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Curtain Call: ‘Casa Valentina,’ ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and more theater previews, openings Aug. 16-22

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

“Casa Valentina” stars Micah Kronlokken (from left, as Miranda), Kingsley Day (as Terry), Danne W. Taylor (as Charlotte) and Patrick Byrnes (as Valentina).
“Casa Valentina” stars Micah Kronlokken (from left, as Miranda), Kingsley Day (as Terry), Danne W. Taylor (as Charlotte) and Patrick Byrnes (as Valentina).
Michael D. Graham

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

Pick of the week:

“Casa Valentina”: Tony Award-winning playwright Harvey Fierstein sets this drama in 1962 at a Catskills resort catering to a special clientele: heterosexual men who enjoy cross-dressing as women. Based on real events and filled with Fierstein’s trademark wit, the married men leave their day-to-day city lives behind to inhabit their female alter egos. Running the discreet weekend sanctuary are George/Valentina (Patrick Byrnes) and his wife Rita (Nicholia Q. Aguirre). But the outside world is knocking at the door and questions arise: Is there a freedom in sharing their secret with the world? Is it worth the risk of personal ruin? Previews begin Aug. 22, opens Aug. 26; to Sept. 29. Pride Arts Center, The Broadway, 4139 N. Broadway, $30, $40; pridefilmsandplays.com

More previews and openings:

Dance for Life: Annual fundraiser features performances by Giordano Dance Chicago, Hubbard Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Dance Crash, Chicago Human Rhythm Project and Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater. Aug. 17. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., $15-$75; chicagodancersunited.org

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”: Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz’ and Peter Parnell’s musical retelling of Victor Hugo’s story of love and acceptance performed with a full orchestra. Opens Aug. 17; to Aug. 25. Music Theater Works, 600 Emerson, Evanston, $17-$96; musictheaterworks.com

“(Non) Fiction”: Jillian Leff’s drama examines the line between fact and fiction: Does the story belong to the person who told it or the person who lives it? Directed by Kathi Kaity. Opens Aug. 22; to Sept. 15. Right Brain Project at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, $15, $25; athenaeumtheatre.org

“Out of Love”: Elinor Cook’s drama about two inseparable friends who vow to get out of their small English town but life has different plans for them; directed by Georgette Verdin. Previews begin Aug. 16, opens Aug. 19; to Sept. 14. Interrobang Theatre Project at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge, $32; interrobangtheatreproject.org

Sarah Gise and Laura Berner Taylor star in Interrobang Theatre Project’s U.S. premiere of “Out of Love.”
Sarah Gise and Laura Berner Taylor star in Interrobang Theatre Project’s U.S. premiere of “Out of Love.”
Zoë Verdin

“Trump in Space”: Landon Kirksey, Gillian Bellinger, Sam Johnides and Tony Gonzalez’s musical comedy is a sci-fi adventure set 400 years in the future as a descendant of the current president races to be the first to colonize a more livable planet; directed by John Hildreth. Preview Aug. 17, opens Aug. 24; to Sept. 28. Laugh Out Loud Theater, 3851 N. Lincoln, $20; laughoutloudtheater.com

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.