2014 Chicago Fall Theater Preview

September 1, 2014 7:00 AM

With summer in the rearview mirror, it’s time to start thinking of how you want to spend those chilly Chicago fall days. Should you watch the Sox and Cubs wind down their seasons, cheer on the Bears or do something a bit different and catch a play? With a number of productions scheduled for fall in Chicago, you won’t lack for choice. This fall, make it a point to pick up tickets to the following plays.

‘King Lear’
Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier
800 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-5600

Date: Sept. 9 – Nov. 9, 2014

Considered by many to be among William Shakespeare’s finest works, “King Lear” is a tale of family and murder. The Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier’s production includes Chicago theater veteran Larry Yando in the titular role, and is directed by Barbara Gaines. The theater brings an added layer to the play by hosting preambles, which are scholarly lectures on the play and are scheduled to begin one hour before the start of the play on certain dates. Navy Pier is accessible by public transportation, and a parking lot is also available for play attendees to use.

‘Native Son’
Court Theatre
5535 S. Ellis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 753-4472

Date: Sept. 11 – Oct. 12, 2014

If you’ve read Richard Wright’s novel “Native Son,” then seeing it performed on stage can add more meaning to the work. The play “Native Son” will be performed at Court Theatre, the professional theatre at the University of Chicago campus in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, and kicks off the theatre’s 2014-2015 season. Nambi E. Kelley, a Chicago native and veteran actress and playwright, adapted the novel for the production. The play is directed by Seret Scott, an award-winning actress who has previously directed Court Theatre productions, as well as plays around the country.

‘The World Of Extreme Happiness’
Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 443-3800

Date: Sept. 13 – Oct. 12, 2014

Held in The Owen of Goodman Theatre, “The World of Extreme Happiness” by playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig is a must-see play this fall. The play, which has been performed in London, melds tragedy with comedy. Jennifer Lim, a critically acclaimed actress who has received numerous distinctions including a Jeff and a Drama Desk nomination, stars as Sunny, and Eric Ting, an Obie Award recipient, directs the play. The Goodman Theatre is located in Chicago’s North Loop neighborhood, which offers plenty of options for a post-performance meal or drink.

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‘The Night Alive’
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
1650 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 335-1650

Date: Sept. 18 – Nov. 16, 2014

This fall, add “The Night Alive” to your must-see list. The play, written by Conor McPherson, is set in Dublin and is directed by Henry Wishcamper, who has previously directed plays at Steppenwolf Theatre. “The Night Alive” has been performed in London and New York City to glowing reviews; the play also received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award. Steppenwolf Theatre also offers a performance with American Sign Language interpretation scheduled for October 26, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. The theatre is located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood and is accessible by public transportation. It’s also close to a number of dining options, making it a great place to meet friends or take a date.

‘Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde’
Idle Muse Theatre Company
Rivendell Theatre
5779 N. Ridge Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 340-9438

Date: Sept. 20 – Oct. 19, 2014

Get in the Halloween spirit a few weeks early by catching a performance of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” at the Idle Muse Theatre Company. Adapted from the novella by Robert Louis Stevenson, the play combines love with horror, making it a must-see for anyone looking for an eerie theater production this fall. The play kicks off Idle Muse Theatre Company’s 2014-2015 season, and is staged at Rivendell Theatre in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. Established in 2006, Idle Muse is a relative newcomer to the Chicago theatre scene; however, it has since proven its mettle, receiving among its accolades a nomination for a Jeff Award for Best Ensemble.

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Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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