* Oracle Productions presents a limited run of "Obscura," featuring magician Christian Cagigal, as part of its B*Sides series. Cagigal performs his up close magic/theater hybrid at 8 p.m. through Sunday, June 2, at 3809 N. Broadway, Chicago. Admission is free but donations are accepted. See publicaccesstheatre.org.
* Previews begin Friday, May 31, for Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre's "A Cole Porter Songbook," directed by Fred Anzevino and choreographed by David Heimann. Done in a 1940s/1950s style, the show marks the company's 10 cabaret show examining the work of a single composer. It opens Thursday, June 6, at No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. (800) 595-4849 or theo-u.com.
* Redtwist theatre debuts Dark Red, a new late night series examining relationships on Friday, May 31, with "Dates from Hell," by new resident playwright Scott Woldman, who is also the resident playwright at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights. The play marks the first on Woldman's "Luv Cycle" chronicling a relationship from courtship to marriage to divorce to dating. Performances are at 10:30 p.m., at 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago. Also debuting at redtwist, is the company's new off-night play series titled More Red and showcasing rare works by up and coming and established playwrights. The inaugural performance of Christopher Hampton's "Treats" is at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1. (773) 728-7529 or redtwist.org.
* Rick Stone, of the film "Cooley High," reprises his performance as blues legend Howlin' Wolf in Black Ensemble Theater's reworked script for "Ain't No Crying the Blues (In Memory of Howlin' Wolf)." Previews begin Saturday, June 1, at 4450 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens Sunday, June 9. (773) 769-4451 or blackensemble.org.
* Lookingglass Theatre hosts its 12 annual Madhatter's Ball fundraiser, titled "The Madhatter's Speakeasy" from 9 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, June 1, at Venue One, 1044 W. Randolph St., Chicago. The dress code is described as "chic criminal cocktail" for the fundraiser which includes cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, live entertainment, DJs and dancing and a silent auction. Tickets are $85 and $150. They're available by phone at (312) 337-0665 or online at lookingglasstheatre.org/events.
* Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, opens its campy, silly, "A Batman Burlesque" which debuted at the theater's suburban venue last year. It centers on the Dynamo Duo's attempts to rescue Batgirl from The Riddler. It runs at 11:59 p.m. Saturdays, beginning June 1. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.
* Bohemian Theatre Ensemble announces its 10th anniversary, 2013- 2014 season at a special reveal party from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at Justin's Bar, 3358 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. (773) 791-2393 or bohotheatre.com.
* On The Spot Theatre Company presents three one-act plays by its artistic director Mike Brayndick and Emma Brayndick examining love in the modern era, under the title "Love to the Third Power" at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, June 3-4, and June 10-11, at Rivendell Theater 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago. A quirky cafe owner philosophizes in "Only You Can Think That." An astronomer falls for a secretary during lunchtime at the Art Institute of Chicago in "Fragments from the Permanent Collection." and college students working in a bookstore navigate falling in love in the coming-of- age tale, "Shifts."
* Pride Films & Plays salutes Tony Award nominated songs that didn't win the coveted statuette during its annual benefit "And The Winner Wasn't," on Tuesday, June 4, at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St., Chicago. $20. (773) 250-3117 or pridefilmsandplays.com. Also, Pride Films & Plays recently announced that Martin Casella's play "Directions for Restoring the Apparently Dead" as the winner of its 2013 Great Gay Play Contest.
* Dream Theatre Company presents a double bill of plays about redemption by Chicago playwright Jeremy Menekseoglu beginning Thursday, June 6, at 556 W. 18th St., Chicago. "The Ballad of Little Duck" is about a broken man forced to relive his past after his baby is taken away and his girlfriend abandons him. In "The Samaritan Syndrome" -- in its world premiere -- a man visits the women's ward of a mental hospital (which doubles as a brothel) to find the girl he believes rescued him from his childhood demons. (773) 552-8616 or dreamtheatrecompany.com.
* Previews begin Thursday, June 6, for About Face Theatre's Chicago area premiere of "The Pride," a time-shifting play by Alexi Kaye Campbell which chronicles the evolution of the gay rights movement through two love triangles set in 1958 and 2008. The show opens June 13, at the Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, under the direction of About Face artistic director Bonnie Metzgar. (773) 871-3000 or aboutfacetheatre.com.
