Spotlight: Oak Park Festival Theatre and Kane Repertory team up for virtual 'Venetians'

  • James Vincent Meredith plays Othello in Oak Park Festival Theatre and Kane Repertory Theatre's production of "The Venetians" by Matt Barbot.

    James Vincent Meredith plays Othello in Oak Park Festival Theatre and Kane Repertory Theatre's production of "The Venetians" by Matt Barbot.

 
 
Posted5/7/2021 6:00 AM

Mother's Day treat

Glenview's Oil Lamp Theater salutes moms on Mother's Day with a virtual production of "The Momologues." Written by Lisa Rafferty, Sheila Eppolito and Stefanie Cloutier, the comedy premiered as a virtual reading last year around Mother's Day. The play chronicles motherhood from pregnancy to the day when moms usher their kids onto the bus for their first day of Kindergarten.

 

Streams at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 7-8, at oillamptheater.org. Pay-what-you-can with a $15 suggested donation.

Lawrence Grimm plays Shylock in Oak Park Festival Theatre and Kane Repertory Theatre's production of "The Venetians" by Matt Barbot.
Lawrence Grimm plays Shylock in Oak Park Festival Theatre and Kane Repertory Theatre's production of "The Venetians" by Matt Barbot.
'The Venetians'

Oak Park Festival Theatre and Kane Repertory Theatre team up for a virtual production of "The Venetians," a new play by Matt Barbot that combines "Othello" with "The Merchant of Venice" to examine the role of the outsider with regard to assimilation, acceptance and national identity. In it, Othello's desire to give Desdemona a lavish wedding forces him to borrow money from Shylock in this play featuring several Shakespeare characters.

"This play represents a wonderful synthesis of our company's Shakespearean roots and our desire to expand our vision to one in which everyone is represented and celebrated on our stages," said artistic director Barbara Zahora in a prepared statement.

Streams at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 8, and on demand May 10-16 at oakparkfestival.com. For ages 18 and older. $25.

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'Live' at Goodman

Goodman Theatre introduced its online "Live" series consisting of limited runs of new productions performed in real-time. Incorporating stagecraft, technology and video production, the new series commences next week with "The Sound Inside," Adam Rapp's two-hander about a writing professor and one of her students of whom she asks a big favor. That's followed by "Ohio State Murders" (June 17-20), Adrienne Kennedy's drama about one of Ohio State University's first Black students who returns decades later to tell a chilling tale of life lived in the shadows. The series concludes with "I Hate It Here" (July 15-18), Ike Holter's 2020-inspired examination of "a world on the brink of explosion."

"The Sound Inside" runs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 13-14; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 15; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 16, at goodmantheatre.org/live. $30 or $60 for all three productions.

In other news

• The Neo-Futurists livestream "The Egg Wrench: 30 Plays in 60 Egg Minutes," consisting of plays from its long-running "Infinite Wrench" that center on families, chosen families and reproductive rights. The Mother's Day event takes place at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 9, at neofuturists.org/events/the-egg-wrench. Tickets are $18. Proceeds benefit the Chicago Birthworks Collective, a group of doulas who serve Black families.

• Former Chicago theater artist Carlo Lorenzo Garcia's play "Portrait of My Mother," about his mother's journey from her native Laredo, Texas, to Chicago will get its streaming premiere courtesy of Jarrott Productions, an Austin, Texas, theater company. The play begins streaming Monday, May 9, at jarrottproductions.com. Tickets are $5.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Performer/comedian Julia Morales and improv teachers Jonald Reyes and Charley Carroll have formed Stepping Stone Theater, which will provide improv training and performance opportunities to BIPOC, LGBTQIA, people with disabilities and others. See steppingstonechicago.com.

• 4 Chairs Theatre's virtual production of the pop musical "Island Song" by lyricist Sam Carner and composer Derek Gregor has been extended. The tuner about five twentysomethings in New York negotiating their various love affairs with the city will run through Sunday, May 9. Tickets are available at 4chairstheatre.org/island-song.

• Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway production of "The Importance of Being Earnest," Oscar Wilde's 1895 satire on morality and marriage and Victorian society -- filmed live in high-definition -- will be available for streaming through May 31. Produced in association with Roundabout, L.S. Theatre Works and By Experience, the production was directed by Brian Bedford, who also co-stars as Lady Bracknell. Tickets are $15. They're available at latw.org/hd-screenings.

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