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Here’s What’s Happening in Chicago Culture This Week

NBC buys a Poehler-produced pilot, Kartemquin snags an Emmy, and Chicago museums do a week of freebies.

A new pilot produced by Amy Poehler just got picked up by NBC.   Photo: Courtesy of Chris Haston/NBC

Three Chicagoans get genius grants

The MacArthur Foundation announced its 2015 fellows today, and among them are three Chicagoans: documentary photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier, University of Chicago biologist John Novembre, and community educator Juan Salgado. Read more about them here.

NBC picks up Tami Sagher and Nisha Ganatra’s Amy Poehler–produced pilot

Per Deadline, NBC has bought the pilot episode of Pre-Madonna, a sitcom about a Chicago teenager entering high school in 1983 produced by Amy Poehler and co-written by Chicago native Tami Sagher (Inside Amy Schumer) and Nisha Ganatra (Transparent).

Kartemquin wins an Emmy for The Trials of Muhammad Ali

The Chicago documentarians won the Outstanding Historical - Longform award at last night’s News and Documentary Emmys for The Trials of Muhammad Ali, which recounts the boxer’s years of estrangement following his conscientious objection to the Vietnam War.

Chicago announces Museum Week

New this year and starting Thursday, Museums in the Park will host a week of free days and discounts at Chicago’s museums. Among the spots with entire free days are the Art Institute, the Notebaert Nature Museum, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Check out the lot of them here.

The Great Chicago Fire Festival went off without a hitch

After last year’s technical snafu on the Chicago River and a last-minute crowd-funding success, Redmoon Theater’s Great Chicago Fire Festival reportedly went off in a blaze of glory Saturday at its new home on Northerly Island.

Robert Falls is getting inducted to the Theater Hall of Fame

The longtime Goodman Theatre artistic director, whose production of Death of a Salesman famously won four Tonys for its Broadway run, will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Theater Hall of Fame November 16 at the Gershwin Theatre.

Opening

September 29: Blood Brothers: The decades-running musical drama about two brothers separated at birth raised by families at opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum. Theo Unique at No Exit Cafe (6970 N. Glenwood) through November 15

September 30: Twin Set: An old classmate shows up to throw a wrench in two thirty-something sisters’ airtight cohabitation. The Side Project (1439 W. Jarvis) through October 18

September 30: For Her as a Piano: Nambi E. Kelley’s latest tracks three generations of women. Pegasus Theatre at Chicago Dramatists (1105 W. Chicago)

October 1: The Cheats: A well-to-do modern couple get a Halloween visit from the neighbors at least one of them has been spying on. Steep Theatre (1115 W. Berwyn) through November 7

October 1: Marvin’s Room: A woman who’s dedicated her life to caring for her ailing father endures her own bout of illness. Shattered Globe at Theater Wit (1229 W. Belmont) through November 14

October 2: Goblin Market: A hyper-eerie musical about two Victorian sisters who visit their childhood nursery. Black Button Eyes Productions at the Pentagon Theater (Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee) through October 31

October 2: The Seagull: Eclectic Full Contact takes on Chekhov’s classic. Eclectic Full Contact at the Athenaeum (2936 N. Southport) through November 1

Open Now: The Black White Love Play: This musical tells the story of Chaz and Roger Ebert from their courtship to Roger’s death in 2013. Black Ensemble Theater (4450 N. Clark) through November 1

Open Now: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder: A cointhirsty heir tries jumping the line of succession to his family’s fortune. Bank of America Theater (18 W. Monroe) through October 11

Open Now: Jake’s Women: A writer hides from his failing marriage in the women he writes on the page. Spartan Theatre at the Royal George Theatre (1641 N. Halsted) through October 11

Open Now: Love and Information: Remy Bumppo takes on Caryl Churchill’s ode to Internet-age romance. Remy Bumppo at the Greenhouse Theater Center (2257 N. Lincoln) through November 1

Open Now: Scream, Queen, Scream: Hell in a Handbag’s campy-scary Halloween run. Hell in a Handbag at Mary’s Attic (5400 N. Clark) through October 25

