These Are the 35 Best Theatre Events in Chicago This Month

Tartuffe, Simpatico, and The Jungle Book are on the list of the top comedies, dramas, and musicals coming to Chicago stages in June.

Photo: Courtesy of Timeline Theatre

Blood and Gifts, with Kareem Bandealy in a production about the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980s, plays at the TimeLine Theatre through July 28.

Comedies

BOEING, BOEING
6/13–8/4 A jet-setting Parisian architect juggles three flight attendant fiancées while his beleaguered housekeeper attempts to keep the women from colliding in the wake of scheduling snafus. Wackiness ensues. $35–$49. Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, 100 Drury, Oakbrook Terrace. drurylaneoakbrook.com.

BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS
Through 6/29 Cody Estle directs Neil Simon’s semiautobiographical comedy about coming of age in a tight-knit Jewish family in New York City. The play is the first in Simon’s famous Eugene Trilogy. $22–$45. Raven Theatre, 6157 N Clark. raventheatre.com.

THE BURDEN OF NOT HAVING A TAIL
6/29–8/4 The end is nigh in the playwright Carrie Barrett’s apocalyptic tale of a doomsday prepper offering an inside-the-bunker primer. The ensemble member Karie Miller delves into the price of safety and its attendant psychological issues. Previews 6/29–7/1, $15. Regular run $20–$25. $15 students, seniors. Sideshow Theatre at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W Chicago. sideshowtheatre.org.

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED)
Through 6/23 Need to cram for a last-minute Shakespeare quiz? Three actors perform all 37 of the Bard’s works in under two hours. Think of it as CliffsNotes on amphetamines. Previews 5/31–6/2, $22–$27. Regular run $22–$27. Eclectic Theatre at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N Southport. eclectic-theatre.com.

CYMBELINE: A FOLK TALE WITH MUSIC
6/19–7/21 David Rice adapts Shakespeare’s comedy for the mountains of Appalachia, where the heroine, Imogen, finds refuge with a shepherd to escape accusations of betraying her lover. Previews 6/19–21, $22. Regular run $26–$37. First Folio Theatre, Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W 31st, Oak Brook. firstfolio.org.

THE LIAR
Through 8/11 A brilliant rascal, mistaken identity, the threat of an ill-conceived arranged marriage, and a pathological fabulist—such are the ingredients in David Ives’s adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s 370-year-old rom-com romp of sex and scoundrels. Previews through 6/29, $60. Regular run $35–$70. Writers’ Theatre, 325 Tudor, Glencoe. writerstheatre.org.

THE MISS NEO PAGEANT
Through 6/22 Megan Mercier deconstructs the American pageant tradition in a competition that puts a subversive spin on gender, beauty, and sociological norms. $10–$20. Neo-Futurists at the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N Ashland. neofuturists.org.

SMUDGE
Through 6/23 Rachel Axler’s dark comedy about a deformed infant labeled “a bunch of entrails in casing” by her mother has triggered outrage both inside and outside the disabled community. Allison Shoemaker directs a piece about how people cope with unforeseen “disasters.” $15–$25. Ka-Tet Theatre at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N Southport. katettheatre.org.

TARTUFFE Critic’s Pick
6/20–7/14 Molière’s farce about a scoundrel and the chaos he causes after winning the trust of a prominent family gets a contemporary spin with an African American cast and a Hyde Park setting. $35–$65. Court Theatre, 5535 S Ellis. courttheatre.org.

UNCLE BOB
6/13–7/21 Put a volatile, directionless young man with an angry, articulate hermit convinced he’s dying a meaningless death, and you’ve got a recipe for some high-octane dialogue. Austin Pendleton’s hot-tempered pas de deux is an ideal match for Mary-Arrchie’s combustible aesthetic. $10–$25. Mary-Arrchie Theatre, 735 W Sheridan. maryarrchie.com.
 

Dramas

BLOOD AND GIFTS
Through 7/28 An Afghan warlord and a CIA operative are entwined in the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s in the playwright J. T. Rogers’s cat-and-mouse drama crackling with spy vs. spy intrigue. $32–$42. TimeLine Theatre, 615 W Wellington. timelinetheatre.com.

