By Angela Hazen

There’s energy in a live theater performance that you can experience no where else. Dancing, live music and show-stopping vocals make the performances as enjoyable for the actors as for the patrons. Acrobatics and stunt feats can be fun to watch for visitors of all ages. With this line up of theater in Chicago, there is something for everyone.


“Eastland: An Original Musical”
Looking Glass Theater
821 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 337-0665

Dates: Now through July 29

Chicago’s Eastland disaster may be well known to some, but for many people it is an unfamiliar piece of history. This Chicago River tragedy resulted in the death of 844 passengers. “Eastland” is a performance that covers both the loss of the victims as well as the heroism of rescuers. With this musical, a new spotlight will be shown on this almost 100-year-old Chicago catastrophe. See how a talented cast can recreate such a horrible event in a beautiful way.


“Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon”
Pepsi Skyline Stage at Navy Pier
600 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-7437

Dates: Now through September 3

Cirque Shanghai returns to Chicago in 2012 with the new show “Year of the Dragon.” Acrobats, dancers and motorcyclists perform the stunning feats that brings families back year after year. Spend an evening with dazzling cultural dance and music from hundreds of miles away. With all of the activities, what better way to end a summer evening in downtown Chicago than with a trip to see some of the best visuals around? You will easily understand why locals and tourists demand for this show’s return every year.

Related: Best Opera Performances in Chicago


“That’s Weird, Grandma”
Presented by Barrel of Monkeys
Neo-Futurist Theater
5153 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 506-7140

Dates: Now through September 10

Top Broadway authors have nothing on the school children who write the performances at the New-Futurist Theater. The storyline for “That’s Weird, Grandma” changes every week with a rotating schedule in which audience members offer their feedback. Based off of the favorites, the schedule features those that the viewers like most. Enjoy an evening at this non-profit theater and see what young imaginations can accomplish. Tickets are extremely affordable so there is no reason to miss out on this event.


“The 39 Steps”
Drury Lane
100 Drury Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
(630) 530-0111

Dates: Now through August 26

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic spy drama makes its way to the stage at the Drury Lane Theater in Oakbrook Terrace. An innocent man tries to help a spy and ends up tangled up in espionage himself. See how this comedic plot unfolds with twists and turns along the way. Make an outing to this performance both a dinner and date night. At Drury Lane, you can buy a dinner package and have a beautiful meal before or after your performance, the perfect touch for a night out.

(credit: Emerald City Theatre)

“Pinkalicious: The Musical”
Emerald City Theatre
Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place
175 E Chestnut Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(800) 775-2000

Dates: Now through August 5

Apparently, a girl can have too many pink cupcakes. See what happens next at “Pinkalicious” this summer with a night out to the Broadway Playhouse. This is an entertaining show bursting with an overload of pink. Luckily, an intelligent little brother provides help in getting his big sister our of her pink predicament. Adapted from the book by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, this family-friendly production features a craft activity before the show. Bring the whole gang out for some fun.

Related: Best Places to See Ballet in Chicago

Angela Hazen lives in Oak Park, IL. She has worked as a model in Chicago and studied broadcast journalism at Columbia College Chicago. Her work can be found at