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

Theater
Musicals

Another Word for Beauty
Carmen Zilles, Yunuen Pardo, and Zoë Sophia Garcia in Another Word for Beauty Photo: Courtesy of Goodman Theatre

ANOTHER WORD FOR BEAUTY

Through 2/21 Academy Award nominee José Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries) and Grammy winner Hector Buitrago authored this tale (based on a true story) about a beauty pageant among the inmates of a Colombian women’s prison. Steve Cosson directs the world premiere, the centerpiece of the Goodman’s Latino Theatre Festival. $25–$75. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. goodmantheatre.org

BEAUTIFUL

Through 2/21 It’s a sister act of sorts in the jukebox musical detailing the career of Carole King, with Abby Mueller stepping into the lead role created by her Tony-winning sister, Jessie. The show charts King’s rise from Brooklyn teen to hit-making composer and performer. $30–$140. Broadway in Chicago at Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph. broadwayinchicago.com

BRONZEVILLE: THE MUSICAL

2/27 at 7:30 In local playwright Margaret Mahdi’s new musical, the story of the historic South Side neighborhood and its many famous inhabitants (playwright Lorraine Hansberry and poet Gwendolyn Brooks, among them) comes to life in a show that weaves gospel, soul, blues, and jazz with storytelling. $54–$129. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. thechicagotheatre.com

CABARET

2/9–21 Sam Mendes (American Beauty) directs Kander and Ebb’s classic musical, which follows the adventures of Clifford Bradshaw, a naive American searching for meaning in Germany’s most hedonistic nightclubs as the Nazis step into power. $25–$98. Private Bank Theatre, 18 W. Monroe. broadwayinchicago.com

FAR FROM HEAVEN

2/5–3/13 Porchlight unveils the musical version of Todd Haynes’s 2002 film about an unhappy 1950s housewife and her closeted husband with tunes from the Tony-nominated team of lyricist Michael Korie and composer Scott Frankel (Grey Gardens). $30–$48. Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont. porchlightmusictheatre.org

FUGITIVE SONGS

2/11–3/13 BoHo dusts off Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen’s 19-song cycle about people on the run, including a disgruntled Subway sandwich jockey, a jilted ex-cheerleader, and a pair of Patty Hearst fanatics. $25. BoHo Theatre Ensemble at Heartland Studio Theatre, 7016 N. Glenwood. bohotheatre.com

HIGH FIDELITY

Through 2/28 The 2006 musical based on Nick Hornby’s best-selling 1995 novel follows a rock-snob record store owner trying to win back his girlfriend with the perfect mixtape. $20. Refuge Theatre Project at Flatiron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee. refugetheatreproject.com

IF/THEN

2/23–3/6 Starting over in 21st-century New York is the subject of this contemporary musical from the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning creators of Next to Normal. The twist: If/Then imagines a world where the heroine experiences both the life she chose and the life that would have resulted had she chosen differently. $25–$98. Broadway in Chicago at Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph. broadwayinchicago.com

ZIRYAB, THE SONGBIRD OF ANDALUSIA

2/18–28 Composer and oud (a type of Middle Eastern lute) player Ronnie Malley has performed in theaters across the country. Now he brings his formidable skills to the story of Ziryab, a ninth-century Kurdish slave who became a musician, poet, astronomer, and inventor. $15–$20. Silk Road Rising at Pierce Hall in the Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington. silkroadrising.org

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