Chicago Shakespeare showcases playwright's supporting characters
Oil Lamp one-acts
Oil Lamp Theater celebrates April Fools' Day belatedly with "Fool(ish)," an evening of one-act comedies. The plays include "Bowl of Trouble," about a mom who discovers an illegal substance in her daughter's pocket; "Deep Gardens," about a couple of singles sipping chardonnay at a restaurant; "Game Theory," about a confrontation between a newcomer and a middle manager at a corporate retreat; "Interview with a Fool," about a Shakespearean Fool looking for a job; and "Mo," about a woman trying to slow down post-retirement.
Streaming at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 2, and Saturday, April 3, at oillamptheater.org. Pay-what-you-can with a suggested donation of $15. (847) 834-0738.
Dinner-theater at home
Possibilities Theatre Company revives "The Dining Room," A.R. Gurney's 1981 examination of upper middle-class white America through interrelated vignettes that take place in the same dining room over various decades. The theater's digital production includes a dinner-theater option courtesy of the cast and production team, several of whom will host cooking shows instructing audience members on how to create a meal they can savor while watching the livestream.
Livestreaming at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 2, and 9 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 3 and 10, on YouTube. Suggested donations start at $15 and include a link to a private online cooking show featuring an actor or production team member. Email email@example.com.
I Shakespeare at CST
William Shakespeare's supporting characters take center stage as part of Chicago Shakespeare Theater's I Shakespeare series consisting of filmed solo shows by writer/actor Tim Crouch. "I Banquo" offers a different take on "Macbeth" from the perspective of the titular character's best friend, who's betrayed and murdered in Macbeth's pursuit of power. Dan Waller plays Banquo, who wonders how he would have reacted to the Weird Sisters' prophecies. Julian Parker plays the titular role in Crouch's "I Cinna (The Poet)," which showcases the poet in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"I Banquo" streams on demand through April 18; "I Cinna (The Poet)" streams on demand Monday, April 4, through May 2. $25 per production. See chicagoshakes.com/stream.
Goodman Theatre's Encore series streaming previously recorded productions continues with "Pedro Páramo," which premiered as part of Goodman's 2013 Latino Theatre Festival. The production, created by Cuba's Teatro Buendía, is based on Juan Rulfo's 1955 novel about a young man who returns to his mother's hometown in search of his father and discovers a ghost town.
Free on demand at goodmantheatre.org through April 11. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Presented in Spanish with English and Spanish close captioning available.
In other news
• First Folio Theatre's Bedtime Tales series continues with artistic associate Diana Coates reading "Miss Rumphius," Barbara Cooney's fictional tale about an old woman nicknamed The Lupine Lady known for scattering lupine seeds in her community. Artistic associate Michael Goldberg reads from "Uncle Wiggily and the Black Crow," one of Howard R. Garis' children's stories. First Folio's Storytellers Series continues with Belinda Bremner reading the poem "Planetarium" by Adrienne Rich. Stories continue through July 15 on First Folio's YouTube channel.
• Chicago Children's Theatre and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut "Maybe Something Beautiful," a virtual film inspired by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell's children's book about a young girl who paints a sun on an alley wall to brighten the lives of her neighbors. The film, inspired by a true story, incorporates puppetry, classical works by Latino composers and bilingual narration in English and Spanish. It streams at Chicago Children's Theatre's YouTube page and at cso.org/tv.
• Shattered Globe Theatre's SGT Voices, the digital series established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide a virtual platform for ensemble members and affiliate artists, resumes with four new installments. They include "The Mask Maker," which examines the pandemic from a science fiction perspective; a short film from "Project" comprising 28 films; and "Patched Pieces: A Journey Through Resistance," chronicling the journey of the pandemic. See sgtheatre.org/sgtvoices.
• The performance art collective The Conspirators presents "Jesus Christ Superstar Do-It-Your Messiah," its annual neo-vaudeville, variety and singalong event streaming at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 4, on Facebook Live. Based on the 1970 recording of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock musical, participants (dancers, musicians, spoken word artists, etc.) perform the album to an online audience. Performances can be live or prerecorded. Admission is free. The link to the performance will be available beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 4, on The Conspirators' Facebook page.
• A Red Orchid Theatre hosts its annual gala, Root Ball 2020: Strong Roots, New Growth, at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 8. The virtual event includes performances, raffles, an auction and appearances from ensemble members and cast members from AROT's virtual production of "American Bottom." Admission is free, but donations are accepted. A $25 donation includes three raffle tickets. The $60 VIP package includes raffle tickets and dinner at Kamehachi. See aredorchidtheatre.org.
• Citadel Theatre, in cooperation with Wine Insiders and Autohaus on Edens, hosts a virtual wine and cheese fundraiser titled "Corks for a Cause" on Friday, April 9. Curated tastings at 7 and 8:30 p.m. include food, wine and music. Register by Monday, April 5, to receive wine samples for the tasting. See citadeltheatre.org.
-- Barbara Vitello