More than 100 shows are offering super-discounted ticket pricing and value-added lectures, talk-backs and other events as part of a dizzying abundance under the umbrella of the second annual Chicago Theatre Week.
Here's the full list of events—and, to help narrow it down, four highlights that shouldn’t be missed.
Contemporary works from the Joffrey
2/12–16 Chicago's signature company brings a bouquet of Chicago choreographers and new works to the stage this week. It includes Christopher Weeldon's Continuum, with music by György Liget, Brock Clawson's Cross Ashland, and Alexander Ekman Episode 31, with Mikael Karlsson, Ane Brun and Erike Satie.
$30. The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, at Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Pkwy. joffrey.org
French With Me
2/11 at 7 Timed for a pre-Valentine's day celebration, French With Me is Strange Loop's fourth annual presentation of short original works by local playwrights, all of the musing on aspects of love. This year's shorts include Cold Lonely Gaze by Anthony Ellison; A Date With the Weird by Keith Gatchel; Podemos? by Georgia Camp; Hey Good Lookin by Rich Orloff and Kiernan by Michael Houghton Wagman. A post-show performance by the lively local Dixieland band Big Dixie and the Pelican Whisperers is sure to get you dancing.
$15. Strangeloop Theatre at Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice. strangelooptheatre.org
Through 3/23 Officially, theatre week tickets are sold out for Chicago Shakespeare's Gypsy. But you can get on a wait list as tickets invariably pop up closer to curtain time. Tony nominee Louise Pitre stars as Mama Rose, the King Lear of musical theatre (and the queen of all backstage showbiz mothers). Based on a true story, Gypsy charts the ascension of megastar stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and her overbearing mother. It's quite simply one of Broadway's best. Gary Griffin directs.
$30. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 80 E. Grand Ave. chicagoshakes.org
2/12–15 Veteran director Sandy Shiner steers the story of a white doctor trying to fire his black receptionist by enlisting a white co-worker as a spy. Matters get dicey as the workplace turns into cesspool of innuendo, paranoia and passive aggression. With his distinctive humor, Joel Drake Johnson explores the intricacies of so-called "post racial" America in this world premiere.
$15. Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge. rivendelltheatre.org