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SPRING THEATER REVIEW Hot-button plays for a cold spring
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2019-03-12

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The groundhog lied to us! Winter in Chicago is not yet over, boots and parkas still litter the foyers and the New Year has been delayed until the equinox—so start your countdowns now in anticipation of these spring plays:

—Not For Sale: UrbanTheatre remounts Guadalis del Carmen's commentary on the gentrification of Humboldt Park and the possibility of peaceful solutions to conflicts engendered thereby. Currently playing in English to April 7 at the Batey Urbano, 2620 W. Division St. Info/tickets: UrbanTheatreChicago.org and in Spanish TBA mid-April at Teatro Aguijon, 2707 N. Laramie Ave. Info/tickets: AguijonTheater.org

—Herland: A former rehearsal studio for a Bruce Springsteen cover band fuels the determination of three elderly ladies and a young intern ( two of them lesbians ) to construct their own retirement facility in Grace McLeod's Rolling World Premiere play. March 16-April 14 at Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Info/tickets: Redtwist.org and 773-728-7529.

—Admissions: Privileged white parents claiming the high moral ground has their moral compass tested by Joshua Harmon, the playwright whose candor spawned the controversial ( and immensely popular ) Bad Jews in 2015. March 21-May 21 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Info/tickets: TheaterWit.org and 773-975-8150

—Cambodian Rock Band: Lauren Yee's chronicle of historical detection, genocide, reprisal and reconciliation is NOT a musical, although songs by Cambodian-American indie rockers Dengue Fever are performed live by the actors in this Victory Gardens production. April 13-May 5 at the Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Info/tickets: VictoryGardens.org and 773-871-3000.

—Mad Beat Hip and Gone: Two Nebraska teens encounter the King of the Beatniks in 1951 and the rest is the highway in Steven Dietz's nostalgic adventure yarn, staged by Promethean Theatre Ensemble to inaugurate Edge Theater's new annex to its Broadway space. May 4-June 1 at The Edge Off-Broadway, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave. Info/tickets: PrometheanTheatre.org

—Bloomsday: The prolific multi-genre Steven Dietz is all over the Windy map this spring, with Remy Bumppo departing its season of grim subject matter to present a romantic tale of love, regrets and time-travel. May 21-June 16 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Info/tickets: RemyBumppo.org 773-975-8150

—Othello: Brianna Buckley and Kathrynne Wolf lead the non-traditional female-identifying cast of the Shakespeare classic for the Babes With Blades Theatre Company under the direction of Mignon McPherson Stewart. April 20-May 25 at the Factory, 1623 W. Howard St. Info/tickets: BabesWithBlades.org and 773-904-0391

—Lottery Day: The final chapter in Ike Holter's seven-play series set in Chicago's ( fictional ) 51st Ward brings the saga home. March 29-April 28 at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Info/tickets: Goodmantheatre.org and 312-443-3800

—Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: In David Catlin's adaptation of Mary Shelley's greatest-hit horror classic, closing out the year-long anniversary festival celebrating its centennial, the author herself recounts how she came to write it. May 8-Aug. 4 at the Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. Info/tickets: LookingglassTheatre.org and 312-337-0665

—The Doctor's Dilemma: George Bernard Shaw's exploration of knotty medical practices in 1906 also marks the Swan Song of ShawChicago, whose touring chamber readings brought dramatic literature to the neighborhoods for over three decades. March 23-April 15 at the Ruth Page Arts Center, 1016 N. Dearborn Pkwy. Info/tickets: ShawChicago.org and 312-587-7390


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