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Theater Season 06-07: The Arena's Filling Up

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 12, 2006 6:00PM

Note: Part 1 of this series is here.

This weekend:

teatrovista.jpgNuestros Amigos Artisticos: Teatro Vista
Another Part of the House by Migdalia Cruz

The Scene: 80 year-old lady endangers her granddaughters in order to get some amor caliente. Story is based upon Lorca’s House of Bernarda Alba.
Why see it: So you and your friends can debate whether Lorca would be proud. And to see some timeless generational warfare.
When: Previews Sept. 15-18, Regular run Sept. 19 – Oct. 22
Cost: $15 for previews, $22-30 regular run

Teatro Vista reopens a window on Latino theater, partnering this year with Steppenwolf and The Goodman. The rest of their season deals with a soldier’s return from Iraq and a contest of wills in small town New England.

strawdogsmall.gifThat Beady-Eyed Fellow Watching You on the El: Strawdog Theatre
Marathon ’33 by June Havoc

The Scene: A young girl’s recollection of the Depression era’s desperate and brutal dance marathons.
Why see it: Strawdog’s largest production ever crams more than 40 artists into a small storefront for an evening of nostalgic rubbernecking.
When: Sept. 15 – Oct. 28
Cost: $20

Strawdog dares you to flinch first at Sam Shepard’s Lie of the Mind and two original radio theatre programs.

shattered.gifThe Friendly Barkeep: Shattered Globe
Come Back Little Sheba by William Inge

The Scene: Those miserable Delaneys are reminded just how miserable they are when a young lady rents a room from them. They also learn and grow from the experience, sort of.
Why see it: Wrenching family drama that ages well, and Shattered Globe specializes in the more intimate dramas.
When: Sept. 15 – Oct. 21
Cost: $15-35

Shattered Globe returns to the Victory Gardens Greenhouse to take on Arthur Miller and the Hollywood system.

Housewhite.gifThe Fantastic Fourth: The House Theatre
Hatfield & McCoy by Shawn Pfautsch

The Scene: The most famous rumble in Appalachian history, with a 21st Century sensibility.
Why see it: Even if you’re ignorant about American history, this show’s got a hoedown, gunplay and dueling live bands.
When: Sept. 16 – Nov. 4
Cost: $17-22

The House’s fourth season of fighting evil features more brash adventure and revisionist legends from the team that brought you The Valentine Trilogy and The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz.

The final 2 weeks of September are profiled after the jump.

Next week:

annielogo.jpgThe Traveling Salesmen: Broadway in Chicago
Annie by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, and Thomas Meehan

The Scene: The show that taught little girls everywhere to hold out for their sugar daddy.
Why see it: You have a daughter, niece, or cousin who needs to learn that lesson.
When: Sept. 19 – Oct. 1
Cost: $20-72

NYC imports Altar Boyz, mondo-award winner Doubt, and Oprah’s hit musical highlight another year of big money shows in and around the Loop.

remybumppo.gifThe Harold Bloom Protégé: Remy Bumppo Theatre
The Best Man by Gore Vidal

The Scene: Politicians in a take no prisoners brawl for their party’s presidential nomination.
Why see it: To put Blago and Judy’s sniping in perspective.
When: Previews Sept. 20-23, regular run Sept 24 – Nov 5
Cost: $24-40

The “Thinking Person’s Theatre” presents shows you may or may not grasp by Tom Stoppard and George Bernard Shaw.

trapdoor.gifThe Barista at Ennui Café: Trap Door Theatre
The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

The Scene: German lovers in a self-destructive power play.
Why see it: It was all the rage of the 1970s art house scene.
When: Sept. 21 – Nov. 4
Cost: $20

One of Chicago’s most obscure theaters challenges you to find their performance space. They have not yet announced the rest of their season.

The end of the month:

Your English Lit T.A.: Writers’ Theatre
Another Part of the Forest by Lillian Hellman

The Scene: A probing look at a wealthy but deeply flawed southern family’s sniping.
Why see it: You’ll learn that wealthy but deeply flawed southern families are just like the rest of us. And because Writers Theater productions respect the playwrights.
When: Sept. 26 – Nov. 26
Cost: $37-$58

Literate Glencoe theater folk throw around some big names—Bach, Dickens and Shakespeare—for their 15th Season.

The Chicago Patriots: American Theatre Company
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs by William Inge

The Scene: Inge’s more hopeful tribute to The Glass Menagerie.
Why see it: Inge is less of a downer than Tennessee Williams.
When: Previews Sep 27 - Oct 29
Cost: $10-35

ATC rounds out their 22nd season with a ‘sexy’ new Oklahoma!, a new comedy about modern-day paranoia, and the return of the charming It's a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play.

The Local Patron: Victory Gardens Theater
Denmark by Charles Smith

The Scene: In 1822, freed slave Denmark Vessey spends his money on a slave uprising instead of his lover. Tough choice.
Why see it: So many dramatic possibilities: the uprising, the scorned woman, the discomfort of living in The South in the 1820s.
When: Sept. 29 – Nov. 12
Cost: $20-45

Victory Gardens’ first season at The Biograph is homegrown, with four World Premieres and a musical based on a Hans Christian Andersen tale.

lifelinelogo.jpgThe Schizophrenic Storyteller: Lifeline Theatre
The Stinky Cheese Man And Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Kent Stephens

The Scene: Timeless tales and characters run through a blender for truly strange stories.
Why see it: Because the children in your life love them some Stinky Cheese Man.
When: Sept. 30 – Nov. 26
Cost: $10

Lifeline crams two seasons into one year: two costume dramas and an adaptation of Crossing California for the adults, The Velveteen Rabbit and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs for the kiddies.

emeraldcity.gifThe Happiest Place in Lincoln Park: Emerald City Theatre
Snow White as performed by Professor TJ Barker's Troupe of Theatricals by The Brothers Grimm, adapted by Ernie Nolan

The Scene: “Let’s put on a show!”, circa 1900, with puppetry and frenetic staging.
Why see it: The interesting twist on a very familiar show should hold the attention of the wee ones.
When: Sept. 30 – Oct 29
Cost: $10-13

Emerald City’s new slate of shows at the Apollo Theater include another Seussical musical and a new Narnia.