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FALL THEATER PREVIEW Queer theater for the fall
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2017-09-13

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There's plenty of variety this fall when it comes to plays, musicals and concerts featuring LGBTQ characters and themes. Choose from campy and drag-filled spoofs to serious contemporary dramas. All shows in Chicago unless otherwise noted.

World premieres

Trevor: The Musical, Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. A showbiz-minded boy struggles with his sexuality, bullying and contemplating suicide in this new stage adaptation of the 1994 Academy Award-winning short film. ( now to Oct. 1; WritersTheatre.org )

One Thousand Words, Theater Faction at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. A journalist uncovers a hidden same-sex love story during World War II in this musical first seen at the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival in 2015. ( now to Sept. 17; TheaterFaction.org )

The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier, Permoveo Productions and Pride Films and Plays at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. A timely historical musical about a likely trans pioneer who enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War and lived life as a man afterward. ( now to Oct. 15; AlbertCashierTheMusical.com )

The Secret Life of a Lesbian Ex-Wife, Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont Ave. Randi Wallace performs seven characters in this solo sketch revue about a newly divorced lesbian. ( Sept. 18 and 25; TheAnnoyance.com )

The Pulse Project, Steppenwolf Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St. A reading of monologues by four writers inspired by people who died or survived the 2016 massacre at Orlando's Pulse nightclub. ( 8 p.m. Sept. 13; Steppenwolf.org )

The Rocky Balboa Picture Show, Corn Productions, N. Lincoln Ave. See what happens when the 1970s films Rocky and Rocky Horror Picture Show get mashed up together. ( Sept. 29-Oct. 28; Cornservatory.org )

26 presents Net-Flix and Kill, Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway St. Horror films and queer humor intermingle in this new sketch comedy revue. ( Sept. 27-Oct. 28; PrideFilmsAndPlays.com )

Bewildered, Hell in a Handbag Productions at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Ron Weaver and Aaron Benham find inspiration from the beloved sitcom Bewitched for this drag-filled musical comedy spoof. ( Sept. 27-Nov. 11; HandbagProductions.org )

Tis the Seasonal Depression, GayCo at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway St. Chicago's oldest LGBTQ sketch comedy troupe is back with a new holiday revue. ( Nov. 17-Dec. 22; GayCo.com )

Chicago premieres

The Legend of Georgia McBride, Nortlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. An Elvis Presley impersonator turns to female drag when his gigs start drying up in Mathew Lopez's 2015 off-Broadway comedy. ( Sept. 14-Oct. 22; Northlight.org )

Perfect Arrangement, Pride Films and Plays at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway St. Two gay and lesbian couples marry in the 1950s to present a phony hetero-normative front in Topher Payne acclaimed 2015 off-Broadway comedy. ( Sept. 21-Oct. 22; PrideFilmsAndPlays.com )

Choir Boy, Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St. Rivalries, bullying and budding sexuality arise among a group of choir boys at an exclusive African-American prep school in this acclaimed 2013 off-Broadway drama by Academy Award-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney ( Moonlight ). ( Sept. 27-Nov. 12; RavenTheatre.com )

Significant Other, About Face Theatre & Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. A single gay guy starts to resent all his married friends in this 2017 Broadway comedy by Bad Jews playwright Joshua Harmon. The production stars Alex Weisman before he heads off to Broadway to appear in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. ( Nov. 2-Dec. 10; AboutFaceTheatre.com or TheaterWit.org )

Upstairs: The Musical, Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway St. The unsolved 1973 arson fire at the UpStairs Lounge gay bar in New Orleans that killed 32 people is explored in this musical by Wayne Self. ( Oct. 27-Nov. 26; UpstairsTheMusicalChicago.com )

Revivals and returns

Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical, Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, 3801 S. Central Ave., Cicero. The 2011 Broadway musical version of the beloved 1994 Australian film is back and invading the suburbs. ( Sept. 15-30; JPACTheatre.com )

A New Brain, Theo Ubique Cabaret at No Exit Café, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave. A gay children's TV composer faces brain surgery in this 1998 off-Broadway musical by William Finn and James Lapine ( Falsettos ). ( Sept. 15-Oct. 29; Theo-U.com )

Fun Home, Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Gary Griffin directs the regional premiere of Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori's 2015 Tony Award-winning musical. It's based upon lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel's 2006 graphic memoir concerning her coming out story contrasted with the life of her closeted bisexual father. ( Sept. 19-Nov. 12; VictoryGardens.org )

The Golden Girls—The Lost Episodes, Hell in a Handbag Productions at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. David Cerda's drag-filled spoof of the beloved sitcom is back for a limited late-night run. ( Oct. 7-Nov. 11; HandbagProductions.org )

Barney the Elf, Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Bryan Renaud's drag-filled spoof of the holiday show Elf and other musicals is back for another revival. ( Nov. 25-Dec. 31; GreenhouseTheater.org )

This Way Outta Santaland, Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Actor-writer Mitchell J. Fain shares holiday stories and songs from his personal life in this return engagement from 2016. ( Nov. 24-Dec. 30; TheaterWit.org )

LGBTQ music ensembles

Hitting Rock Bottom: KnoW Hope, Chicago Gay Men's Chorus at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook ( Sept. 15 ), then at Uptown Underground, 4707 N. Broadway St. ( Sept. 16 ). A cabaret song revue with performers touching upon abuse issues and recovery. ( CGMC.org )

That's So Gay! The Stereotype Cabaret, Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire at Uptown Underground, 4707 N. Broadway St. A cabaret revue exploring the positives and negatives of LGBTQ stereotypes. ( Oct. 22 and 29; WindyCitySings.org )

America the Beautiful | Nightmare, Lakeside Pride Jazz Orchestra at Alphawood Gallery, 2401 N. Halsted St. A jazz concert that will likely touch on the glories of America with horror stories, too. ( Oct. 14; LakesidePride.org )

State of the Union, Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. A concert to take stock of where LGBTQ Americans are in the nation. ( Nov. 12; LakesidePride.org )

Naughty or Nice, Chicago Gay Men's Chorus at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. ( Dec. 1 ), then at Northshore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie ( Dec. 9 ), then at Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. A holiday concert with songs and comedy sketches exploring ideas of good and bad behavior. ( CGMC.org )

Caroling All The Way, Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire at a location to be announced. Chicago's oldest gay chorus returns for another holiday concert with its sister ensemble of treble voices. ( Dec. 2; WindyCitySings.org )

Theater editor's note: The author of this piece currently is a member of Chicago Gay Men's Chorus and has previously performed with Windy City Gay Chorus.


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