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

The SpongeBob musical is premiering in Chicago, Second City cancels another week of shows, and the Field Museum cuts 21 jobs.

This square dude makes his onstage premiere in Chicago next summer.   Image: Courtesy of Nickelodeon

The SpongeBob musical will premiere in Chicago

The Tribune reports that the world’s weirdest musical about the world’s weirdest cartoon will premiere June 7 at the Oriental Theatre before its 2016–2017 run on Broadway. The production, which was co-conceived by Steppenwolf ensemble member Tina Landua, will run for at least a month and feature music by David Bowie, Aerosmith, Jonathan Coulton, Dirty Projectors, The Flaming Lips, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I. More on this nuttiness as it develops.

Second City cancels another week of shows

After a fire ravaged their Old Town office last week, Second City has canceled this week’s performances to allow time for cleanup. The company hopes to resume regular programming by September 7.

The Field Museum makes job cuts

The Field Museum announced last week that it would cut four staffers and 17 contract workers in its exhibitions department due to uncertainty about funding and future exhibitions. This comes to years after the museum lost six tenured scientists and curators amid budget woes, and leaves its exhibitions team with 64 full-time employees.

Opening

September 3: Chicago Fringe Festival: The sixth annual ode to all things alt features 147 performances of 47 shows in five venues across Jefferson Park. See website for details.

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

Open Now: The Rainmaker: A woman falls for the man who promises to bring rain to her dry Midwestern town. American Blues Theater at the Greenhouse Theater Center (2257 N. Lincoln)

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)

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)

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

Open Now: The Lyons: Rita fields suburban mundanity amid a dying husband and unraveling children. Aston Rep at Raven Theatre (6157 N. Clark)

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

Open Now: The Universal Wolf: Joan Schenkar imagines a Little Red Riding Hood in which the predators and prey trade places. Trap Door Theatre (1655 W. Cortland)

Open Now: 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.)

Open Now: After Miss Julie: Patrick Marber sets Strindberg’s classic in 1945 England during Churchill’s downfall. Strawdog Theatre (3829 N. Broadway)

Open Now: Patchwork Drifter: A wanderlusting youth takes a job working for a widowed shopkeeper and her two children. Babes with Blades at City Lit (1020 W. Bryn Mawr)

Open Now: Cirque du Soleil’s latest traveling show, in which an alternate reality stems from frozen time. United Center (1901 W. Madison)

Open Now: The Dueling Gentlemen: A silent production in which two vaudeville performers’ long-running act falters. Silent Theatre Company at the Athenaeum (2936 N. Southport)

Closing

September 5: The Rise and Fall of Little Voice: Jim Cartwright’s Oliver-winner about a shy singer turned cabaret star. Theater Wit (1229 W. Belmont)

September 6: Last Train to Nibroc: May and Raleigh forge a quirky codependency over the course of years taking the same train. Haven Theatre at Theater Wit (1229 W. Belmont)

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