New theaters. Renovated playhouses. Hot dramas. Nervous new artistic directors. Stephen Sondheim and his “Follies.” A celebration of
Three new or newly renovated Chicago theaters are set to open in the coming weeks. The all-new Black Ensemble Theatre on Chicago's North Side opens its doors with "The
And Stage 773 — a venerable
There's nothing new about the historic
From an audience member's perspective, the people doing theater are more important than the space in which it is being done. There, too, the Chicago theater is seeing an uncommon amount of change. New artistic directors are everywhere.
Chay Yew joins
Timothy Douglas at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company is putting his stamp on O'Neill's "Mourning Becomes Electra" (Sept. 21 to Oct. 30 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.; $35-$55, 773-404-7336 or remybumppo.org).
Michael Weber at Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago has adopted the slogan "American musicals. Chicago Style." Porchlight is opening the Stephen Sondheim revue "Putting It Together" on Tuesday (through Oct. 16 at Theater Wit; $38, 773-975-8150 or theaterwit.org).
HEAVY HITTERS AND LIGHTER FARE
Over the last couple of seasons, a trip to the
So Broadway producers looking for new material will instead have to find their way to Skokie, where Northlight Theatre will stage "Snapshots" (Sept. 16 to Oct. 23 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie; northlight.org). This is a revue drawing from the music of that phenomenally successful pop composer Stephen Schwartz ("Wicked, "Godspell," "Pippin"). It's not entirely a new show, but it has been radically retooled, rewritten and reproduced for its Northlight debut.
National attention will also likely land at American Theater Company, where PJ Paparelli will direct "The Amish Project" (Sept. 23 to Oct. 23 at American Theater Company, 1909 W. Byron St.; atcweb.org), Jennifer Dickey's piece about that harrowing day in 2006 when the Amish community of Pennsylvania realized that they could not keep out the violent modern world.
And Lookingglass Theatre, housed in one of the only downtown buildings to survive the Chicago Fire, takes on that inferno with "The Great Fire," a look at how a shining city emerged from embers that would have deterred less hardy souls. (Sept. 21 to Nov. 20 in the
For lighter fare, you might try the off-Broadway comedy "Love, Loss and What I Wore" (Sept. 14 to Oct. 23 at the Broadway Playhouse; broadwayinchicago.com), Nora and Delia Ephron's look at life's joys and travails through our clothes choices.