By Magdalene Paniotte
With the spring season already on the horizon, this might be a great time to make a reservation for that much anticipated evening at the theater. These select performances come highly recommended.
A Streetcar Named Desire
Lyric Opera of Chicago
20 N. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
Dates: March 26 through April 6
A classic masterpiece and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by great 20th century playwright Tennessee Williams, “A Streetcar named Desire” made its Broadway debut in 1947, starring Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy. The operatic version of this celebrated play will be performed only four times at the magnificent Lyric Opera of Chicago, starring gifted soprano and Julliard graduate Renee Fleming as Blanche DuBois. The story is about a fading beauty with unresolved emotional issues who goes over the edge soon after losing the family estate in an attempt to re-acclimate to a modest lifestyle at her married sister’s household.
Drury Lane Theatre and Conference Center
100 Drury Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Dates: Now through March 24
The charm and splendor of the film noir era is brought to life in this seven-time Tony Award-winning stage adaptation of “Sunset Boulevard” at Drury Lane Theatre. The story is based on the memorable 1950’s Academy Award-winning movie script written by Billy Wilder, starring Gloria Swanson and Will Holden. An imaginative, visually extravagant performance featuring a glorious musical score by Andrew Lloyd Weber, the play is about Norma Desmond, an aging and disillusioned silent film actress in Hollywood and her younger star-crossed lover Joe, a struggling writer in the advent of the emergence of speaking roles in film.
Related: Best Spots For Cabaret In Chicago
Measure for Measure
The Merle Reskin Theater
60 E. Balbo Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
Dates: April 19 through April 28
Written in 1603 by one of the world’s most prolific authors, “Measure for Measure” by William Shakespeare is a dark comedy and political satire about strict moral code observance and the consummation of marriage. The plot revolves around Lord Angelo who has been appointed to briefly rule Vienna while the Duke goes about town undetected in a friar’s cloak, searching for clues of impropriety. When Angelo discovers that unwed lovers Claudio and Juliette are sexually active, he threatens Claudio with death, but is smitten by his sister Isabella who pleads for Claudio’s life. Angelo blackmails her for sexual favors, though unbeknownst to him his demands are within the Duke’s earshot who then decides to marry Isabella, allowing Claudio and Juliette to live happily ever after.
Blue Man Group
Briar Street Theater
3133 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60657
Dates: Now through March 17
A must-see show celebrating 15 years of exciting, sensational theater around the country, “Blue Man Group” is a very funny, unique and riveting choreographed performance of sight and sound that reaches audiences on a purely guttural level. The show runs uninterrupted for the duration, immersing viewers in a sensory exploration of movement combined with the use of objects to impart new meaning. The performance itself is abstract and open to individual interpretation. Perhaps the most intriguing part about the show is that, like an “aha” moment of sorts, audiences seem to eventually grasp what the performers are hoping to convey.
I Love Lucy
Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place
175 E. Chestnut St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Dates: Now through March 3
Premiering live on the Chicago stage for the very first time, the hilarious 1952 television sitcom “I Love Lucy” is showing at Broadway Playhouse. In this entertaining representation of the hit series starring Lucille Ball and her then real-life husband Desi Arnez, an announcer takes the studio audience on a nostalgic, behind-the-scenes glimpse of how the show was filmed when television was just being introduced to the masses. The original program had aired on CBS for six consecutive seasons, delighting American audiences everywhere. Countless fans fell in love with Lucy, Ricky and their dear friends Ethyl and Fred.
Magdalene Paniotte is from Chicago and very pleased to be a CBS Contributor. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and has studied creative writing at the graduate level. Maggie enjoys composing articles and developing her voice as a freelance writer. Her work can also be found at Examiner.com.