On stage: 'The Adult in the Room' premieres at Victory Gardens

  • PlayMakers Laboratory company members Bryan Bosque, left, Andrés Enriquez and Rawson Vint perform "Octopus" in one of the company's "That's Weird, Grandma" incarnations.

    PlayMakers Laboratory company members Bryan Bosque, left, Andrés Enriquez and Rawson Vint perform "Octopus" in one of the company's "That's Weird, Grandma" incarnations. Courtesy of Evan Hanover

Posted1/17/2020 6:00 AM

• While awaiting permission to go outside for the first time, the first four people born on Mars play a game in which they imagine what life will be like on earth in Otherworld Theatre's "Generation Red" by Alexander Utz. Described by director Bec Willett as "'The Breakfast Club' in space," the play runs Friday, Jan. 17, through Feb. 2 at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. See otherworldtheatre.org.

• The Gift Theatre's Ten 2020, its annual festival showcasing 10-minute plays, continues through Saturday, Jan. 18, at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Featured playwrights include: Gift co-founder William Nedved, Hansol Jung, Mickle Maher, Gift co-founder Michael Patrick Thornton and others. (773) 283-7071 or thegifttheatre.org.


• Previews begin Saturday, Jan. 18, for Goodman Theatre's Chicago-area premiere of "Roe," Lisa Loomer's 2016 play inspired by the women who brought the landmark 1973 case to the Supreme Court: plaintiff Norma McCorvey ("Jane Roe") and one of her lawyers, Texas attorney, Sarah Weddington. The production, directed by Vanessa Stalling ("The Wolves"), opens Jan. 27 at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.

• ComedySportz relaunches late-night, adults-only Saturday shows beginning Saturday, Jan. 18, at 929 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, with "Rainbow A Go-Go," a variety show featuring LGBTQ performers. Additionally, the first Saturday of the month features local improv groups. The second Saturday is "Vino Veritas" showcasing storytellers and solo performers. The fourth Saturday is the Open Improv Jam for anyone who believes they can "play" with ComedySportz ensemble members. Performances begin at 10 p.m. Also, ComedySportz is introducing sensory-friendly performances on select days where audience members can make noise, move if they need to or retreat to quiet areas if necessary. See cszchicago.com.

• PlayMakers Laboratory presents "That's Weird, Grandma: Travels Through Time" an original sketch show adapted from stories about space and time travel written by Chicago Public School students. Performances run Sunday, Jan. 19, through Feb. 16 at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. (773) 506-7140 or playmakerslab.org.

• The national tour of the 2018 Tony Award-winning musical "Once On This Island," by "Ragtime" duo Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, begins its Chicago run Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. The show centers on peasant girl Ti Moune's search for love and for her place in the world. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.

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"The Adult in the Room," a new play about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, premieres at Victory Gardens Theater.
"The Adult in the Room," a new play about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, premieres at Victory Gardens Theater. -

• On the heels of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sending articles of impeachment to the Senate, a new play about her life and history-making role as the first female Speaker of the House will premiere at the Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Previews begin Wednesday, Jan. 22, for "The Adult in the Room" by Bill McMahon. Orlagh Cassidy stars as the California representative turned Madam Speaker. The play opens Jan. 26. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org or theadultintheroomplay.com.

• Award-winning magician and Brookfield native Trent James, 22, performs his show "True Lies" at the Chicago Magic Lounge at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through March 25. Discovered several years ago at an open mic, James combines sleight of hand and humor in his shows. Tickets are $35 and $45. The Chicago Magic Lounge is at 5050 N. Clark St., Chicago. (312) 366-4500 or chicagomagiclounge.com.

• Aspiring playwrights can receive assistance from Joseph Jefferson-nominated writer Douglas Post. A Chicago Dramatists member and founding member of the Victory Gardens Playwrights Ensemble, Post will help writers develop their plays Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Literacenter, home of the Chicago Literary Alliance, at 651 W. Lake St., Chicago. (312) 633-0630 or chicagodramatists.org.


• A young woman hired as an empathy coach at a debt collection agency has her work cut out for her when she attempts to teach employees compassion in "Do You Feel Anger?" by Mara Nelson-Greenberg. A Red Orchid Theatre stages the Chicago-area premiere of Nelson-Greenberg's dark comedy. Previews begin Thursday, Jan. 23, at 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago. The show opens Feb. 1. (312) 943-8722 or aredorchidtheatre.org.

• The Johnny Mercer Foundation, in cooperation with the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University, seeks submissions for the 15th annual Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, a weeklong songwriters workshop taking place June 21-27 on Northwestern's Evanston campus. Aspiring songwriters age 18 to 30 have until March 1 to apply for a spot. Information and the application is available online at mercersongwriters.com.

• Chicago Fringe Opera has named Laura Smalley executive director. Formerly the company's development director, Smalley replaces Julia Hardin, who is stepping down for personal and family reasons.

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