News Column

* Previews continue for Lookingglass Theatre's production of "The Little Prince,

December 6, 2013


* Previews continue for Lookingglass Theatre's production of "The Little Prince," in conjunction with The Actors' Gymnasium in Evanston. Rick Cummins and John Scoullar adapted Antoine de Saint- Exupery's 1943 book about a stranded pilot who meets a young man, fallen from the sky, who delights the pilot with tales of his life. David Catlin ("Lookingglass Alice") directs the show, which opens Dec. 14, at Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. (312) 337-0665 or .

* Six parents battle to reign the school district in "The Moms: Fannypackin' Heat," an original comedy by StarKid alums Lauren Lopez and Julia Albain. Performances continue through Dec. 29 at Chicago Dramatists Theatre, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago. See for more information.

* Performances continue for redtwist theatre's Chicago-area premiere of "Elemeno Pea," Molly Smith Metzler's play about two sisters. Devon is a "regular gal" who thinks her elegant sister Simone has sold her soul working as a personal assistant for Martha's Vineyard's pampered elite. Performances run through Jan. 12 at 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago. Goodman Theatre's Steve Scott directs. (773) 728-7529 or .

* Natural Gas, The Gift Theatre's house improv team, performs at 10:30 p.m. Fridays at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Tickets are $5 in advance at the Gift box office or online at . Natural Gas also performs at 8 p.m. Wednesdays at its home theater, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 283-7071.

* The Music Theatre Company presents a chamber production of "Triumph of Love," the musical by James Magruder (book), Jeffrey Stock (music) and Susan Birkenhead (lyrics) based on the 18th- century French comedy by Pierre de Marivaux about a Grecian princess in love with a reclusive scholar. Performances begin Friday, Dec. 6, at 1850 Green Bay Road, Highland Park. (847) 579-4900 or


* Bailiwick Chicago presents a reading of resident playwright Aaron Holland's coming-of-age tale "Princess Mary Demands Your Attention" at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec., 8, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The play is about a young, gay black man from the south struggling with self- acceptance, who's helped in part through a recurring apparition of a lip-syncing drag queen. See for reservations.

* Commedia Beauregard brings its hit production of "A Klingon Christmas Carol," in which Klingon Scrooge overcomes cowardice and reclaims his honor, to Elgin Community College for one performance this weekend. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Blizzard Theatre, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. The show is performed in Klingon with English supertitles. (847) 622-0300 or.

* Goodman Theatre's New Stages festival celebrating Latino playwrights runs from Saturday, Dec. 7, through Dec. 22, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The three staged readings include: "The Rooster Room" about the patrons who frequent a North Philadelphia bar which serves as a haven for an 11-year-old girl, by Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegria Hudes; "Feathers and Teeth," about a man who attempts to nurse back to health a creature he ran over, by Charise Castro Smith; and "Another Word for Beauty," about incarcerated women set against an annual prison beauty pageant, by Jose Rivera. The festival also features two fully staged workshop productions: Kristoffer Diaz's "The Upstairs Concierge" about a recent graduate who takes a job as a concierge in a hotel that caters to celebrities, and Martin Zimmerman's "The Solid Sand Below," about the transformation of a reluctant army recruit to an enthusiastic soldier. For a schedule, see or call (312) 443-3800.

* Berwyn's 16th Street Theater debuts its seventh season How To Be Good, examining how good deeds are measured and by whom, with a free event from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at the music club Wire, 6815 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn. Ensemble members will perform selections from the 2014 season consisting of four premieres by female writers Laura Jacqmin, Andrea Thorne, EM Lewis and playwright-in-residence Shayne Kennedy. (708) 795-6704, ext. 107 or .

* Jo Feldman, Mike Marunowski and John Loos skewer the pursuit of fame and the disappointment that results from failing to reach it in the sketch comedy show "Pre-Frame," by QuinoaTifah. It opens Saturday, Dec. 7, at The Public House Theater, 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. See .

