Spotlight: Griffin resumes 'Solaris' in-person and 'Come From Away' returns to Chicago

  • The cast of Griffin Theatre Company's North American premiere of "Solaris" includes Isa Arciniegas, top left, and Nicole Laurenzi and Larry Baldacci, bottom left, John Drea and TJ Thomas.

    The cast of Griffin Theatre Company's North American premiere of "Solaris" includes Isa Arciniegas, top left, and Nicole Laurenzi and Larry Baldacci, bottom left, John Drea and TJ Thomas.

 
 
Posted2/18/2022 6:00 AM

American premiere

Griffin Theatre Company resumes in-person performances with the North American premiere of "Solaris," a sci-fi thriller by David Greig adapted from the novel by Stanislaw Lem. This examination of loneliness, isolation and loss centers on scientists studying the planet Solaris in a remote part of the galaxy. A new scientist arrives on the space station to investigate reports of abnormal behavior among the crew to find one crew member dead and two others hallucinating.

 

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, and Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 24-26, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens Feb. 27. $30, $40. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (773) 338-2177 or griffintheatre.com.

Feel-good tuner

The charming Tony Award-winning musical "Come From Away" returns to Chicago for a limited run. Based on actual events, the musical centers on the residents of a small fishing community in Gander, Newfoundland, who welcomed thousands of stranded airline passengers after planes were grounded following the attacks of Sept. 11.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, and Thursday and Friday, Feb. 24-25; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26; and 2 p.m. Feb. 27 and through March 6, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. $31.50-$106.50. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.

Stefanie Johnsen, left, Kaitlin Feely and Alex Farrington co-star in BrightSide Theatre's revival of the farce "Don't Dress for Dinner" by Marco Camoletti.
Stefanie Johnsen, left, Kaitlin Feely and Alex Farrington co-star in BrightSide Theatre's revival of the farce "Don't Dress for Dinner" by Marco Camoletti. - Courtesy of BrightSide Theatre
French farce

BrightSide Theatre brightens up winter with a revival of "Don't Dress for Dinner," a farce by playwright Marc Camoletti that unfolds at a French country home and involves adulterous spouses, secret assignations, mistaken identities and a Chanel coat.

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8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27, and through March 12 at the Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville. $28, $33. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, negative PCR test within 72 hours of curtain time or a negative antigen test within 6 hours of curtain time and masking required. (630) 447-8497 or brightsidetheatre.com.

In other news

Check with venues regarding COVID-19 precautions.

• Victory Gardens Theater presents a reading of "exercise your demons: a play on the trauma of a gay male body" by Gage Tarlton as part of its Ignite Chicago free reading series. The play is about men grappling with sex, identity, body image and grief in the aftermath of a suicide. The reading takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, at Hardware Strength and Conditioning, 1834 W. Balmoral Ave., Chicago. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.

• The next in Stage Left Theatre's monthly online play reading series Off-Stage Left takes place via Zoom at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21. The play is "Theodosia Redux" by Claudia Barnett, known for her experimental plays about women, history and science. The suggested donation is $5. See stagelefttheatre.com.

• Broadway in Chicago presents "The Simon and Garfunkel Story," a concert tribute to the folk-pop duo running Tuesday, Feb. 22, through Feb. 27 at the CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago. The concert includes such beloved songs as "Mrs. Robinson," "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" and "Homeward Bound," among others, along with stories about the duo's career, culminating with their 1981 reunion concert in New York's Central Park. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Comedians Mike Toomey and Rocky LaPorte headline a Comedy for Cancer benefit Thursday, Feb. 24, at the Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove. Sponsored by the H Foundation, the event will raise funds for research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University. Andrea Darlas hosts the evening, which begins at 6 p.m. with light bites, followed by standup comedy at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $75. See hfoundation.org/comedy-for-cancer.

Patrick O'Keefe stars in Hell in a Handbag's revival of "The Drag Seed," a parody of the 1956 film "The Bad Seed."
Patrick O'Keefe stars in Hell in a Handbag's revival of "The Drag Seed," a parody of the 1956 film "The Bad Seed." - Courtesy of Rick Aguilar Studios

• Hell in a Handbag Productions revives its comedy "The Drag Seed," an unauthorized parody of the 1956 psychological horror film "The Bad Seed." In this comedy by artistic director David Cerda, a youngster named Carson (Patrick O'Keefe) is determined to win the drag pageant at the progressive Josephine Baker Rainbow Academy for Gifted Students and will do anything to ensure success. Previews begin Thursday, Feb. 24, at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. The show opens Feb. 27. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. See handbagproductions.org.

• Curious Theatre Branch is streaming "Aviva Green: The Rebirth of Bleak," Matt Rieger's noir-inspired radio play centered around a female private detective. The suggested contribution is $5 per episode. See thecurioustheatrebranch.bandcamp.com.

• PlayMakers Laboratory, the arts education program founded in 1997 as Barrel of Monkeys, announced the formation of an emergency GoFundMe campaign in response to the nearly one-year shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company's goal is to raise $60,000 to enable artists to bring creative writing residencies and theater performances to children in grades 3 to 6 attending underfunded Chicago elementary schools. To donate, visit playmakerslab.org.

• The League of Chicago Theatres executive director Deb Clapp announced she will step down from the organization she has led for 14 years on June 30. Chicago Theatre Week, 2019's Year of Chicago Theatre, the Chicago August Wilson Monologue Competition and the initiation of three grant programs that distributed more than $2 million in funds to area theaters are among her accomplishments, according to the league. "Together with the board of directors, the league staff, our member companies, and our amazing partners, we have been able to support and elevate the theater community and, at times, help navigate the industry through some collective challenges," Clapp said in a prepared statement. "I will look on with great excitement to see what new energy and enthusiasm brings to the League and to my beloved Chicago theater community."

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