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Theater events: 'Women in Jeopardy' comedy opens at First Folio

January 24, 2018 at 1:48 PM

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Woman power

Mary, Jo and Liz are the best of friends. But when amateur sleuths Mary and Jo begin to suspect Liz's new boyfriend is a serial killer, they launch an investigation to prove their suspicions and save her life in Wendy MacLeod's comedy "Women in Jeopardy" described as "Thelma and Louise" meets "The First Wives Club." Janice L. Blixt directs First Folio Theatre's Chicago-area premiere starring ensemble members Lydia Berger Gray, Melanie Keller and Joe Foust with Amy Montgomery, Hayley Burgess and Chris Vizurraga. Previews are at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Jan. 24-26, at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 31st St., Oak Brook. Opens at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27. $25-$44. (630) 986-8067 or

The Metropolis Performing Arts Centre warms up winter with French playwright Marc Camoletti's 1962 farce "Boeing-Boeing," which centers on bachelor Bernard's attempts to simultaneously romance three flight attendants and prevent them from finding out about each other. He manages quite well until his American friend Robert arrives and a newer, faster airplane disrupts his carefully planned trysts. Joe Lehman directs Metropolis' revival of the comedy, which earned the 2008 Tony Award for best play revival. Previews are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 1-2, and Thursday, Feb. 8; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. Opens at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9. $35, $40. (847) 577-2121 or

Brad Lawrence and Lisa Dawn co-star in Buffalo Theatre Ensemble's production of "Time Stands Still" by Donald Margulies.
Brad Lawrence and Lisa Dawn co-star in Buffalo Theatre Ensemble's production of "Time Stands Still" by Donald Margulies. - Courtesy of Rex Howard Photography

A critical look

War serves as the backdrop for Donald Margulies' Tony Award-nominated relationship drama "Time Stands Still." In the play, injured photojournalist Sarah and her foreign correspondent boyfriend, James, re-evaluate their relationship and their journalistic ethics after a visit from her editor and his young girlfriend. Buffalo Theatre Ensemble artistic director Connie Canady Howard directs the company's revival of the 2009 play. The cast includes Lisle resident Lisa Dean as Sarah and ensemble member Kurt Naebig of Lombard as Sarah's editor Richard. The preview is at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at the McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Opens at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2. $37. (630) 942-4000 or

New take on 'Joseph'

Parents might want to reconsider taking young children to Drury Lane Theatre's revival of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adapted from the Book of Genesis. Initially recommended for ages 5 and older, Drury Lane raised the recommended age to 13 and older as the show developed, according to the theater's press representative. The theater's website describes director Alan Souza's production as an "interpretation that includes sexual content, provocative clothing and absurd scenes that make sense in a dreamlike setting." Performances run through March 25 at 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. $47-$62. (630) 530-0111 or

Jim DeSelm, at the piano, Matt Crowle and Neala Barron co-star in Porchlight Music Theatre's revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Merrily We Roll Along."
Jim DeSelm, at the piano, Matt Crowle and Neala Barron co-star in Porchlight Music Theatre's revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Merrily We Roll Along." - Courtesy of Michael Courier

Other theater events

• Porchlight Music Theatre revives "Merrily We Roll Along," the Stephen Sondheim musical with book by George Furth. Adapted from the 1934 play by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, the musical chronicles in reverse the life of a composer who leaves New York and his friends and creative partners to become a Hollywood producer. Artistic director Michael Weber directs and Aaron Benham serves as music director for the show, which begins previews Friday, Jan. 26, at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. It opens Jan. 30. (773) 777-9884 or

• Previews begin Friday, Jan. 26, for Definition Theatre Company's Chicago premiere of "Moon Man Walk" by James Ijames. Tyla Abercrumbie directs the play about a man who is mourning the sudden death of his mother and falls in love on the way home from her funeral. The show opens Jan. 28 at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 781-3000 or

Flying Elephant Productions' "We the People: The Anti-Trump Musical" stars Carmen Fisher Risi, left, Alyssa Soto, Dwayne Everett, Elizabeth Rentfro, Bradley Halverson and Timothy Swaim.
Flying Elephant Productions' "We the People: The Anti-Trump Musical" stars Carmen Fisher Risi, left, Alyssa Soto, Dwayne Everett, Elizabeth Rentfro, Bradley Halverson and Timothy Swaim. - Courtesy of Cole Simon

• Flying Elephant Productions begins previews for its inaugural show, the world premiere of "We the People: The Anti-Trump Musical," on Friday, Jan. 26, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. This political song cycle by composer/lyricist Leo Schwartz and writer Sean Chandler centers on the 2016 election and features six actors playing 55 characters. The show, directed by Derek Van Barham, opens Saturday, Jan. 27. (773) 327-5252 or

• Pride Arts Center's Pac the House returns at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, to 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago. Coco Iman and Ryan Royale host the monthly variety showcase that features actor/comedian Jake Dewar and drag performer Mikey Newtown, also known as Michel'le Rose. (800) 737-0984 or

Rich Holton and Nina O'Keefe star in Citadel Theatre's revival of Laura Eason's two-hander "Sex With Strangers."
Rich Holton and Nina O'Keefe star in Citadel Theatre's revival of Laura Eason's two-hander "Sex With Strangers." - Courtesy of Matt Kurr

• Citadel Theatre's season continues with Laura Eason's two-hander "Sex With Strangers," about an affair between a middle-aged author whose career is waning and a young writer whose sex-fueled blog is burning up the internet. Rich Holton and Nina O'Keefe star in director Scott Westerman's production. It begins previews Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, and opens Feb. 2. (847) 735-8554 or


