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Curtain Call: Bangarra Dance Theatre Australia and more theater previews, openings Nov. 21-27

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

Australia’s Bangarra Dance Ensemble in “Nyapanyapa,” choreographed by artistic director Stephen Page.
Australia’s Bangarra Dance Ensemble in “Nyapanyapa,” choreographed by artistic director Stephen Page.
Jhuny-Boy Borja

If you’re looking to take in some live theater in Chicago in the week ahead, we’ve got some highlights to consider:

PICK OF THE WEEK:

Bangarra Dance Theatre Australia: Making its Chicago debut, the Bangarra Dance Theatre is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organization and one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies. Widely acclaimed for its powerful dancing, stunning soundscapes, music and design, Bangarra’s work is derived from over 65,000 years of culture and is inspired by stories gathered from community elders; each dancer has an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background. Two works are performed: “Nyapanyapa,” choreographed by artistic director Stephen Page, brings the paintings of Yirrkala artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu to life; “Spirit,” choreographed by Page, Frances Rings and Bernadette Walong-Sene, is a collection of dance stories drawn from the company’s 30-year history and inspired by stories and songlines from across Australia that speak to the countries rich culture and history. Nov. 22-23. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph, $35-$140; harristheaterchicago.org

More previews, openings:

The 11th Annual Writer’s Series: A festival of work by local and regional writers who present near-finished plays followed by talkback sessions: Jasmine Sharma’s “Leaving Wonderland” and Ellen Wiese’s “Two-Legged Ghosts.” Nov. 23. AstonRep Theatre at The Edge Off Broadway, 1133 W. Catalpa, Free; astonrep.com

“The Annoyance Christmas Pageant”: Featuring a family-friendly retelling of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Opens Nov. 23; to Dec. 28. The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, $14, $24; theannoyance.com

Mary-Margaret Roberts and Quinn Kelch in “The Land of Forgotten Toys.”
Mary-Margaret Roberts and Quinn Kelch in “The Land of Forgotten Toys.”
Cody Jolly Photography

“The Land of Forgotten Toys”: Dylan MarcAurele, Jaclyn Enchin and Jennifer Enchin’s new family-friendly holiday musical about a young woman and her quest to save Christmas; directed by Nicholas Reinhart. Previews begin Nov. 27, opens Dec. 7; to Dec. 29. Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, $45; greenhousetheater.org

“The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes - The Holiday Edition, Vol. 2”: David Cerda’s latest episode celebrates the season in sunny Miami as Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia return for brand new holiday episodes. Previews begin Nov. 27, opens Nov. 30; to Dec. 28. Hell in a Handbag Productions at Mary’s Attic, 5400 N. Clark, $27, $31; handbagproductions.org

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.

David Cerda (from left), Ryan Oates, Grant Drager and Ed Jones in “The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes — The Holiday Edition by Hell in a Handbag Productions. 
David Cerda (from left), Ryan Oates, Grant Drager and Ed Jones in “The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes — The Holiday Edition by Hell in a Handbag Productions.
Rick Aguilar Studios