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Curtain Call: ‘Hope,’ ‘A Doll’s House’ and more theater previews, openings Sept 20-26

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

Ayssette Muñoz (left) and Janyce Caraballo play sisters in ”Hope: Part II of A Mexican Trilogy.”
Joel Maisonet

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

Pick of the Week

“Hope — Part II of a Mexican Trilogy”: With the six-hour epic “A Mexican Trilogy: An American Story,” playwright Evelina Fernandez’s goal was to address the idea that Mexican-Americans were somehow not really American. The plays, individually titled “Faith,” “Hope” and “Charity,” debuted in 2011 and 2012 at Los Angeles’ Latino Theater Company, where Fernandez is a founding member. Teatro Vista stages “Hope,” an exploration of Mexican American life in the ’60s. The comedy-drama, which follows the Morales family through that turbulent era, is co-directed by artistic director Ricardo Gutierrez and company member Cheryl Lynn Bruce. “Hope” is presented as part of Destinos: Chicago International Latino Theatre Festival. Previews begin Sept. 21, opens Sept. 26; to Oct. 27. The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, $25-$35; teatrovista.org

More previews, openings

“70 Scenes of Halloween”: Jeffrey M. Jones’ drama told in 70 brief scenes and set in a haunted home as a couple faces the fact that their marriage is dying of familiarity. Previews begin Sept. 26; opens Oct. 2; to Oct. 13. Theatre L’Acadie at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, $22; athenaeumtheatre.org

“The Angry Brigade”: A reading of James Graham’s comedy-thriller about a group of anarchists in 1970s London who have Scotland Yard on their tail. Sept. 22. Remy Bumppo Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, Free; remybumppo.org

“A Doll’s House”: Sandra Delgado and Michael Halberstam’s one-act adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic drama; directed by Lavina Jadhwani. Previews begin Sept. 25, opens Oct. 2; to Dec. 15. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor, Glencoe, $35-$80; writerstheatre.org

“Equivocation”: In Bill Cain’s play, fact, fiction, politics and comedy collide in this accounting of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a failed attempt to assassinate King James I and destroy British Parliament; directed by Evan Jackson. Previews begin Sept. 20, opens Sept. 23; to Oct. 20. Idle Muse Theatre at The Edge Off Broadway Theatre, 1133 W. Catalpa, $20; idlemuse.org

“Five on the Black Hand Side”: A reading of Charlie L. Russell’s 1969 comedy that tackles politics, race and women’s lib; directed by Runako Jahi. Sept. 23. Court Theatre at South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr., Free; courttheatre.org

“Goliath” and “The Returning”: In the first of two Norwegian one-act plays, Maria Tryti Vennerod retells the classic biblical story as an epic family drama. The second, by Fredrik Brattberg, is the story of a mother and father grieving the loss of their son. Preview Sept. 24, opens Sept. 25; to Oct. 13. Akvavit Theatre at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge, $25; chicagonordic.org

Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival: Two programs showcasing a diverse roster of 19 local, regional and national dance companies. Sept. 20-28. Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, $25; hccdf.com

“Luna”: Ramon Esquivel’s play about the daughter of migrant farm workers was developed in collaboration with school children in Mattawa, Washington, a town predominantly populated by migrant farmers; directed by Alejandro Tey. Previews begin Sept. 21, opens Sept. 28; to Nov. 3. Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee, $16-$19.50; filamenttheatre.org

“The Silence in Harrow House”
Evan Barr

“The Silence in Harrow House”: Mark Maxwell and Claire Saxe’s immersive play in which audiences are invited to tour the secluded home and studio of a reclusive architect as a terrifying tales unspools around them; directed by Mike Oleon. Previews begin Sept. 26, opens Oct. 3; to Nov. 10. Rough House Theater at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, $15-$32; roughhousetheater.com

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show”: A spectacle that brings some of author Eric Carle’s colorful characters from the page to the stage; created by Jonathan Rockefeller and directed by Jerrell L. Henderson. Previews begin Sept. 24, opens Sept. 28; to Oct. 27. Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine, $27-$39; chicagochildrenstheatre.org

“X”: Alistair McDowall’s drama about the crew at a research station billions of miles from home trying to hold it together as they await a message from a suddenly silent Earth; directed by Jonathan L. Green. Previews begin Sept. 22, opens Sept. 26; to Oct. 27. Sideshow Theatre at Victory Gardens, 2433 N. Lincoln, $20-$30; sideshowtheatre.org

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.