* Theater Oobleck, The Neo-Futurists, Steep Theatre Company, Mad Shak Dance Company and Manual Cinema are among the ensembles taking place in the vaudeville-inspired Pivot Multi-Arts Festival running from Thursday, June 6, to Friday, June 22, in Chicago's Uptown and Edgewater neighborhoods. Performance locations include Senn High School, 5900 N. Glenwood Ave.; Burke's Public House, 5401 N. Broadway Ave.; FLATStheatre, 1050 W. Wilson Ave.; Uncommon Ground 1401 W. Devon Ave; 6018 North, 6018 N. Kenmore Ave. and Essanay Studio's at St. Augustine College, 1333-45 W. Argyle St. The top ticket price is $15 per event. Some events are free. (773) 609-0782 or pivotarts.org.
* The comedy group Butch LaRue presents its new show "Butch LaRue Presents: Craft Beer and Relationchips" runs at 9:30 p.m. Saturdays, through June 8, at the Public House Theatre, 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. See butchlarue.com for information.
* The ever vigorous "Million Dollar Quartet" last week became the longest running Broadway musical in Chicago area history after celebrating five years, 1,949 performances and 500,000 tickets sold. Tickets are on sale through Sept. 1, at the Apollo Theatre, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 935-6100 or milliondollarquartetlive.com.
* Children ages seven to 14 receive a free ticket to Mercury Theater Chicago's production of the circus-themed musical "Barnum," with the purchase of an adult ticket. The show stars Gene Weygandt as the titular showman, Cory Goodrich as his wife and Summer Naomi Smart as the singer, Jenny Lind. Performances run through Sunday, June 16, at 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. (773) 325-1700 or mercurytheaterchicago.com.
* Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre has announced its 2013-2014 season which begins with Terrence McNally's play "Master Class" (Oct. 11- Nov. 24), about opera legend Maria Callas. That's followed by the company's holiday show, "A Very Merry Madrigal" (Nov. 16-Dec. 22). Theo Ubique begins 2014 with its January Cabaret consisting of four, weekend-only show featuring new works and old favorites. Artistic director Fred Anzevino directs a revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Passion" (March 7-April 27, 2014). The season concludes with "A Musical Tribute to the Andrews Sisters" (June 13-Aug. 3, 2014) directed and choreographed by David Heimann. Season subscriptions are available at the box office at 6970 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, beginning in June. (773) 347-1109 or theo-u.com.
* As part of its recently announced eighth season, UrbanTheater Company presents a pair of Midwest premieres. The season opens Sept. 16, with Candido Tirado's "First Class" about two brothers with different ideas of what their future should be. It's followed by the spring 2014 production of "Devil Land," Desi Moreno-Penson's darkly comic fairy tale about a childless couple who kidnap a young girl, whose imaginary friend comes to her assistance. Performances take place at 2620 W. Division St., Chicago. (312) 239-8783 or urbantheaterchicago.org.
* Steppenwolf for Young Adults opens its 2013-2014 season on Oct. 16 with Nigel Williams' adaptation of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" about the savagery a group of young boys resort to after they're stranded on a remote island. The Hypocrites Halena Kays directs. Hallie Gordon directs the February 2014 production of Deborah Zoe Laufer's "Leveling Up," about a 20-something video game enthusiast who uses his skills to get a job with the National Security Agency where he discovers that online battles have real world consequences. Performances take place at 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Tickets available at the box office, by phone (312) 335- 1650 or online at steppenwolf.org.
* Chicago Opera Theater opens its 2014 season with the Chicago premiere of Duke Ellington's "Queenie Pie" (Feb. 15-23, 2014), inspired by the life of Madam C.J. Walker, the African American millionaire who made her fortune by developing and selling a line of hair and beauty products. It runs at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago. On May 31, 2014, COT presents a double-bill of Carl Orff's "Die Kluge (The Clever One)" and Viktor Ullmann's "Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Emperor of Atlantis)" a pair of satires about oppression and dictatorship, at the Merle Reskin Theatre of DePaul University, 60 E. Balbo Ave., Chicago. The season concludes with Ernest Bloch's "Macbeth" (Sept. 13-21, 2014) inspired by Shakespeare's tragedy and running at the Harris Theater. Season subscriptions are available beginning July 1. Individual tickets go on sale on Jan. 6, 2014. They're available by phone at (312) 704-8414 or online at chicagooperatheater.org.
* Redmoon Theatre recently received a $250,000 grant from ArtPlace America to fund its Great Chicago Fire Festival to be presented in October, 2014 in partnership with the city of Chicago. Redmoon's application was one 54 organizations selected from more than 1,200 applications considered by ArtPlace which helps funds organizations helping to revitalize communities through public art and spectacle productions. "The ArtPlace grant is a significant endorsement of Redmoon's work and Jim Lasko's vision fro this new urban festival, which will highlight the city's cultural assets and allow Chicagoans ... to enjoy the Chicago River, one of our greatest natural assets," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a prepared statement.
-- Barbara Vitello
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
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