The Top Nine Musicals in Chicago This October

Next To Normal wraps up, Once comes to town, and Wicked returns at the end of the month.

Photo: Margie Korshak
 

Eight-time Tony winner Once comes to the Oriental Theatre in Chicago October 9–27.

THE COLOR PURPLE
Through 10/27 Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, the musical traces the decades-long story of Celie, a lonely, dirt-poor victim of sexual abuse who transforms into a confident entrepreneur with the help of an unshakable group of strong black women. $22–$59. Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N Southport. mercurytheaterchicago.com.
 

EVITA
Through 10/6 Musical theatre’s most compelling fascist is back in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony-winning musical about the ambitious Eva Duarte Perón. $34–$92. Broadway in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph. broadwayinchicago.com.
 

GERSHWIN’S GREATEST HITS
10/4–13 Light Opera Works offers a smorgasbord of George Gershwin’s greatest hits—including the sublime Rhapsody in Blue, Porgy and Bess’s “Summertime,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “’S Wonderful.” $30–$60. Light Opera Works at Nicholas Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston. light-opera-works.org.
 

HELLO DOLLY!
10/17–1/5 Jerry Herman’s musical tale of Yonkers matchmaker Dolly Levi boasts a score of indomitable standards. Previews through 10/24. Regular run $35–$74. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury, Oakbrook Terrace. drurylaneoakbrook.com.
 

MUSICAL OF THE LIVING DEAD
10/10–11/9 Cowardly Scarecrow Theatre taps into the scary creature of the moment with a tuneful satire about the survivors of a zombie apocalypse. $25. Cowardly Scarecrow Theatre at Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont. musicalofthelivingdead.com.
 

NEXT TO NORMAL Critic’s Pick
Through 10/6 Shock treatments and bipolar disorder are unlikely subjects for a wildly entertaining musical. But Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics) and Tom Kitt (music) make it work, with profoundly empathetic results. $35–$49. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury, Oakbrook Terrace. drurylaneoakbrook.com.
 

ONCE
10/9–27 Broadway’s eight-time Tony winner soars through a breathtaking (and often heartbreaking) score as it tells the story of a Dublin street musician who finds unlikely inspiration in a Czech piano player. $27–$95. Broadway in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph. broadwayinchicago.com.
 

WE WILL ROCK YOU
10/22–27 The legacy of the late, great Freddie Mercury lives on in an arena-rock musical structured around Queen’s signature hits. $18–$85. Broadway in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W Randolph. broadwayinchicago.com, wwrytour.com.
 

WICKED
10/30–12/21 The ever-popular Elphaba returns to defy gravity once again in the megablockbuster prequel to The Wizard of Oz. $37–$107. Broadway in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph. broadwayinchicago.com.

 

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