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

Theater
Dramas

Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976 Photo: Liz Lauren

THE BEN HECHT SHOW

6/10–7/17 Playwright James Sherman (Beau Jest, Jest a Second!) stars in his own one-man show about the famed newspaper reporter, playwright, and screenwriter Ben Hecht. Longtime Sherman collaborator Dennis Zacek directs. $30–$35. Grippo Stage Company at Piven Theatre, 927 Noyes, Evanston. grippostagecompany.com

 

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY

6/23–8/21 Stephen Adly Guirgis won the Pulitzer for penning this collision of the sacred and the profane (see the scene about sex involving Communion wafers). In the drama’s Chicago debut, James Vincent Meredith stars as an ex-con trying to hold on to one of Manhattan’s last rent-controlled apartments. $44–$86. Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted. steppenwolf.org

CAUGHT

Through 7/3 Before sitting down at this Christopher Chen play, audiences must walk through the art gallery of a Chinese dissident, then decide whether his depictions of unjust imprisonment are fictive. $10–$30. Sideshow Theatre at Victory Gardens Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln. sideshowtheatre.org

CHIMERICA

Through 7/31 The iconic image of a protester facing a Chinese military tank during the Tiananmen Square massacre is the setting for Lucy Kirkwood’s drama about the mysterious “tank man” and a U.S. journalist searching for him. $38–$51. TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington. timelinetheatre.com

DEATHTRAP

6/16–8/14 After horrifying the world with Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives, novelist Ira Levin unleashed the play Deathtrap. The story of a famous playwright aiding a struggling writer is a murderous roller coaster with a final reveal so twisted it’ll make your head spin. $45–$60. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. drurylanetheatre.com

HAUPTMANN

6/3–7/10 Bruno Richard Hauptmann, the German carpenter convicted of murdering the 20-month-old son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, swore his innocence till the end. This John Logan play explores how rising anti-German sentiment turned U.S. citizens against Hauptmann during the 1936 “trial of the century.” $10–$29. City Lit Theatre, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr. citylit.org

THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND

6/10–7/10 New Orleans in 1863 is the setting for Marcus Gardley’s music-filled drama about plaçage, wherein free women of color could enter into marriages with wealthy white men. Gardley focuses on three sisters and the dilemma following their wealthy father’s mysterious death. $20–$60. Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln. victorygardens.org

I, MALVOLIO

6/2–5 Malvolio, the abused malcontent of Twelfth Night, exits vowing vengeance on the revelers who have so thoroughly humiliated him. This acclaimed one-man show by Tim Crouch depicts Shakespeare’s comedy from Malvolio’s perspective—a story of lost pride, bullying, prudery, and a soul dead set on getting even. $38–$48. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand. chicagoshakes.com

LOLITA DE LARES

6/6–7/10 Migdalia Cruz’s 50-character political drama follows the life of Dolores “Lolita” Lebrón, one of four Puerto Rican nationalists who opened fire on the U.S. House of Representatives in 1954. $10–$20. UrbanTheater Company at Batey Urbano, 2628 W. Division. urbantheaterchicago.org

THE NORTH POOL

Through 6/26 Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph’s 90-minute drama plays out in real time as a high school assistant principal interrogates a Middle Eastern transfer student about the contents of his locker. $14–$24. Interrobang Theatre Project at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. interrobangtheatre.org

 

SOUPS, STEWS, AND CASSEROLES: 1976

Through 6/19 Rebecca Gilman’s much-anticipated new drama tracks the fallout in a small Wisconsin town after its biggest employer is bought by a massive Chicago corporation. Tony winner Robert Falls directs. $10–$40. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. goodmantheatre.org

SPINNING

Through 7/3 Divorce was illegal in Ireland until 1995, and the years following its decriminalization saw thousands of newly dissolved marriages. That’s the setting for Deirdre Kinahan’s story of an ex-con whose divorce sends him down a dark path. $12–$26. Irish Theatre of Chicago at Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee. irishtheatreofchicago.org

 

TUG OF WAR: FOREIGN FIRE

Through 6/12 Barbara Gaines launches a six-hour adaptation of six of Shakespeare’s history plays. $100. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand. chicagoshakes.com

WORLD BUILDERS

6/5–7/2 Johnna Adams’s psychological drama explores the thorny implications of a drug that curbs fantastical thinking in those with schizoid personality disorder. For patients Max and Whitney, these “world-killer pills” mean losing an integral part of themselves. $20. First Floor Theater at Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee. firstfloortheater.com

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