Since its Broadway premiere in 1995, Terrence McNally’s Master Class has been a popular pick on the high school speech team circuit; after all, McNally’s biting portrayal of real-life opera singer Maria Callas lends itself well to the short, humorous two-person scenes common in those competitions. Yet, as TimeLine Theatre Company’s production of the piece illustrates, the play is full of laughs but short on substance, even when presented with an insanely talented cast.
Token Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director David Rhee and Managing Director Erik Kaiko with Founding Board Members Stephenie Park and Helen Young, is proud to announce the arrival of Token Theatre and its Inaugural Season: Our Town by Thornton Wilder and a New Play by Artistic Director David Rhee.
Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, continues its 2018-19 season with Mansfield Park, written by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Jane Austen, and directed by Stuart Carden. Mansfield Park runs November 8 – December 16, 2018 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the world premiere production of La Ruta by acclaimed Chicago playwright Isaac Gomez, directed by ensemble member Sandra Marquez and featuring ensemble member Karen Rodriguez along with an eight-member all female Latinx cast. Inspired by the lives of Mexican women who live, work—and disappear—along a Ciudad Juárez bus route, La Ruta weaves live music through a story of resilience in the wake of loss.
Random Acts, About Face Youth Theatre and Pride Films & Plays have announced a special 20th Anniversary Reading of THE LARAMIE PROJECT by Moisés Kaufman, directed by Jason Gerace. The event, set to feature some of Chicago’s best talent, will take place on Sunday, November 4 at 7:30pm at Pride Films and Plays' Broadway space. Tickets are tiered from $5-20 and can be purchased at www.RandomActsChicago.com. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
Already wondering how to entertain your visiting relatives this holiday season? The Second City has you covered with its new holiday revue, The Second City’s The Good, the Bad & the Ugly Sweater. This hilarious show pulls a festive mix of material from The Second City archives and is the perfect way to celebrate winter in Chicago. The Second City’s The Good, the Bad & the Ugly Sweater runs November 13 – December 31, 2018 in the UP Comedy Club. Tickets range from $31 - $56 and can be purchased online at www.secondcity.com, by phone at 312-337-3992 or at the box office, located at 230 North Ave. on the first floor of Piper’s Alley.
Goodman Theatre adds to its 2018/2019 Season a limited engagement of St. Nicholas—an internationally-acclaimed major revival by London’s Donmar Warehouse of Conor McPherson’s 1997 intimate thriller, directed by Simon Evans. The monologue play stars Olivier Award-winning actor Brendan Coyle (“Mr. Bates” of the smash sensation Downton Abbey, for which he earned an Emmy Award nomination) in “a superlative, mesmerizing performance that’s simply not to be missed” (The Arts Review). The U.S. premiere, which appears in the Goodman’s 350-seat flexible Owen Theatre, follows two acclaimed recent appearances at the Donmar Warehouse and the Dublin Theatre Festival. The creative team includes Peter McKintosh (Set), Matt Daw (Lighting) and Christopher Shutt (Sound). Goodman Theatre’s limited engagement of St. Nicholas appears January 9 – 27, 2019 in the Owen Theatre (170 N. Dearborn). Tickets are available now ONLY with the purchase of a new Classic Membership (4-play packages start at $80). Individual tickets ($25 - $60; subject to change) go on sale Friday, November 9. For tickets and more information, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/StNicholas or call the box office (312.443.3800, 12 noon – 5pm daily).
I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing the Tony-award winning Broadway adaptation of A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time or its national tour, but word of mouth reviews focused on one thing: the spectacle. Known for its stunning visuals, those productions focused on exploring the interior of Christopher’s mind through the sensory overload that he often experiences. Instead of mimicking this much-acclaimed approach, though, Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ (SYA) season opener instead turns the spotlight on the relationship between the characters. It’s an intense focus on the particulars that sets our protagonist Christopher Boone (played by Terry Bell) apart from his family and friends; and it’s by highlighting the show’s emotional nuances that director Jonathan Berry’s bare bones production resonates.
Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago’s new home for close-up magic, is proud to present Spotlight: Women in Magic, featuring some of the world’s best professional magicians – who all happen to be women. Hosted by The Incredible Jan Rose, Spotlight: Women in Magic will feature magic by Lucy Darling (aka Carisa Hendrix) and close-up magician extraordinaire, Alba, with headliner (and first-time guest) Jade, the first woman to win the Gold Medal of Magic from the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Spotlight: Women in Magic will be presented as part of Chicago Magic Lounge’s The Signature Show, for five performances, November 29 – December 1, 2018.
Underscore Theatre Company is pleased to launch its 2018-19 season with WIFE MATERIAL, Jamie Shriner’s raunchy musical comedy following one woman's journey through sex, love, marriage and how we define ourselves. Directed by Dana Anderson, with music direction by Kyra Leigh, WIFE MATERIAL will play November 8 – December 9, 2018 at Underscore’s new-remodeled, permanent home, The Understudy, 4609 N. Clark St. in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at underscoretheatre.org. The press opening is Tuesday, November 13 at 7:30 pm.