On stage: City Lit stages 'Voice of Good Hope'; Fillet of Solo & Rhinoceros Fest return

  • Andrea Conway-Diaz stars as the late Barbara Jordan, the revered Texas congresswoman in City Lit Theater's "Voice of Good Hope," Kristine Thatcher's bio-drama about the first female African-American U.S. representative from the Deep South.

    Andrea Conway-Diaz stars as the late Barbara Jordan, the revered Texas congresswoman in City Lit Theater's "Voice of Good Hope," Kristine Thatcher's bio-drama about the first female African-American U.S. representative from the Deep South.

  • Flavia Pallozzi, seen here, co-stars with Kylie Anderson in "Stop Kiss," in a revival co-produced by Pride Films and Plays and The Arc Theatre.

    Flavia Pallozzi, seen here, co-stars with Kylie Anderson in "Stop Kiss," in a revival co-produced by Pride Films and Plays and The Arc Theatre.

 
 
Posted1/10/2020 6:00 AM

• Previews begin Friday, Jan. 10, for City Lit Theater's production of "Voice of Good Hope," Kristine Thatcher's bio-drama of the late Texas congresswoman Barbara Jordan, the first African-American woman elected to the House of Representative from the Deep South. The play chronicles Jordan's life beginning with her childhood in Houston's Fifth Ward through her receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including her role in the House Judiciary Committee during the Richard Nixon impeachment hearings. Andrea Conway-Diaz stars in the production, which opens Jan. 19 at the Edgewater Presbyterian Church, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. (773) 293-3682 or citylit.org.

• Rivendell Theatre Ensemble premieres "The Tasters," a play by Meghan Brown developed through Victory Garden Theater's 2019 Ignition Festival. Previews begin Friday, Jan. 10, for this drama about a group of women who sample gourmet meals before their government leaders do to determine whether the food has been poisoned by members of the resistance. The production, directed by ensemble member Devon de May, opens Jan. 20 at 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago. (773) 334-7728 or rivendelltheatre.org.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Lifeline Theatre and Live Bait Theater co-host the 23rd annual Fillet of Solo Festival showcasing 15 storytelling collectives and nine solo performers over three weeks beginning Saturday, Jan. 10. Performances take place at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, and The Teal Room, 6956 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. Performances begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Jan. 26. Participating ensembles include: Sweat Girls, Stir-Friday Night, the kates and Tellin' Tales Theatre. Tickets are $10; $60 for an all-festival pass. (773) 761-4477 or lifelinetheatre.com.

• An adaptation of "Bunny's Book Club," a children's book by Annie Silvestro, marks the next production in Lifeline Theatre's KidSeries. Ensemble member Aly Renee Amidei adapted the story about a bunny who falls in love with books and decides to start a book club with some of her furry friends. Performances begin Saturday, Jan. 11, at 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. (773) 761-4477 or lifelinetheatre.com.

• The 31st annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival, curated and hosted by the Curious Theatre Branch and Prop Thtr runs from Saturday, Jan. 11, through Feb. 23 at 3502 N. Elston Ave., Chicago. Among the 48 shows are plays, dance music and variety performances and other works. Curious Theatre premieres "Four Story Animal Plus Desert," which consists of short works by Samuel Beckett, Flannery O'Connor and Anton Chekhov among others. Emerging artists participating in the fest include El Bear, Theatre of the Beyond and Social Sciences Productions among others. Tickets are $15 or pay what you can. See rhinofest.com.

• "Boyband: The Musical," a fictionalized sendup of 1990s boy bands, returns to The Annoyance Theatre on Saturday, Jan. 11. The adults-only show runs at 9:30 p.m. Saturdays through Feb. 15 at 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-9693 or theannoyance.com.

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• Williams Street Repertory's reading series continues Monday, Jan. 13, with a reading of "Bullets, Nickels, Dimes and Life," Jeremy Kehoe's play about five homeless people serving their life sentences (a bullet, a nickel and a dime) not inside a prison but out on the streets. The reading is at 7 p.m. at the Raue Center, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. (815) 356-9010 or wsrep.org.

