SHOWS AND TICKETS
- Magic Show
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- Solo Performance
- Stand-up/Sketch Comedy
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When a terrifying sea monster is spotted off the coast, renowned scientist Professor Aronnax and fellow explorers set out to investigate. They soon find themselves kidnapped and held under the command, and spell, of the mysterious Captain Nemo. As they circle the globe aboard the most advanced submarine the world has never seen, they confront giant squids, bizarre sea creatures, and the monsters that lurk below…and within.
Adapted from Jules Verne's epic adventure exploring the murky perils of the seas, ensemble member David Kersnar invites you to board the Nautilus and "dive! dive! dive!" into this Lookingglass world premiere.
George Bernard Shaw makes his City Lit debut, staged by the director of this past season's hit J.B. Captain Bluntschli, a mercenary soldier who is fonder of chocolates than of bullets, hides in the bedroom of heiress Raina Petkoff while escaping from battle — a development that disturbs her fiancé, Major Sergius Saranoff, a swaggering cavalry officer from the other side. Raina calls Bluntschli "my chocolate cream soldier." Shaw calls Arms and the Man "an anti-romantic comedy." We call it the funniest play ever written about the Serbo-Bulgarian War.
Recommended for ages 13+ due to strong language.
It's 1960 in North Orange, NJ. Clytemnestra and Medea are now housewives with a pill addiction, and Antigone is the teenage girl next door who is in love with a black boy. On the surface, they're seemingly blissful to follow the "rules" of Emily Post, the American author famous for writing on etiquette. But that's just the surface. Then Cassandra, a black working girl, moves into their neighborhood and all routines are interrupted.
Cassandra is determined to finally break the curse of Apollo, the gorgeous and egotistical god who gave her this "gift" of prophecy but made it so no one would ever believe her. He makes it clear his curse is practically indestructible...yet all she must do is convince someone to believe her. Can Cassandra convince them they now have a choice in this modern era? That they don't have to live a doomed existence?
Based on the one-man show that inspired the now classic film, this streetwise musical will take you to the stoops of the Bronx in the 1960s, where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he'd love to be. Featuring an original doo-wop score, this is a tale about respect, loyalty, love, and above all else, family.
A Bronx Tale features music by the Academy Award, Grammy Award, and Tony Award-winning Alan Menken, and lyrics by the Grammy-winning and Oscar and Tony-nominated Glenn Slater. The show is codirected by the multi-Academy Award-winning Robert De Niro and multi-Tony-winning Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Tony nominee Sergio Trujillo.
In the middle of a howling snowstorm, a bus out of Kansas City pulls up at a cheerful roadside diner. All roads are blocked, and four or five weary travelers are going to have to hole up until morning. Cherie, a nightclub chanteuse in a sparkling gown and a seedy fur-trimmed jacket, has been pursued and finally kidnapped by a twenty-one-year-old cowboy with a ranch of his own and the romantic methods of an unusually headstrong bull. Meanwhile the proprietor of the cafe and the bus driver at last find time to develop a friendship of their own; a middle-aged scholar comes to terms with himself; and a young girl who works in the cafe also gets her first taste of romance. Steve Scott directs Bus Stop by William Inge.
Acclaimed Chicago actor Larry Yando returns for his 11th season at Goodman Theatre as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, directed for the sixth year by artistic associate Henry Wishcamper. Dickens' holiday classic is the iconic tale of greedy businessman Ebenezer Scrooge, whose sizable bank account is only matched by his disdain for the holidays. One Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who take him on a spectacular adventure through his past, present and future, helping him rediscover the joys of life, love and friendship. Former cast members include stage and screen notables Jessie Mueller, Joe Minoso, Del Close, Harry J. Lennix, Felicia P. Fields, Raul Esparza, Sally Murphy and Frank Galati.
In downstate Illinois, four sex offenders share a group home where they must negotiate their place in a world that doesn't want them. A man shows up to confront his childhood abuser — but does he want closure or retribution? This provocative new play by Pulitzer Prize-winning ensemble member Bruce Norris pushes moral boundaries as it questions what happens when society deems anyone unworthy of forgiveness.
Downstate is a co-commission and coproduction with the National Theatre of Great Britain. Under the direction of Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon, Downstate will feature an American and British cast and creative team.
It's winter in Minnesota and a Zimbabwean-American family is preparing for the wedding of their eldest daughter. When an unexpected guest arrives and the bride surprises the family by insisting on a traditional African ceremony, pre-wedding stress explodes into a full-on family feud. Fiercely funny, fast-paced, and filled with love, Danai Gurira's Familiar is a brilliant portrayal of a tight-knit family searching to preserve their past while building a new future.
Within every man there is a monster; within every monster, a man. But which is which? An eerie evening of ghost stories crackles to life as Mary Shelley unspools her tale of Victor Frankenstein and his unholy experiment. This Gothic tale of love, horror, and the power to create life — and destroy it — awakens in this visceral, original retelling of Frankenstein.
