'Tommy' revisited: Goodman Theatre reimagines The Who's rock tuner 30 years after Broadway debut
Rock tuner re-imagined
Rock legend Pete Townshend and acclaimed director Des McAnuff, the creators of "The Who's Tommy," which premiered on Broadway 30 years ago, reunite for Goodman Theatre's re-imagined revival. Based on The Who's celebrated 1969 rock opera, the tuner tells the story of a young boy who triumphs over childhood trauma to become a pinball phenom. Ali Louis Bourzgui plays the titular role.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, June 13-15, and June 21-22; 8 p.m. June 16, 17, 23; 2 and 7:30 p.m. June 18; 2 and 8 p.m. June 24; and 2 p.m. June 25 at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The show opens June 26. $30-$160. Masks optional. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.com.
In Goodman Theatre's re-imagined revival of "The Who's Tommy," director Des McAnuff, center wearing tie, revisits the rock tuner whose premiere he helmed 30 years ago.
- Courtesy of Liz Lauren
Portrait of an artist
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre revives the Tony Award-winning "Passing Strange," the musical by singer/songwriter/playwright Stew about a young African American man's journey of artistic self-discovery. Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre artistic director Tim Rhoze directs.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 9-10 and 16-17, and 6 p.m. Sunday, June 11, at 721 Howard St., Evanston. The show opens June 18. $35-$55. Masks recommended. (773) 939-4101 or theo-u.com.
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre revives the Tony Award-winning musical "Passing Strange."
Janus Theatre at 25
Elgin's Janus Theater celebrates its 25th season with a revival of Moises Kaufman's courtroom drama "Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde." Kaufman incorporates court transcripts, newspaper accounts and Wilde's own writings to tell the story of the playwright's late 19th-century trial on charges he committed "gross indecency" with another man, at a time when homosexuality was illegal in England. Artistic director Sean Hargadon directs the "read not dead, page to stage, scripts in hand" production, which is based on Globe Theatre techniques in which actors rehearse briefly and perform with scripts.
7:30 p.m. June 15-17 and 22-24 at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division St., Elgin. $15. Masks optional. janusplays.com.
In other news
Check with venues about COVID-19 policies.
• Alpha-Bet Soup Productions presents "Peter Pan and the Pirates" Thursday and Friday, June 8-9, and again July 6-8 at the Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove. $10. (630) 932-1555 or absproductions.com.
• The Second City opened its 111th main stage revue "Don't Quit Your Daydream" this week at 1616 N. Wells St., Chicago. The adults-only show runs at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 7 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 7 p.m. Sunday. (312) 337-3992 or secondcity.com.
• Previews begin Friday, June 9, for The Factory Theater's "Lane Call: A Night of Closing," the final production of its 28th season. Set in 1984 at a Venture big box store, the play is about young employees charged with closing up and preparing for a big inspection the next morning, who are also eager to attend a post-work party. The show opens June 16 at 1623 W. Howard St., Chicago. (312) 275-5757 or thefactorytheater.com.
• Submissions of in-progress, physical theater works are due Friday, June 9, for consideration for inclusion in the July 10 "Scratch Night," which showcases in-progress works as part of the upcoming 10th annual Physical Theater Festival in Chicago. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or see physicalfestival.com.
• Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of "Obama-ology," Aurin Squire's drama about a young, gay, African American man who takes a job with Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and begins to question his racial and sexual identity. Performances begin Saturday, June 10, at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston. (847) 866-5914 or fjtheatre.com.
• Collaboraction Theatre launches Collaboraction Radio, consisting of news, conversation, storytelling, interviews, digital theater and comedy, all of which is rooted in the pursuit of social justice. The show launches Saturday, June 10, and runs from 4-5 p.m. Saturdays on WCPT 820 AM.
• City Lit Theater offers an additional performance of "Aztec Human Sacrifice" on Monday, June 12, at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. (773) 293-3682 or citylit.org.
• Teatro Vista hosts "The Dream Party," a gala fundraiser for the company from 6-10 p.m. Monday, June 12, at Carnivale, 702 W. Fulton Market, Chicago. The party includes dinner, dancing, a silent auction and tarot readings. See teatrovista.org/the-dream-party.
• Actor/producer/writer and former "Wild Chicago" host Will Clinger and award-winning Joseph Jefferson Award-winner Kelly Anne Clark star in the Chicago premiere of "Being Seen," Richard Gustin's comedy about an actress who answers an audition notice and finds herself navigating a famous director's outlandish creative process. Performances run Wednesday, June 14, through July 2 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-3830 or thedentheatre.com.
• Otherworld Theatre Company presents "PUFFS, or, Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic," an unauthorized, unsanctioned, unlicensed parody of a popular young adult book series about a certain boy wizard. Performances run Thursday, June 15, through July 23 at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. The theater will donate a portion of ticket sales to Howard Brown Health's trans health care initiatives. See otherworldtheatre.org.
• The Practical Theatre Company launches a summer sketch comedy show Thursday, June 15, at Studio 5, 1938 Dempster St., Evanston. "Vic & Paul & Dana's Funny Summer Show!" runs through July 2. (847) 328-6683 or studio5.dance.
• Congo Square Theatre Company kicks off Juneteenth weekend with a celebration of Black artists and artistry. Blackity, Black, Black, Congo Square's annual homecoming fundraiser, takes place from 6-10 p.m. Thursday, June 15, at LM Studios, 808 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. The event includes dinner, dancing and entertainment. See congosquaretheatre.org/homecoming.
• "The Late Show" host and Second City alum Stephen Colbert hosts a Lookingglass Theatre benefit at 11:30 a.m. Friday, June 16, at 167 N. Green St., Chicago. "The Lookingglass Lunch Show With Stephen Colbert" will feature Colbert in conversation with ensemble members Atra Asdou, J. Nicole Brooks, Anthony Fleming III, Heidi Stillman and Matthew C. Yee. See lookingglasstheatre.org/lglunchshow23.
• Rebecca Gilman's "Swing State," which premiered at Goodman Theatre in 2022, makes its New York premiere courtesy of Audible Theater, whose limited run begins previews in September. Original director Robert Falls will helm the production, which features the original Chicago cast. See swingstateplay.com.
• Comings and goings: City Lit Theater named resident director Brian Pastor as its new executive artistic director. Lookingglass Theatre announced executive director Rachel L. Fink will depart the company this summer after five years in the position.
• The Factory Theater's 29th season commences Nov. 3 with the premiere of "Wise Guys: The First Christmas Story" (Nov. 3-Dec. 16), about three religious scholars who race against time to catch the birth of God, or the son of God, or both, or neither. That's followed by the premiere of "Party At The Pantheon: A Modern Greek Stoner Comedy" (Feb. 9-March 23, 2024), a modern take on Greek classics in which Dionysus throws a party for his friend Orpheus, who's still grieving the loss of his wife, Eurydice. The season concludes with "Die Hard 4 Your Luv" (May 31-July 13, 2024), about terrorists holding a boy band hostage on New Year's Eve in 1999. Performances take place at 1623 W. Howard St., Chicago. See thefactorytheater.com.