Summer Guide 2022: Theater offerings abound on Chicago area’s stages in the weeks ahead

Audiences have plenty to choose from when it comes to plays and musicals.

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Shereen Ahmed plays Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady,” coming to the Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Joan Marcus

Theater fans will have plenty of new shows and revivals to check out in and around Chicago in the months ahead:

  • “The Little Mermaid”: Music Theater Works presents Disney’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale. June 2-26. North Shore Center, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, $19.50-$106;
  • “Mamma Mia”: The musical about a bride-to-be on a search for her father, set to the hits of Abba. June 3-19. BrightSide Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth, Naperville, $31;
  • “Home”: Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre presents Samm-Art Williams’ drama about a young man who leaves the family farm to try his luck in the big city; directed by Tim Rhoze. June 4-19. Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes, Evanston, $30;
  • “Moonset Sunrise”: Collaboraction’s 25th anniversary production celebrates the sacred moment between the setting full moon and the rising sun with an ensemble of poets, dancers and performers. June 8-18. Beat Kitchen’s Bar Sol on Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand, $50;
  • “Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical”: Jordan Ross, Lindsey Rosin and Roger Kumble’s new musical laced with hits from the ’90s is based on the film about havoc at an elite Manhattan prep school. June 9-Aug. 7. Kokandy Productions at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, $40;
  • “In Bad Taste: Raising my son, Raising myself & Lowering the Bar”: Eunji Kim’s new solo show. June 10-11. Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater, 1700 N. Halsted, $20;
  • “Godspell”: John-Michael Tebelak and Stephen Schwartz’s timeless tale of friendship, loyalty and love is based on the Gospel of St. Matthew. June 10-July 31. Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard, Evanston, $41-$75;
  • “Steel Magnolias”: Robert Harling’s comedy-drama follows six women as they face life’s challenges together. June 10-July 31. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, $54-$69;
  • “Tommy on Top”: Chris Woodley’s comedy about a closeted actor about to become the first gay actor to win an Oscar. June 10-July 17. Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, $35;
  • “cullud wattah”: Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s drama about the effects of water lead poisoning on one Flint, Michigan, family. Directed by Lili-Anne Brown. June 11-July 17. Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, $29-$62;
  • “Paris”: Eboni Booth’s offbeat workplace comedy explores the impacts of race and economics on the wage-earners of rural America. Directed by Jonathan Berry. June 11-July 23. Steep Theatre, 1044 W. Berwyn, Free;
  • “Life After”: Britta Johnson’s new musical about a young woman who uncovers a complicated truth about the fateful night that changed her family forever; directed by Annie Tippe. June 11-July 17. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, $25-$80;
  • “Choir Boy”: Tarell Alvin McCraney’s story of a young gay black man and his battle between identity and community is laced with a cappella gospel hymns; directed by Kent Gash. June 16-July 24. Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, $20;
  • “Lucy Darling: Indulgence”: Magician Carisa Hendrix presents her first full-on theatrical show June 16-July 17 at Rhapsody Theater, 1328 W. Morse, $35-$75;

Ed Jones in “A Fine Feathered Murder: A Miss Marbled Mystery.

Rick Aguilar Studios

  • “A Fine Feathered Murder — A Miss Marbled Mystery”: David Cerda’s drag whodunit inspired by Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple series about an unassuming spinster with a knack for solving murders; directed by Cheryl Snodgrass. June 16-July 31. Hell in a Handbag Productions at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division; $27-$50;
  • “Hurricane Diane”: In Madeleine George’s play, Dionysus, in the guise of Diane, a landscape gardener, is staging a comeback to save the world from the ravages of climate change. June 17-July 31. Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, $18-$36;
  • “It Came from Outer Space”: World premiere of Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair’s musical adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s flying saucer tale that examines society’s fear of outsiders and embraces the wonder of what lies beyond the stars; directed by Laura Braza. June 22-July 24. Chicago Shakespeare at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand, $50-$60;
  • “Pearl’s Rollin’ with the Blues”: Felicia P. Fields and Ron OJ Parson’s new music revue celebrates the great blues artists of the past including Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, Howlin’ Wolf and more; directed by Parson. June 23-July 24. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor, Glencoe, $35-$90;
  • “The Billboard”: Natalie Y. Moore’s play about a woman’s clinic in the Englewood neighborhood that has its say with a provocative billboard; directed by TaRon Patton. June 23-July 17. 16th Street Theatre at Northwestern University’s Abbott Hall, 710 N. Lake Shore, $25;
  • “Antigone”: Anne Carson’s adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy; directed by Christine Freije. June 23-July 31. Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, $35;

Madeline Sayet in “Where We Belong.”