Fresh from the brain of ensemble member David Catlin, creator of Moby Dick and Lookingglass Alice, comes a galvanic adaptation of this undying story.
By Lopé de Vega
Adapted and directed by Terry McCabe
The greatest play by the greatest playwright of Spain's golden age of drama. Ripped from the 15th century's headlines and set against the backdrop of war for the Spanish throne on the eve of its discovering the New World, the play is the true story of a young woman in the Spanish village, Fuente Ovejuna, who inspires and leads a rebellion against their military governor's sexual exploitation of local women. Laurencia refuses to be a victim when she is attacked and rallies the town to do something, finally, about the oppression that has gone on too long. City Lit's new adaptation premieres in the 400th anniversary of the play's first publication in Spanish.
In the basement of a small evangelical church in southeastern Idaho, a group of young missionaries is preparing to go to the Middle East. When one of the missionaries — a young man — has a crisis of faith on his spiritual journey, it reminds us that faith doesn't come easily, no matter where you look for it.
The Harvest, written by Samuel Hunter and directed by Jonathan Berry, makes its Chicago premiere with the Griffrin Theatre Company.
The only way to find your voice is to use it. Four artists and intellectuals in San Francisco struggle to nurture creative impulse and establish legacy — in both their professional and personal lives. When one discovers the works of a black queer feminist writer from a bygone era, their lives begin to intersect in unexpected ways. In the bold and imaginative world-premiere play How to Catch Creation, playwright Christina Anderson dissects the universal act of creation — creation of life, of family, and of art — to inspire the dreamers and idealists in us all.
To the US-owned factories in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, La Ruta is just a bus. But to the hundreds of women who live, work, and often disappear along the route, it's so much more than that. Inspired by real testimonies, and using live music to evoke factory work and protest marches, La Ruta is a visceral unearthing of secrets buried in the desert and a celebration of the Mexican women who stand resiliently in the wake of loss.
In The Lady Demands Satisfaction, a young maiden, Trothe, learns that her entire inheritance will be forfeit to anyone that bests her in a duel. Trothe must turn to the finest blade anywhere (luckily, her Aunt Theodosia) if she is to save her house and lands. In addition to her aunt, she is helped and hindered by two of her favorite servants — whose well-intentioned meddling could create an international incident when a famous German swordmeister arrives on the scene. True to farcical tradition, identities and intentions are mistaken, comedy and sword fighting ensue, and all get the just ends they deserve (even if they're not the ones the audience expects).
Every memory has a soundtrack of its own. After the death of her husband, a Danish-American woman living in Chicago finds solace in the hauntingly beautiful music of the couple's favorite singer, Billie Holiday. A soulful, music-infused tribute to the legendary torch singer's power to heal and inspire, Lady in Denmark is a passionate meditation on life, marriage, and mortality written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith and directed by Chay Yew.
Ike Holter (Exit Strategy) assembles the vibrant characters from his acclaimed works for a raucous theatrical bash in Lottery Day. Mallory, the matriarch of a quickly gentrifying neighborhood, invites the lonely residents, hardcore activists, and starving artists of her block to what she hopes will go down as a legendary barbecue — thanks to a special surprise. Her mysterious plan to revitalize her community, however, may just be the very thing that tears it apart. In the world premiere of Lottery Day, directed by Lili-Anne Brown, not everyone will go home a winner.
After receiving dozens of productions across the US, Canada, England, and Ireland, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere returns home for the first time with an entirely new production helmed by Ilesa Duncan. Richard Mayhew commits an act of kindness on the streets of London and finds himself trapped in a shadow world beneath the city. Lady Door returns home one day to find her family slain and her life upended. Drawn together by fate — and forces more powerful than they can guess — these two must brave countless trials, uncover the truth behind a dark conspiracy, and face the indomitable Great Beast before they can set things right again. Journey to London Below with a rogues' gallery of liars, outcasts, and assassins on a treacherous quest to awaken the hero within.
Before The Twilight Zone, there was British expatriate John Collier writing humorous stories about the bizarre and fantastical for The New Yorker and sardonic screenplays in Hollywood throughout the first half of the 20th century. In this world premiere adaptation of Nightmares and Nightcaps, an ominous host (Kevin Webb) weaves together Collier's comic tales of love, loss and the mysterious for the audience's delight.
Come to what is sure to be a thrilling and unique night of theatre, and you create it!
Every Saturday night we open our doors at 10PM and accept the first 15 original acts that walk through the door. Scenes, Poems, Dances, Magic Tricks, Stand-Up, Sketch, Improv, Puppets, Songs, Juggling, Mime, Acrobatics and/or General Shenanigans - whatever floats your proverbial boat.
1. All material must be original
2. Performances should be no more than five minutes in length
3. You can't break anything--not yourself, not the theatre--and you can't break any laws
No Shame Theatre focuses on immediacy, originality and brevity. So, whether you're coming to perform, watch or both, together we'll create a show that has never been seen before and will never be seen again.
