Spotlight: It's 'Groundhog Day' over and over again at Paramount Theatre
Just in time for Groundhog Day, Paramount Theatre presents the regional premiere of the titular musical adapted from the 1993 movie starring Bill Murray as a jaded weather forecaster who finds himself trapped in the town famed rodent Punxsutawney Phil calls home, reliving the same day over and over. Paramount's regional premiere of "Groundhog Day: The Musical" is directed by artistic director Jim Corti and stars Alex Syiek as weather forecaster Phil Connors and Phoebe González as good-hearted producer Rita Hanson.
Previews continue at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29; 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30, and through Feb. 3 at 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. The show opens Feb. 4. $36-$79. COVID-19 precautions: Proof of vaccination and masking required. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.
Mardra Thomas stars as Billie Holiday in Metropolis Performing Arts Centre's "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill."
- Courtesy of Metropolis Performing Arts Centre
'Lady Day' at Metropolis
Mardra Thomas stars as jazz great Billie Holiday in Metropolis Performing Arts Centre's "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill," Lanie Robertson's play with music that unfolds in a rundown Philadelphia bar where Holiday is performing a few months before her death. Over the course of the performance, Holiday becomes increasingly intoxicated while sharing her life story with the audience. Note: The production includes adult themes and language.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 3-5; 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6; and through Feb. 10 at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. The show opens Feb. 11. $35, $40. COVID-19 precautions: Proof of vaccination and masking required. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.
A classic revived
Marriott Theatre revives Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's groundbreaking musical "West Side Story." Adapted from William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," the show is an examination of love, race and intolerance that is as timely as today's headlines. Victor Malana Maog directs and Alex Sanchez choreographs Marriott's revival, which stars Lauren Maria Medina and Jake David Smith as the star-crossed lovers.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 2-3; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4-5; 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6; and through Feb. 8 at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. The show opens Feb. 9. $50-$60. COVID-19 precautions: Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test and masking required. (847) 634-0200 or marriotttheatre.com.
Windy City premiere
Director David H. Bell ("A Recipe for Disaster," "Southern Gothic") returns to Windy City Playhouse to helm the premiere of "Sons of Hollywood," Barry Ball and Carl Menninger's examination of 1920s Hollywood from the perspective of gay, silent film stars. With the advent of the Motion Picture Production Code and the purging of Hollywood's openly gay stars, Ramon Novarro and William Haines must decide whether to fight for their rights or confront their new reality, a choice that boils down to a decision between love and money. Trey DeLuna and Adam Jennings star.
Previews continue at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 28-29; 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30; and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 2014 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago. Opening performances take place Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 3-6. $55-$75. COVID-19 precautions: Proof of vaccination or negative PCR test within 48 hours of performance and masking required. (773) 891-8985 or windycityplayhouse.com.
In other news
Check venues for COVID-19 precautions.
• The 25th Fillet of Solo, Lifeline Theatre's celebration of storytelling, continues virtually through Feb. 13 with performances by 10 storytellers and 28 solo performers from around the country. The fest also includes the ensembles Stir-Friday Night!, Sweat Girls and Is This a Thing? among others. Tickets are "name your price," with a suggested donation of $45. (773) 761-4477 or lifelinetheatre.com.
• Previews begin Friday, Jan. 28, for Mercury Theater Chicago's "Women of Soul," an original revue celebrating Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Janis Joplin and Janet Jackson, with a special tribute to Aretha Franklin. The show opens Thursday, Feb. 3, at 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time, or a negative antigen test taken within 6 hours of the performance start time, and masking required. See mercurytheaterchicago.com.
• "Hairspray," the musical adapted from John Waters' film, returns to Chicago on Tuesday, Feb. 1, at the CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago. Niki Metcalf stars as Tracy Turnblad, a teenage girl living in 1960s Baltimore eager to appear on the city's most popular TV dance show and make a few changes in the process. Andrew Levitt, aka Nina West from "RuPaul's Drag Race," plays her mother, Edna. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.
• Victory Gardens Theater launches its season with "Queen of the Night," a drama by travis tate about a divorced father and his LGBTQ+ son who reckon with masculinity and their shared past while on a camping trip in southeastern Texas. Previews begin Saturday, Jan. 29, at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens Feb. 4 and 5. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.
• Trap Door Theatre's rescheduled production of "The Martyrdom of Peter Ohey" opens Thursday, Feb. 3, at 1655 W. Cortland St., Chicago. It's adapted and directed by Nicole Wiesner from the Sławomir Mrozek farce about how a family is turned upside down when a tiger appears in their bathroom. As more unusual characters invade their home, the family must decide whether to resist or give in and join the circus. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (773) 384-0494 or trapdoortheatre.com.
• The COVID-19 pandemic-delayed premiere of Theatre Above the Law's "Ghosts of Chernobyl" begins previews Thursday, Feb. 3, at The Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave., Chicago. In David Hartley's play, "characters struggle over what the definition of family is while they battle with superiors and sometimes close friends in the control room of the ill-fated Chernobyl Power Plant," according to the theater's news release. See theatreatl.org.
• Podcaster and co-host of "Bravo's Chat Room" Hannah Berner headlines The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, on Feb. 10. Proof of vaccination and masking required. (773) 697-3830 or thedentheatre.com.
• Celebrate Valentine's Day with a few laughs courtesy of The Second City, whose touring ensemble performs a best-of show at 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test and masking is required. Tickets are $38-$48. (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org.
• Director Brian Balcom and playwright Tsehaye Geralyn Hébert are among the artists added to 3Arts Disability Culture Leadership Initiative, an online platform showcasing works by artists with disabilities that encourages arts and culture agencies to prioritize disability culture in programming. The newly enhanced DCLI website features six video conversations on topics including "Creating Spaces for Belonging" and "Inclusive and Introspective Theater." Theater artists Michael Herzovi, Arlene Malinowski and Robert Schleifer are also featured on the website. See 3arts.org.
• BoHo Theatre named Elizabeth Swanson, a veteran of About Face Theatre, Underscore Theatre, American Theater Company, Victory Gardens Theater and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, as its new artistic director. "I am excited to continue the company's ingrained mission of working together as a family: of spreading love, kindness, and thoughtfulness through every production and story we take on," said Swanson in a prepared statement.
• Filament Theatre named Reji Simon its new associate artistic director. A longtime resident artist with the company, Simon has worked as an actor, casting director and has served on board committees.