Spotlight: Trade unwanted gifts for tickets to 'Bible Bingo,' 'Late Nite Catechism'
A cowboy tale
City Lit Theater opens its 41st season with the premiere of "The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains," adapted by Chicago playwrights L.C. Bernadine and Spencer Huffman from Owen Wister's 1902 novel, which reportedly established the western tale literary tradition. Robert Hunter Bry plays the titular cowboy who tries to maintain his honor while battling a rustler played by Ben Auxier. Liz Falstreau plays Molly, the schoolteacher courted by the Virginian. Terry McCabe directs the production, which features a small herd of puppet horses designed by The Puppet Company.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7, and Saturday, Jan. 8; 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 9, and through Jan. 15 at the Edgewater Presbyterian Church, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. The show opens at 3 p.m. Jan. 16. $25-$34. COVID-19 precautions: proof of vaccination and booster shot and masks required; negative COVID tests not accepted. (773) 293-3682 or citylit.org.
Regift for tix
"Bible Bingo" creator and "Late Nite Catechism" co-writer Vicki Quade invites theatergoers to exchange unwanted gifts for a $15 ticket to the shows, which return this weekend to the Greenhouse Theater Center. The offer is available through Jan. 31. Items collected will be donated to the Little Sisters of the Poor, who operate St. Mary's Home at 2325 N. Lakewood Ave., Chicago.
"Bible Bingo" at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7, and Saturday, Jan. 8, through March 12. "Late Nite Catechism" at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 9, through April 16. $35. Use the code "REGIFT" for the $15 ticket. Performances are at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. COVID-19 precautions: proof of vaccination and masks required. (773) 404-7336 or greenhousetheater.org.
The Apollo Theater Chicago welcomes "Bachelor: The Unauthorized Musical Parody." Writer/lyricist Richelle Meiss and composers Sam Johnides and Tony Gonzalez created this musical sendup of the popular romance/competition reality show.
Previews at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13; 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15; 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16, and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at 2550 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19. $29-$49. COVID-19 precautions: proof of vaccination and masks required. (773) 935-6100, or apollochicago.com or bachelorthemusical.com.
In other news
Check with venues regarding COVID-19 precautions and protocols.
• Northlight Theatre streams its premiere of "Mr. Dickens Hat," writer/composer Michael Hollinger's engaging tribute to the art of storytelling through Jan. 16 on broadwayondemand.com. Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per household for Hollinger's play-with-music about a young woman living in 19th century London who struggles to free her father from debtors prison.
• BrightSide Theatre presents a concert version of "Promises, Promises," the musical adaptation of the film "The Apartment" by writer Neil Simon, with music by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Performances take place Jan. 14 through 22 at North Central College's Madden Theatre in the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $33 and $28. (630) 447-8497 or brightsidetheatre.com.
Additionally, BrightSide Theatre received a $20,000 Community Needs Grant from the DuPage Foundation to support theater programming, including main stage, youth theater and theater in the parks initiatives. BrightSide also received a $500 grant from the DuPage Foundation's Michael J. Schroeck Fund. Lastly, the theater received a $500 Morgan Stanley Foundation grant toward educational and community programming.
• Nat Zegree, who received a 2019 Joseph Jefferson Award for his performance in Marriott Theatre's "Million Dollar Quartet," performs his solo show, "From Mozart to Pop Chart" -- a revue showcasing some of music's greatest moments from classical to pop to musical theater -- at Marriott Theatre. The show runs at 8 p.m. Jan. 21 and 2 p.m. Jan. 22 at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. Tickets are $50. (847) 634-0200 or marriotttheatre.com.
-- Barbara Vitello