• Collaboraction's 2020 series centered on expressions of diversity, equity and inclusion runs Tuesday, Jan. 14, through Jan. 25 at the Kennedy-King College Theater, 740 W. 63rd St., Chicago. Encounter Series: Being and Becoming consists of two programs. Program I includes premieres of two pieces about Chicago artists. "Lady Sol's Dance Diary, Vol. 1" is about Leida "Lady Sol" Garcia, the founder of a youth hip-hop collective. "Inspire: Breathe Life" is about Sir Taylor, a founding member of The Jesse White Tumblers. Program II consists of "Englewood: A Love Story" by Reginald Edmund; "SANKOFA" by spoken-word artist Antwon Funches; "F.O.P." about Chicago police confronting departmental racism by Miranda Gonzalez and "Lift Every Voice" about the impact of a Snapchat message at a Chicago high school. (312) 226-9633 or collaboraction.org/encounter.

• Marriott Theatre revives the stage/screen hybrid "Grease," based on the 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey and its 1978 film counterpart, which centers on the romance between the new girl at Rydell High School and its coolest greaser. Scott Weinstein directs the revival, which begins previews Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. The show opens Jan. 22. (847) 634-0200 or marriotttheatre.com.

Kylie Anderson, seen here, co-stars with Flavia Pallozzi in "Stop Kiss," in a revival co-produced by Pride Films and Plays and The Arc Theatre.
Kylie Anderson, seen here, co-stars with Flavia Pallozzi in "Stop Kiss," in a revival co-produced by Pride Films and Plays and The Arc Theatre.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Pride Films and Plays and The Arc Theatre revive "Stop Kiss," Diana Son's 1998 drama about Sara and Callie who are assaulted after their first public kiss. Kylie Anderson plays Sara and Flavia Pallozzi plays Callie in director Kanome Jones' production, which opens Thursday, Jan. 16, at 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or pridefilmsandplays.com.

• Remy Bumppo Theatre revives a hit production from its 2001 season, "Top Girls," Caryl Churchill's drama about women's personal and professional lives and their struggles to endure the crush of patriarchy. Keira Fromm directs the play, which she describes in a prepared release as "a feast of theatricality and a meditation on the loneliness of women ... and the forces that keep women in a subjugated place of yearning." Previews begin Thursday, Jan. 16, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens Jan. 19. (773) 975-8150 or remybumppo.org.

• The House Theatre of Chicago presents the premiere of "Verböten," a new musical by Brett Neveu with music and lyrics by Jason Narducy. Partly inspired by Narducy's experience as an 11-year-old punk rocker, the play centers on a group of outsider teens and aspiring punk musicians who are preparing for a show at Chicago's Cubby Bear, which they believe will change their lives. Previews begin Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. The show opens Jan. 26. (773) 769-3832 or thehousetheatre.com.

• Sean Graney returns to Court Theatre to direct its revival of Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap," a murder-mystery set at a remote, snowbound estate near where a local woman has been murdered. Previews begin Thursday, Jan. 16, at 5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago. The show opens Jan. 25. (773) 753-4472 or courttheatre.org.

• After performing the titular role in Andras Visky's monologue play "Juliet" 300 times at various venues around the world, Melissa Lorraine, reunites with director Kevin V. Smith for Theatre Y's revival of the play that launched the company. The re-imagined production -- centered on a character inspired by biblical and Shakespearean myths -- runs Thursday, Jan. 16, through Feb. 16 at Theatre Y's space at 4546 N. Western Ave., Chicago. (708) 209-0183 or theatre-y.com.

• Short Story Theatre showcases stories about goofy relatives, boating, an embarrassing misunderstanding and a life lesson learned from a dog on Thursday, Jan. 16, at Miramar Bistro, 301 Waukegan Ave., Highwood. Tickets are $10. A preshow dinner is available. (847) 433-1078 or shortstorytheatre.com.

• Firebrand Theatre has extended its revival of the two-hander musical "Always ... Patsy Cline" about the friendship between the country-western star (Harmony France) and her number one fan Louise Seger, played during the extension by ensemble member Danni Smith, who takes over for original cast member Christina Hall. Performances run through Jan. 25 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See firebrandtheatre.org.

• Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland Ave., Chicago, has extended its production of "The White Plague" by 19th-century Czech writer Karel Capek. The play is about a doctor who discovers a cure for a plague that kills everyone older than 45. The question is, what will he charge for it? Performances run through Jan. 25. (773) 384-0494 or trapdoortheatre.com.

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