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Curtain Call: ‘Cambodian Rock Band’ and other openings, previews April 5-11

Aja Wiltshire in "Cambodian Rock Band." | © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2018

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:

“Cambodian Rock Band”: Lauren Yee’s comedy/mystery/rock concert play, directed by Marti Lyons, about a young Cambodian-American woman who finds evidence that condemns those who carried out the Cambodian genocide during the Khmer Rouge reign from 1975-1979. As the story moves back and forth in time, it’s fueled by the music of the Los Angeles-based band Dengue Fever, a blend of 1960s Cambodian pop infused with surf guitar and soul. Lee has said that the idea for the play began after seeing the band for the first time and she became intrigued with exploring the music, which led her to this dark time in Cambodian history. (Dengue Fever will perform at Lincoln Hall, across the street from Victory Gardens, on May 1.) Previews begin April 5, opens April 12; to May 5. Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, $32-$65.

MORE PREVIEWS AND OPENINGS:

Alexei Agoudine as the doctor with the American Ballet Theatre company of “Whipped Cream.” | Gene Schiavone Photo
Alexei Agoudine as the doctor with the American Ballet Theatre company of “Whipped Cream.” | Gene Schiavone Photo

American Ballet Theatre: The Chicago premiere of the company’s new story ballet, “Whipped Cream,” about a young boy who overindulges in sweets and falls into a sugar-induced coma where he encounters mystical creatures, nightmarish puppets and a beautiful princess. April 11-14. Auditorium Theatre, 50 Ida B. Wells Dr., $44-$150.

“Baby with the Bathwater”: Christopher Durang’s black comedy about a young boy whose life is not what is expected; directed by Derek Van Barham. Previews begin April 11; opens April 14; to May 18. Eclipse Theatre Company at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, $35.

“Buyer & Cellar”: Scott Gryder stars in Jonathan Tolin’s one-man play about a struggling actor who takes a job managing a make-believe shopping mall in Barbra Streisand’s basement; directed by Donterrio Johnson. Previews begin April 11, opens April 15; to May 19. Pride Arts Center, Broadway Theatre, 4139 N. Broadway, $30, $40.

“A Chorus Line”: The Tony Award-winning musical about dancers auditioning and hoping to land a spot in a new show. Previews begin April 10, opens April 18; to May 26. Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, $39-$66;

“Footloose The Musical”: Based on the true story of an Oklahoma town where dancing was banned for 90 years; directed by Gary Griffin. Previews begin April 10; opens April 17; to June 2. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire, $50-$60.

Christina Gorman (front right) in Shattered Globe Theatre’s production of “Hannah and Martin.” | Nico Fernandez/A Little Photo Studio
Christina Gorman (front right) in Shattered Globe Theatre’s production of “Hannah and Martin.” | Nico Fernandez/A Little Photo Studio

“Hannah and Martin”: Kate Fodor’s drama based on the love affair between German-Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt and renowned German philosopher Martin Heidegger; directed by Louis Contey. Previews begin April 11, opens April 14; to May 25. Shattered Globe Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, $15-$39.

Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak Dance: The choreographer’s most recent evening-length work, “Of Whales, Time and Your Last Attempt to Reach Me,” is performed. April 5-6. Dovetail Studios, 2853 W. Montrose, $18.

“Othello”: An all-female cast stars in Shakespeare’s tragedy about prejudice, pride and paranoia; directed by Mignon McPherson Stewart. Previews begin April 11, opens April 20; to May 25. Babes with Blades at The Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard, $28.

“Twelve Angry Men”: An all-woman cast in a staged reading of Reginald Rose’s classic play. April 8. Broadway Theatre at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, $10; pridefilmsandplays.com

“Utility”: Emily Schwend’s drama about a young wife and mother trying to makes ends meet in working-class America; directed by Georgette Verdin. Previews begin April 5, opens April 8; to May 4. Interrobang Theatre Project at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge, $32.

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.

Brynne Barnard is among the cast for Interrobang Theatre Project’s Midwest premiere of “Utility.” | Salar Ardebili Photo
Brynne Barnard is among the cast for Interrobang Theatre Project’s Midwest premiere of “Utility.” | Salar Ardebili Photo