• The national tour of "The Humans," Stephan Karam's 2016 Tony Award-winning family drama that unfolds over the course of a Thanksgiving dinner, makes a brief stop in Chicago. Performances begin Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. The production premiered in Chicago in 2014 at the American Theater Company and stars Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Thomas as the family patriarch. (800) 775-2000 or

• "Fifty Shades of Shakespeare," (re)discover theatre's revue consisting of William Shakespeare's 12 sexiest scenes, returns Thursday, Feb. 1, to Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St., Chicago. Four actors play 23 roles in this adults-only production created by Jess Shoemaker and directed by Lexi Saunders. See

• Stephen Karam is popular in Chicago these days. While Karam's Tony Award-winning "The Humans" plays Cadillac Palace downtown, "Speech & Debate," Karam's 2006 play about three outsider teenagers involved in a town sex scandal, plays at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway, Chicago. The Brown Paper Box Co. revival is directed by David Lipschutz and stars Trevor Bates, Darren Patin and Deanalis Resto as the teens. Previews begin Feb. 2. The production opens Feb. 3. See

• Real people tell true stories about being in love during Steppenwolf Theatre's next LookOut event "You're Being Ridiculous: I Love ..." It runs Feb. 2-10 at the 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (312) 335-1650 or

• First Folio Theatre in Oak Brook offers $10 off tickets for military personnel, their immediate families and veterans as part of the Blue Star Theatre initiative. First Folio's current production, "Women in Jeopardy," runs through Feb. 25 at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 31st St., Oak Brook. Also, First Folio offers a 10 percent discount for women attending in groups of six or more. (630) 986-8067 or

• A Red Orchid Theatre announced an extension for Brett Neveu's "Traitor," adapted from Henrik Ibsen's 19th-century drama "An Enemy of the People" and directed by ensemble member and Academy Award-nominee Michael Shannon. Performances run through March 4 at 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago. (312) 943-8722 or

• Eclipse Theatre Company, which devotes each season to a single playwright, announced it will dedicate 2018 to William Inge. Artistic director Nathaniel Swift described Inge as "one of the most important voices in American theater, (whose) plays are personal and political, grounded in family and community relationships ... (whose) stories resonate with a powerful artistic vision of America and what it means to be an American." The season begins April 12 with "Natural Affection," a domestic drama about an abandoned wife who is forced to leave her child so she could earn a living and reunites with the now-teenager on Christmas Eve. But the reunion threatens the life she has built in his absence. Next up is Inge's classic "Bus Stop" (July 12-Aug. 19), about travelers -- including a nightclub singer, her would-be cowboy lover, a middle-aged scholar and others -- stranded during a snowstorm at a roadside diner in Kansas City. The season concludes with "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" (Nov. 15-Dec. 16), which in various scenes chronicles the emotional conflicts and challenges faced by members of a family in 1920s Oklahoma. Performances take place at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Three-play subscriptions range from $51-$84. See

• Evanston's Music Theater Works opens its season June 9 with Gilbert and Sullivan's rollicking shipboard operetta "The Pirates of Penzance." That's followed by another seafaring romance, Cole Porter's 1930s tuner "Anything Goes" (Aug. 18-26), featuring tunes such as "You're the Top" and "It's De-Lovely." Joseph Jefferson Award-winner Angela Ingersoll brings her show "Judy Garland: Come Rain or Come Shine" to the Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Oct. 5-14. The season concludes with Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" (Dec. 22-31), which puts a somewhat contemporary spin on the Brothers Grimm and the notion of happily-ever-after. Except for "Judy Garland: Come Rain or Come Shine," productions take place at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston. Season subscriptions start at $99. (847) 920-5360 or

Topics in this Article
ChicagoStephan KaramFolio TheatreVictory Gardens TheaterDefinition Theatre CompanyDrury Lane TheatreCadillac Palace TheatreEdge TheaterMetropolis Performing Arts CentreAthenaeum TheatreWendy MacLeodRuth Page Center,Porchlight Music TheatreCitadel TheatreN. Lincoln ave.Red Orchid TheatreMcAninch Arts CenterScott WestermanRichard ThomasEmmy Award-winningCampbell St.Alan SouzaConnie Canady HowardRandolph St.N. Southport ave.Michael WeberJoe LehmanW. Belmont ave.James IjamesClark St.Nina O'KeefeLaura EasonAaron BenhamWilliam Inge. ArtisticNathaniel SwiftDerek Van BarhamStephen KaramSean ChandlerFawell blvd.Lexi SaundersJess ShoemakerDonald MarguliesMoon Man WalkChicago ave.Brown Paper Box co.Emerson St.Pride Arts CenterLeo Schwartz,George Furth300 S. Waukegan roadGlen EllynSteppenwolf TheatreMarc Camoletti,Arlington heightsMichael CourierLydia Berger GrayMatt CrowleJim DeSelmMelanie KellerChris VizurragaHayley BurgessJoe FoustAmy MontgomeryJanice L. BlixtTim RiceBlue Star TheatreCollege of DuPageJake DewarBrad LawrenceJoseph Jefferson AwardAngela IngersollMatt KurrEclipse Theatre CompanyCole Simon,David LipschutzTrevor BatesDarren PatinMichael ShannonRex Howard Photography,Lisa DawnFirst Wives ClubDwayne EverettBradley HalversonTimothy Swaim,Elizabeth RentfroAlyssa SotoCarmen Fisher RisiKurt NaebigRyan RoyaleLisa Dean