plays Belle in Paramount Theatre's production of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." Courtesy of Thomas J. King

 
 
Posted11/6/2019 6:00 AM

Be Paramount's guest

Paramount Theatre promises a blockbuster revival of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," adapted from the Oscar-winning animated film by composer Alan Menken, lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and writer Linda Woolverton. Joseph Jefferson Award winner Paul-Jordan Jansen plays the onetime prince cursed for his cruelty to go through life as a Beast until he learns the meaning of love. Beth Stafford Laird plays the intrepid Belle, who sees beyond his beastly guise. Paramount's Amber Mak directs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Previews at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 13-14; 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16; and 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, and through Nov. 21 at 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. The show opens Nov. 22. $36-$74. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the House Theatre of Chicago's popular, dance-free adaptation of "The Nutcracker" (seen here in a photo from a previous production).
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the House Theatre of Chicago's popular, dance-free adaptation of "The Nutcracker" (seen here in a photo from a previous production). - Courtesy of Michael Brosilow
No-dance 'Nutcracker'

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the House Theatre of Chicago's "The Nutcracker," an original, ballet-free adaptation of the classic holiday tale about young Clara's attempt to save her family with help from a magical nutcracker. This production, which stars Amaris Sanchez as Clara and includes a redesigned Rat King courtesy of House's producing partner Chicago Puppet Studio, features a new family comprised of a same-sex couple and their children.

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8-9, and Thursday and Friday, Nov. 14-15, and 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. The show opens Nov. 16. $20-$50. (773) 769-3832 or thehousetheatre.com.

Making memories?

Memory and identity underscore "Marjorie Prime," Jordan Harrison's drama about the impact of technology on both, in a revival at MadKap Productions. Set 40 years in the future when artificial intelligence is commonplace, the play tells the story of 80-something Marjorie and her daughter Tess, with whom she has a prickly relationship. Marjorie (Joan McGrath) has dementia and spends most of her time with her "prime" Walter, who resembles her dead husband. That troubles Tess (Susie Steinmeyer), who worries that technology may make actual human interaction obsolete.

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7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8-9, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, and through Nov. 24 at the Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. $34, $38. (847) 677-7761 or skokietheatre.org.

Ian Paul Custer, left, Brandon Dahlquist and John Mohrlein starred in American Blues Theater's 2018 radio broadcast re-creation of "It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!"
Ian Paul Custer, left, Brandon Dahlquist and John Mohrlein starred in American Blues Theater's 2018 radio broadcast re-creation of "It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!" - Courtesy of Michael Brosilow
ABT's 'Wonderful Life'

American Blues Theater presents its 18th anniversary production of its ever-popular "It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!" adapted from Frank Capra's beloved holiday film. It's about everyman George Bailey (Brandon Dahlquist) who learns how vital he is to his Bedford Falls community. ABT's re-creation of a 1940s radio broadcast features Foley sound effects plus an original score, holiday carols and post-performance milk and cookies.

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 14-16, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens Nov. 17. $19-$69. (773) 654-3103 or americanbluestheater.com.

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