* TUTA Theatre Chicago presents a free, world premiere staged reading of "This Viking Life" by associate members Sean Ewart and Max Lotspeich at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Tipping its hat to "Sesame Street," fairy tales and National Public Radio, this show with puppets finds host Hiram Glassdottirson traveling through space and time to uncover the best stories Viking Public Radio has to offer. The show is recommended for audiences 8 and older. Admission is "pay-what- you-can" at the door. Email reservation requests to .

* "That's Weird, Grandma: The Holiday Special," featuring holiday theme playlettes written by Chicago Public School students and adapted by Barrel of Monkeys ensemble members, runs at 8 p.m. Mondays, Dec. 9, to Jan. 13, 2014, at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. (312) 409-1954 or .

* Steppenwolf Theatre Company welcomes guests of honor Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale and Julianne Nicholson -- all of whom appear in the upcoming film version of ensemble member Tracy Letts' prizewinning August: Osage County" -- at its fifth annual Steppenwolf Salutes Women in the Arts fundraiser luncheon on Monday, Dec. 9, at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. 120 E. Delaware Place, Chicago. Letts co-hosts the luncheon which features a behind-the- scenes look at the film and a conversation with the honorees moderated by Letts. Tickets start at $200 and are available by phone at (312) 654-5632 or .

* A number of Chicago theaters join together to offer the Holiday Theatre Passport to encourage theatergoers to experience Chicago's alternative holiday shows. Participating are About Face, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., (773) 327-5252; eta Creative Arts Foundation, at 7558 S. South Chicago Ave., (773) 752-3955; Hell in a Handbag Productions, at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St., (800) 838- 3006; The House Theatre of Chicago, at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., (773) 769-3832; Logan Center for the Performing Arts, at 915 E. 60th St., (773) 357-6154, and Commedia Beauregard, at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St., (773) 338-2177. Theatergoers who see all six productions and submit their ticket stubs will be eligible for a drawing to win one of five season subscriptions. The shows are About Face's "We Three Lizas;" eta's "If Scrooge Was a Brother;" Hell in a Handbag's "Christmas Dearest;" The House Theatre's "The Nutcracker;" Logan Center's "Harambee Pre-Kwanzaa Festival" and Commedia Beauregard's "A Klingon Christmas Carol." For information on the passport see .

* Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, has extended its co-world premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' "Appropriate," about three siblings who uncover some disturbing family revelations after their father's death. Performances continue through Dec. 14. (773) 871-3000 or .

* Court Theatre has extended its remount of Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare's "An Iliad," starring Timothy Edward Kane as the Poet recalling the devastating effects of war over several millennia. Performances continue through Dec. 15 at 5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago. (773) 753-4472 or .

* TimeLine Theatre's revival of Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart," directed by Nick Bowling and featuring David Cromer, Mary Beth Fisher and Marc Grapey, has been extended through Dec. 29 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 327-5252 or .

* "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical" has been extended, Broadway in Chicago reports. Performances run through Jan. 5, 2014, at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. (800) 775-2000 or .

* The New Colony has added 6 p.m. Sunday performances through Dec. 15 for its world premiere production of Joel Kim Booster's "Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up," a dark comedy about celebrity running at Collaboraction's Room 300 Theater, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.

* The Chicago Mammals' production "All Girl Frankenstein," the second of the company's three-show All Girl Project, has added performances on Fridays, Dec. 6 and 13, and Saturdays, Dec. 7 and 14, at Zoo Studios, 4001 N. Ravenswood Ave., Suite 205, Chicago. See for information.

* BoHo Theatre will donate 25 percent from sales of 2014 season subscriptions to the Red Cross' disaster relief efforts aiding tornado victims in Illinois and the Midwest. The season includes: "Amadeus," the Adam Guettel musical "Myths and Hymns" and "Parade. For information, see .

-- Barbara Vitello

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