DEATH AND HARRY HOUDINI
6/21–8/11 The amazing Dennis Watkins reprises his stunner about the life and magic of Harry Houdini, complete with the master illusionist’s infamous water tank escape. $25–$40. House Theatre of Chicago at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division. thehousetheatre.com.

THE ELECTRIC BABY
Through 6/22 Tara Mallen directs the Midwest premiere of this story about a group of disparate souls who come together to care for a strangely luminescent baby. $20–$30. Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N Ridge. rivendelltheatre.org.

FIGHT GIRL BATTLE WORLD
Through 6/16 Mitch Golob directs Qui Nguyen’s sci-fi parody/punch-up saga about a prizefighter who becomes entangled with the last known woman in the galaxy. $25. $15 students, seniors. $12.50 industry tickets Thursdays, Sundays. Infusion Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W Belmont. infusiontheatre.com.

THE GLASS MENAGERIE
Through 6/30 Mary Arrchie remounts its stunning and revelatory take on Tennessee Williams’s classic. $32–$37. Mary Arrchie Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W Belmont. maryarrchie.com.

THE HALF–BROTHERS MENDELSSOHN
6/18–7/20 Strange Tree Group’s artistic director, Emily Schwartz, crafts a tale of macabre whimsy about a time machine set to blast one of the titular siblings 20 years into the past to stop his mother from abandoning the family. Previews 6/18–19, $10. Regular run $25. Strange Tree Group at Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 W Berenice. strangetree.org.

HENRY VIII
Through 6/16 Barbara Gaines directs Shakespeare’s rarely produced drama of the infamous monarch who famously took to bedding and then beheading his serial wives. $48–$78. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E Grand Ave. chicagoshakes.com.

HOMECOMING 1972
Through 6/23 Kimberly Senior directs as the playwright Robert Koon delves into the psychological travails of a Vietnam vet trying to adjust to postwar life in his small Midwestern hometown. $15–$32. Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W Chicago. chicagodramatists.org.

INNER VOICES
6/25–29 Italy’s Piccolo Teatro di Milano travels to Navy Pier to present the American premiere of Eduardo De Filippo’s dreamscape drama of murder (or was it?), hypocrisy, and dangerous neighbors. $50. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E Grand. chicagoshakes.com.

IN THE COMPANY OF MEN
Through 6/30 In a revised version of Neil LaBute’s original script, two piggish executives decide to vent their frustrations by pulling a cruel prank on a hearing-impaired female coworker. $35–$40. Profiles Theatre, 4139 N. Broadway. profilestheatre.org.

IVYWILD
Through 6/16 From playwright Jay Torrence, a tale of 1908 Chicago, the infamously corrupt politicos Hinky Dink Kenna and Bathhouse John Coughlin, and a drunken elephant named Princess. $28. The Hypocrites Theatre at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. the-hypocrites.com.

LIVES OF THE PIGEONS
Through 6/30 The Off-Loop stalwarts Don Bender and Vincent Lonergan star in the world premiere of Sherod Santos’s Albee-esque tale of two men who find their routine upended by the appearance of a mysterious stranger. $15–$20. Side Project Theatre, 1439 W Jarvis. thesideproject.net.

MINE
6/13–8/11 It’s a fine, uneasy line between madness and reality in the Chicago premiere of Laura Marks’s contemporary thriller, in which a mother wonders whether her newborn is actually hers. Marti Lyons directs. Previews 6/13–16, $20. Regular run $30. Gift Theatre, 4802 N Milwaukee. thegifttheatre.org.

THE PRIDE
6/6–7/13 Two love triangles unfold over half a century in Alexi Kaye Campbell’s time-shifting story of gay rights and repression, as a trio of lovers and spouses navigate the sexual terrain of London from 1958 through 2008. $20–$30. About Face Theatre at the Victory Gardens Biograph, 2433 N Lincoln. aboutfacetheatre.com.

