Showing posts with label fall favorites 2021. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fall favorites 2021. Show all posts

Friday, October 22, 2021

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar: Fall 2021 Theatre Favorites in Chicago

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Mask up and see some shows! Photo credit: Milan Pejnovich 
Pictured: Milan Pejnovich, Bonnie Kenaz-Mara (ChiIL Mama), Catherine Hellmann, Deb Frels

The ghost lights have been on 24/7 as stages across the US went dark for over 18 months, while covid ravaged our country. It's not over yet, but with vax cards in hand and masks on faces, we are finally able to gather in person again. Treat yourself! There are many stellar shows on stage in Chicago this fall and we've never been happier to gather with friends and family for a change of scene and some epic story telling. Here are just a few of our favorites. 

Photo credit: B Kenaz-Mara


5050 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640


Music & Magic

Mondays at 7:00pm

Tickets: General Admission $20

Photo credit: B Kenaz-Mara

The Showcase

Tuesdays at 7:00pm

Tickets: Standard: $35; Front Row: $40

Luis Carreon and Paige Thompson, August 10-August 31.


Photo credit: B Kenaz-Mara

The Signature Show

Thursdays-Sundays at 7:00pm, Fridays and Sundays at 10pm 

Tickets: $50-$55 (Standard); $65-$75 (Premium, includes 654 Club admission)

Featuring Special Guest Nick Diffatte

654 Club features Luis Carreon 

Special Guest Nick Diffatte is quickly becoming one of the most talked about and in-demand young comic magicians working today. His unique brand of entertainment seamlessly blends dry humor, quick wit, and incredible skill. His performances are presented with perfect comedic timing and a deadpan delivery that has kept audiences laughing uncontrollably all over the country for over 14 years. Most recently, Nick has been seen in a residency at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas, The World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, luxury cruise lines and “The Late Late Show with James Corden” on CBS.



800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611


As You Like It

By William Shakespeare

Adapted & directed by Daryl Cloran

Conceived by Daryl Cloran and the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

In the Courtyard Theater

Regular Run: October 16 – November 21, 2021 


Photo credit: B Kenaz-Mara

Set in the ‘60s, the exuberant celebration of love features nearly 20 musical numbers from The Beatles songbook, performed live onstage, including “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Let It Be,” and “Here Comes the Sun.” The company includes Melanie Brezill (Celia) Adam Wesley Brown (Forest Lord/Hymen), Tony Carter (Oliver), Austin Eckert (Charles the Wrestler/Amiens), Lachrisa Grandberry (Audrey), Kevin Gudahl (Duke Senior/Duke Frederick), Heidi Kettenring (Phoebe), Kayvon Khoshkam (Touchstone), Kieran McCabe (Forest Lord), Steven Pringle (Adam/Sir Oliver Martext), Liam Quealy (Orlando), Lakeisha Renee (Rosalind), and Nancy Voigts (Corin).


Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski

By Clark Young and Derek Goldman

Directed by Derek Goldman

Starring David Strathairn

In The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

Press Opening: November 4, 2021 at 7:45pm

Regular Run: November 5 – November 14, 2021


Academy Award-nominated actor David Strathairn takes the stage in a tour-de-force solo performance, Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski. Best known for acclaimed performances in Good Night, and Good Luck, Nomadland, and Lincoln, Strathairn takes on the role of real-life World War II hero Jan Karski. After surviving the devastation of Poland by Nazi Germany, Karski swears allegiance to the Polish Underground and risks his life to carry the first eyewitness reports of the Holocaust to the White House, where his warnings are met with inaction and disbelief. Strathairn captures the remarkable life of the self-described “insignificant, little man” who spoke truth in the halls of power in a timely story of moral courage.


Q Brothers Christmas Carol

Written by Q Brothers Collective (GQ, JQ, Jax, Pos)

Directed by GQ and JQ

Developed with Rick Boynton

In The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

Preview Performances: December 8 – December 9, 2021

Press Opening: December 10, 2021 at 7pm

Regular Run: December 11 – December 23, 2021


The Theater’s raucous and irreverent holiday tradition returns in a special limited engagement in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. Created and performed by Chicago hip hop sensations the Q Brothers Collective (GQ, JQ, Jax, and Pos) and developed with Creative Producer Rick Boynton, this wildly entertaining 80-minute reinterpretation of the Charles Dickens classic mashes up hip hop with contemporary musical styles ranging from reggae and dancehall music, to dubstep and epic rock ballads—all underscored with beats spun live at the turntables by DJ Supernova


5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

(773) 753-4472


Photo credit: B Kenaz-Mara

The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice

by William Shakespeare

Directed by Charles Newell and Gabrielle Randle-Bent

Featuring Kelvin Roston, Jr as Othello

Regular Run: October 17 - November 21, 2021

In addition to live performances, a digital version will be available to stream on-demand.


