Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series is pleased to announce its exciting Summer 2018 lineup, which includes offerings from more than 20 different artists and groups ranging from standup to theatre to live music to a live podcast episode and more! LookOut’s Summer 2018 lineup provides audiences with a variety of reasons to step out of the heat, grab a cool drink from Front Bar and head into Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre to experience diverse artists and genres.
LookOut Summer 2018 highlights include Asian American comedy troupe Stir Friday Night; Grammy Award winner Matthew Duvall and beyond this point with guest composer Matthew Burtner; A Red Orchid Theatre ensemble member Mierka Girten’s One-Woman Show With or Without Wings; Big Dipper live in concert; Broken Nose Theatre’s Bechdel Fest 6: Revolution; Race Bait LIVE podcast; You’re Being Ridiculous: PRIDE; SHADE: An Actually Diverse Comedy Show: Pride Month Comedy Showcase; and an evening of first-time performances hosted by Steppenwolf ensemble member Cliff Chamberlain and the return of LookOut favorites and new acts. Full lineup below.
Tickets to Summer LookOut programming go on sale Friday, May 18 at 11am through Audiences Services (1650 N Halsted), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org. Steppenwolf Red and Black Card Members may use credits towards shows in the 1700 Theatre. For information, visit steppenwolf.org/lookout.
LookOut performances take place in Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, an 80-seat cabaret-style space connected to Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks. Located at 1700 N Halsted St., Front Bar is an inviting space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night. Guests can take drinks into the theater.
LookOut Summer 2018 Lineup
Listed in date order. All artists, dates and prices subject to change.
*Doors open 30 minutes before performance time
The MoonSharks Present: An Improvised Play
Directed by David Montgomery
Friday, June 8 & Saturday, June 9
This ensemble of nine veteran Chicago performers take to the stage to improvise a full-length play. Using a suggestion from the audience, The MoonSharks create a story with rich characters, complex relationships and powerful themes. Each night is a completely unique performance. Join The MoonSharks and experience some of the best dramatic improv in the city of Chicago.
Beauty School: Pushover Album Release Party
With Special Guest: She Speaks in Tongues
Tuesday, June 12
Chicago pop-rock band Beauty School returns to Steppenwolf to celebrate the release of their debut LP Pushover. A culmination of material the group has crafted over the past three years, Pushover pays tribute to the bittersweet love song, charting the highs and lows of love amid life's complexities. The album arrives at the threshold of summer, inviting you to submerge yourself in the sounds of the season.
SHADE: An Actually Diverse Comedy Show
Pride Month Comedy Showcase
Friday, June 15 & Saturday, June 16
Laugh it up with Chicago's best LGBTQIAP comics during Pride Month!
A reading of excerpts of the work of the playwrights of the Artist Development Workshop
Sunday, June 17
Every year for the last 25 years, writers with and without disabilities have gotten together in the fall, winter and spring to develop their craft in the Artist Development Workshop. Each summer, they showcase their work in an eclectic and often irreverent staged reading called Sketchtopia.
Erik and Jessie and Everyone You Know Variety Show: THE RETURN
Hosted by Erik Hellman and Jessie Fisher
Monday, June 18
Local actor/musicians Erik Hellman and Jessie Fisher present an updated variant of the classic variety hour: Original music, special guests, comedy, magic, improv, and ephemera along with the tightest country, soul band in the land. Fast-paced, fun, funky and fresh.
You’re Being Ridiculous: PRIDE
Friday, June 22; Saturday, June 23; Friday, June 29 & Saturday, June 30
At You're Being Ridiculous, real people tell true stories about their lives. Each performer is linked by our rotating themes, and by the desire to make you laugh—and, once in a while, cry. Our motto: Good stories are better than good times. We laugh at ourselves, and laugh with each other. Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?
Yes to NO: An Evening of Rock + Resistance
A rock benefit for Chicago youth empowerment charities
Featuring: The Cell Phones, no.no.no.NO and No Men
Friday, July 6
$12 advance, $15 at the door
What would it sound like if three, femme-fronted rock bands came together one evening to say “NO” to its genre’s nihilistic, ‘no future,’ boys-only legacy and instead, made real, positive, and inclusive change with its music? Powerful and empowering for new artists of the future to generate positive change in our city, our country, and our world.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Michelle J. Rodriguez
Directed by Sivan Battat
Sunday, July 8 at 8pm
Monday, July 9 at 7pm
Writer-director team Michelle J. Rodriguez and Sivan Battat set a classic folktale in a mythic America with the musical East o’, West o’! Told with big, rollicking bluegrass numbers, haunting folk melodies, with lullaby, with work song and violin howl, East o’, West o’! takes us farther than any woman has ever gone in a quest for home and belonging.
A Cabaret Performed by Anna Palermo
Friday, July 13
What makes a woman feel powerful? Do we find power through adversity and vulnerability? Find out through stories and songs touching on Tina Turner and Barbra Streisand (just to name a few).
