Curtain Call — ‘Plano,’ ‘Titus Andronicus’ and more openings, previews Feb. 13-19

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

SHARE Curtain Call — ‘Plano,’ ‘Titus Andronicus’ and more openings, previews Feb. 13-19
Elizabeth Birnkrant (from left), Ashley Neal and Amanda Fink star in First Floor Theater’s production of “Plano.” Photo by Ian McLaren Photography.

Elizabeth Birnkrant (from left), Ashley Neal and Amanda Fink star in First Floor Theater’s production of “Plano.” Photo by Ian McLaren Photography.

Ian McLaren Photography

Looking to take in some live theater in Chicago in the week ahead?

Here are some suggestions to consider:

Pick of the Week

“Plano”: Will Arbery’s experimental dark comedy is a contemporary dream play that loops through the lives of three sisters trapped in a suburban landscape where Anne’s husband may be using her for a green card, Genevieve’s husband cheats, and religious Isabel is devoted to God. Arbery, who grew up in Texas with seven sisters, told the Dallas Morning News he was partially inspired by his siblings: “I took experiences from a few of my sisters’ lives and translated it into this pretty wild dreamscape. It’s about three sisters trapped on a porch in Dallas as they are haunted by a series of plagues linked to the male presences in their lives.” The sisters are portrayed by Elizabeth Birnkrant, Ashley Neal and Amanda Fink; Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member Audrey Francis directs. Previews begin Feb. 16, opens Feb. 20; to March 28. First Floor Theater at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted, $25-$35; steppenwolf.org

More previews, openings

“Almost Heaven — John Denver’s America”: A musical tribute and celebration of the singer-songwriter’s life and career; directed by Linda Fortunato. Previews begin Feb. 13, opens Feb. 16; to March 22. Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge, Munster, Ind., $42-$46; theatreatthecenter.com

Steven Romero Schaeffer (from left), Tommy Malouf and Sara Geist star in “Almost Heaven — John Denver’s America.” Photo by Guy Rhodes

Steven Romero Schaeffer (from left), Tommy Malouf and Sara Geist star in “Almost Heaven — John Denver’s America.”

Guy Rhodes

Ballet Folclorico Nacional de Mexico: The culture and dance traditions of Mexico inspired by the country’s history. Feb. 16. McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn, $59; atthemac.org

“The Best of Second City”: A handful of the company’s rising stars performing best loved sketches, songs and improvisations from its 60-year history. Feb. 15. McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn, $32-$46; atthemac.org

“Last Night in Karaoke Town”: Mike Beyer and Kirk Pynchon’s comedy set in one of Cleveland’s oldest karaoke bars that may have to close its doors after the new owner announces he wants to change it into a cider bar; directed by Kim Boler. Previews begin Feb. 14, opens Feb. 21; to March 28. The Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard, $10-$25; thefactorytheater.com

Ann Sonneville (left) and Abby Blankenship star in “The Lipstick Lobotomy.”

Ann Sonneville (left) and Abby Blankenship stars in “The Lipstick Lobotomy.”

Michal Janicki/Provided

“Lipstick Lobotomy”: In Krista Knight’s comedy, John F. Kennedy’s little sister, Rosemary Kennedy, and the playwright’s great aunt Ginny develop a friendship at an exclusive high-end sanitarium for women in the fall of 1941; directed by Kate Hendrickson. Opens Feb. 13; to March 21. Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland, $20, $25; trapdoortheatre.com

“Mlima’s Tale”: Lynn Nottage’s drama is the story of a magnificent elephant trapped in the clandestine international ivory market; directed by Jerrell L. Henderson. Previews begin Feb. 15, opens Feb. 23; to March 21. Griffin Theatre at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, $38; griffintheatre.com

“Rabbit Summer”: Tracey Conyer Lee’s tragicomedy about a picture-perfect marriage that is tested by old secrets, new lies and a shaken society; directed by Christopher Burris. Previews begin Feb. 19, opens Feb. 23; to March 22. Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, $35-$40; redtwist.org

“A Raisin in the Sun”: Lorraine Hansberry’s classic drama set on Chicago’s South Side in the 1950s follows the divergent dreams and conflicts of three generations of an African American family; directed by Aaron Reese Boseman. Previews begin Feb. 13, opens Feb. 17; to March 15. Invictus Theatre at The Buena, Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway, $25; invictustheatreco.com

Benjamin T. Jenkins (from left), Gregory D. Hicks and James Lewis star in “Titus Andronicus” at the Haven Theatre. Photo by Kayshla Morales.

Benjamin T. Jenkins (from left), Gregory D. Hicks and James Lewis star in “Titus Andronicus” at the Haven Theatre.

Kayshla Morales

“Titus Andronicus”: Shakespeare’s bloodiest drama explores the impact of vengeance across the intersections of family, power and race; directed by Ian Damont Martin. Previews begin Feb. 13, opens Feb. 18; to March 5. Haven Theatre at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, $35; havenchi.org

Wrench with Benefits — 30 Plays About Love and Relationships: An array of plays about the trials, tribulations and trajectories of romance; includes a prom-themed pre-show reception. Feb. 14. Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland, $35; neofuturists.org

“The Queen of Spades”: Tchaikovsky’s opera about an unhappy soldier desperate to know a secret hidden by an aging countess — the mystery at winning at cards. Opens Feb. 15; to March 1. Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker, $39-$299; lyricopera.org

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.

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