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Fall theater in Chicago — Our guide to the season’s offerings

Scott Aiello and Eileen Niccolai star in Shattered Globe Theatre’s “A View From the Bridge.”

Scott Aiello and Eileen Niccolai star in Shattered Globe Theatre’s “A View From the Bridge.”

Jeffrey L. Kurysz

Comedy. Drama. Musical. Pantomime. Revue.

Chicago’s theater scene is one of the most vibrant on the planet.

From world premieres to innovative new works, there’s bound to be something for anyone looking to take in live theater in the coming months.

Here’s a look at some of the shows that are part of the Chicago area’s fall theater season:

The cast of “Gypsy” at the Marriott Theatre.

The cast of “Gypsy” at the Marriott Theatre.

Liz Lauren

Now Playing

“Gypsy”: Arthur Laurents’ classic musical about a stage mother fighting for her daughters’ success while secretly yearning for her own. To Oct. 15. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire; $55;

“The Innocence of Seduction”: Mark Pracht’s second play in a four-play series set during the early years of the comic book industry. To Oct. 8. City Lit Theatre, 1020 Bryn Mawr, $34;

“Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash”: Showcases the life and music of the iconic country singer. To Oct. 22. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, $85-$96;

Ron E. Rains stars as Johnny Cash in “Ring of Fire: The Music of. Johnny Cash” at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook.

Ron E. Rains stars as the title character in “Ring of Fire: The Music of. Johnny Cash” at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook.

Brett Beiner

“Little Shop of Horrors”: The musical about a carnivorous plant that complicates a man’s life. To Oct. 15. Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena, Aurora, $38-$79;

“Cat’s Cradle”: John Hildreth’s adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel about how scientific research, banana republic politics and organized religion bring about the end of the world. To Oct. 22. Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood, $45;

“Moon at the Bottom of the Ocean”: Curious Theatre Branch presents Bryn Magnus’ comedy about a blocked writer who attempts to discover the secret of literary success. To Sept. 23. Chicago Dramatists, 798 N. Aberdeen, $5-$20 or pay-what-you-can;

“A Taste of Soul”: Daryl D. Brooks’ look at the evolution of soul music. To Oct. 15. Black Ensemble Theatre, 4450 N. Clark, $65;

“North & Sur”: Water People Theater stages Oscar Perdomo Marin’s play which imagines an encounter between American writer Edgar Allan Poe and Latin American poet Alfonsina Storni. To Oct. 6. Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio, $20-$30;

“Birthday Candles”: Noah Haidle’s play that spans a woman’s birthdays from her 17th to her 101st as her dreams unfold. To Oct. 8. Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, $30-$89;

“Revolution”: Brett Neveu’s new play interrogates and celebrates the nature of creating community and building friendships in our disconnecting world. To Oct. 29. A Red Orchid Theatre, 5631 N. Wells, $35-$45;

“Baked! The Musical”: Jord Liu and Deepak Kumar’s new musical about an overachiever who builds the greatest drug empire ever run by high-schoolers. To Oct. 8. Theo Unique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard, Evanston, $40;

“Welcome to Mattteson”: Congo Square Theatre presents Inda Craig-Galvan’s dark comedy that explores gentrification, housing justice and inter-class relationships. To Oct. 1. Northwestern University’s Wirtz Theatre, Abbott Hall, 710 N. DuSable Lake Shore Dr., $45;

Opening in September

“A View from the Bridge”: Shattered Globe’s staging of Arthur Miller’s classic tale of immigration. Sept. 8-Oct. 21. Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, $15-$40;

“The Duchess of Malfi”: Babes with Blades stages John Webster’s classic about a widow who chooses to love again. Sept. 9-Oct. 21. The Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard, $28-$35;

The cast of “Sanctuary City” features Jocelyn Zamudio (from left), Grant Kennedy Lewis and Brandon Rivera.

The cast of “Sanctuary City” at Steppenwolf Theatre features Jocelyn Zamudio (from left), Grant Kennedy Lewis and Brandon Rivera.

