Spotlight: Sideshow kicks off its House Party Series Friday
Sideshow reading series
Sideshow Theatre Company inaugurates its House Party Series, consisting of five virtual readings of works by the company's favorite playwrights, with "Thin Mints" by Ellen Steves. The action unfolds at the Bonfire Girls scouting group's five-day camping retreat during which the girls terrorize and traumatize each other in their efforts to be elected the troop's new leader.
"The best digital events I've been to have all placed a big emphasis on creating community and joy. Just because we're isolated doesn't mean we have to be alone," said artistic director Regina Victor in a prepared statement. She described the series as re-creating "the vibe of showing up to someone's house for a kickback to hear a new play."
Streams at 7 p.m. Friday, March 19, at sideshowtheatre.org/houseparty. Tickets are pay-what-you-can with a $10 suggested donation. The monthly series continues through September.
Water People Theater hosts its international Online Festival of Latino Theater featuring live Zoom performances by theater artists from Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, Germany and the United States. Among the featured works are an adaptation of Homer's "Odyssey" titled "Odisea"; "La Voz Humana" by French playwright Jean Cocteau about a woman's farewell call to her former partner; Miguel de Cervantes' "El Merolico en el Encierro (The Merolico in the Confinement)" about a salesman/charlatan reflecting on his life; and "Emigrantes (Emigrants)," Slawomir Mrozek's play about two migrants, one white collar and one blue collar, together in a city far from their home.
Viewers may vote to determine the first, second and third place productions, which will receive a $1,000, $600 or $400 prize. Winning productions will be showcased on the Water People Theater website in April.
Live performances begin at 5 p.m. Friday, March 19. Tickets are $7 per play. Performances are in English and Spanish. The festival concludes at noon Saturday, March 27, with the awards ceremony. See waterpeople.org.
In other news
• Elmhurst History Museum presents the GreenMan Theatre Troupe in a prerecorded production of Orson Welles' radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds." Six prerecorded performances of "War of the Worlds: The 1938 Radio Script" will be available online Friday through Sunday, March 19-21 and 26-28. The performance is presented in conjunction with the museum's current exhibit, "Together We Cannot Fail: Overcoming the Great Depression." Tickets are $2.95. See elmhursthistory.org/320/programs.
• Porchlight Music Theatre hosts its annual fundraising concert "Chicago Sings Rock & Roll Broadway," which begins streaming online at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 20, and includes songs from "Rent," "Dreamgirls," "Bye, Bye Birdie" and "Jagged Little Pill." Performers include Lucy Godínez, Donterrio Johnson, Heidi Kettenring, Andrew Mueller and Bethany Thomas among others. Additionally, Joseph Jefferson and Tony Award nominee Felicia P. Fields will receive the 2021 Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago. The event will be streamed through April 18. Tickets range from $25 to $500. A free Zoom after-party, during which "Rock & Roll Broadway" performers will talk about the event, takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 25. See porchlightmusictheatre.org.
• Zanies Comedy Club, 1548 N. Wells St., Chicago, recently introduced "Wednesdays after Work." The new comedy show commences at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with a DJ followed by an 8 p.m. comedy show hosted by Dario Durham. Tickets are $20 and include a two-item food or beverage minimum. Zanies has implemented COVID-19 precautions including face coverings, physical distancing, temperature checks and cashless transactions among others. (312) 337-4027 or zanies.com.
• First Folio Theatre's 50/50 raffle -- where the winner takes home 50% of the amount raised -- continues through Sunday, March 21. Tickets are $5 each, five for $20 and 30 for $100. The winner will be drawn at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 21, live on the theater's Facebook page. Proceeds fund First Folio's upcoming online productions. (630) 986-8067 or firstfolio.org.
• Third Eye Theatre Ensemble, a company that produces new or rarely performed operatic works, announced its eighth season will include "The Infinite Energy of Ada Lovelace," an opera by composer Kamala Sankaram with a libretto by Rob Handel. The opera is about Lord Byron's daughter, a 19th-century mathematician coping with society's expectations and with her father's scandal-ridden reputation. It runs Sept. 17 through Oct. 5 at Chicago's Edge Theater. See thirdeyete.com.