Curtain Call — ‘Grey Gardens,’ ‘Thirteen Days’ and more theater previews, openings March 5-11
From comedy and drama to musicals and dance, Chicago’s stages are alive with vibrant productions.
Looking to take in some live theater in Chicago in the week ahead?
We’ve got some suggestions to consider:
Pick of the week:
“Grey Gardens”: Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie’s musical tells the true story of Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier, the eccentric aunt and cousin, respectively, of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who went from Long Island society to East Hampton’s most notorious recluses. The musical, based on the 1975 documentary film by Albert and David Maysles, begins in 1941 as the older Edie (Harmony France) is in a troubled marriage and the younger Edie (Kyrie Anderson) has hopes of marrying Joseph Kennedy Jr., brother of the future president. Then the story skips ahead to 1973 when 79-year-old Big Edie (Nancy Kolton) and the never-married 56-year-old Little Edie (France) are living alone in their decaying Grey Gardens estate. Fred Anzevino directs. Previews begin March 6, opens March 15; to April 26. Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard, Evanston, $42-$54; theo-u.com
More previews, openings:
“Alice in Wonderland”: The popular children’s story follows Alice as she falls down the rabbit hole and into a wild adventure. Opens March 11, to March 20. Chicago Kids Company at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $12, $14; metropolisarts.com
“Disney’s Frozen Jr.”: Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez and Jennifer Lee’s musical about two sisters who discover their hidden potential. Opens March 7; to March 15. Brightside Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth, Naperville, $10-$15; brightsidetheatre.com
“Easter Bunny Bingo — Jesus, Resurrection & Peeps”: Vicki Quade’s newest comedy features Easter trivia, audience participation and a wacky contest. Previews March 10, opens March 13; to April 12. Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted, $30; royalgeorgetheatre.com
“Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist”: Samuel Ward’s one-man play follows a 20-something man as he recounts five of the sexual hookups he had with men he met on Craigslist; directed by Jeremy Ohringer. Previews begin March 7, opens March 10; to April 12. Pride Arts Center, The Broadway, 4139 N. Broadway, $25, $30; pridefilmsandplays.com
“Hit Her With the Skates:” Christine Rea and Rick Briskin’s new musical about life, love and the roller rink starring “American Idol” couple Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young; directed by Brenda Didier. Previews begin March 10, opens March 18; in an open run. Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted, $40-$79; hitherwiththeskates.com
“Hundred Days”: The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher’s musical about embracing uncertainty, taking a leap and loving as if you only had 100 days to live; directed by Lucky Stiff. Previews begin March 6, opens March 13; to April 12. Kokandy Productions at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, $40; kokandyproductions.com
“In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)”: Sarah Ruhl’s play, set in 1880s New York, about a woman whose doctor husband creates a unique piece of machinery to relieve the diagnosis known as “female hysteria.” Previews begin March 6, opens March 9; to April 5. Idle Muse Theatre at The Edge Off Broadway Theatre, 1133 W. Catalpa, $20; idlemuse.org
“Judy & Liza — Once in a Lifetime, The London Palladium Concert — A Tribute”: Nancy Hays and Alexa Castelvecchi star in a tribute to the iconic 1964 concert with Judy Garland and her daughter Liza Minnelli. Previews begin March 5; opens March 7; to April 5. Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, $25; greenhousetheater.org
“Pranaya: Romances in Poetry”:Features Indian classical dance — Odissi and Bharatanatyam — plus music and poetry. March 8. Mandala South Asian Performing Arts at Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th, $25; eventcombo.com/e/pranaya-romances-in-poetry-37106
“School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play”: Jocelyn Bioh’s comedy about the most popular girl at a Ghana boarding school who sets her sights on the Miss Universe pageant but a new student gets in her way; directed by Lili-Anne Brown. Previews begin March 7, opens March 16; to April 12. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, $20-$70; goodmantheatre.org
“Silly Love Songs”: Actor-musician-composer Michael Mahler performs the music of Paul McCartney. March 9-10. Artists Lounge Live at Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriot Dr., Lincolnshire, $55; artistsloungelive.com
“Steel Magnolias”: Robert Harling’s comedy-drama set in a Louisiana beauty shop where six women develop friendships and come to depend on each other. Previews begin March 6; to March 22. Brightside Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth, Naperville, $30; brightsidetheatre.com
“Teenage Dick”: Mike Lew’s new play about perception, disability and the lengths we’re willing to go to rise above out station in life; directed by Brian Balcom. Previews March 6, opens March 16; to April 19. Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, $30-$42; theaterwit.org
“Thirteen Days”: Brian Pastor’s adaptation of Robert F. Kennedy’s memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis is performed by an all-female cast; directed by Pastor. Previews begin March 6, opens March 15; to April 19. City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr, $32; citylit.org
“Sweet Tap Chicago”: A celebration of music and motion with choreography by Mark Yonally, Kirsten Uttich, Sterling Harris and Rich Ashworth. March 8. Chicago Tap Theatre at Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse, $30-$40; chicagotaptheatre.com
Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.