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SUMMER THEATER SPECIAL Ten wonderful shows to see
by Lauren Emily Whalen

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Whether you love big flashy musicals or intimate black box dramas, Chicago theaters have something special in store. Here are 10 fantastic shows to heat up your summer.

Having Our Say—Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., through June 10. Bessie and Sadie Delany lived to be 104 and 110 years old, respectively. Their stories of living as proud Black women in a prejudiced United States spawned a best-selling memoir and a Broadway play. Director Chuck Smith excels at highlighting the African-American experience; his interpretation of this compelling story is not to be missed. Tickets/Info: $25-$75,; 312-443-3800

The Light Fantastic—Jackalope Theatre Company at the Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway, through June 16. Playwright Ike Holter's career has been on a hot streak for several years. His Lottery Day will premiere at the Goodman next March, but you can whet your appetite with Jackalope's world premiere. The Light Fantastic promises old-school shivers and spookiness and a classic battle of good versus evil. Tickets/Info: $20-$30. [no phone number available]

Macbeth—Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand Ave. ( Navy Pier ), through June 24. Collaborators Aaron Posner and Teller take on the Bard's most deadly duo: a rising politician and his ambitious wife. Weird sisters, ghosts of and iconic dialogue. "By the pricking of my thumbs/something wicked this way comes…" Tickets/Info: $35-$88,; 312-595-5600

Bull in a China Shop—About Face Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., May 24-July 1. Fast-moving, feminist and funny, Bull in a China Shop is based on the real-life couple Mary Woolley and Jeannette Marks, two suffragettes who revolutionized education for women in the early 20th century. Tickets/Info: $20-$38.; 773-784-8565

Mies Julie—Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N; Lincoln Ave., May 25-June 24. Yael Farber[i] sets August Strindberg's classic in post-apartheid South Africa, where upper-class white Julie ( Heather Chrisler ) falls for her father's Black laborer, John ( Jalen Gilbert ). Tickets/Info: $20-$40;; 773-871-3000.

The Cher Show—Broadway in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph, June 12-July 15. In this pre-Broadway run, three women ( including Great White Way regular Stephanie J. Block ) portray Cher from fresh-faced kid to pop icon. Why in the name of Bob Mackie haven't you gotten tickets yet? Tickets/Info: $33 and up.; 800-775-2000

The Roomate—Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., June 21—Aug. 6. A polite Midwestern lady moves in with a ballsy Bronx chick: Hilarity and heartbreak ensue in Jen Silverman's world premiere, directed by Phylicia Rashad, Tickets/Info $46 -$76.; 312-443-1650.

Linda—Steep Theatre Company, 1115 W. Berwyn Ave. July 12-Aug. 18. The title character is many things: a wife, a mother and an intelligent, successful beauty company executive. But in a world that prizes youth ( or at least, the appearance of youth ) over all, can Linda stay relevant? Tickets/Info $27-$38;; 773- 649-3186

Broadway in Chicago Summer Concert—Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph St., Aug. 13. Highlights from Dear Evan Hanson, Charlie and the Chooclate Factory and Miss Saigon take center stage in the annual, free musical-theater extravaganza. For musical-theater lovers, it's an absolutely do-not-miss. Tickets Info: .

Radio Golf—Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis. Aug. 30—Sept. 30. Court says goodbye to summer with the final play in playwright August Wilson's American Century Cycle. Ron OJ Parson directs his seventh Wilson production for the Court, helming stellar cast featuring James Vincent Meredith and Allen Gilmore. Tickets/Info;; 773-753-4472

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