SIMPATICO Critic’s Pick
7/4-8/25 (Note: This was originally scheduled to begin on June 13; hence its appearance in our June listings. Go ahead and get tickets!) Dado directs a killer cast that includes Guy Van Swearingen and Michael Shannon in Sam Shepard’s twisting noir of fixed horse races, false identities, blackmail, and other nefarious doings. $25–$30. A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N Wells. aredorchidtheatre.org.

SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY
Through 6/16 Edgar Lee Masters paints a detailed portrait of American life through the lens of small-town folk and their experiences of war, poverty, and religion. Timothy Gregory directs. $15–$32. Provision Theater, 1001 W Roosevelt Rd. provisiontheater.org.

YELLOW MOON
Through 7/14 David Greig spins the story of Leila and Lee, a pair of Scottish teens who embark on a wild, violent trek across the highlands in search of their long-gone father. $35–$60. Writers Theatre’s Bookstore Space, 664 Vernon, Glencoe. writerstheatre.org.
 

Musicals

BARNUM
Through 6/16 Cy Coleman explores the infamous life of Phineas Taylor Barnum, founder of the circus that bears his name, in a musical filled with acrobats, trapeze artists, and jugglers. $25–$59. Mercury Theater, 3745 N Southport. mercurytheaterchicago.com.

THE BOOK OF MORMON
Through 10/6 Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s highly irreverent Tony-sweeping musical skewers Mormon missionaries. $45–$115. Bank of America Theatre, 18 W Monroe. broadwayinchicago.com.

A COLE PORTER SONGBOOK
6/6–7/21 Director Fred Anzevino takes on the voluminous catalog of Cole Porter hits. Theo Ubique has a proven track record with revues, so Porter ought to be in good hands here. $20–$54. Theo Ubique at the No Exit Cafe, 6970 N Glenwood. theo-u.com.

H.M.S. PINAFORE
6/8–16 Gilbert and Sullivan’s raucous, rollicking saga on the high seas is part rom-com, part satire, and all inspired silliness. Preview 6/7. $32–$92. Light Opera Works at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson, Evanston. light-opera-works.org.

I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE
6/5–8/11 Joe DiPietro’s hetero ode to dating, marriage, babies, and funerals (in that order) isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but the tunes are innocuously catchy. The director-choreographer Matt Raftery helms a cast that includes the musical theatre standbys Kelly Anne Clark, Alex Goodrich, and Bernie Yvon. $40–$55. Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre, 10 Marriott, Lincolnshire. marriotttheatre.com.

IN MEMORY OF HOWLIN WOLF
6/1–8/11 Get ready to have your socks knocked off. When Rick Stone first took the stage as the blues legend Howlin Wolf it was a whirlwhind. This month, he returns to his famed role. $43–$85. Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N Clark. blackensembletheater.org.

THE JUNGLE BOOK Critic’s Pick
6/21–8/4 It’s Mary Zimmerman’s take on Rudyard Kipling’s tale of the jungle. Zimmerman and the music director Doug Peck adapt the film for stage. See “Here’s How Mary Zimmerman Created Goodman Theatre’s The Jungle Book.” Previews 6/21–30. $20–$97. Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn. goodmantheatre.org.
 

Festivals

STEPPENWOLF NEXT UP SERIES
Through 6/16 The Drunken City. Adam Bock examines issues of marriage and love in a scathing story of three brides-to-be on a pub crawl gone wildly awry. The Internationalist. In Anne Washburn’s drama, an American looking for romance in a foreign land finds more than he bargained for. Fat Pig. Neil LaBute’s examination of a man involved with a gorgeous, sexy, plus-size woman raises questions about popular notions of beauty. $20. Steppenwolf Garage, 1624 N Halsted. steppenwolf.org.

 

More events:
Dance | Music: Folk, Country, World | Music: Classic Rock, Blues, Soul
Music: Classical, New Music, Opera | Music: Rock, Pop, Hip Hop | Music: Jazz
Art Galleries | Theatre | Museums

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