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Best Of Chicago

Must-See Chicago Theatre Shows For First Timers

October 4, 2010 2:55 PM

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(credit: www.latenitecatechism.info)
Want to start exploring Chicago’s vibrant theatre scene, but aren’t sure where to start? Or, do you have a friend or family member coming to visit who wants to see a show, but wants to avoid anything “too strange”? Here are some safe bets that not only entertain, but perhaps may entice you, or your guests, to explore even further. - Bob Bullen

Million Dollar Quartet

2540 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 935-6100
www.milliondollarquartetlive.com
Through Jan. 2, 2011

Now a hit on Broadway, Million Dollar Quartet’s roots were formed in Chicago. If you like the music of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, then you’ll love this how. If you don’t care for their music, you’ll still be blown away by the talent and musicianship of the four actor/musicians who embody these icons. The show is pure joy from start to finish.

She Loves Me

Writers’ Theatre
325 Tudor Court
Glencoe, IL 60022
(847) 242-6000
www.writerstheatre.org
Through Nov. 21, 2010

Looking to be utterly charmed? This 1963 romantic musical comedy, with music and lyrics by the same team who wrote Fiddler on the Roof, is unmitigated delight, and is being given a first-rate production at a jewel box of a theatre company. Consider this production for a romantic night out.

Peter Pan

Lookingglass Theatre
821 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 337-0665
www.lookingglasstheatre.org
Oct. 20 – Dec. 12, 2010

Those who enjoy darker, quirky adaptations of their favorite childhood stories may like this new version of Peter Pan. Press materials promise a “bombastic, playful, and darkly comic” retelling of the story about the boy who would not grow up, complete with Lookingglass Theatre’s trademark aerial stunts (in other words, there will be some thrilling flying sequences.)

Traces

Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place
175 East Chestnut Street
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 642-2000
http://tracesusa.com
Oct. 26 – Dec. 19, 2010

Here’s a good option for thrill seekers. The French Canadian acrobatic troupe, 7 Fingers, is launching its U.S. tour at Chicago’s recently-redesigned and reopened Broadway Playhouse. An international hit, this edgy group promises gravity defying acts full of “urban energy,” such as being catapulted in the air and landing (hopefully!) on their feet and climbing up poles using just their legs.

Thieves Like Us

The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre
1543 West Division
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 278-1500
www.thehousetheatre.com
Through Oct. 30, 2010

Here’s a perfect option for those who love gangster movies like “The Untouchables.” This rollicking new adaptation of Edward Anderson’s novel by Damon Kiely follows a trio of depression-era bank robbers who are struggling to make the big break. Superstar director Kimberly Senior teams with House Theatre to create an exciting night out.

Late Nite Catechism

Royal George Theatre
1641 Nroth Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 988-9000
www.latenitecatechism.info
Open run

Are you a survivor of a catholic upbringing? On Thursdays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., you can relive that experience through laughter in this long-running hit comedy. Be prepared for audience interaction – the show is set up like a classroom, with a nun, simply called “Sister,” who runs the room like a stand-up comic with ruler in hand.

Bob Bullen is a writer and long-time fan of Chicago’s vibrant theatre scene, which he captures on his blog, Chicago Theatre Addict.

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