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Curtain Call: ‘Sweat,’ ‘Bronx Tale’ and more openings, previews March 8-14

Director Ron OJ Parson (left) and cast member Edgar Sanchez in rehearsal for the Chicago premiere of "Sweat" by Lynn Nottage at the Goodman Theatre. | Liz Lauren

In the mood for some live theater? Here’s a look at what’s opening in Chicago in the week ahead:


“Sweat”: Playwright Lynn Nottage is the first woman to win two Pulitzer Prizes. The first went to “Ruined,” her drama set during the civil war in the Democratic of Congo, the second to “Sweat,” which explores the problems faced by the working class in Middle America. Set in a bar in a Pennsylvania factory town where workers are facing plant closings, the drama, directed by Ron OJ Parson, looks at friendship, racial tensions and a way of life that may be doomed. Previews begin March 9, opens March 18; to April 14. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, $20-$80.

More previews, openings:

“2 Unfortunate 2 Travel”: A new devised adaptation of Thomas Nashe’s “The Unfortunate Traveller” is a cabaret-style evening of live performances about privilege and the things we take for granted; adapted and directed by Zach Weinberg. Previews begin March 8, opens March 11; to April 15. Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston, $20.

“The Bridges of Madison County”: Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman’s musical based on Robert James Waller’s novel about the relationship between an Iowa farmer’s wife and the photographer who stops by one day to ask for directions; directed by Fred Anzevino. Previews begin March 8, opens March 11; to April 21. Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard, Evanston, $39-$54.

“A Bronx Tale”: Chazz Palminteri, Alan Menken and Glenn Slater’s musical based on Palminteri’s one-man show about a young man caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he would love to be. Previews March 12, opens March 13; to March 24. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph, $27-$98.

“Detour Guide”: Karim Nagi’s one-man musical takes an alternative tour of the Arab world and Arab America; directed by Anna Bahow. Previews begin March 11, opens March 15; to April 7. Silk Road Rising, Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington, $38.

Schanora Wimpie (clockwise from bottom left), Jourdan Lewanda, Taylor Wisham, Joseph Ramski, Callie Harlow and Zoë DePreta with Isa Ramos (center) in “2 Unfortunate 2 Travel.” | Matthew Gregory Hollis Photo
Schanora Wimpie (clockwise from bottom left), Jourdan Lewanda, Taylor Wisham, Joseph Ramski, Callie Harlow and Zoë DePreta with Isa Ramos (center) in “2 Unfortunate 2 Travel.” | Matthew Gregory Hollis Photo

“For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf”: Ntozake Shange’s work featuring a sisterhood of seven women who tell their stories through prose poetry, music and movement; directed by Seret Scott. Previews begin March 14, opens March 23; to April 14. Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis, $50-$74.

“Good Enough”: Julie Ganey’s drama about how life’s biggest questions can sometimes confront you in seemingly mundane spaces; directed by Megan Shuchman. Previews begin March 14, opens March 21; to April 20. 16th Street Theater, 6420 16th St., Berwyn, $22, $30.

“Herland”: Grace McLeod’s comedy about a teenager who helps her elderly neighbor create a DIY retirement home for herself and her two best friends; directed by James Fleming. Previews begin March 13, opens March 16; to April 14. Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, $35, $40.

“How to Live on Earth”: MJ Kaufman’s play about four applicants for the first trip to Mars, an adventure that would be one-way with no return to Earth; directed by Gwendolyn Wiegold. Preview March 8, opens March 9; to March 24. Chimera Ensemble at Collaboraction Studios, Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee, $23.

“Landladies”: Sharyn Rothstein’s drama about a landlord and her new tenant who strike up a complicated relationship. Previews begin March 14, opens March 22; to April 20. Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, $30-$88.

“Not for Sale”: Guadalis del Carmen’s drama, set in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, asks the question: Who gets to lay claim to a neighborhood? Opens March 8; to April 7. Urban Theater Company at Batey Urbano, 2620 W. Division, $20.

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”: Christopher Durang’s comedy about a family thrown into a hilarious family reunion. Opens March 8; to March 24. Brightside Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall Theatre, North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth, Naperville, $25.

“The Choir of Man”: Set in a working pub, this show is filled with harmonies and high-energy dance. Opens March 12; to March 17. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut, $39-$79.

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.