John Burklund/Zanni Productions

  • “Where We Belong”: Playwright/performer Madeline Sayet’s solo piece in which she journeys across geographic borders, personal history and cultural legacy in search of a place to belong; directed by Mei Ann Teo. June 24-July 24. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, $14-$45;
  • “My Fair Lady”: Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed production of Lerner and Loewe’s classic musical; directed by Bartlett Sher. June 28-July 10. Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, $27+;
  • “Marie Antoinette and the Magical Negroes”: Using a company of Black storytellers and the backdrop of the French Revolution, playwright Terry Guest explores questions faced by Black people. June 30-July 17. The Story Theatre at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, $20;
  • “Fences”: August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a former star of the Negro Baseball League whose bitterness takes its toll on his relationship with his family; directed by Monty Cole. July 1-Aug. 6. American Blues Theater at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, $25-$45;
  • “The Playboy of the Western World”: John Millington Synge’s play follows what happens when the charming Christy Mahon comes into Flaherty’s tavern and claims to have killed his father with a shovel; directed by Brian Pastor. July 1-Aug. 14. City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr, $34;
  • “Light Falls”: The U.S. premiere of Simon Stephens’ tale of resilience, hope and the impossibly strong bonds of family; directed by Robin Witt. July 2-Aug. 14. Steep Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, $10-$40;
  • “Homecoming”: Albany Park Theater Project presents a program of beloved creations from 25 years of honoring the immigrant community’s real-life stories. July 6-23. Laura Wiley Theater, 5100 N. Ridgeway, Price TBA;
  • “Elastic Mind”: Camp Fire Repertory Theatre presents Christian Alexander’s drama about a young Black couple living in 1923 Harlem who struggle to make it as artists while dealing with the pressures of society. July 7-24. Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, $35, $45;
  • “Dear Jack, Dear Louise”: Playwright Ken Ludwig tells the poignant story of his own parents’ unlikely courtship during World War II; directed by Jessica Fisch. July 7-Aug. 7. Northlight Theatre at North Shore Center, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, $30-$89;
  • “You Can Cry When You Get Home”: Dani Nicole James’ exploration of the difference between being lonely and being alone when our phones constantly keep us connected to the world; directed by Caitlin Looney. July 8-9. Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater, 1700 N. Halsted, $15;
  • “The Wizard of Oz”: Relive the classic tale with this one-hour musical adventure for all ages. July 8-August 7. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire, $18;

Writer-performer Nikki Lynette in “Get Out Alive.

Carter Wright

  • “Get Out Alive”: Nikki Lynette’s autobiographical afrogoth musical raises mental health awareness through the lens of a hip-hop concert. July 12-Aug. 7. Haven Theatre at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee; $36, $46;
  • “The Winter’s Tale”: Shakespeare’s tale of a king blinded by jealousy who nearly destroys his family and his kingdom; adapted and directed by Kevin Theis. July 13-Aug. 20. Oak Park Festival Theatre outdoors at Austin Gardens, 167 Forest, Oak Park, $38;
  • Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks: Neighborhood artists, musicians and dancers will be taking center stage in collaboration with a team of Chicago Shakespeare Theater actors. July 14-23 in neighborhood parks and green spaces, Free;
  • “Still a Quiet Afternoon”: Walkabout Theater presents a musical tragicomedy about two people in their small apartment observing a multitude of apocalyptic events through their single window. July 14-16. Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater, 1700 N. Halsted, $15;
  • “Roe v US”: Artemisia Theater presents the world premiere of Kelcey Anya’s play which puts on trial society’s commentary on morality and confronts the grueling real-life consequences of choice. July 14-17. Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee, $25;
  •  “Sister Act”: The popular musical comedy about a wannabe diva who witnesses a crime and is put in protective custody in a convent disguised as a nun. July 14-Aug. 27. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $35, $40;
  • “Kitties in Space: The Saga”: In a future world where humans have vanished and pets have advanced intelligence, two cats take a trip to space in this adult absurdist misadventure. July 14-Aug. 14. Otherworld Theatre, 3914 N. Clark, $10-$20;
  • “The Peter Johnson Parody”: Northern Trust Parodies packs Rick Riordan’s iconic Percy Jackson book series into two hours of crazy magic, pop-punk ballads and parody. July 14-24. Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, $35, $45;
  • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: Midsommer Flight revisits Shakespeare’s comedy, the play that begin the company’s 10-year run as an Arts Partner with Chicago Park District; directed by Beth Wolf. July 15-Aug. 21. Free outdoor performances are scheduled in various city parks;
  • “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”: Stephan Elliot and Allan Scott’s musical adaptation of the movie about a glamorous performing trio who takes their show to the Australian outback; directed by Christopher Chase Carter. July 15-Sept. 11. Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport, $35-$80;
  • “The Devil Wears Prada”: Elton John, Shaina Taub and Kate Wetherhead’s world premiere musical based on Lauren Weisberger’s novel and the popular film about an ambitious young writer who lands a job at a fashion magazine. Directed by Anna D. Shapiro. July 19-Aug. 21. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph, $33-$110;

