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How we pick the events: These listings are not advertisements. They are a selective guide to arts events recommended by Chicago’s culture critics.
Know before you go: Details of listings can change at the last minute. Please call ahead to confirm.
Through 3/9 Director-choreographer Brenda Didier helms a revue of the late, great jazz icon Fats Waller. Songs include Harlem Renaissance–era hits (“Honeysuckle Rose,” “Black and Blue,” “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love”) and hidden gems (“Cash for Your Trash,” “When the Nylons Bloom Again,” “Yacht Club Swing”). $30–$43.50. Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont. porchlightmusictheatre.org
3/6–4/5 Based on the marvelous novel by Sherley Anne Williams, this musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty delves into the unlikely alliance forged between Dessa Rose, a runaway slave, and Ruth Sutton, a white woman abandoned and struggling to survive on a backwater Alabama farm. $15–$40. Bailiwick Chicago at the Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N Lincoln. bailiwickchicago.com
Heartbeat of Home
3/4–3/16 From the producers of the ubiquitous step-dancing spectacle Riverdance comes a similarly lavish compendium of traditional Irish, Latin, and Afro-Cuban music and dance performed by a 40-member cast. $30–$85. Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph. broadwayinchicago.com, heartbeatofhome.com
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
3/18–3/30 Don’t miss Andrew Lloyd Webber’s take on the Old Testament tale of colorful clothes, dream interpretation, fratricide, redemption, and a scene-stealing Pharaoh who looks and sings just like Elvis. $15–$87. Broadway in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W Randolph. broadwayinchicago.com
3/12–4/6 Love, art, AIDS, and the most lovable cross-dresser to ever table-dance in Lucite heels take center stage in Jonathan Larson’s hypermoving story of stone-broke bohemians carpe-diem’ing their way through life. Imagine La Bohème transplanted to New York’s Alphabet City, filtered through a hard-rocking score, and featuring a diverse cast and you get the idea. $36.90–$49.90. Paramount Theater, 23 E Galena, Aurora. paramountaurora.com
3/13–5/4 Previously known as Bounce (and Wise Guys and Gold), Stephen Sondheim’s episodic musical saga spans four decades and thousands of miles as it follows brothers Addison and Wilson Mizner, whose get-rich schemes ranged from the Alaskan gold rush of the 1890s to the Florida real-estate boom of the 1930s. The pedigree here is impeccable: Director Gary Griffin is (arguably) the country’s foremost Sondheim interpreter, and Sondheim is, well, Sondheim. Whether those bona fides will translate to a comparably extraordinary production is the cliffhanger of the month: Road Show has failed—so far—to gain much box-office traction elsewhere. $20–$68. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E Grand. chicagoshakes.com
Rock of Ages
3/11–3/16 Don’t stop believin’, you guys. Poison, Whitesnake, REO Speedwagon, and Arsenal are back for the totally rad story of sex, wine coolers, and face-melting rock ’n’ roll in 1987 Los Angeles. $18–$85. Broadway in Chicago at the Bank of America Theatre, 18 W Monroe. broadwayinchicago, rockofagesontour.com
Through 3/16 Mel Brooks’s classic comedy gets the musical treatment. $42–$78. Drury Lane Oak Brook, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. drurylaneoakbrook.com/live-theatre