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The best things to do in Chicago this month,
selected by our culture criticsApril 2016

Theater
Dramas

Carlyle rehearsal
A rehearsal for Carlyle Photo: Liz Lauren

AFTER ALL THE TERRIBLE THINGS I DO

Through 4/10 In Andrew Volkoff’s production of A. Rey Pamatmat’s two-person drama, a seemingly innocuous job as a bookstore clerk becomes fraught with conflict over race, prejudice, and history. $15–$35. About Face Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont. aboutfacetheatre.com

 

ARCADIA

Through 4/24 Tom Stoppard’s masterpiece gets an A-list cast for this production at the new Writers Theatre space, including Greg Matthew Anderson, Scott Parkinson, Kate Fry, Chaon Cross, and Gabriel Ruiz. $50–$70. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. writerstheatre.org

BLACK PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL

4/8–13 Daryl D. Brooks directs five new plays for Black Ensemble Theater’s ninth annual fest, and Lyle Miller directs a series of 10-minute playlets. $10–$50. Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark. blackensembletheater.org

BLOOD WEDDING

Through 4/24 Known for dark material, Federico García Lorca spins the tale of a bride whose ex-lover arrives for the nuptials. $20–$75. Lookingglass, 821 N. Michigan. lookingglasstheatre.org

BUTLER

Through 4/17 Greg Vinkler plays Major General Butler in this Civil War dramedy about three escaped slaves seeking refuge at a Union fort. $15–$79. Northlight Theatre, 9501 N. Skokie, Skokie. northlight.org

CARLYLE

4/2–5/1 Local playwright Thomas Bradshaw centers his drama on a staunchly Republican African American attorney who’s tapped by conservative bigwigs to write a play about being a black card-carrying member of the GOP. $10–$40. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. goodmantheatre.org

 

DRY LAND

4/30–5/28 Set primarily in a high school locker room, Ruby Rae Spiegel’s drama follows two star swimmers floundering in the shark tank of adolescence. When one gets pregnant, the pair form an alliance to attempt a harrowing DIY abortion. $15–$50. Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge. rivendelltheatre.org

EVEN LONGER AND FARTHER AWAY

4/15–5/22 Chelsea Marcantel ambles the Appalachian Trail in the story of a hiker who gets snowed in with strangers who know far too much about him. Thrisa Hodits helms the mountainous world premiere. $15–$20. New Colony at Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee. thenewcolony.org

FERAL

4/15–5/29 In Chicago playwright Shepsu Aakhu’s latest, violence breaks out between the cops and a young black street artist armed with a can of spray paint and his political ideals. $16–$33. MPAACT at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. mpaact.org

THE FEW

4/14–5/21 The Y2K bug looms large in Samuel D. Hunter’s drama about depressed truckers who fear the world will collapse with the dawn of the new millennium. Brad Akin directs. $25–$35. Steep Theatre, 1115 W. Berwyn. steeptheatre.com

THE FLICK

Through 5/8 Dexter Bullard helms Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize–winning story of a dying movie house and the three underpaid cinephiles whose passion transcends stale popcorn and sticky floors. $20–$89. Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted. steppenwolf.org

IN A LITTLE WORLD OF OUR OWN

Through 4/10 In Gary Mitchell’s taut psychological thriller, three brothers navigate the aftermath of a violent crime that one of them will pay for, guilty or not. $12–$30. Irish Theatre of Chicago at Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee. irishtheatreofchicago.org

IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT

4/21–6/4 Louis Contey directs the classic about an African American cop asked to investigate a white man’s murder in the Jim Crow South. $33. Shattered Globe at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont. shatteredglobeseason.org

 

IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES

4/16–5/22 Caridad Svich’s adaptation of the Julia Alvarez novel follows the Mirabal sisters, the now-iconic “butterflies” who died trying to oust Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. Alvarez herself has praised Svich’s adaptation. $20–$35. Teatro Vista at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln. teatrovista.org

JERUSALEM

Through 4/24 Jez Butterworth’s acclaimed drama unfolds on St. George’s Day in an impoverished pocket of England. At its core is Rooster Byron, a hard-drinking outcast who manages to be both monstrous and sympathetic. $20–$40. Profiles Main Stage Theatre, 4139 N. Broadway. profilestheatre.org

JESUS HOPPED THE “A” TRAIN

4/14–5/22 Rikers Island is the setting of Stephen Adly Guirgis’s visceral tale of two inmates—one a killer who has become a Christian, the other a bike messenger accused of slaying a cult leader. $20–$30. Eclipse at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. eclipsetheatre.com

THE LIFE OF GALILEO

Through 5/1 When Galileo aired his hypothesis that the earth revolved around the sun, he put himself squarely at odds with the Catholic Church. In David Hare’s adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s drama, the clash between science and faith is worthy of a cage match. $15–$53. Remy Bumppo Theatre at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. remybumppo.org

 

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT

Through 4/10 Mary Beth Fisher plays the morphine-addled matriarch Mary Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s opus. The stellar cast also features Harris Yulin as Mary’s husband and Dan Waller as the couple’s tubercular son. $35–$65. Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis. courttheatre.org

 

MARY PAGE MARLOWE

Through 5/29 A world premiere from the author of August: Osage County is reason enough to hightail it to the box office. $20–$89. Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted. steppenwolf.org

MIDNIGHT COWBOY

Through 4/10 Chris Hainsworth adapts James Leo Herlihy’s iconic novel about two low-rent hustlers trying to catch a break in late-1960s New York City. $20–$40. Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood. lifelinetheatre.com

MOSQUE ALERT

Through 5/1 In Jamil Khoury’s Naperville-set drama inspired by the “ground zero mosque,” an Islamic center proposed for the site of a local landmark sends a divided suburb reeling. $13–$35. Silk Road Rising at Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington. silkroadrising.com

OTHELLO

Through 4/10 Jonathan Munby helms Shakespeare’s racially charged tragedy in which a Moor is driven to murderous paranoia by a diabolical frenemy. $48–$88. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand. chicagoshakes.com

RECENT TRAGIC EVENTS

Through 4/10 Interrobang continues its Unnatural Disasters season with a romance by Craig Wright featuring a sock puppet Joyce Carol Oates. $12–$24. Interrobang Theatre Project at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. interrobangtheatre.org

RICHARD III

Through 5/1 In one of the most delicious bits of casting this year, Michael Patrick Thornton takes on the role of Shakespeare’s infamously vile serial killer king. $30–$40. Gift Theatre at Steppenwolf Garage, 1624 N. Halsted. steppenwolf.org

SUNSET BABY

Through 4/10 A long-imprisoned Black Power leader returns home to see the daughter he never really knew—and to acquire a cachet of valuable letters from which he could make a fortune. $38–$51. TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington. timelinetheatre.com

TASTE

4/23–5/22 When Terry and Vic meet for their first date, the dinner plans are shocking: Vic is the main course. Inspired by a 2001 German case in which a man was cooked by his online sweetheart, playwright Benjamin Brand’s bad romance isn’t for the squeamish. Free. Red Theater at Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr. redtheater.org

UNITED FLIGHT 232

Through 5/1 Vanessa Stalling’s play follows the doomed United plane, which in 1989 became paralyzed in midair and glided for 44 long minutes while its pilots frantically tried to engineer a landing. $15–$35. House Theatre at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. thehousetheatre.com

THE WOMEN OF LOCKERBIE

4/7–5/8 On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York exploded over Scotland, killing everyone on board. In this Deborah Brevoort drama, the victims’ families search Lockerbie’s hills for clothing, remains, and closure. $20. AstonRep at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark. astonrep.com

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