Aaron LaVigne in the title role of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Matthew Murphy

  • “Jesus Christ Superstar”: Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical follows the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas; directed by Timothy Sheader. July 19-31. Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, $27+;
  • “American Sides Efectos”: Debbie Banos’ play about a young girl trying to make sense of her mother’s mysterious medical issues as her adult self revisits her mother’s journey from El Salvador to Arkansas; directed by Esteban Arevalo Ibanez. July 22-31. The New Coordinates at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, Pay-what-you-can;
  • “Fun Home”: Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori’s musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel about her family where she finds humor, secrets, anger, joy and self-revelation. Aug. 3-Sept. 18. Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena, Aurora, $64-$74;
  • “Campaigns, Inc.”: Will Allan’s new play based on the true story of Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker, who in 1934 formed the first political consulting firm in U.S. history; directed by Nick Bowling. Aug. 11-Sept. 18. TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington, $42-$57;
  • “Zorro: The Musical”: Music Theater Works presents the action-packed musical with a score by the Gipsy Kings. Aug. 11-21. North Shore Center, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, $19.50-$84;
  • “Crazy or Nah?!”: Kellye Howard’s solo show that questions the lasting effects of emotional and psychological trauma. Aug. 18-21. Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater, 1700 N. Halsted, $27;
  • “Pro-Am”: Brynne Frauenhoffer’s new comedy, set in Miami’s porn scene, where a rising star and a trans performer team up to make their mark in the business. Aug. 19-Sept. 25. Sideshow Theatre at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, $30;
  • “My Brother Langston”: Rueben Echoles’ look at the legacy of poet and civil rights leader Langston Hughes set to the music of the Harlem Renaissance; directed by Echoles. Aug. 21-Sept. 18. Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark, $55;
  • “Hello, Dolly!”: Heidi Kettenring stars in Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman’s musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s play “The Matchmaker”; directed and choreographed by Denis Jones. Aug. 24-Oct. 16. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire, $54-$64;
  • “Girlfriend”: Todd Almond and Matthew Sweet’s musical about two teens who figure out there is more to life than what high school taught them. Aug. 25-Sept. 25. Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, $35;
  • “Richard III”: Babes With Blades presents Shakespeare’s drama about Richard of Gloucester who uses deception and political manipulation to attain his seat on England’s throne; directed by Richard Costes. Aug. 25-Oct. 15. The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway, $20-$35;
  • “Aztec Human Sacrifice”: Kingsley Day and Philip LaZebnik’s musical is set the night before the beginning of the Aztec’s new millennium as the Chosen One, who is to be sacrificed in order to make the sun rise, runs off with the Emperor’s daughter; directed by Terry McCabe. Aug. 26-Oct. 9. City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr, $34;
  • “Chagall in School”: In 1920 Russia, artist Marc Chagall endeavors to realize his dream of a free school for anyone who wishes to explore their dream of artistic expression. Aug. 26-Oct. 16. Grippo Stage Company at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, $40;
  • “Murder on the Orient Express”: Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery about a puzzling death investigated by detective Hercule Poirot. Aug. 31-Oct. 23. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, $54-$69;
  • “Dreamgirls”: Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger’s musical follows the Dreamettes, three women who navigate the highs and lows of life, love and fame as they try to break into the 1960s music scene; directed by Christopher Betts. Aug. 31-Oct. 16. Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena, $28-$79;
  • “The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington”: James Ijames drama is a fever dream that takes us into the uncomfortable and horrific ramifications of this country’s original sin; directed by Whitney White. Sept. 1-Oct. 9. Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, $20;
  • “The Garbologists”: Lindsay Joelle’s offbeat buddy comedy pairs a blue-collar, old-school sanitation worker with an Ivy League-educated newbie in the cab of a New York City garbage truck; directed by Cody Estle. Sept. 1-Oct. 2. Northlight Theater at North Shore Center, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, $30-$89;
  • “Arsenic and Old Lace”: A hilarious chain of events ensues when a nephew discovers his maiden aunts’ macabre secrets; directed by Ron OJ Parson. Sept. 2-Oct. 2. Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis, $37.50-$84;
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