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October Theater Preview: Costume Dramas & Love Gone Bad

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 3, 2006 10:25PM

For this month's preview, we were going to compare our local theater companies to figures on Capitol Hill, contemplating that special, intimate relationship between more experienced hands and up-and-coming ensembles. But well, scandals happen. Instead, we'll stick to the “neighbors” metaphor.

This week:

Running Away With the Circus: Redmoon Theater
Spectacle ’06: Twilight Orchard

redmoonspectacle.jpgThe Scene: Over 60 actors frolic and flourish in Columbus Park for an audience largely there for the first time and wondering whether the trip home will be safe.
Why see it: You ain’t gonna see anything like this all fall.
When: October 3-9
Cost: $10 general, free for kids and nearby residents.

Redmoon's annual spectacle production takes over one of Chicago's most underappreciated parks and brings theater to communities far from the Lakeview and Lincoln Park theater glut.

The Suburban Acropolis: Northlight Theatre
Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee

northlight.jpgThe Scene: That familiar debate between creationists and evolutionists, but in 1920s garb.
Why see it: Because this play will settle that debate once and for all! And it's a classic.
When: October 4 - November 12
Cost: $44-$48

Northlight’s 2006-2007 season premieres new work loosely connected to Sex and the City and Lost and revives classics for fans of the Old West and bluegrass.

That Crazy Uncle Turns Kind and Gentle: Steppenwolf Theatre
The Bluest Eye by Lydia Diamond, based on the Toni Morrison book

steppenwolflogo.jpgThe Scene: An 11-year-old prays that her eyes turn blue so that she may fall in love. Ah, the naivety of youth!
Why see it: It earned rave reviews last time it was at Steppenwolf, now it's back for a victory lap prior to its New York run.
When: October 6-28
Cost: $20

Steppenwolf kicks off their kids series at the more intimate Upstairs Theatre.

The Sophisticated Travelers: Silk Road Theatre Project
Caravaggio by Richard Vetere

srtp.gifThe Scene: Tale of a renaissance life with more recklessness, drunken behavior, and homicide that you could shake a stick at.
Why see it: To live vicariously through the sinful title character while sitting in a church basement.
When: October 7 - November 26
Cost: Previews $15, regular tickets $22-$28.

The Silk Road Theatre Project celebrates the work of that long and winding road, conveniently enough at the same time as Chicago’s Silk Road celebration.

Next week after the jump

Next week

Coming Out Party Hosts: Bailiwick Repertory Theatre
To Save Him by David Blatt

The Scene: It opens on National Coming Out Day, so this tale of a college-bound son and his mother likely explores sexual identity.
Why see it: It came out favorably from Bailiwick's Annual Directors Festival, so they have faith in Blatt's first Chicago production.
When: Previews October 9 – 10, Regular run October 11 - 31
Cost: $15

They’re In “Imports”: Broadway in Chicago
Altar Boyz by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker

The Scene: Christian boy band making you swoon for G-O-D!
Why see it: Last year's huge off-Broadway hit is a kinder, gentler alternative to the wacky Religious Right.
When: October 10 - 29
Cost: $30-$55

Forever Young: About Face Theatre
Say You Love Satan by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

The Scene: Sure he's hot, but would you sell your soul for him?
Why see it: Writer Aguirre-Sacasa also pens The Fantastic Four and Spiderman for Marvel comics. The guy’s got skills.
When: October 11 - November 19
Cost: $30-$45

The Reserved Romantics: Lifeline Theatre
A Room with a View, adapted by Christina Calvit from the E.M. Forster novel

lifelinelogo.jpgThe Scene: Lucy travels to Florence and hits it off with a hot Italian guy who makes her doubt her engagement to a nice young British man.
Why see it: It's a costume drama with legs, the movie nabbed three Oscars 20 years ago.
When: October 13 - December 3
Cost: $14-$26

Proud Papa Showing Off His Golden Boy: Goodman Theatre
Vigils by Noah Haidle

The Scene: A fireman's widow has to choose between her husband's soul and a new beau. It’ll probably make sense on stage.
Why see it: Great credentials - a Tony award-winning star, writer who's been produced off-Broadway, and a director loved by The Goodman.
When: October 14 - November 12
Cost: $10-$35

blackensemble.jpgMotown Spiritual Guides: Black Ensemble Theatre
Those Sensational Soulful 60s by Jackie Taylor

The Scene: Musical revue paying tribute to Aretha, Otis, Sammy, Gladys and many more.
Why see it: Until Peabody perfects that time machine, this is the next best thing to being there.
When: October 14 - December 31
Cost: $40-45