Joel Moorman

“Hamilton”: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s modern classic tells the centuries old story of America’s founding father Alexander Hamilton. Sept. 13-Dec. 30. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph, $42.50-$182.50;

“The Mousetrap”: Agatha Christie’s murder mystery about guests stranded at a mansion during a snowstorm. Is there a murderer in their midst? Sept. 13-Oct. 15. Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan, Lake Forest, $40, $45;

“Sanctuary City”: Martyna Majok’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play is a heartbreaking and hopeful story about immigration and young love. Sept. 14-Nov. 18. Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, $20+;

“Blues for an Alabama Sky”: Remy Bumppo Theatre stages Pearl Cleage’s drama about three friends who face the struggle and joy of achieving their big dreams. Sept. 14-Oct. 15. Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, $36-$52;

Emjoy Gavino is among the cast of “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice” at Gift Theatre.

Emjoy Gavino is among the cast of “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice” at Gift Theatre.

Joe Mazza-brave lux

“The Rise and Fall of Little Voice”: Gift Theatre’s staging of Jim Cartwright’s drama about a woman with a hidden talent — her vocal impressions of singers from Judy Garland to Edith Piaf — that just might offer hope out of a life of despair. Sept. 14-Oct. 15. Filament Theatre, 4040 N. Milwaukee, $35-$45;

“American Psycho: The Musical”: Kokandy Productions presents Duncan Sheik and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s novel about a Wall Street banker whose sanity is starting to slip. Sept. 14-Nov. 26. Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, $40, $50;

“The Addams Family: The Musical”: Wednesday Addams has a secret that is sure to be a nightmare in this adaptation of the classic television series. Sept. 14-Oct. 8. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $10-$45;

“The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years”: Pearl Cleage’s comedy about six African American debutantes about to be introduced to a world of wealth, privilege and social responsibility. Sept. 16-Oct. 15. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, $25-$90;

“The Lehman Trilogy”: TimeLine Theatre and Broadway in Chicago present Stefano Massini and Ben Power’s Tony Award-winning drama that weaves together nearly two centuries of the financial institution that would eventually bring the global economy to its knees. Sept. 19-Oct. 29. Broadway Playhouse, $30-$90;

“Eurydice”: Sarah Ruhl infuses the ancient myth of this classic heroine with humor, poetry and hope. Sept. 21-Oct. 22. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor, Glencoe, $40-$80;

“The Pragmatists”: A new adaptation of Stanislaw Witkiewicz’s dark drama in which two former friends struggle with an existential conflict. Sept. 21-Oct. 28. Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland, $30;

“Mesmerized: A Ben Franklin Science & History Mystery”: Part farce, part docudrama, this is a kid’s intro to founding father Ben Franklin. Sept. 23-Oct. 15. Chicago Children’s Theatre,100 S. Racine;

Destinos, Chicago International Latino Theater Festival: A showcase of Latino theater artists from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America. Sept. 28-Nov. 9. At locations around the city;

Opening in October

“Wolves”: Steve Yockey’s drama follows the slow unraveling of two gay roommates as they struggle with paranoia and isolation in a new city. Oct. 1-Nov. 5. Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, $30;

“What the Constitution Means to Me”: Heidi Schreck’s Tony Award-winning play delves into the purpose of the U.S. Constitution. Oct. 4-Nov. 12. Paramount’s Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena, Aurora, $40+;

“Night Watch”: Lucille Fletcher’s psychological thriller asks the question: What’s more nightmarish — not being able to trust those around you or not being able to trust yourself. Oct. 5-Nov. 12. Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, $35-$45;

“Tambo & Bones”: Refracted Theatre’s staging of Dave Harris’ play about two men in a tricky situation: They are trapped in a minstrel show. Oct. 5-Nov. 11. The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, $25;

“House of the Exquisite Corpse”: Rough House Theater’s macabre peep-show puppet-theater anthology. Oct. 5-31. Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, $21-$46;

“Blackademics”: MPAACT presents Idris Goodwin’s surreal satire about two Black women navigating academia who find themselves in a strange situation. Oct. 6-Nov. 19. Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln, $42, $44;

“A Wonderful World”: A new musical about the life and loves of jazz legend Louis Armstrong with Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart leading the cast as Armstrong. Oct. 11-29. Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, $35-$105;

“Seagulls”: Oak Park Festival Theatre presents Beth Hyland’s rock musical adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull.” Oct. 12-Nov. 19. Pleasant Home, 217 Home, Oak Park, $20-$45;

Sean Fortunato and Andrew MacNaughton star in “Young Frankenstein” at Mercury Theater Chicago.

