On stage: Griffin Theatre examines international ivory trade in "Mlima's Tale"

  • The cast of Griffin Theatre's Midwest premiere of "Mlima Tale" includes Ben Chang, top left, David Goodloe, Sarah Lo and Lewon Johns and Colin McShane, bottom left, Chris Pow and Michael Turrentine.

    The cast of Griffin Theatre's Midwest premiere of "Mlima Tale" includes Ben Chang, top left, David Goodloe, Sarah Lo and Lewon Johns and Colin McShane, bottom left, Chris Pow and Michael Turrentine.

 
 
Posted2/14/2020 6:00 AM

• The regulars at a Cleveland karaoke bar fight to save their favorite watering hole from closure thanks to neighborhood gentrification in "Last Night in Karaoke Town," a new show from the Factory Theater. Performances begin Friday, Feb. 14, at 1623 W. Howard St., Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or thefactorytheater.com.

• Previews begin Friday, Feb. 14, for Lifeline Theatre's "Middle Passage." Adapted from Charles Johnson's novel by David Barr III and Ilesa Duncan, it's about newly freed slave Rutherford Calhoun who tries to escape creditors and an unwanted marriage by stowing aboard a ship sailing from New Orleans to Africa. Ilesa Duncan directs the production, which opens Feb. 24 at 6912 Glenwood Ave., Chicago. (773) 761-4477 or lifelinetheatre.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Improvisers and stand-up comedians will perform as part of Corn Productions' "Chunky Puppies Laugh Buffet with Friends," running Friday, Feb. 14, through Saturday, Feb. 29, at the Cornservatory, 4210 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. See cornservatory.org.

• The Neo-Futurists celebrate Valentine's Day in a typically quirky way with "Wrench With Benefits" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. A special edition of its regular show "The Infinite Wrench," "Wrench With Benefits" consists of 30 plays about love and relationships performed in 60 minutes. Tickets are $35 and include a preshow reception beginning at 6 p.m. See neofuturists.org.

• The McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, presents "The Best of The Second City." The touring company performs sketches from Second City's 58-year history at 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org.

• Griffin Theatre Company launches its 32nd season with the Midwest premiere of "Mlima's Tale," Lynn Nottage's story of the international ivory trade. Previews begin Saturday, Feb. 15, at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens Feb. 23. (773) 338-2177 or griffintheatre.com.

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• Libertyville's Improv Playhouse hosts the nautical-themed "Love Overboard," an interactive, mystery dinner-theater event from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Jimmy's Charhouse, 1413 Peterson Road, Libertyville. Guests are encouraged to come in costume. Tickets are $62.50 per person. (847) 875-8578 or improvplayhouse.com.

• The Gift Theatre hosts its 18th Gift Gala benefit from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Greenhouse Loft, 2545 W. Diversey Ave., Chicago. The evening includes entertainment, dancing, libations and hors d'oeuvres, and live and silent auctions. A single ticket is $120, a single ticket with season subscription is $245. Proceeds benefit the theater and its programs. (773) 283-7071 or thegifttheatre.org.

• Adventure Stage Chicago celebrates the reopening of The Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., Chicago, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. The afternoon includes activities, tours and a ribbon cutting followed by a staged reading of "I Come From Arizona" at 4 p.m. The play is about a 14-year-old Mexican girl about to enter a prestigious North Side high school. (773) 342-4141 or adventurestage.org.

• YaYa Productions presents the interactive, family-friendly improv show "The Greatest Story Never Told" at the Newport Theater, 956 W. Newport Ave., Chicago. The show begins with the discovery of a storybook with no text resulting in child volunteers from the audience taking the stage to make up characters and a story. Performances run from Sunday, Feb. 15, through March 22. See greateststorynevertold.org.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Previews begin Thursday, Feb. 20, for Pride Films & Plays' Chicago premiere of "Dex & Abby," a new comedy by Allan Baker about two men who fall in love but whose dogs -- Dex and Abby -- don't get along. Daniel Vaughn Manasia and Chesa Greene play the canines in the production, which opens Feb. 24 at 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago. (773) 857-0222 or pridefilmsandplays.com.

• A couple whose flight is delayed on a snowy Thanksgiving night discover things about each other that upend their relationship in Leslye Headland's psychological thriller "The Layover." The Comrades' production begins previews Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens Feb. 22. (773) 404-7336 or the-comrades.com or greenhousetheater.org.

• Short Story Theatre returns to the Miramar Bistro, 301 Waukegan Ave., Highwood, with its next installment featuring true stories about a life-changing bike accident, a rediscovered journal and a ride in an AMC Gremlin. The storytelling starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. A preshow dinner is available. (847) 433-1078 or shortstorytheatre.com.

• The Second City's "She the People," the all-female comedy show about all things female, has returned to the UP Comedy Club at Piper's Alley, 230 W. North Ave., Chicago. Performances run at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. (312) 337-3992 or secondcity.com.

• Belmont Theater District venues American Blues Theater, Annoyance Theatre, CSz Theater, Mercury Theater Chicago, Remy Bumppo Theatre, Saint Sebastian Players, Shattered Globe Theater, Storytown and TimeLine Theatre are among those participating in Chicago Theatre Week 2020. Tickets to select productions at the aforementioned theaters are available for $15 and $30 through Feb. 23. See chicagotheatreweek.com.

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