Photo credit: B Kenaz-Mara

Othello—the noble general, husband, scholar, and traveler—fights for his life, right to love, and position in society. When Othello’s closest confidant objects to his actions, their brotherhood is shattered, provoking a series of tragic events for Othello and everyone around him.

Co-directors Charles Newell and Gabrielle Randle-Bent helm this theatrical examination of humanity and tragedy in Shakespeare’s fraught and famous work. Through scenic design that place audiences in the middle of the action, this telling grapples with how complex notions of race, gender, and complicity at the heart of the play’s murderous events speak to a world on the brink of change.



Drury Lane Theatre

100 Drury Lane

Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

(630) 530-8300


Photo credit: B Kenaz-Mara

Forever Plaid

Written and Originally Directed and Choreographed by Stuart Ross 

Musical Continuity Supervision and Arrangements by James Raitt

Originally Produced by Gene Wolsk

Directed and Choreographed by Paul Stancato

With Music Direction by Valerie Maze

Preview Performances: September 17 – September 22, 2021

Press Opening: Thursday, September 23 at 8:00 p.m.

Regular Run: September 24 – November 7, 2021


Photo credit: B Kenaz-Mara

On the way to their first big gig, tragedy strikes Forever Plaid, a “guy group” specializing in barbershop quartet harmonies and pitch-perfect melodies. Forever Plaid begins when the guys are given the chance to perform from the afterlife. This smash hit musical is a nostalgic homage to the music of the ‘50s and includes hits such as “Three Coins in the Fountain” and “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing.”

The cast of Forever Plaid features Brian Eng (Sparky), Michael Ferraro (Frankie), Yando Lopez (Jinx) and A.D. Weaver (Smudge).


3745 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

(773) 325-1700


Sister Act                                                                                                 

Book by Bill and Cheri Steinkellne, and Douglas Carter Beane

Directed by Reneisha Jenkins

Music Direction by Diana Lawrence

Choreography by Christopher Chase Carter

Featuring Chicago Legends Alexis J. Roston (Deloris) and Hollis Resnik (Mother Superior)

Preview Performances: November 5 – November 10, 2021

Press Opening: November 11, 2021 at 7:30pm

Regular Run: November 12, 2021 – January 9, 2022

This feel-good musical comedy is based on the hit 1992 film that has audiences jumping to their feet!  Featuring original music by Tony and Oscar winner, Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors), this uplifting musical was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.  When disco diva, Deloris Van Cartier, witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won't be a found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community but, in doing so, blows her cover.  Sister Act is reason to rejoice!




9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie, IL 60077

(847) 673-6300


Songs for Nobodies

By Joanna Murray-Smith

Directed by Rob Lindley

Music Direction by Andra Velis Simon

Featuring Bethany Thomas

Preview Performances: September 23 – September 30, 2021

Press Opening: October 1, 2021at 8pm

Regular Run: October 2 – October 31, 2021


This tour-de-force performance celebrates the iconic work of Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Maria Callas. Share in the unexpected encounters between these legendary divas and the ordinary women whose lives were changed by their brush with fame. Featuring such favorites as “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Crazy,” and “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do,” Songs for Nobodies illuminates the power of song to share a story, heal a heartbreak, and inspire a dream.


The World Premiere of

Mr. Dickens’ Hat

A Play with Music

By Michael Hollinger

Directed by David Catlin

Music Direction by Chuck Larkin

Preview Performances: November 26 – December 2, 2021

Press Opening: December 3, 2021 at 8pm

Regular Run: December 4, 2021 – January 2, 2022


In a cozy Victorian shop sits the hat of Charles Dickens, who once used it to carry water to the victims of a train wreck (that’s true!). When a pair of bumbling thieves plots to steal it (that’s imaginary!), young Kit sets out to foil their plan, save the hat, and free her father from debtors’ prison. Filled with a host of colorful characters, constables, and carolers, this warm winter’s tale with original music brings to life the universal lesson: “Beneath our hats, we are all the same.”




1616 N. Wells Street, Chicago


The Second City presents its 109th Mainstage revue

Happy to Be Here*

Press Opening: September 30, 2021 at 7pm

You’re gonna want to sit down for this news. We’re warming up the bentwood chairs and ready to invite you back inside our theater! Join humans on stage making humans in the audience laugh as we toast being together again. Our Mainstage performances are a celebration of our resilience, our relationships, and our mutual need to get back into the habit of making eye contact. We’ve been pushed apart both physically and politically for way too long…now it’s time to enjoy some good, clean (or at the very least...ultra-hygienic) togetherness.

ChiIL out in Chi, IL, mask up, and see some shows! As always, check back with (adult) and (family friendly) early and often for original reviews, arts and entertainment news, photo filled recaps, giveaways, and more. See you out there!

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