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Curtain Call: ‘Augie March’ and more theater openings, previews May 3-9

Kai Ealy (from left), Patrick Mulvey, Chaon Cross and Aurora Real de Asua in “The Adventures of Augie March.” | Photo by Joe Mazza/Brave Lux

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:

“The Adventures of Augie March”: Saul Bellow’s great American novel comes to the stage in a world premiere adaptation by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Auburn (“Proof”). Published in 1953, the novel was instantly hailed as a classic. Augie March, the story’s narrator, grows up in Chicago during the Great Depression, and the story follows his coming-of-age as he discovers what it takes to succeed in the world. Bellow, a winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, was a University of Chicago faculty member for three decades, and his experiences in the city informed his writing. Patrick Mulvey leads a strong cast of a dozen Chicago actors; Charles Newell directs. Previews begin May 9, opens May 18; to June 9. Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis, $50-$74; courttheatre.org

“Certain Women of an Age”: Margaret Trudeau, the mother of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in her one-woman show, which chronicles her public and private journeys; directed by Kimberly Senior. May 9-12. UP Comedy Club at The Second City, 230 W. North, $45; secondcity.com

“Dress the Part”: The Q Brothers in a two-person hip-hop musical retelling of Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” May 8-10. Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted, $20; steppenwolf.org

“Chicago the Musical”: A universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz featuring Heisman Trophy winner and NFL legend Eddie George as lawyer Billy Flynn. May 7-12. Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, $30-$95; broadwayinchicago.com

“Into the Breeches!”: George Brant’s comedy set in 1942 as the men go off to war and the local theater is left without its director and leading man; directed by Jessica Thebus. Previews begin May 9, opens May 18; to June. 16. Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, $30-$88; northlight.org

“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”: An evening of ghost stories comes to life as Shelley unspools her tale of Victor Frankenstein and his experiment to create life; directed by David Catlin. Previews begin May 8, opens May 19; to Aug. 4. Lookingglass Theatre, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan, $45-$86; lookingglasstheatre.org

“Miracle”: Jason Brett and Michael Mahler’s musical set against the backdrop of the Chicago Cubs 2016 championship season; directed by Damon Kiely. Previews begin May 8, opens May 17; in an open run. Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted, $59-$69; miraclethemusical.com

“The Mushroom Cure”: Written and performed by Adam Strauss, this is the true story of one man’s attempt to treat his severe OCD with psychedelics. Previews begin May 9, opens May 11; to June 9. Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, $29-$35; greenhousetheater.org

“Next to Normal”: The musical explores how family trauma can fracture the American Dream while also leading to a chance at new beginnings; directed by David Cromer. Previews begin May 8, opens May 15; to June 16. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor, Glencoe, $35-$80; writerstheatre.org

Adam Strauss stars in “The Mushroom Cure.” | David Allen photo
Adam Strauss stars in “The Mushroom Cure.” | David Allen photo

“The Secret of the Biological Clock”: Playwright Andie Arthur asks the question: What happens when teen detectives grow up? Previews begin May 4; opens May 6; to June 2. Eclectic Full Contact Theatre at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, $27, $32; eclectic-theatre.com

“Single Black Female”: Lisa B. Thompson’s two-woman show that explores the lives of African American middle-class women; directed by TaRon Patton. Previews begin May 3, opens May 6; to May 19. Congo Square Theatre at eta Creative Arts, 7558 S. South Chicago, $25-$35; congosquaretheatre.org

“Space — The Musical”: Brandon Sherman’s musical comedy about a ragtag crew of space cleaners who sail around the stars disposing of the junk left behind; directed by Sherman. Opens May 5; to June 2. The Annoyance, 851 W. Belmont, $18; theannoyance.com

Choreographer Alexei Kremnev with dancers Grace Curry and Michael Sayre during a rehearsal of the A&A Ballet Company’s production of “Sleeping Beauty,” Tuesday, April 16, 2019. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times
Choreographer Alexei Kremnev with dancers Grace Curry and Michael Sayre during a rehearsal of the A&A Ballet Company’s production of “Sleeping Beauty,” Tuesday, April 16, 2019. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

“Sleeping Beauty”: The classic fairy tale in ballet form; choreographed by Anna Reznik and Alexei Kremnev. May 4. A&A Ballet at Studebaker Theatre, 410 S. Michigan, $25-$45; aacenterfordance.org

“That’s Weird, Grandma — Stories That Sing and Dance”: A mix of new and classic song-and-dance numbers performed to music composed by company musicians. Preview May 3, opens May 4; to May 25. Barrel of Monkeys at Neo-Futurists Theater, 5153 N. Ashland, $5-$20; barrelofmonkeys.org

“The Winter’s Tale”: Robert Falls directs Shakespeare’s tale about a paranoid king who accuses his queen of infidelity, setting off a calamitous series of events. Previews begin May 4, opens May 13; to June 9. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, $20-$80; goodmantheatre.org

“West Side Story”: New production of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical stars Corey Cott and Mikaela Bennett; directed by Francesca Zambello. Preview May 3, opens May 4; to June 2. Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker, $26-$219; lyricopera.org

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.