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

Theater
Dramas

2666
“Part II: The Part About Amalfitano” of 2666. Photo: Liz Lauren

AFTER ALL THE TERRIBLE THINGS I DO

3/11–4/10 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

 

AMERICAN BUFFALO

Through 3/6 David Mamet’s profound, profane classic marks the end of the Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co. Carlo Lorenzo Garcia directs a cast featuring company founder Richard Cotovsky. If you’ve yet to visit the storied black box on Sheridan, now’s the time. $20–$30. Mary-Arrchie Theatre at Angel Island, 735 W. Sheridan. maryarrchie.com

 

ARCADIA

3/16–4/24 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

THE AWAKE

Through 3/12 This Josh Altman–directed Ken Urban drama follows a phone bank operator on the run, an Eastern European housewife, and a mama’s boy. $16–$20. First Floor Theatre at Flatiron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee. firstfloortheater.com

BEAUTIFUL AUTISTIC

Through 3/14 In Scott Woldman’s drama set in ’90s Chicago, an uncommonly handsome man hunts for love in the bars of Wrigleyville. $13–$33. Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago. chicagodramatists.org

BLOOD WEDDING

3/2–4/24 Known for mining dark material, Federico García Lorca spins a dark tale about a bride whose ex-lover shows up for the nuptials. Lookingglass regulars Eva Barr, Kareem Bandealy, and Troy West appear in Daniel Ostling’s production. $50–$70. Lookingglass, 821 N. Michigan. lookingglasstheatre.org

BUTLER

3/11–4/17 Greg Vinkler plays Major General Butler in this Civil War dramedy about three escaped slaves seeking refuge at a Union fort. $25–$70. Northlight Theatre, 9501 N. Skokie, Skokie. northlight.org

COCKED

Through 3/13 With Fair Use and The Kid Thing, playwright Sarah Gubbins demonstrated her smart, witty chops. Her latest work is no different, telling the story of Taylor and Izzie, an upscale Andersonville lesbian couple whose relationship is put to the test when Taylor’s troubled brother shows up. $20–$60. Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln. victorygardens.org

D.O.A.

3/5–4/5 Big-city noir runs rampant in the story of Frank Bigelow, xwho hires a private eye to investigate his own murder. Expect a lethal dose of femme fatales, tough-talking wise guys, and smoking guns in Elizabeth Lovelady’s take on the 1950 film. $15. Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway. strawdog.org

EDUCATING RITA

Through 3/13 Borrowing loosely from Pygmalion, Willy Russell’s two-person drama follows a gum-smacking hairstylist who turns into an intellectual under the tutelage of an alcoholic professor. $35–$38. Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan, Lake Forest. citadeltheatre.org

THE FLICK

Through 5/8 Dexter Bullard directs 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. $62–$82. Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted. steppenwolf.org

THE GLASS MENAGERIE

Through 3/6 Hans Fleischmann’s reimagining of Tennessee Williams’s classic left audiences slack-jawed in 2013. The character of Tom became a homeless man tormented by personal demons and mental illness. As he recounts the tragedy that befell his cripplingly introverted sister and their domineering mother, the fragile Wingfield family shatters—like glass. $28–$36. The Hypocrites at Den Theatre, 1329 N. Milwaukee. the-hypocrites.com

IN A LITTLE WORLD OF OUR OWN

3/2–4/10 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 A WORD

Through 3/19 A vanished child is at the broken heart of Lauren Yee’s (Samsara) new drama. For a bereaved mother, the second anniversary of her son’s disappearance is unbearable—and reconstructing the events leading up to it drive her to wits’ end. $15–$28. Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway. strawdog.org

INTERROGATION

Through 3/20 Chicago playwright Scott Woldman (see Beautiful Autistic) follows a tense family reunion where long-simmering resentments erupt over small talk. $15–$32. Artistic Home, 1376 W. Grand. theartistichome.org

JERUSALEM

Through 4/3 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. $35–$40. Profiles Main Stage Theatre, 4139 N. Broadway. profilestheatre.org

THE LIFE OF GALILEO

3/23–5/1 When Galileo aired his hypothesis that 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. $33–$58. Remy Bumppo Theatre at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. remybumppo.org

LINES IN THE DUST

Through 3/27 Playwright Nikkole Salter takes on the maddening shortcomings of New Jersey’s public school system in a play that follows a mother’s relentless quest to enroll her daughter in a high-performing high school. $15–$30. ETA Gallery Theatre, 7558 S. South Chicago. etacreativearts.org

 

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT

3/10–4/10 Mary Beth Fisher plays the morphine-addled matriarch Mary Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s opus. The swoon-worthy cast also features Harris Yulin as Mary’s husband and Dan Waller as the couple’s tubercular son. $38–$68. Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis. courttheatre.org

LOOKING OVER THE PRESIDENT’S SHOULDER

Through 3/6 Manny Buckley stars in a one-man show that follows the true story of Alonzo Fields, the first African American to ascend to the post of chief butler to the president. $19–$49. American Blues Theater at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. americanbluestheater.com

A LOSS OF ROSES

Through 4/2 William Inge paints a haunting portrait of the Great Depression in this rarely staged drama about a 21-year-old living with his mother and the turmoil that ensues when a downtrodden young actress moves in with the pair. $17–$42. Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark. raventheatre.com

MARNIE AND PHIL: A CIRCUS LOVE LETTER

Through 3/20 Playwright Chris Mathews directs the tale of two young performers who meet at circus school and somersault through fame, fortune, and heartache to find each other again in midlife. $15–$25. Actors Gymnasium, 927 Noyes, Evanston. actorsgymnasium.org

 

MARY PAGE MARLOWE

3/31–5/29 A world premiere from the author of August: Osage County is reason enough to hightail it to the box office. $49–$70. Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted. steppenwolf.org

MIDNIGHT COWBOY

Through 4/10 Chris Hainsworth adapts James Leo Herlihy’s iconic novel (later made into an Oscar-winning movie) 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

3/24–5/1 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

THE OLD FRIENDS

Through 3/26 The late, great playwright Horton Foote explores the tempestuous relationship between two old-money families living in a Texas town so small that minding your own business isn’t always possible. The return of a local beauty sets in motion the plot of this satire about the lifestyles of the rich and hypocritical. $17–$42. Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark. raventheatre.com

OTHELLO

Through 4/10 Jonathan Munby directs 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

3/11–4/10 Interrobang continues its Unnatural Disasters season with a 9/11 romance by Craig Wright featuring a sock puppet version of Joyce Carol Oates. Expect a porous fourth wall. $12–$24. Interrobang Theatre Project at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. interrobangtheatre.org

RICHARD III

3/4–5/1 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

ROLLING

Through 4/2 Playwright Calamity West’s Rolling Stone–inspired drama follows a reporter whose story about a campus rape turns out to be a fraud. $5–$20. Jackalope Theatre at Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway. jackalopetheatre.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

 

2666

Through 3/13 Robert Falls and Seth Bockley’s adaptation of the Roberto Bolaño novel is the event of the season. The intricate story begins with four academics obsessed with a mysterious German author and ends in a murder mystery at the Texas-Mexico border, digging deep into the powers of evil, love, and literature. $20–$45. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. goodmantheatre.org

UNITED FLIGHT 232

3/11–5/1 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

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