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Curtain Call — Theater previews and openings March 29 – April 5, 2018

Heather Chrisler and Debo Balogun in "Mary's Wedding" at First Folio Theatre. | D. Rice

Chicago’s stages are alive with vibrant productions. Here are highlights of theater/dance performances and opening nights for March 22 to April 5, 2018.

“Birdland”: Simon Stephens’ exploration of empathy and the impact of unchecked privilege; directed by Jonathan Berry. Previews begin March 31, opens April 5; to May 12. Steep Theatre, 1115 W. Berwyn, $27, $38; steeptheatre.com

“Cornerstone”: In Kevin Sparrow’s play, the attendees of a lecture series that promises to unleash unbridled potential begin to rebel when the project managers become more ruthless and belligerent in a struggle for dominance and power. Previews begin April 3, opens April 5; to April 29. 900 N. Michigan Shops, 3rd level, 900 N. Michigan; $25, $30; nothingwithoutacompany.org

Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak presents the world premiere of Molly Shanahan’s ensemble dance “Of Whales, Time, and Your Last Attempt to Reach Me” at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. |

“The Internet Ate My Brain”: Comedian/author Bill Dyszel explores the modern-day reliance on technology. March 31. Metropolis Performing Arts Center, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights; $30, $35; metropolisarts.com

“L’Imitation of Life”: Ricky Graham and Running with Scissors’ parody of the 1959 film “Imitation of Life.” Previews begin March 31, opens April 7; to May 6. Hell in a Handbag Productions at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, $29, $34; handbagproductions.org

“Mary’s Wedding”: Stephen Massicotte’s love story about survival and optimism during World War I. Opens March 31; to April 29. First Folio Theatre at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st and Ill. Rt. 83, Oak Brook, $34, $44; visit firstfolio.org

“Of Whales, Time, and Your Last Attempt to Rescue Me”: Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak dance ensemble with a world premiere influenced by Victorian and Gothic literature. Opens March 29; to March 31. Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, 1306 N. Michigan, $30; tickets.colum.edu

“The Ugly Duckling”: An updated musical version of the classic tale about belonging. Opens April 3; to April 13. Chicago Kids Company at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $12, $14; metropolisarts.com

“With This I Will Take Over the World”: Kevin Kogan’s musical features two puppet super-villains and their human “henchperson.” Opens March 30; to April 20. The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, $8; theannoyance.com

“The Wolf at the End of the Block”: Ike Holter’s film noir about a simple mystery that quickly twists into a personal, pointed and political thriller; directed by Lili-Anne Brown. Previews begin March 29, opens April 5; to May 5. 16th Street Theater, 6420 16th St., Berwyn, $22; 16thstreettheater.org