Spotlight: Spend 'Halloween in the Sorcerer's Lair' with magician David Parr
The Annoyance Theatre wasn't about to let a global pandemic interrupt "Splatter Theater," its 34-year Halloween tradition of sending up slasher films. Updated for 2020, this virtual "Friday the 13th" parody consists of stock characters (the virgin, the school jock, the bumbling old man) dispatched in horrific and sometimes humorous ways. Appearing this year is Eric Waddell, who co-starred in the 1986 premiere. The show, which is also a fundraiser for the theater, marks the premiere of the music video "Run Away" by Adam LeBlanc (16 Candles) and JC Brooks (JC Brooks Band).
9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, and Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30-31. The first two performances are pay-what-you-can with a suggested donation of $20. The Oct. 31 performance is $20, with a $10 add-on option for a virtual costume party following the show for the first 200 patrons. See theannoyance.com.
Women of Broadway
Northlight Theatre is one of 20 nonprofit organizations participating in a virtual concert series starring a trio of leading ladies from Broadway and Billboard. Inaugurating "Live From the West Side: Women of Broadway" is Tony Award winner Patti LuPone (currently appearing in Netflix's "Hollywood"). Laura Benati and Vanessa Williams follow in November and December.
The livestream concerts are co-productions of Dallas Summer Musicals and Entertainment Benefits Group. The success of the first project showcasing "Hamilton's" Christopher Jackson in concert prompted Northlight to again partner with the producers.
"Northlight is the exclusive Chicago partner, enabling us to offer safe and entertaining events for musical theater fans of all ages," said executive director Timothy J. Evans in a prepared statement. "We hope Chicago audiences will enjoy these online events as we all wait for the day when we can gather together for in-person experiences."
Livestreams at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. A single concert ticket is $30; $75 for all three performances. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Northlight Theatre. See northlight.org/events/women-of-broadway.
The cast of AstonRep Theatre Company's "Twisted Tales of Poe" includes Jordan Arredondo, top left, Meg Elliott, Christian Castro and Rian Jairell along with Nevada Montgomery, bottom left, Victor Salinas and Aja Wiltshire.
'Twisted Tales' by Poe
AstonRep Theatre Company launches its season with radio play adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe classics. Adapted by Philip Grecian and directed by Aaron Mays, "Twisted Tales of Poe" include "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Black Cat" and "The Raven."
Streams Monday through Saturday, Oct. 26-31. Free, but donations are accepted. See astonrep.com.
'The Sorcerer's Lair'
Spend "Halloween in the Sorcerer's Lair" with local magician David Parr, one of the winners from the TV show "Penn & Teller: Fool Us." Parr treats online viewers to a livestream show consisting of illusions, sleight of hand and spooky tales.
7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. Pay-what-you-can. See davidparr.com.
In other news
• (Sub) version productions presents an adults-only, virtual burlesque show inspired by L. Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz" and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 28-31. "The Dark Side of the Boob: A Wizard of Oz Burlesque Experience" is about Dorothy quarantined in her apartment and forced to interact with a screen. She gets sucked into its vortex where she finds comfort from other similarly stuck people. Tickets are $20. See subversionproductions.com/darkside.
• First Folio Theatre's annual fundraising auction continues through Nov. 4. Items available for bid include Joffrey Ballet, Blackhawks, White Sox and Chicago Symphony Orchestra tickets; getaway weekends; brunch packages; jewelry; golf outings; and art prints among other items. See firstfolio.org.
• Steppenwolf Theatre's virtual season commences next month with James Ijames' two-hander "What is Left, Burns" starring K. Todd Freeman and Jon Michael Hill. The company's $75 virtual membership includes admission to six plays produced specifically for a digital platform and available online through Aug. 15. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org/now.
• Citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions imposed by government and health officials, The Lyric Opera of Chicago has canceled the remainder of its 2020-2021 season. "Having to cancel the remainder of our season is devastating but unavoidable, in order to keep our guests, artists and company safe," said Anthony Freud in a prepared statement. "We want nothing more than to get back to the live performances that we are all craving at the Lyric Opera House with all of you, but the safety of our Lyric family comes first. We will continue to follow the policies and guidelines set by the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois' five-phase plan of reopening." Performances are scheduled to resume in September 2021. Anyone holding tickets to canceled performances will have the value of those tickets transferred to their account. That credit can be applied to future performances, refunded or donated. See lyricopera.org.
• Lifeline Theatre recently announced a new membership option for kids. Available for $40, the membership includes access to six shows beginning with "Duck for President" on Saturday, Oct. 24, and continuing through "Click Clack Moo" coming in spring 2021. The membership fee also includes access to Stories Come Alive! classes for kids 4 to 10.
• Music Theater Works announced its next season will begin June 18, 2021, with "Legends of the 50s and 60s: Greatest Hits" incorporating songs made famous by Aretha Franklin, The Beatles and The Temptations among others. That's followed on Aug. 19 by "Mamma Mia!" featuring an ABBA-inspired score. Next up is "Ragtime" (Oct. 28-Nov. 7, 2021) based on E.L. Doctorow's sprawling tale. The season concludes with "Billy Elliot, the Musical" (Dec. 23, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022), based on the 2002 film with a score by Elton John. Performances will take place at the company's new home at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Subscriptions will be available on Jan. 1. Single tickets will be available in April. See musictheaterworks.com.
• AstonRep Theatre Company recently announced that its 2020-2021 season will consist of two virtual productions and two live productions. Following the streaming radio adaptation "Twisted Tales of Poe" (Oct. 26-31) is The 12th Annual Writers Series (Jan. 30-31, 2021), a two-day workshop of in-development plays performed virtually. That's followed by "Rough Magic" (April 30-May 30, 2021), Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's re-imagining of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" as a fantasy-adventure that combines the Harry Potter series with the X-Men and sets the story in New York City where the sorcerer Prospero will do anything to recover his stolen book of magic. The season concludes in fall 2021 with "When We Were Young and Unafraid," Sarah Treem's drama about Agnes, a bed and breakfast owner who has turned her business into a refuge for domestic violence victims. However Agnes must confront her preconceptions about the women she helps after one of them begins to influence her daughter. In-person performances take place at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway St., Chicago. Tickets go on sale at a later date. See astonrep.com.
• Trap Door Theatre's 27th season begins Dec. 3 with "Decomposed Theatre or the Human Trashcan," consisting of eight episodes of Matei Visniec's "spectacle of monologues." That's followed by "The Martyrdom of Peter Ohey" by Slawomir Mrozek, "Medea Material" by Heiner Müller, with an original score by Jonathon Guillen, and "The Water Hen" by Stanislaw I. Witkiewicz. The dates of the last three shows are to be announced. See trapdoortheatre.com.