pipeline...tyla_abercrumbie_matthew_elam_by_todd_rosenberg_photo_e1548701931816.jpg

Matthew Elam and Tyla Abercrumbie star in “Pipeline” at Victory Gardens Theater. | © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2018

Curtain Call: ‘Pipeline,’ ‘The Producers’ and more Chicago theater Feb. 1-7

SHARE Curtain Call: ‘Pipeline,’ ‘The Producers’ and more Chicago theater Feb. 1-7
SHARE Curtain Call: ‘Pipeline,’ ‘The Producers’ and more Chicago theater Feb. 1-7

If it’s live theater you seek, we’ve got you covered. From comedy and drama to musicals and dance, Chicago area stages offer something for everyone. Here’s what’s happening in the week ahead:

PICK OF THE WEEK

“Pipeline”: Prolific playwright Dominique Morisseau, a 2018 MacArthur Fellow, is known for her socially relevant dramas including this harrowing story of a inner-city high school teacher (Tyla Abercrumbie) dedicated to her students but desperate to give her son (Matthew Elam) opportunities they would never see in order to keep him from the school-to-prison pipeline. Cheryl Lynn Bruce directs the Chicago premiere. (Morisseau’s latest venture, the musical “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations,” hits Broadway later this month.) Previews begin Feb. 1, opens Feb. 8; to March 3. Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, $27-$60; victorygardens.org

More previews and openings

“Arms and the Man”: George Bernard Shaw’s drama examines both the futility of war and the hypocrisies of the human heart; directed by Mary Michell. Opens Feb. 2; to Feb. 25. ShawChicago Theater at Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, $40; shawchicago.org

Breaking Ground Fest: An eclectic line-up of performances including music, plays, staged readings, improv, comedy, burlesque and more. Feb. 7-17. Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, $10; greenhousetheater.org

“Dead Man’s Cell Phone”: Sarah Ruhl’s comedy about a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world; directed by Arianna Soloway. Previews begin Feb. 7, opens Feb. 9; to March 10. The Comrades at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, $15-$20; the-comrades.com

“Elektra”: Richard Strauss’ operatic take on the Greek drama of murder and vengeance. Opens Feb. 2; to Feb. 22. Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker, $37-$279; lyricopera.com

“Girl in the Red Corner”: Stephen Spotswood drama about a woman, unemployed and fresh from an abusive marriage, who unleashes her anger in mixed martial arts lessons; directed by Elizabeth Laidlaw. Previews begin Feb. 1, opens Feb. 4; to March 2. Broken Nose Theatre at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee, pay-what-you-can; brokennosetheatre.com

Eliza Stoughton stars in Raven Theatre’s production of “How I Learned to Drive.” | Christomer Semel Photo

Eliza Stoughton stars in Raven Theatre’s production of “How I Learned to Drive.” | Christomer Semel Photo

“How I Learned to Drive”: In Paula Vogel’s drama about sexual abuse, a young woman struggles to accept her past and the demons that live there; directed by Cody Estle. Previews begin Feb. 7, opens Feb. 11; to March 24. Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, $43, $46; raventheatre.com

“Love Letters”: A.R. Gurney’s two-person play unravels the story of a complicated couple’s relationship; directed by Linda Fortunato. Feb. 3. Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge, Munster, $25; theatreatthecenter.com

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”: August Wilson’s classic drama about the conflict between ambition, desperation and love for the blues; directed by Ron OJ Parson. Previews begin Feb. 6, opens Feb. 13; to March 17. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor, Glencoe, $35-$80; writerstheatre.org

“Mamma Mia!”: The popular musical, inspired by the music of Abba, about a young woman on a quest to find her father in time for her wedding; directed by William Osetek. Previews begin Feb. 7, opens Feb. 21; to April 14. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, $55-$70; drurylanetheatre.com

“On Clover Road”: Steven Dietz’s thriller about a mother who meets with a cult deprogrammer in hopes that she will be reunited with her runaway daughter; directed by Halena Kays. Previews begin Feb. 1, opens Feb. 7; to March 16. American Blues Theater at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, $19-$39; americanbluestheater.com

Jake Morrissy (from left) plays Leo Bloom, Blake Hammond plays Max Bialystock and Elyse Collier plays Ulla in “The Producers” at the Paramount Theatre. | Thomas J. King

Jake Morrissy (from left) plays Leo Bloom, Blake Hammond plays Max Bialystock and Elyse Collier plays Ulla in “The Producers” at the Paramount Theatre. | Thomas J. King

“The Producers”: Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan’s musical adaptation of Brooks’ movie about a Broadway producer and his scheme to make money by staging a really bad show; directed by Jim Corti. Previews begin Feb. 6, opens Feb. 9; to March 17. Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena, Aurora, $36-$69; paramountaurora.com

“The Roommate”: Jen Silverman’s dark comedy about two women who learn what it takes to redefine their lives; directed by Beth Wolf. Opens Feb. 1; to March 3. Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan, Lake Forest, $40, $45; citadeltheatre.org

“The Second City’s Black History Month Show”: Iconic sketches created by Second City’s African-American alumni plus classic scenes reimagined with a new comedic spin. Opens Feb. 5; to Feb. 17. UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North, $20; secondcity.com

“The Total Bent”: Stew and Heidi Rodewald’s new rock show about fathers, sons, social upheaval and the choice between salvation and selling out; directed by Lili-Anne Brown. Previews begin Feb. 7, opens Feb. 12; to March 10. Haven Theatre at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, $35; haventheatrechicago.com

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.

The Latest
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown unsuccessfully pushed for a 10-day suspension for Officer Adolfo Bolanos, who shot 17-year-old Michael Elam Jr. three times in February 2019.
Dallas Keuchel’s ERA climbed to 7.88 after he allowed six runs in two innings Thursday night.
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown pushed for a 180-suspension, but the vice president of the Chicago Police Board ruled against him.
U.S. health officials declare Cook, collar counties at high risk for COVID-19 outbreaks and strain on hospitals.
Host and designer Alison Victoria helps a couple expecting their first child build their Evanston home from the ground up.