Curtain Call — ‘Kill Move Paradise,’ ‘The Donna Summer Musical’ and more openings, previews Feb. 6-13

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

SHARE Curtain Call — ‘Kill Move Paradise,’ ‘The Donna Summer Musical’ and more openings, previews Feb. 6-13
Grif (Cage Sebastian Pierre, from left), Isa (Kai A. Ealy), Tiny (Trent Davis) and Daz (Charles Andrew Gardner) have been torn from the world they know without warning in TimeLine Theatre’s Chicago premiere of  “Kill Move Paradise.”

Grif (Cage Sebastian Pierre, from left), Isa (Kai A. Ealy), Tiny (Trent Davis) and Daz (Charles Andrew Gardner) have been torn from the world they know without warning in TimeLine Theatre’s Chicago premiere of “Kill Move Paradise.”

Joe Mazza/Brave Lux, Inc.

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

Here are some highlights to consider:

PICK OF THE WEEK

“Kill Move Paradise”: Playwright James Ijames’ drama, directed by Wardell Julius Clark, is set in a netherworld where newly deceased inhabitants, Isa (Kai A. Ealy), Daz (Charles Andrew Gardner), Grif (Cage Sebastian Pierre) and Tiny (Trent Davis or Donovan Session) confront themselves, each other, and the audience as they try to make sense of the world they have been untimely ripped from and the purgatory they find themselves in. Ijames describes the play as “an expressionistic buzz saw through the contemporary myth that ‘all lives matter.’”Two more plays by Ijames also are being staged this season: “The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington” (April 2-May 17, Steppenwolf Theatre) and “White” (April 17-May 24, Definition Theatre at Steppenwolf’s Lookout Series). Previews for “Kill Move Paradise” begin Feb. 12, opens Feb. 19; to April 5. Timeline Theatre, 615 W. Wellington, $42-$57; timelinetheatre.com

MORE PREVIEWS, OPENINGS

“A Doll’s House”: Henrik Ibsen’s classic about a young housewife trapped in the patriarchal world of 1870s Norway who questions what she really wants; directed by Lauren Shouse. Previews begin Feb. 6, opens Feb. 10; to March 22. Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, $43, $46; raventheatre.com

“Frindle”: An adaptation of Andrew Clements’ children’s book about a boy who invents a new word. Opens Feb. 11; to Feb. 21. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $12, $14; metropolisarts.com

“Graveyard Shift”: Korde Arrington Tuttle’s drama, loosely inspired by the legacy of Sandra Bland, looks at how we navigate a world full of fear; directed by Danya Taymor. Previews begin Feb. 7, opens Feb. 18; to March 8. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, $15-$45; goodmantheatre.org

“Madama Butterfly”: Giacomo Puccini’s opera about a geisha who falls in love with and marries an American naval lieutenant, a union that leads to disaster. Opens Feb. 6; to March 8. Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker, $39-$299; lyricopera.org

“Madama Butterfly” will be staged at the Lyric Opera of Chicago Feb. 6-March 8.

“Madama Butterfly” will be staged at the Lyric Opera of Chicago Feb. 6-March 8.

Felix Sanchez/Houston Grand Opera

“Men Are from Mars — Women Are from Venus Live!”: A comedy that’s a one-man fusion of theater and stand-up based on the best-selling book. Opens Feb. 11; to Feb. 23. Broadway Playhouse, Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut, $69; broadwayinchicago.com

“Nine the Musical”: A concert staging of Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit’s musical based on Federico Fellini’s film “8 1/2”; directed by Jeffrey Cass. Feb. 7-9. Brightside Theatre at Madden Hall, North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth, Naperville, $25-$35; brightsidetheatre.com

“The Princess & the Pea”: The prince is seeking a bride but will his true love, an ordinary young maiden, pass the test planned by the persnickety queen? Directed by Aaron Thielen. Previews begin Feb. 7, opens Feb. 15; to April 19. Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire, $18.23; marriotttheatre.com

“The Secret of My Success”: World premiere of Michael Mahler, Alan Schmuckler, Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen’s new musical based on the film about a young Midwesterner who moves to New York City to start his dream job; directed by Gordon Greenberg. Previews begin Feb. 12, opens Feb. 21; to March 29. Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena, Aurora, $36-$74; paramountaurora.com

“Shear Madness”: The comic murder mystery follows the story of a crime committed at the Shear Madness salon; directed by Warner Crocker. Previews begin Feb. 7, opens Feb. 16; to March 29. Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport, $40-$80; mercurytheaterchicago.com

“Summer — The Donna Summer Musical”: Colman Domingo, Robert Cary and Des McAnuff’smusical with songs by Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Paul Jabara and others tells the story of the singer who went from gospel choir to become a dance floor diva all the way breaking through barriers and becoming an icon. Previews begin Feb. 12, opens Feb. 13; to Feb. 23. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph, $27-$100; broadwayinchicago.com

“Freedom Ride”: World premiere staging of Dan Shore’s opera set in New Orleans during the summer of 1961as a young women decides between her academic future or joining the Freedom Riders; directed by Tazewell Thompson. Feb. 8, 14, 16. Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan, $45-$150; chicagooperatheater.org

“The Times Are Racing”: The Joffrey Ballet presents a program of mixed works: Christopher Wheeldon’s “Commedia,” Itzik Galili’s “Mono Lisa” and “The Sofa, Stephanie Martinez’s “Bliss!,” Justin Peck’s “The Times Are Racing.” Opens Feb. 12; to Feb. 23. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., $35-$197; joffrey.org

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.

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