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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WINTER THEATER SPECIAL World and local premieres abound
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2017-01-18

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There are plenty of offerings this winter for theater lovers who prize new-to-Chicago and never-seen-before works. Here's a sampling of world and local premieres to watch out for. All shows in Chicago unless otherwise noted.

World premieres

Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno, Second City e.t.c., 1608 N. Wells St. You can bet that this 41st revue will feature some material about the new divisive president elect. ( in an open run; SecondCity.com . )

Psychonaut Librarians, The New Colony at Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Playwright Sean Kelly imagines what flights of fancy librarians get up to late at night in this new fantasy-filled comedy. ( now to Feb. 12; TheNewColony.org )

Jim Lehrer and the Theater and Its Double and Jim Lehrer's Double, Theater Oobleck at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. Mickle Maher has devised a sequel to his 2007 hit The Strangerer, this time delving into the subconscious of the former PBS news anchor. ( Jan. 20-Feb. 19; TheaterOobleck.com . )

Diamond Dogs, House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. Humans and transhumans are forced to team up to investigate a mysterious alien tower in Althos Low's adaptation of Alastair Reynolds' sci-fi adventure for mature audiences. ( Jan. 22-March 5; TheHouseTheatre.com . )

By Association, MPAACT at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. An immigrant teenager and his African-American friend become suspects in a terrorist attack on Chicago in Shepsu Aakhu's new drama. ( now to Feb. 26; MPAACT.opg )

Captain Blood, First Folio Theatre at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook, David Rice's adaptation of Rafael Sabatini's promises plenty of swashbuckling high-seas adventure full of intrigue and piratical sword fighting. ( Jan. 25-Feb. 26; FirstFolio.org )

Hobo King, Congo Square Theatre at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Javon Johnson's new plays takes its inspiration from a true event of a homeless man who slain by city police and the subsequent fallout in the homeless community. ( Jan. 27-March 5; CongoSquareTheatre.org )

Faceless, Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. An alleged 18-year-old female terrorist faces off against a Muslim prosecutor in Selina Fillinger's tense courtroom drama. ( Jan. 26-March 4; Northlight.org )

The Book of Joseph, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand Ave. Karen Hartman ( Roz and Ray ) create a new drama based upon the life of Joseph A. Hollander and his Jewish relatives who might have collaborated with the Nazis. ( Jan. 29-March 5; ChicagoShakes.com . )

Monster, Steppenwolf for Young Audiences, 1650 N. Halsted St. Aaron Carter adapts Walter Dean Myers' novel about a 16-year-old aspiring filmmaker in juvenile detention. ( Feb. 15-March 9; Steppenwolf.org )

The Invention of Morel, Chicago Opera Theater at Studebaker Theatre, 410 S. Michigan Ave. Stewart Copeland's co-world premiere with Long Beach Opera is a sci-fi story of a man stuck on a lonely island. ( Feb. 18-26; ChicagoOperaTheater.org )

Linda Vista, Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. A divorced 50-year-old guy faces new possibilities at life after moving out of his ex-wife's garage in Tracy Letts' comic drama. ( March 30—May 21; Steppenwolf.org )

King of the Yees, Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Lauren Yee's family drama concerns the conflicts between a pillar of San Francisco's Chinese-American community and his reluctant daughter in this co-production with Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles. ( March—April 30; GoodmanTheatre.org )

Chicago premieres

The Tall Girls, Shattered Globe Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Meg Miroshnik's Depression-era drama focuses on a pioneering women's basketball team in the Midwest. ( now to Feb. 25; SGTheatre.org )

Winter, Rivendell Theatre, 5775 N. Ridge Ave. Utah-based playwright Julie Jensen explores the conflict between an aging mother who is losing her faculties and her grown children who have other ideas about her wellbeing. ( now to Feb. 11; RivendellTheatre.org )

A Disappearing Number, TimeLine Theatre, Wellington Ave. Simon McBurney's collaborative company Complicité shines a light on the complex and inspirational friendship between Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and British mathematician G.H. Hardy. ( now to April 9; TimeLineTheatre.com . )

Circumference of a Squirrel, Solo Celebration at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. John Walch's dark one-man comedy concerns a guy trying to figure out why his father had such an obsessive hatred for squirrels and other rodents. ( now to Feb. 12; GreenhouseTheater.org )

The Adventures of Robin Hood, Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. Non-traditional casting comes into play for Oliver Emanuel's stage adaptation of the famed legend of the Englishman who robbed the rich to feed the poor. ( now to March 19; FilamentTheatre.org )

Gloria, Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' dark cutthroat comedy concerns twentysomething editorial assistants scrambling to find the next big thing in contemporary media. ( now to Feb. 19; GoodmanTheatre.org )

Saturday Night Fever, Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. Sean Cercone and David Abbinanti are the latest scribes to write a new script adaptation of the hit ( and very dark ) 1977 disco film that notoriously starred John Travolta. ( now to March 19; DruryLane.com . )

Earthquakes in London, Steep Theatre, 1115 W. Berwyn Ave. Mike Bartlett's drama focuses on a climate scientist and his three estranged daughters when an environmental disaster befalls England. ( Jan. 21-March 4; SteepTheatre.com . )

The Nether, A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Jennifer Haley's drama focuses on a young detective who exposes a disturbing brand of entertainment. The script is the winner of the 2011-12 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. ( Jan. 26-March 12; ARedOrchidTheatre.org )

The Assembled Parties, Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St. Richard Greenberg's 2013 Broadway drama follows the Bascov family in 1980 and in 2000 where planned-for ambitions go awry. ( Jan. 25-March 25; RavenTheatre.com . )

The Bodyguard, Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. Deborah Cox stars in a touring production of the London stage adaptation of the hit Whitney Houston film musical. ( Jan. 31 to Feb. 12; BroadwayInChicago.com . )

The Scottsboro Boys, Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Kander and Ebb's critically acclaimed 2010 Broadway "minstrel" musical exploring the lives of African-American teenagers who were wrongfully accused of rape in the 1930s. ( Feb. 3 -March 12 )

The Columnist, American Blues Theater at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Award-winning playwright David Auburn ( Proof ) explores sex, betrayal and Cold War-era politics by focusing on a powerful journalist in Washington D.C. ( Feb. 17-April 9; AmericanBluesTheater.com . )

Destiny of Desire, Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Latin American telenovelas are the inspiration for Karen Zacarias' comic drama.( March 11-April 16; GoodmanTheatre.org )

Upright Grand, Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest. Laura Schellhardt's drama deals with musical and familial differences between a jazz pianist father and his concert pianist daughter. ( March 16-26; CitadelTheatre.org )

Aladdin, Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St. Broadway star Adam Jacobs launches the North American tour of the hit stage adaptation of Disney's 1992 animated blockbuster. ( April 11—July 2; BroadwayInChicago.com . )


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