Spotlight: 'Kitties in Space' soars into Otherworld Theatre
Felines in space
In a future where humans are extinct and pets have enhanced intelligence, cat buddies Socks and Mittens "go where no cat has gone before" in Otherworld Theatre's adults-only, absurdist adventure "Kitties in Space: The Saga" by John Enright. Tiffany Keane Schaefer directs.
Opens at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. $20. Proof of vaccination and masking required. See otherworldtheatre.org.
The Artistic Home's "Summer on the Patio" series of three free workshop performances returns with plays selected to reflect the neighborhood's history and culture, with a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion of BIPOC and LGTBQ+ artists. Featured plays include Jez Butterworth's "The River," about a man who brings his new girlfriend to a remote cabin; David Ives' "Venus in Fur," about a playwright seeking a female lead for his adaptation of a sadomasochistic novel; and Siah Berlatsky's "Malapert Love," a riff on William Shakespeare's comedies in which various characters fall in love with the wrong people.
"The River": Friday, Aug. 5, 12, 19 and 26; "Venus in Fur": Saturday, Aug. 6, 13, 20 and 27; "Malapert Love": Sunday, Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28, at 3054 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Free, but donations are accepted. Proof of vaccination and masking required. See theartistichome.org.
Music Theater Works, in association with Ensemble Espacol, presents the regional premiere of "Zorro: The Musical," featuring a score by The Gipsy Kings and John Cameron and a book by Stephen Clark and Helen Edmundson. Cisco Lopez stars as the nobleman who leads a double life as a masked hero determined to protect his people from a tyrant, while also attempting to win the heart of a beautiful woman.
Preview at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. The show opens at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12. $39-$106. Face masks required. (847) 673-6300 or musictheaterworks.com.
In other news
Check with venues regarding COVID-19 precautions.
• The Second City e.t.c.'s 46th sketch comedy revue, "Great Alterations," opens this week at 230 W. North Ave., Chicago. The adults-only show runs at 8 p.m. Thursday, 7 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. Sunday. (312) 337-3992 or thesecondcity.com.
• Comedian Jourdain Fisher, a finalist in this year's NBC Stand Up Showcase, headlines The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Fisher performs at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. Tickets are $20-$40. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required. Masks optional. (773) 697-3830 or thedentheatre.com.
• Chicago Children's Theatre released five new Walkie Talkie audio adventure tours of the following Chicago neighborhoods: Logan Square, Grant Park, Palmer Square, Chinatown and the West Loop as part of its family-friendly podcast series designed to encourage families to explore the city. Produced in cooperation with the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the podcasts run under one hour and come with a downloadable map, photos of tour highlights and vocabulary keys along with reading and song lists. See chicagochildrenstheatre.org/event/walkie-talkies.
• Porchlight Music Theatre hosts the next in its Broadway in Your Backyard concert series at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, at the 17th floor Astor Terrace at the Ambassador Chicago, 1301 N. State Pkwy., Chicago. The set includes songs from "Rent," "Hello, Dolly!" "Six," "The Music Man" and "Grease," among other shows. Tickets are $55. See porchlightmusictheatre.org.
• Factory Theater hosts a launch party for its season-opening production "HOA" from 7-10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at 1623 W. Howard St., Chicago. The event includes games, raffles and craft beer. See thefactorytheater.com.
• 16th Street Theater hosts a free, virtual staged reading of "Dis/Content" by Jean Gottlieb, one of the Berwyn theater's resident playwrights. Set in a dystopian future, the play is about government workers who encounter a woman living outside of sanctioned society. The reading takes place at 7 p.m. Aug. 12. See 16thstreettheater.org to register.
• Performances continue through Aug. 28 for ETA Creative Arts Foundation's production of "Two Twenty Seven," writer Christine Houston's award-winning family comedy named for the Chicago apartment building in which she grew up. The 1977 play about Mary Jensen and her best friend Carrie, who sit outside their building and gossip about its tenants and other neighborhood residents, inspired the TV comedy "227." Performances are at 7558 S. South Chicago Ave., Chicago. (773) 752-3955 or etacreativearts.org.
• Oil Lamp Theater named actor/director Elizabeth Mazur, a 10-year veteran of the Glenview theater, as its new artistic director. "I am committed to providing a season that not only entertains, but tells stories with, about, and from a variety of viewpoints. We want our audiences to think, engage and feel in a shared theatrical experience," said Mazur in a prepared statement.
• Saint Sebastian Players announced its 41st season begins Oct. 28 with Marc Camoletti's "Boeing-Boeing," a 1960s farce about a bachelor who romances three stewardesses at the same time. That's followed by Lauren Gunderson's "The Book of Will" (Feb. 17-March 12, 2023), about two actors who, after the death of William Shakespeare, struggle to preserve the plays that shaped their lives. The season concludes with Terrence McNally's "It's Only a Play" (April 28-May 21, 2023). The comedy is set post-premiere as theater artists -- a hotshot director, the playwright's best friend, the leading lady and others -- await the opening night reviews. Performances take place at St. Bonaventure Church, 1625 W. Diversey Ave., Chicago. (773) 404-7922 or saintsebastianplayers.org.