Spotlight: Marriott launches season with 'Big Fish' and BTE concludes its season with 'Andy Warhol's Tomato'
A tall tale
Marriott Theatre launches its season with a revival of "Big Fish," the musical by John August and Andrew Lippa adapted from Daniel Wallace's novel and Tim Burton's film. Henry Godinez directs the tuner about a traveling salesman who embellishes his life experiences and the son who struggles to find the truth beneath his father's tall tales. Alexander Gemignani and Heidi Kettenring star.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26; 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27; 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28; and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29. The show opens Wednesday, Feb. 1. $59-$64. Masks optional. (847) 634-0200 or marriotttheatre.com.
A singular sensation
Drury Lane Theatre concludes its 2022-2023 season with a revival of Michael Bennett's "A Chorus Line," which offers a glimpse into the lives of journeymen dancers auditioning for a Broadway show.
Previews at 1:30 and 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26; 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28; 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29; and 1 p.m. Feb. 1, at 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. The show opens Thursday, Feb. 2. $85-$95. Masks optional. (630) 530-0111 or drurylanetheatre.com.
Bryan Burke, left, and Alexander Wisnieski rehearse for Buffalo Theatre Ensemble's production of "Andy Warhol's Tomato," directed by Steve Scott.
- Courtesy of Rex Howard Photography
Art and inspiration
Budding artist and college student Andy Warhol finds inspiration and advice from an unlikely source, a middle-aged bar owner, in "Andy Warhol's Tomato," a fictional two-hander by Vince Melocchi about art, inspiration and understanding. Steve Scott directs Buffalo Theatre Ensemble's revival, which precedes The Cleve Carney Museum of Art/McAninch Arts Center exhibition titled "Warhol: Featuring Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop/Works from the Bank of America Collection," which opens in June.
A preshow discussion with the director and designers is from 6:45-7:15 p.m. and the preview is at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at the McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. The show opens Friday, Feb. 3. $42. Masks recommended. (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org.
In other news
Check venues for COVID-19 precautions.
• Previews continue for Metropolis Performing Arts Centre's production of "The Legend of Georgia McBride," Matthew Lopez's comedy about a young man fired from his job as an Elvis impersonator who finds work as a drag performer. Previews continue through Friday, Jan. 27, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. The show opens Saturday, Jan. 28. Masks optional. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.
• In the wake of a hate crime at a liberal American college, three women participate in a study about creating positive change in "Radial Gradient," a new play about complicity by Jasmine Sharma in its world premiere at Shattered Globe Theatre. Previews begin Friday, Jan. 27, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens Monday, Jan. 30. Masks required. (773) 975-8150 or sgtheatre.org.
• Chicago Shakespeare Theater's WorldStage Series returns with an adaptation of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" by adapter/director Emma Rice. The production, by Rice's company Wise Children, incorporates music, dance and puppetry to tell the story of the orphaned Heathcliff and his turbulent love affair with the beautiful Catherine. Performances begin Friday, Jan. 27, at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Masks recommended. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com.
• Mercury Theater Chicago opens its season with a revival of "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill," a play with music that chronicles one of the final performances of jazz chanteuse Billie Holiday. Previews begin Friday, Jan. 27, at 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. The show opens Feb. 3. Alexis J. Roston stars. Masks recommended. See mercurytheaterchicago.com.
• Martha Ackmann's book "Curveball, The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone," inspired Lydia R. Diamond's "Toni Stone," whose Chicago-area premiere comes courtesy of Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. It centers on Toni, a talented Black female baseball player whose race prevents her from playing in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Undeterred, Toni sets out to become the first woman to play in baseball's Negro Leagues. Director Ron OJ Parson's production begins previews Saturday, Jan. 28. It opens Feb. 6. Masks recommended. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.
• Previews begin Wednesday, Feb. 1, for the TimeLine Theatre premiere of "Boulevard of Bold Dreams," Ladarrion Williams' drama about artists battling racism in 1940s Hollywood. The fictionalized account takes place on Feb. 29, 1940, the night Hattie McDaniel became the first Black woman to win an Oscar. But instead of attending the ceremony, McDaniel drops by a hotel bar, where she meets an aspiring Black director working as a bartender and his cynical friend who's working as a maid, both of whom try to convince her to claim her historic win. The premiere, directed by Malkia Stampley, opens Feb. 8 at 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. Masks required. (773) 281-8463, ext. 6, or timelinetheatre.com.
• Jacqueline Novak brings her adults-only solo show, "Jacqueline Novak: Get On Your Knees," a feminist perspective on sexual practices, to The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. She performs at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 1-2. Also at The Den Theatre, two additional performances by actor/writer/comedian Atsuko Okatsuka, whose latest special, "The Intruder," is streaming on HBO Max, have been added. Okatsuka performs at 7 and 9:15 p.m. Feb. 5. Masks encouraged. (773) 697-3830 or thedentheatre.com.