Sean Fortunato and Andrew MacNaughton star in “Young Frankenstein” at Mercury Theater Chicago.

Brandon Dalquist

“Young Frankenstein”: Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan’s musical adaptation of Brooks’ classic film of the same title. Oct. 13-Dec. 31. Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport, $35-$80;

“Brigadoon”: Music Theater Works presents Lerner and Lowe’s classic musical. Oct. 19-Nov 12. North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie;

“The Night of the Hunter”: Shawna Tucker’s adaptation of Davis Grubb’s noir novel about a killer and his quest for hidden money. Oct. 20-Dec. 3. City Lit Theatre, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr, $34;

“Nunsense”: Dan Goggin’s popular musical about nuns organizing a fundraiser to bury their deceased sisters accidentally poisoned by the convent cook. Oct. 20-Nov. 12. Saint Sebastian Players at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey;

“Bernarda”: Teatro Vista presents Emilio Williams’ adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s “The House of Bernardo Alba.” Oct. 18-Nov. 19. Steppenwolf 1700 Theater, 1700 N. Halsted;

“A Little Night Music”: BrightSide Theatre stages Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s musical about an actress’s chance encounter with an old flame that leads to romantic misadventures. Oct. 20-Nov. 5. North Central College, Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth, Naperville, $32-$37;

“Twelfth Night”: A reimagining of Shakespeare’s tale — now set in the Caribbean — about the power of love. Oct. 25-Nov. 26. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand, 800 E. Grand, $35+;

“POTUS, or Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive”: Selina Fillinger’s farce is a satirical look at the women in charge of the man in charge. Oct. 26-Dec. 3. Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, $20+;

“The Music Critic”: Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member John Malkovich stars in Aleksey Igudesman’s show in which classical music, theater and comedy collide. At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets: $39+. Visit

“Assassins”: Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s musical that looks at the lives of nine true-life assassins or would-be assassins. Oct. 27-Dec. 17. Theo Unique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard, Evanston, $40;

“This Bitter Earth”: Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre presents Harrison David Rivers’ drama about an interracial gay couple forced to reckon with issues of race and class. Oct. 28-Nov. 12. Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes, Evanston, $30;

“Company”: A new production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s groundbreaking musical comedy. Oct. 31-Nov. 12. Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph;

Opening in November

“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”: The true story of singer-songwriter Carole King’s journey from teenage songwriter to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Nov. 1-Dec. 31. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire; $50+;

“The Lifespan of a Fact:” A play that looks at truth via the true events surrounding Jim Fingal’s fact-checking of John D’Agata’s essay “What Happens There.” Nov. 1-Dec. 23. TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington;

“The Lion in Winter”: James Goldman’s classic about Henry II and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine as they attempt to persevere in the face of staggering egos, ruthless ambition and deceit at every turn. Nov. 3-Dec. 3. Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis, $40-$88;

“Beetlejuice”: Musical adaptation of Tim Burton’s film about an unusual teen whose life changes when she meets a deceased couple and a troublesome demon. Nov. 7-19. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells, $35-$105; broadwayinchicago

“Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”: The classic musical adaptation of the classic fairy tale. Nov. 8-Jan. 7. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, $54-$74;

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”: David Greig, Mark Shaiman and Scott Whittman’s musical version of Roald Dahl’s novel. Nov. 8-Jan. 14. Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena, Aurora;

“The Other Cinderella”: Jackie Taylor’s adaptation of the classic fairy tale. Nov. 11-Dec. 31. Black Ensemble Theatre, 4450 N. Clark, $65;

“Sleeping with Beauty”: Tom Whalley’s adult pantomime about a princess who finally comes of age but must deal with a curse from a wicked fairy. Nov. 16-Dec. 17. Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, $35;

“Boop! The Betty Boop Musical”: The pre-Broadway run of a new musical in which cartoon queen Betty Boop dreams of an ordinary day off from super celebrity. Nov. 19-Dec. 31. CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe;

Note: Information was accurate as of Sept. 8 original publication date. Check theater websites for possible updates.


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