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Curtain Call: ‘Something Rotten,’ ‘Howard’s End’ and more theater openings Aug. 23-29

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

Adam Jacobs stars as William Shakespeare in “Something Rotten.”
Adam Jacobs stars as William Shakespeare in “Something Rotten.”
Amy Boyle Photography

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


“Something Rotten”: John O’Farrell, Karey Kirkpatrick and Wayne Kirkpatrick’s hilarious musical takes a rambunctious journey to Elizabethan England. Nick and Nigel Bottom are just two playwrights trying to make a living, but they’re up against the ever-so-popular William Shakespeare and are desperate to outshine him. Their plan? Create the first ever musical. Chaos ensues. KJ Hippensteel and Alex Goodrich portray the musically industrious brothers with Adam Jacobs as their nemesis. Scott Weinstein directs the regional premiere of the Tony Award-nominated show with musical direction by Ryan T. Nelson and choreography by Alex Sanchez. Previews begin Aug. 28, opens Sept. 4; to Oct. 20. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire, $50-$60;

More previews, openings:

Bechdel Fest 7: Momentum”: The annual festival of new short plays talking about things other than men includes: “All I Really Want” by Jillian Leff, “Distinguished Alumni of the Stanton School” by Ryan Oliveira, “harderfasterharderfaster” by Grace McLeod, “Rehearsal” by Dolores Diaz, “Laugh Out Loud” by Michael Turrentine, “The Great Whirlpool of the Niagara” by Robert Koon, “Planned Sisterhood” by Michael Allen Harris, “Operation Marshmallow Fluff” by Hallie Palladino, and “Throw Away” by Jenni Lamb. Aug. 25-28. Broken Nose Theatre at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted, $25;

“Higher and Higher, A Feel-Good Rock ’N’ Soul Shindig”: Actor-singer Chester Gregory performs in a night of solid gold hits. Aug. 25. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire, $50;

Eliza Stoughton and Heather Chrisler star in “Howard’s End.”
Eliza Stoughton and Heather Chrisler star in “Howard’s End.”
Joe Mazza / Brave Lux

“Howard’s End”: Douglas Posts’ adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel about the independent Schlegel sisters who seek to change the world; directed by Nick Sandys. Previews begin Aug. 29, opens Sept. 3; to Oct. 5. Remy Bumppo at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, $37.75-$62.75;

“Lil Pine Nut”: Chicago Dance Crash revisits its “breakdance fairy tale” formula with an interpretation of Carlo Collodi’s “The Adventures of Pinocchio.” Opens Aug. 23; to Aug. 31. Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, $15, $25;

“Rennie Harris: Lifted”: The hip-hop choreographer presents a new work, a loose adaptation of “Oliver Twist.” Aug. 23-24. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, $30;

Brian Boller (clockwise from bottom left), Miles Borchard, Stephen Dunn and Amy Gray in “Sons and Lovers.”
Brian Boller (clockwise from bottom left), Miles Borchard, Stephen Dunn and Amy Gray in “Sons and Lovers.”
Andrew Thorpe

“Sons and Lovers”: Mike Brayndick’s adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s novel dramatizes the early years of a writer as he charts his course from a coal mining town into the larger world; directed by Brayndick. Previews begin Aug. 29, opens Aug. 31; to Sept. 29. On the Spot Theatre at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, $20-$29;

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.