PICK OF THE WEEK

“Photograph 51”: Anna Ziegler’s drama is the complex, true story of an ambitious female scientist competing in a world of men. Chaon Cross stars as British chemist Rosalind Franklin, who provided a key element to the decoding of DNA — a photograph that helped identify the double helix, a science-changing discovery she never received credit for. Instead it went to her colleagues and rivals James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, who received the Nobel Prize in 1962 for their work in the field. The cast also features Alex Goodrich, Nicholas Harazin, Nathan Hosner, Gabriel Ruiz and Yousof Sultani; Vanessa Stalling directs. Previews begin Jan. 17, opens Jan. 26; to Feb. 17. Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis, $50-$74; courttheatre.org

MORE THEATER/DANCE

“Big Science”: Hot Kitchen Collective’s performance piece looks at the cosmos and wonders if dark matter really does exist. Opens Jan. 17; to Feb. 7 at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted, $20; steppenwolf.org

Encounter: A two-week festival of theater, dance and spoken word, including Tonkia Lewis Johnson’s “Folded Map” and Dana N. Anderson’s “Soul in Suburbia.” Jan. 15-27. Collaboraction, 1579 N. Milwaukee, third floor, $25, $60 festival pass; collaboraction.org

“Evil Dead: The Musical”: Musical parody of Sam Raimi’s classic “Evil Dead” films; directed by Ed Rutherford. Previews begin Jan. 11, opens Jan. 18; to Feb. 16. Black Button Eyes Productions at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, $30; blackbuttoneyes.com

“Million Dollar Quartet”: The Tony Award-winning musical that imagines a jam session between Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley at Sun Records. Previews begin Jan. 16, opens Jan. 23; to March 10. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire, $50-$60; marriotttheatre.com

Rhinofest: Curious Theatre Branch and Prop Thtr collaborate for the 30th annual festival of new and experimental work. Jan. 12-Feb. 24. Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston, $15 or pay-what-you-can; rhinofest.com

“Swan Lake”: The classic performed by the Russian National Ballet. Jan. 13. McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn, $39, $59; atthemac.org

“Tedium … and Other Sensations”: An exploration of Mickle Maher’s absurd text via puppets on a small tabletop. Presented with “Other Sensations,” created by Mocrep. Opens Jan. 17; to Jan. 26. Neo-Futurists, 5153 N. Ashland, $25; neofuturists.org

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.