Golden Globe Award winner Stacy Keach stars as Ernest Hemingway, one of the most celebrated novelists and short story writers of the 20th century in this explosive tour-de-force drama, set during the author's haunted years following his Pulitzer and Nobel Prize honors.
In Pamplona, after the prize comes the pressure. Basking in the glory of career-defining awards — the 1953 Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 — legendary writer Ernest Hemingway insists his best work is yet to come. Five years later, holed up in a Spanish hotel with a looming deadline, he struggles to knock out a story about the rivalrous matadors of Pamplona. But his real battles lie outside the bullfighting arena; in declining health, consumed by his troubled fourth marriage, and tormented by the specter of past glories, he must now conquer the deepening despair that threatens to engulf him.
After a swastika is spray-painted at school, a diverse group of students wrestles with how to bring to the stage a memoir about a reformed white-power skinhead. As the provocative material ignites questions of race, representation, and redemption, the students' collaboration explodes their own biases and notions about whose stories get to be told in America. Inspired by Christian Picciolini's book White American Youth, Radical is written by Matthew Lee-Erlbach and directed by Hallie Gordon.
By Kristine Thatcher
Directed by Terry McCabe
Kristine and Terry have worked together since he directed the Victory Gardens production of Emma's Child, a script you can find in Women Playwrights: The Best Plays of 1994. Kristine has won local, national, and international playwriting awards, including the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. This play is her second commission for City Lit, and was two years in the writing. A woman returns to her grandmother's house for a visit. Suddenly, she must look differently at the safest place she's ever known.
Set in the Ukrainian Holodomor, Abbey Fenbert's Sickle explores Joseph Stalin's Soviet genocide through a man-made famine that killed millions of people. Five female characters struggle against a tyrannical oppressor. Winner of a Jeff Award foe best adaptation and the 2013 Mark Twain Prize for comic playwriting, the powerfully written Sickle is an important reminder of the 1930s genocide.
Strong as steel, fragile as magnolias. The six Southern women of Chinquapin, Louisiana, show more steel than delicacy as they face life's ups and downs together. A home beauty parlor is their gathering place, where they gossip, needle, and jab each other with good-humored zingers. But when push comes to shove, these friends are there for one another, especially in the darkest of times. Robert Harling's hilarious and heartwarming Steel Magnolias inspired the 1989 film which starred Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis and Dolly Parton.
Direct from Broadway comes a Pulitzer Prize-winning collision of race, class and friendship at a pivotal moment in America. A group of friends in a rust belt town has spent their lives sharing secrets and laughs on the factory floor. But when layoffs begin to chip away at their trust, they're pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight. The explosive drama Sweat, written by Lynn Nottage and directed by Ron OJ Parson, is a relevant piece of contemporary drama that makes its Chicago premiere.
In this poetic romance, deep love is challenged by divisive political realities. Jesse, an introspective black playwright, finds his choices called into question when his boyfriend, Neil, a white Black Lives Matter activist, calls him out for his political apathy. As passions and priorities collide, this couple is forced to reckon with issues of race, class, and the bravery it takes to love out loud. Directed by Mikael Burke, This Bitter Earth is written by Harrison David Rivers.
Four young women, one small town, and many different lanes make up the world-premiere drama Twilight Bowl by Rebecca Gilman (Luna Gale). After graduating from a small Wisconsin high school, Sam heads to college on scholarship — but her cousin Jaycee's future isn't looking as bright. As the young women and their friends face adulthood, their local bowling alley becomes a place to celebrate triumphs, confront challenges, and perhaps even forge new identities. With her signature grace, wit, and compassion, Gilman questions the blueprint for a successful life and embraces the unknown on the road ahead.
Without an ending, there can be no beginning. Growing up in an industrial English town, writer and performer David Cale escaped his parents' fraught marriage by singing in his bedroom and tending to the tropical birds in the bird and animal hospital he built in a garden shed — until a tragedy changed everything. Weaving together lushly arranged songs and an intimately detailed portrait of his mother, a charismatic woman trapped by her circumstances, Cale embodies this vivid musical story of transcendence, of connecting to life when adversity is suddenly everywhere.
Directed by Tony Speciale with arrangements and underscoring composed by Matthew Dean Marsh, We're Only Alive for a Short Amount of Time features David Cale as a performer, a playwright, and a songwriter.
Jealousy can drive one wild in William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. Following his celebrated productions of King Lear and Measure for Measure, director Robert Falls reimagines one of Shakespeare's most wildly theatrical tales. A paranoid king accuses his queen of infidelity, setting off a calamitous series of events spanning 16 years. But what begins as tragedy unexpectedly evolves into romantic comedy, filled with song and dance, magic and metamorphosis — and an appearance from Shakespeare's most iconic furry beast.