On stage: Determined Teddy bear seeks missing button in Emerald City's 'Corduroy'

  • Jean Claudio plays a Teddy bear searching for his missing button in Emerald City Theatre and Broadway in Chicago's adaptation of the children's book "Corduroy."

    Jean Claudio plays a Teddy bear searching for his missing button in Emerald City Theatre and Broadway in Chicago's adaptation of the children's book "Corduroy." Courtesy of Austin D. Oie

Posted11/8/2019 6:00 AM

• Emerald City Theatre partners with Broadway in Chicago for its production of "Corduroy," adapted from Don Freeman's children's story about a department store Teddy bear who goes looking for his missing button and ultimately finds a friend. Performances begin Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Broadway Playhouse Theatre, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. (800) 775-2000 or emeraldcitytheatre.com or broadwayinchicago.com.

• Otherworld Theatre hosts its fifth Paragon Play Fest, showcasing 40 science-fiction and fantasy plays selected from more than 600 submissions from eight countries. The festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9-10, at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. Tickets are $10 per block (which consists of three to four plays); $20 for a single-day pass and $30 for a weekend pass. See otherworldtheatre.org.


• The Rip Nelson Celebrity Roast, Hell in a Handbag Productions' annual benefit, takes place from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster Ave., Chicago. The premise is a roast of fictional Hollywood has-been Rip Nelson (Ed Jones) by his pals including Lucille Ball (David Cerda), Liza Minnelli (Downers Grove native Alexa Castelvecchi), Bette Midler (Caitlin Jackson) and others. Tickets are $75 in advance and include dinner and the show. Doors open at 6 p.m. (800) 838-3006 or handbagproductions.org.

• LGBTQ and anti-war activist David Mixner discusses his 60 years of activism with E! network journalist and Pride Films and Plays board member Steve Kmetko at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago.

• Williams Street Repertory's play-reading series continues at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, with "The Burlesque Astronomy Play" by Sheila Cowley. It's about a female astronomer trying to find a way off the planet who meets an artist who's completely enamored with earth. (815) 356-9212 or wsrep.org.

• Court Theatre's Spotlight Reading Series, showcasing rarely produced plays by writers of color, continues at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, with "Black Picture Show," about an African-American filmmaker who wants to capture the story of his writer/father's last day on earth. The reading takes place at the Green Line Performing Arts Center, 329 E. Garfield Blvd., Chicago. (773) 753-4472 or courttheatre.org.

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• Friends and colleagues of theater artist/performer Cat Dean, who died of cancer on Sept. 21, will gather at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, for a "Celebrating Cat" memorial for the 25-year theater veteran of Stage Left Theatre, Chicago Dramatists and Chicago Kids Company. An aerial dancer and acro-aerial instructor with Aerial Dance Chicago, Dean (born Catherine Patricia Dean) also appeared in productions at Infamous Commonwealth, Circle, Griffin, 16th Street and Fleetwood-Jourdain theaters. Doors open at 7 p.m. at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago.

• Comedian Jim Flannigan, who's known for doing "clean" standup, headlines the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. His show, "The Comedy Jam With Jim Flannigan and Guests" is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13. Thursday, Nov. 14, marks the return of Arlington Heights native Karen Mason ("Mamma Mia!," "Hairspray," "Sunset Boulevard") to the Metropolis where she'll perform her new show "Kander & Ebb & All That Jazz" featuring songs by the duo responsible for "Chicago" and "Cabaret" among others. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

• Previews begin Thursday, Nov. 14, for Theatre at the Center's revival of "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," adapted from the 1954 film musical about two World War II veterans turned song and dance duo who team up with a pair of singing sisters to save the Vermont lodge owned by their former army commander. Artistic director Linda Fortunato directs the production, which opens Nov. 17 at 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana. (219) 836-3255 or theatreatthecenter.com.

• Performances continue through Nov. 21 for Corn Productions' "Tangerines are Blonde," a show featuring two improv duos: Tangerine and Justice is Blonde. It runs Thursdays at 4210 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. See cornservatory.org.


• Windy City Playhouse has extended its acclaimed production of "Every Brilliant Thing," the one-person show by Duncan Macmillan about a woman who, since childhood, coped with her mother's depression by making a list of everything that makes life worth living. Rebecca Spence plays the narrator in the production, which runs through Dec. 15 at 2229 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. (773) 891-8985 or windycityplayhouse.com.

• Anyone who purchases a four-play, classic membership to Goodman Theatre (starting at $80) receives a free ticket to "A Christmas Carol" performances running Nov. 16 to Dec. 6. Purchase memberships from noon to 5 p.m. daily at (312) 443-3800.

• Two aspiring suburban theater artists were among seven young people who received college scholarships courtesy of the Bernie G. Yvon Memorial Fund. Established in honor of the beloved Chicago-area song-and-dance man who died in 2014 at age 50, the $500 scholarships are awarded to theater majors. This year's recipients include Teah Mirabelli, of Lake Zurich, who will attend Ball State University in Indiana and Michael Semanic, of Naperville, who will attend Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts.

• Aurora's Comedy Shrine will move to the Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center, Aurora, next year according to a recent Facebook post. The 14,000-square-foot venue will be located at the southwest entrance, between Macy's and J.C. Penney on level two. It will have three theaters including a 400-seat main stage for stand-up comedians, an improv theater and an experimental theater that will showcase sketch shows, variety shows and touring plays. Owner David Sinker said in a prepared statement that the Comedy Shrine outgrew its current Aurora location. The larger space "will give us the ability to attract the biggest names in the comedy business ... and offer a wider array of daytime programming that appeals to a multigenerational audience," Sinker said.

• Strawdog Theatre Company announced it will exit its current home at 1802 W. Berenice Ave., Chicago, in March 2020. Board President Jennifer Nelson indicated in a prepared statement that the company is losing its home of three years to redevelopment. Strawdog will produce "Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins" (Dec. 7-29) and "Thirst" (Jan. 9-Feb. 15, 2020) at the theater and will stage "Welcome to Keene, New Hampshire" (April 16-May 30, 2020) at Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The company intends to establish a three-year residency at another theater beginning next fall, Nelson said.

• Broken Nose Theatre's season opening world premiere of "Peg," a co-production with The New Colony, has been canceled according to a joint statement from Elise Marie Davis, Broken Nose artistic director, and Fin Coe and Stephanie Shum, co-artistic directors of The New Colony. Broken Nose's season will continue Jan. 31, 2020, with the U.S. premiere of "Labyrinth," Beth Steel's drama about a Wall Street banker who makes excessive loans to developing nations that puts them on the brink of bankruptcy. That's followed by the premiere of "This is Only a Test" (May 1-30, 2020), Eric Reyes Loo's drama about a high school that trains its students to fight back in the event of an active shooter situation. The season concludes in summer 2020 with Bechdel Fest 8 showcasing new plays that pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test. See brokennosetheatre.com.

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