Curtain Call: ‘Dead Man Walking,’ ‘Rutherford and Son’ and more theater openings Oct. 31-Nov. 6

From comedy and drama to musicals and dance, Chicago’s stages are alive with vibrant productions.

SHARE Curtain Call: ‘Dead Man Walking,’ ‘Rutherford and Son’ and more theater openings Oct. 31-Nov. 6
August Forman (from left) plays Richard, Francis Guinan plays Rutherford, Christina Gorman plays Janet and Michael Holding plays John in “Rutherford and Son” at TimeLine Theatre.

August Forman (from left) plays Richard, Francis Guinan plays Rutherford, Christina Gorman plays Janet and Michael Holding plays John in “Rutherford and Son” at TimeLine Theatre.

©Amy Boyle Photography 2019

Looking to take in some live theater in Chicago in the week ahead? Here are some previews and openings to consider:

Pick of the Week:

“Rutherford and Son”: English playwright Githa Sowerby’s family drama debuted in 1912 and is now, more than 100 years later, receiving its Chicago debut in this TimeLine Theatre staging directed by Mechelle Moe. Named one of the “100 plays of the century” by the Royal National Theatre, Sowerby’s depiction of class, gender and generational warfare was ahead of its time. Set in the industrial north of England in 1912, the patriarch of the Rutherford family has built a glass works company and is intent on passing it to his children. They however have other plans in their attempt to break free from their narrow-minded father. Frances Guinan portrays Rutherford with Christina Gorman, Michael Holding and August Forman as his children Janet, John and Richard. Previews begin Nov. 6, opens Nov. 13; to Jan. 12. Timeline Theatre, 615 W. Wellington, $42-$57; timelinetheatre.com

Other previews, openings:

Dance Slam: Dance Chicago presents an interactive competition featuring dance groups competing against one another with the audience deciding their favorite. Nov. 2. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, $18-$31; athenaeumtheatre.org

“Dead Man Walking”: The Chicago premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrance McNally’s opera based on Sister Helen Prejean’s book that recounts her experience as the spiritual adviser to a convicted killer on death row. Opens Nov. 2; to Nov. 22. Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker, $39-$299; lyricopera.org

Martasia Jones stars in “Hoodoo Love” at Raven Theatre.

Martasia Jones stars in “Hoodoo Love” at Raven Theatre.

Christopher Semel

“Hoodoo Love”: Katori Hall’s drama about a young woman who, after escaping the cotton fields of Mississippi, arrives in Memphis with hopes of becoming a blues singer; directed by Wardell Julius Clark. Previews begin Oct. 31, opens Nov. 4; to Dec. 15. Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, $43, $46; raventheatre.com

“Little Black Dress — The Musical”: This is the story of two friends who experience life through their little black dresses. (The show opens for an extended run in spring 2020.) Oct. 31-Nov. 3. Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, $50; littleblackdressthemusical.com

“My Life Is a Country Song”: Anthony Whitaker’s musical is the story of a woman starting her life over after a failed and abusive marriage in early 1980s South Carolina. Preview Nov. 1, opens Nov. 3; to Nov. 21. New American Folk Theatre at Chief O’Neill’s Pub, 3471 N. Elston, $20; newamericanfolktheatre.org

Charlie Irving (from left), Kelly Combs and Lena Dudley star in “My Life is a Country Song,” presented by the New American Fok Theatre at Chief O’Neill’s Pub.

Charlie Irving (from left), Kelly Combs and Lena Dudley star in “My Life is a Country Song,” presented by the New American Fok Theatre at Chief O’Neill’s Pub.

Joey Harbart

“The Niceties”: Eleanor Burgess’ provocative drama examines what happens when theoretical arguments suddenly turn personal in the ivory tower of an elite university. Previews begin Nov. 6, opens Nov. 13; to Dec. 15. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor, Glencoe, $$30-$89; writerstheatre.org

“A Packet of Holiness and Joy Will Come to You? (A Fable)”: The citizens of a major city move in and out of love as the city sits on the edge of collapse. Opens Nov. 1; to Dec. 1. Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston, $15 or pay-what-you-can; propthtr.org

“Packing”: Scott Bradley’s solo show tells of one artist’s journey of self-discovery as it intersects with recent queer history; directed by Chay Yew. Previews begin Oct. 31, opens Nov. 7; to Dec. 7. About Face Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, $20-$38; aboutfacetheatre.com

“P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle”: Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s drama about a chart-topping pop singer who hires two bad boy rappers to help him toughen up his image; directed by Lili-Anne Brown. Opens Nov. 5; to Dec. 21. Jackalope Theatre at Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway, $10-$35; jackalopetheatre.org

Edgar Miguel Sanchez is Romeo and Brittany Bellizeare is Juliet in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Barbara Gaines.

Edgar Miguel Sanchez is Romeo and Brittany Bellizeare is Juliet in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Barbara Gaines.

Jeff Sciortino

“Romeo and Juliet”: Shakespeare’s tragedy of young lovers in a society torn apart by hate; directed by Barbara Gaines. Previews begin Nov. 1, opens Nov. 8; to Dec. 22. Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand, $49-$90; chicagoshakes.com

“The Steadfast Tin Soldier”: Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s story, director Mary Zimmerman concocts a spectacle about the unlikely adventures of a little tin soldier. Previews begin Nov. 1, opens Nov. 6; to Jan. 26. Lookingglass Theatre, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan, $35-$85; lookingglasstheatre.org

“The Suffrage Plays”: Three one-act plays — Evelyn Glover’s “A Chat with Mrs. Chicky” and “Miss Appleyard’s Awakening,” and George Bernard Shaw’s “Press Cuttings.” Opens Nov. 1; to Nov. 24. Artemisia Theatre at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, $20-$30; artemisiatheatre.org

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.

Anthony Irons in a scene from “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” at Lookingglass Theatre.

Anthony Irons in a scene from “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” at Lookingglass Theatre.

Liz Lauren

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