Spotlight: Chicago Shakespeare Theater celebrates its namesake's birthday
Happy Birthday, Will
Chicago Shakespeare Theater marks William Shakespeare's April 23 birthday with a virtual celebration. Titled "To Be 4/23" and streamed live from the rooftop of CST's Navy Pier home, the event includes poetry, song, dance and spoken-word performances and features an appearance by rapper/actor Common.
Live streams at 7 p.m. Friday, April 23, at chicagoshakes.com/tobe. Free, but donations are accepted.
Liz Taylor salute
Porchlight Music Theatre, in cooperation with KB Productions, presents "Call Me Elizabeth," a show about the early life of film star Elizabeth Taylor inspired by her conversations with writer Max Lerner. Kayla Boye wrote and stars in the one-woman bio-drama set during 1961, shortly after Taylor won an Oscar for "Butterfield 8" and survived a near-fatal bout of pneumonia. Erin Kraft directs the virtual production.
Streams at 7 p.m. Friday, April 23, through April 30 at porchlightmusictheatre.org. $25 per household with streaming available up to 72 hours after initial viewing. A portion of the proceeds benefits Howard Brown Health and Brave Space Alliance in honor of Taylor's advocacy and activism in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Kayla Boye stars in the streaming one-woman show "Call Me Elizabeth," about the early career of Elizabeth Taylor, in a co-production between Porchlight Music Theatre and KB Productions.
- Courtesy of KÀchÍ Mozie
In other news
• Porchlight Music Theatre's virtual series showcasing particular Broadway seasons continues with "New Faces Sing Broadway 1961" hosted by Kelvin Roston Jr. and recorded on-site at Chicago's Studebaker Theatre. Tickets are $25 to $50 for the livestream, which is available through May at porchlightmusictheatre.org. (773) 777-9884.
• Collaboraction hosts two monthly online talk shows devoted to inspiring social change. Presented live on Zoom the third Thursday of every month, "Crucial Connections" brings together experts and theater artists to examine a social justice issue. "Becoming: Unlearning White Supremacy" takes place live on Zoom the first Tuesday of every month and addresses anti-racist efforts. See collaboraction.org.
• Citadel Theatre announced its 2021-22 season will begin Sept. 17 with "Brighton Beach Memoirs," the first in Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical Eugene trilogy. That's followed on Nov. 19 by the tuner "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown," based on Charles Schultz's "Peanuts" comic strip. Next up is John Patrick Shanley's Ireland-set "Outside Mullingar" (Feb. 11-March 13, 2022), about neighboring farmers Anthony and Rosemary taking a chance on love. The season concludes with Steve Martin's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" (April 22-May 22, 2022), an examination of art, science, genius and talent involving Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso and a musician fond of blue suede shoes. A four-show flex subscription is $120. A three-show flex pass is $100 and a two-show pass is $70. Performances take place at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. (847) 735-8554 or citadeltheatre.org.
• Northlight Theatre announced upcoming outdoor events will include local titans Felicia P. Fields and E. Faye Butler in concert on July 9 and 10. Additionally, Northlight resumes its Summer Nights with Northlight cabaret series June 10. Performances take place outdoors at a local restaurant partner. The $60 ticket includes the performance, a light dinner and select beverages. (847) 673-6300 or northlight.org/events.
• Definition Theatre announced the winners of its Amplify new play commissions include Nora Carroll for "Lot 110," Luna Dragon Mac-Williams for "Corazones," Paul Michael Thomson for "What a Time to Be Alive (You Say That Every Time)" and Ireon Roach for "are you ready to smash white things?" Definition Theatre will assist with play development including two workshops, a public reading and a $2,000 stipend. See definitiontheatre.org.
• Chicago Children's Theatre named Sam Mauceri, Goodman Theatre's former school matinee coordinator, as its new inclusive education and programs manager responsible for ensuring an open environment for all educational programs. "I am thrilled to support our dedicated community of students and families, while working to expand our offerings to serve even more young people on the autism spectrum across Chicago," said Mauceri in a prepared statement. "I believe that the arts must be for everyone, and I can't think of a better way to enact that belief than by working to develop the reach and scope of the Red Kite Program," established for children on the autism spectrum.