Dark Café Days: Foiled Again Sings Joni Mitchell
Allison Bazarko Kirk, Rob Lindley, and Anne Sheridan Smith with Doug Peck & Gavin Kirk
Saturday, July 14 & Sunday, July 15
Vocal trio Foiled Again brings their trademark close-knit harmonies to music of Joni Mitchell, with classics like "A Case of You," "Woodstock," and "The Circle Game" as well as some deep cuts from Mitchell's extensive and eclectic catalogue.
Race Bait: LIVE
With Tania Richard and Paul Traynor
Monday, July 16
A black woman. A white man. They talk about racism… so you don’t have to! Raw, awkward, crucial conversations approached with humor and generosity of spirit. LookOut presents a special live recording of this podcast now in its second season. Special guests, music, audience interaction and more!
Created and encouraged by Steppenwolf ensemble member Cliff Chamberlain
Wednesday, July 18
The Jump is a theatrical event that encourages being brave and taking risks in an environment that promises a soft landing. Songs you’ve never sung, stories you’ve never told, things you’ve never done, with people you’ve never met. We jump, you jump; we all make The Jump together.
Stir Friday Night Presents
We Are Asian. We Do Comedy.
Thursday, July 19 & Friday, July 20
The 23-year old Asian American comedy troupe presents this show, an amalgamation of music, sketch, and improv, telling the theatrical tale of what it is to be a "model" minority.
Broken Nose Theatre Presents:
Bechdel Fest 6: Revolution
Sunday, July 29 at 7pm
Monday, July 30 at 7pm
Tuesday, July 31 at 8pm
Pay What You Can, Suggested Price $25
Bechdel Fest is an evening of new, female centric short plays featuring an all female-identifying cast talking about things other than men.
A Reading of
With or Without Wings
Written and Performed by A Red Orchid Theatre ensemble member Mierka Girten
Adapted by Michael Thomas
Tuesday, August 7
A one-woman tour-de-force of a young performer’s humbling first encounters and shocking diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. A hilarious and heartbreaking personal account that explores the myths of MS while providing a message of enduring hope.
nature | human: Reflections
Matthew Duvall & beyond this point, with featured composer Matthew Burtner
Friday, August 10 & Saturday, August 11 7:30pm
An interaction (performance, if you insist) featuring six reflections on our relationship with the natural world. Water, wood, sand, air, metal, and skin. Percussion as poetry. Exploring the environment we inhabit. For your consideration.
Big Dipper: Live in Concert!
Thursday, August 16
Plus-size gay rapper Big Dipper defies homophobes and celebrates sexuality with his unapologetically graphic lyrics, infectious beats and a body-positive image. You'll find the hirsute emcee busting moves on stage in skin-tight outfits at this live show; a mix of original viral hits, stupid parodies, and tons of sweaty jiggling. Leave your inhibitions at home tonight.
Dear Finch: CD Release Party
By Jess Godwin
Friday, August 17 & Saturday, August 18
1 piano. 9 voices. A billion stories. With original music by Jess Godwin and stories inspired by handwritten letters from all over the world, Dear Finch reminds us that we all have a story worth telling.
Walkabout Theatre Presents
The Brink! Or Nobody’s Ever Kissed Me Like That…
Directed by Thom Pasculli
Co-created by the Walkabout Ensemble in Collaboration with Fides Krucker
Preview: Thursday, August 23
Regular Run: Friday, August 24 & Saturday, August 25
Preview, $25 General Admission Regular Run, $15 Student / Industry
In a cafe at the edge of the world, a group of wayward performers present The Brink!, an avant garde cabaret about longing and music, growing up and falling apart; about the ground beneath us shifting too quickly, and the world becoming unrecognizable. Drawing from American pop songs and jazz standards, the poetry of Gertrude Stein, and Ann Carson’s “The Gender of Sound,” the ensemble slides past the edge of reason in this unfettered encounter with the stranger inside.
The LookOut Series is presented year-round and announced on an ongoing basis. John Zinn, Greta Honold and Patrick Zakem are the producers for LookOut. For more information, visit steppenwolf.org/lookout.
LookOut is Steppenwolf’s performance series that presents the work of artists and companies across genre and form, emerging artists and performance legends, quintessential Chicago companies and young aspiring ensembles, familiar Steppenwolf faces and new friends. Tickets to all LookOut programming are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted), steppenwolf.org or 312-335-1650. Prices vary for each show. Steppenwolf Red Card and Black Card Members may use credits towards any LookOut programming.
The 1700 Theatre features wheelchair-accessible seating, an Induction Hearing Loop, and assistive listening devices. Front Bar features a push-button entrance, all-gender accessible restrooms and accessible counter and table spaces.
Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks
Connected to the main lobby is Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, offering a warm, creative space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night. Open Tuesdays – Sundays from 8am to midnight, Front Bar serves artisanal coffee and espresso provided by La Colombe and food prepared by Goddess and Grocer. The menu focuses on fresh, accessible fare, featuring grab-and-go salads and sandwiches for lunch and adding shareable small plates and desserts for evening and post show service. www.front-bar.com
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards—have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programming includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre performances series. Steppenwolf Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs for arts administration training. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre, twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr and instagram.com/steppenwolfthtr.
our most recent top picks
Blue Man Group ★★★