Spotlight: Janus Theatre stages 'Half-Life of Marie Curie,' Marriott revives Carole King tuner

A tale of friendship

Janus Theatre Company concludes its 25th season with the Chicago-area premiere of Lauren Gunderson's "The Half-Life of Marie Curie," which unfolds in 1912 when Curie, the subject of gossip over her affair with a married man, seeks refuge at the home of a longtime friend. The play centers on the friendship between physicist/chemist Marie Curie, the first female Nobel Prize winner, and engineer/mathematician Hertha Ayrton. Artistic director Sean Hargadon directs.

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28 and Nov. 3-4, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, at the Elgin Art Showcase, 8th floor, 164 Division St., Elgin. $20.

Seasonal radio drama

Improv Playhouse presents a staged radio version of Bram Stoker's "Dracula," about the famed count's obsession with Mina, the fiancé of his solicitor Jonathan Harker. Executive producer David Brian Stuart directs Orson Welles' 1938 script, which was originally performed by his Mercury Theatre company.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, and 7 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at 735 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville. $7.50 (kids) to $20 in advance; $10 (kids) to $22.50 at the door. (847) 968-4529 or

Midlife crisis comedy

Longtime Goodman Theatre producer/director Steve Scott helms MadKap Productions' revival of "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife." Charles Busch's sendup of playwright Wendy Wasserstein is about Marjorie, whose midlife crisis is exacerbated by her critical mother, her distracted husband and a flamboyant friend who's become a permanent guest at Marjorie's home.

7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, and through Nov. 19 at the Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. $34, $38. (847) 677-7761 or

'Beautiful' revived

Marriott Theatre concludes 2023 with a revival of the Broadway hit "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," a bio-musical about singer/songwriter Carole King, who evolved from a songsmith into a rock and pop music legend. Kaitlyn Davis, who played the role in 2015's first Broadway tour, stars opposite Andrew Mueller as King's first husband and songwriting partner Gerry Goffin.

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, and Thursday, Nov. 2; 8 p.m. Nov. 3; 4 and 8 p.m. Nov. 4; 1 and 5 p.m. Nov. 5 at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. The show opens Nov. 8. Tickets start at $55; dinner-theater packages available. (847) 634-0200 or

Chilling tuner

Black Ensemble Theater's Daryl Brooks directs Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre's revival of "Assassins," the unsettling, ever-provoking musical by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman about nine troubled killers who assassinated or attempted to assassinate U.S. presidents.

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28 and Nov. 3-4, and 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, at 721 Howard St., Evanston. The show opens Nov. 5. $35-$59. (773) 939-4101 or

Tricks and treats

• The Unnatural Weird Wonder Festival, which consists of three days of short plays centered around a seasonal theme, takes place this weekend. "Nightmares" is 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27; "Witches" is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28; and plays for kids are at noon Sunday, Oct. 29, at Dreamers YOLO, 5419 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. $20, $30.

• Actor/playwright Jacob Mundell plays Edgar Allan Poe as an aging millennial battling poverty, addiction and death in the adults-only "Into That Darkness, The Corrosive Hours of Edgar Allan Poe." 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, through Nov. 12 at The Edge off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave., Chicago. Pay-what-you-can.

• Otherworld Theatre hosts a "Halloween Spooktacular" that includes a haunted house, costume contest, entertainment, a "Monster Mash" dance party and more. 7 p.m. to midnight, Friday, Oct. 27, at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. $20.

Give the devil his due

The devil arrives in a small town to bargain for residents' souls in exchange for granting their darkest wishes in Jen Silverman's "Witch." But when he approaches Elizabeth, the town "witch," she refuses, which piques his interest. Devon Carson directs The Artistic Home revival.

Previews at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28; 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The show opens Thursday, Nov. 2. $15-$35. (773) 697-3830 or

In comes 'Company'

The national tour of 2022's Tony Award-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Company" stars Britney Coleman as Bobbie (a role typically played by a man), a 30-something bachelorette whose married friends wonder why she can't settle down.

The preview is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. The show opens Wednesday, Nov. 1. $27-$98.

Teatro ZinZanni returns

"Love, Chaos & Dinner," the combination cabaret, dinner theater, Cirque du Soleil-style show that opened here in July 2019 and shut down less than a year later during the COVID-19 pandemic, has returned to the swanky Spiegeltent ZaZou, on the 14th floor of Chicago's Cambria Hotel.

Shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday; noon and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 6 p.m. Sunday through March 31, 2024, at 32 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Tickets start at $119.

Julie Stevens plays Marjorie, the titular spouse in MadKap Productions' "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" by Charles Busch. Courtesy of MadKap Productions
Britney Coleman plays bachelorette Bobbie and Jacob Dickey plays Andy, one of her boyfriends, in Broadway in Chicago's "Company." Courtesy of Matthew Murphy of MurphyMade
Cassie Cutler balances atop bottles during the latest incarnation of Teatro ZinZanni's "Love, Chaos & Dinner." Courtesy of Samuel Rose
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