Open Now: That’s F’d Up: Redtwist ensemble member Johnny Garcia tells his own story in this one-man show. Redtwist Theatre (2044 W. Bryn Mawr) through October 25

Open Now: East of Eden: Steppenwolf’s foremost Steinbeck adapter Frank Galati takes on the writer’s World War opus. Steppenwolf Theatre (1650 N. Halsted) through October 31

Open Now: Sucker Punch: Two aspiring black boxers face off after years of estrangement and riots in their native London neighborhood. Victory Gardens (2433 N. Lincoln) through October 18

Open Now: Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys: Mark Stein and Harley White Jr.’s soft-shoe rendering of the 1931 court case involving nine black men falsely accused of raping two white women. Raven Theatre (6157 N. Clark) through November 14

Open Now: Spamalot: The Monty Python musical swings through the suburbs. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre (111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights) through October 25

Open Now: Sins of the Father: Three generations of African-American men confront a bleak family history. ETA Creative Arts (7558 S. Chicago) through October 25

Open Now: Butcher: A man in a military uniform and Santa hat shows up at a police station on Christmas Eve with a meat hook and sign reading “arrest me” around his neck. Signal Ensemble Theatre (1802 W. Berenice) through October 24

Open Now: Washer/Dryer: A new New York marriage farce. Rasaka at Victory Gardens (2433 N. Lincoln) through October 11

Open Now: Miss Buncle’s Book: A Depression-era spinster writes her unwitting neighbors into an unexpected bestseller. Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood) through November 1

Open Now: Gem of the Ocean: The latest in Ron OJ Parson’s trek through August Wilson’s century cycle. Court Theatre (5535 S. Ellis) through October 11

Open Now: Funnyman: A vaudeville has-been tries to relaunch his career and rekindle his wrecked relationship with his daughter. Northlight Theatre (9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie) through October 18

Open Now: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Edward Albee’s ode to marital carnage gets the storefront treatment. Redtwist Theatre (1044 W. Bryn Mawr) through October 11

Open Now: How the World Began: A former New York science teacher takes a job in rural Kansas and sparks a full-blown uproar re: the origin of the universe. Rivendell Theatre (5779 N. Ridge) through October 10

Open Now: Guardians: 30-year-old storefront theater Mary Arrchie, booted by gentrification, opens its final season with Peter Morris’s parallel narrative about the Abu Ghraib photos and a British tabloid publishing fake war torture photos. Mary Arrchie Theatre (735 W. Sheridan) through October 18

Open Now: Dogfight: A musical about three Vietnam-bound soldiers who compete to find the ugliest date on their last night at home and, predictably, get taught a lesson. BoHo at Theater Wit (1229 W. Belmont) through October 18

Open Now: The Revel: A self-described “soul-quenchin’ revival in music and spirits” crafted at U. Chicago’s Performance Lab. House Theatre at the Chopin (1543 W. Division) through October 25

Open Now: American Idiot: Billie Joe’s rock opera gets its local debut at Chicago’s punkiest storefront. The Hypocrites at the Den (1333 N. Milwaukee) through October 25

Open Now: The Price: Two sons duke it out over their dad’s heirlooms in TimeLine’s take on Arthur Miller. TimeLine Theatre (615 W. Wellington) through November 22

Open Now: The Jacksonian: The Midwest premiere of Pulitzer-winner Beth Henley’s play about a displaced dentist in a seedy Mississippi motel. Profiles Theatre (4147 N. Broadway) through October 11

Open Now: The Outfit: Laura Schellhardt’s fairytale-noir one-act skewering modern gender politics. Piccolo Theatre (600 Main St., Evanston) through October 10

Open Now: October Sky: A world-premiere musical take by Aaron Thielen on the famous book and film. Marriott Theatre (10 Marriott, Lincolnshire) through October 18

Closing

October 4: Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight: Four men and two women share three beds. Hilarity ensures. Windy City Playhouse (3014 W. Irving Park Rd.) through October 4

October 4: Brother’s Keeper: A mashup of one-acts Orion’s Belt and Dolly Llama. Subtext at Saint Bonaventure Church (1625 W. Diversey) through October 4

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