* The Side Project kicks off its 14th season with "It Comes In," a free, eight-day festival showcasing seven short, site-specific plays lasting about seven minutes. All of them will be performed each night in succession in and around the location of Jarvis and North Greenview avenues in Chicago. Locations for the site-specific performances include the Side Project basement, courtyard and parking lot; under the el tracks, in the Poitin Stil bar, outside Towbar restaurant and in a laundry room of a nearby apartment. Audiences will meet at the Side Project Theatre at 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. Playwrights include Brooke Allen, Randall Colburn, Stephen Murray and Allison Shoemaker among others. Performances continue through Thursday, Aug. 29. All seven plays run each night. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. (773) 340-0140 or thesideproject.net. The season continues Oct. 20, with the company's storytelling festival "The Kindness of Strangers." Up on Jan. 3, 2014 with a double-bill of plays by German writer/director Franz Xaver Kroetz. "Through the Leaves" is about a female butcher and her lover. "Request Concert" is a solo show about one woman's lonely night. The season continues on March 27, 2014, with a world premiere coproduction with Tympanic Theatre Company of Dan Caffrey's "Sandalwood," about modern ghost towns. A two-show repertory series examining memory and longing begins June 1, 2014 with Kathleen Tolan's "What to Listen For," an examination of modern classical music through encounters with some famous classical music renegades and "Hello Failure," by Kristen Kosmas, about a woman who spends the day with a submarine inventor who died 150 years ago. The season concludes in August 2014 with two shows in repertory featuring Christine Whitley's "Miles Away," about a pair of co-dependent pool hustlers and "Mike and Seth," about a pair of childhood friends on the night before one of them gets married.
* The Second City brings its "best of" show to Fox Valley Repertory this weekend. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 23-24, at 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. (630) 584- 6342 or foxvalleyrep.org.
* Profiles Theatre opens its 25th anniversary season with the Midwest premiere of Rhett Rossi's "In God's Hat." Directed by artistic director Joe Jahraus and starring co-artistic director Darrell W. Cox and Larry Neumann Jr. who play estranged brothers, one of whom is picked up by the other on the day he's released from prison. Previews begin Friday, Aug. 23, at the main stage at 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago. The show opens Wednesday, Aug. 28. (773) 549- 1815 or profilestheatre.org.
* Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Ind., presents mentalist Marc Salem in "Mind Over Munster" at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, and 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. See theatreatthe center.com.
* Magician and House Theatre of Chicago company member Dennis Watkins performs a magic set that includes Houdini's escape from the water torture cell at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, as part of the Chicago Park District's Magic on the Midway celebration. The free event takes place at the Hyde Park Midway Plaisance Ice Rink, 1130 Midway Plaisance North, Chicago. See denniswatkins.net.
* Redmoon continues its free summer performance summer series from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at Fuller Park, 331 W. 45th St., Chicago. The event features emcee Lamar Jordan and performers DJ Such and Such, Jose Olivarez, Noname, Fatimah and the Bucket Boys along with Redmoon's latest invention, a 16-foot-tall mobile soapbox and speaker system complete with DJ booth, drum kit, slide and other elements. For more information, see redmoon.org.
* Cock and Bull Theatre hosts a back yard bash benefit from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at 1664 N. Ada St., Chicago. Admission is $25, $35 at the door, and includes an array of beer, cocktails and other beverages. See cockandbull theatre.org.
* Filament Theatre Ensemble welcomes New Orleans pianist and composer Tom McDermott, formerly of the Dukes of Dixieland, at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The concert is part of Filament's special programming. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. (773) 270-1660 or filamenttheatre.org.
* Short Story Theatre welcomes back former columnist and radio host Judy Markey at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 27, and 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at the Cellar Gate, 524 Sheridan Road, Highwood. Performing along with Markey is Susan Block, Denise Kirshenbaum and Rick Leslie. (847) 748-8086 or shortstorytheatre.com.
* Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre has extended for the second and final time, its production of "A Cole Porter Songbook" showcasing more than 30 songs by the composer of such standards as "I Get A Kick Out of You" and "Let's Misbehave." Performances continue through Sept 15, at No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. (800) 595-4849 or theo-u.com.
* Silk Road Rising's Midwest premiere of Jonas Hassen Khemiri's "Invasion" has been extended. Performances continue through Sept. 15, at the Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St., Chicago. (312) 857-1234, ext. 201, or silkroadrising.org.
* "Simpatico," Sam Shepard's dramedy set in the world of thoroughbred horse racing and starring Michael Shannon ("Man of Steel," "Boardwalk Empire") and Guy Van Swearingen, has been extended. Performances continue through Sept. 15, at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago. (312) 943-8722 or aredorchidtheatre.org.
* Lifeline, Raven, The Side Project, Theo Ubique and BoHo theaters have joined forces again to offer a $50 five-show flex pass. The pass is good for one adult or children's show anytime during the season at each of the participating Rogers Park, Chicago theaters. It also includes dining discounts at neighborhood restaurants including Act One Pub, The Heartland Cafe, MorseL, R. Public House and Towbar. It is available for purchase online at rogersparkflexpass.com or at participating theater box offices: Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., (773) 761-4477; BoHo Theatre at the Heartland Studio, 7016 Glenwood Ave., (773) 975- 8150; Raven Theatre 6157 N. Clark St., (773) 338-2177; The Side Project, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave., (773) 340-0140; and Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, at No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave., (773) 347- 1109.
* Pride Films and Plays announced the six finalists whose plays will be presented in staged readings during the company's annual Women's Work Festival, running Sept. 13-15 at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The plays include "Let All Mortal Flesh" by Pat Montley; "Sweetwater" by Christina Hulen; "The Green Door" by Gail Hackston; "180 Degree Rule" by Eileen Tull and "Moon Dancers" by Mary Steelsmith. See pridefilmsandplays.com. Also Pride Films and Plays executive director David Zak recently welcomed new artistic ensemble members actor David Leeper, actor James Nedrud, music director Robert Ollis and lighting designer Raphael Schwartzman.
-- Barbara Vitello
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