Music's in the air at Drury Lane, Goodman and Northlight theaters
Back in plaid
A revival of the beloved, 1950s doo-wop revue "Forever Plaid" marks Drury Lane Theatre's resumption of in-person performances. Brian Eng, Michael Ferraro, Yando Lopez and A.D. Weaver star as members of a singing quartet who are killed on their way to their first big gig and are given the chance for a star-making turn in heaven.
Previews at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18; 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, and through Sept. 22 at 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. The show opens Sept. 23. $52-$72. Masks required regardless of vaccination status. (630) 530-0111 or drurylanetheatre.com.
Steel Beam Theatre regular Jennifer Reeves Wilson introduces a variety of folks -- both elite and average -- in the solo show "Six Characters in Search of an Audience." Proceeds from the performances benefit Steel Beam's upcoming season.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17-18, and Sept. 24-25; 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19 and 26, at 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. Masks required regardless of vaccination status. $15 suggested donation. (630) 587-8521 or steelbeamtheatre.com.
Goodman Theatre artistic associate Henry Godinez directs "American Mariachi," produced in association with Dallas Theater Center and in collaboration with the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance and Sones de Mexico Ensemble.
Music and comedy
Goodman Theatre, in collaboration with the Dallas Theater Center and in association with the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance's fourth annual Destinos festival, presents the pandemic-delayed Chicago-area premiere of "American Mariachi." The new comedy by José Cruz González features music by Grammy Award-nominee Sones de Mexico Ensemble. The story centers around a woman caring for her ailing mother who shakes up her rather ordinary life by forming an all-female mariachi band with her cousin.
Previews at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 23-24, and through Sept. 26 at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The show opens Sept. 27. $25-$70. Proof of vaccination required. Patrons must wear masks. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.
Bethany Thomas stars in Northlight Theatre's "Songs for Nobodies" celebrating the music of Judy Garland, Patsy Cline and Billie Holiday among other notable singers.
- Courtesy of Michael Brosilow
Tunes made famous by such celebrated singers as Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Patsy Cline make up the one-woman musical revue "Songs for Nobodies" featuring Joseph Jefferson Award-winner Bethany Thomas. The show marks Thomas' Northlight Theatre debut. Actor/director Rob Lindley directs.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24-25, and through Sept. 30 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. The show opens Oct. 1. $30-$89. Proof of vaccination required. Patrons must wear masks. (847) 673-6300 or northlight.org.
In other theater news
• Sideshow Theatre Company's House Party series concludes with an online reading of "Whisperer's Apprentice" by Walt McGough at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17. The play is about two siblings, desperate to save their kingdom, who flee to the forest to seek the woman who can "stave off the chaos." Admission is pay-what-you-can. See sideshowtheatre.org/houseparty.
• "The Infinite Wrench," The Neo-Futurists' signature show promising 60 plays in 30 minutes, resumes in-person performances at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. Attendees must show proof of vaccination and masks are required. (773) 878-4557 or neofuturists.org.
• Silk Road Rising showcases stories from the West Ridge neighborhood on Chicago's far north side as part of a new video project. Titled "The COVID Monologues," the residents' stories chronicle the COVID-19 pandemic in a neighborhood with a high coronavirus transmission rate. The show premieres online at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, with an encore presentation at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20. See silkroadrising.com.
• Curious Theatre Branch hosts a benefit beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, at Links Hall, 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago. The benefit consists of a concert featuring the ensemble Crooked Mouth whose lineup includes Curious Theatre co-founders Beau O'Reilly and Jenny Magnus. $20 suggested donation. See dime.io/events/crooked-mouth-w-special-guests.
• Destinos -- The 4th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, consisting of live and digital performances, begins Thursday, Sept. 23. Six Chicago productions are featured in the festival. Teatro Vista debuts the first two episodes of its true-crime audio serial "Futurology presents: The Fifth World." Other productions include Goodman Theatre's Midwest premiere of "American Mariachi," UrbanTheater Company's "Brujaja," Aguijon Theater's "La Gran Tirana: Descarga dramatica," Vision Latino Theatre Company's "Y tu abuela, where is she?" and Teatro Tariakuri's adults-only fairy tale "La manera como luces esta noche." Ensembles from Florida, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico make up the rest of the festival, the signature offering from the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance. See clata.org for dates, times, locations and tickets.
• Corn Productions presents "Covid Chronicles," a new sketch-comedy show consisting of sketches examining the coronavirus pandemic. Performances begin Thursday, Sept. 23, at 4210 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Tickets are $15. Proof of vaccination and masks are required. See cornservatory.org.
• Congo Square Theatre Company launched its 2021-2022 season with a streaming production of "The Clinic," a serial radio drama created, acted and produced by ensemble members. It tells the story of Dr. Latisha Bradley, who is changing the world with a life-altering discovery that was meant to help all but only helps some. The suggested donation is $10. See congosquaretheatre.org/audio-series.
• Performances continue through Sept. 26 for Filament Theatre's premiere of "The Secret Yes," a free, immersive, outdoor, family-friendly promenade production in which audience members are the protagonists of their own stories. Produced in association with the Chicago Park District, the event is staged in Portage Park at 4100 N. Long Ave., Chicago. See filamenttheatre.org.
• Victory Gardens Theater's 2021-2022 season will include three main-stage productions, a reading series and a new play festival. The season begins in October with the monthly Ignite Chicago Reading Series. Main-stage productions resume Jan. 22 with "Queen of the Night," travis tate's drama about a divorced father and his LGBTQ son on a camping trip. That's followed by the premiere of "In Every Generation" (April 2-May 1), Ali Viterbi's play about a Jewish family grappling with race, religion and trauma. The main stage season concludes with "cullud wattah" (June 11-July 17), Erika Dickerson-Despenza's drama inspired by the tainted water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The season also includes the 20/50 Festival featuring three new works by playwrights over 50 scheduled for June 2022. Performances take place at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Season subscriptions include flex passes from three to 12 tickets ranging from $135 to $540. Under 30 flex passes range from $75 to $150. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.