Theater in Chicago Summer Calendar 2013: What's on Stage

Theater in Chicago Summer Calendar 2013: What's on Stage
Mary Zimmerman adapts and directs The Jungle Book a new musical coming to the Goodman Theatre June 27

Although in many cities, theaters go dark for summer, take a vacation and get ready for the fall season–not in Chicago. Theater is alive and well in Chicago all year around. Summer visitors and regular Chicago theatergoers can look forward to a range of special summer programming, featuring everything from the latest musicals and highly anticipated world premieres to updated classics. As you will see, Chicago Theater springs into summer without missing a beat.

This summer, a number of notable artists have chosen to work in town for this summer’s theater season including: David Schwimmer, Mary Zimmerman, Rhea Perlman, Keith Huff, Neil LaBute, and Norbert Leo Butz.

Here is a sampling of some of the hot shows on tap for Summer 2013.


The musical Barnum by Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart continues at The Mercury Theater through June 16, 2013.

Ain’t No Crying the Blues (In The Memory of Howlin Wolf)

Black Ensemble Theater’s latest musical, Ain’t No Crying the Blues ( In Memory of Howlin Wolf ), is written and directed by Jackie Taylor and Rueben Echoles. Opens June 1 through August 11, 2013.

fringefestivalThe Chicago Fringe Festival

The Chicago Fringe Festival will stage 50 performances from local and touring groups at various locations in the Jefferson Park neighborhood (formerly in Pilsen). August 29 through September 8.

Head of Passes

Steppenwolf Theatre presents ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney’s world-premiere drama Head of Passes, directed by Tina Landau, through June 9, 2013.


William Petersen and Rae Gray star in Greg Pierce’s Slowgirl, the story of a teenage girl who in the wake of a harrowing accident at a house party in Massachusetts flees to her uncle’s isolated retreat in the Costa Rican jungle to await, or avoid, the repercussions at Steppenwolf Theatre.  July 18 through August 25.

Stella & Lou

Bruce Graham’s new play Stella & Lou at Northlight Theatre is directed by BJ Jones and stars Rhea Perlman (Cheers). Through June 9, 2013.

West Side Story

The sharks and the jets do battle in the hit Broadway tour of West Side Story at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre, June 11 through June 16, 2013.

The Pride

About Face Theatre kick-offs LGBTQ Pride Month with the Chicago premiere of the Olivier Award-winning drama The Pride by Alexi Kaye Campbell, directed by Artistic Director Bonnie Metzgar, playing June 6 through July 13, 2013 at Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.

Speech and Debate

American Theater Company remounts Stephen Karam’s biting comedy, Speech and Debate, about a trio of misfit high-school students who live in Salem, Oregon with Sadieh Rifai, Will Allan, William Patrick Riley and Janet Ulrich Brooks. Through June 9.

The Half-Brothers Mendelssohn

The Strange Tree Group premieres Elizabeth Bagby’s The Half-Brothers Mendelssohn at Signal Ensemble Theatre from June 18 through July 20, 2013.

Othello: The Remix

Shakespeare is spun out and lyrically rewritten over with original beats by the Q Brothers in Othello: The Remix at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Runs through June 15, 2013.


Halena Kays directs the world premiere of Jay Torrence’s Chicago story Ivywild at The Hypocrites. Through June 16, 2013. 1543 W. Division St.

Fight Girl Battle World

InFusion Theatre Company presents the new work, Fight Girl Battle World, a story set in a futuristic universe where humanity is almost non-existent. Fight Girl Battle World will be presented at Theater Wit. Through June 16, 2013.

Henry VIII

Shakespeare’s Henry VIII receives its first production at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, directed by Barbara Gaines. Through June 16, 2013.

The Cat in the Hat

Emerald City Theatre’s production of Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, adapted from the National Theatre in London, runs June 15 through September 1, 2013 at the Broadway Playhouse.

Big Lake Big City

Lookingglass Theatre Company presents Big Lake Big City by Keith Huff and directed by Ensemble Member David Schwimmer. Big Lake Big City runs June 19 through July 28, 2013.

The Misanthrope and Tartuffe

Charles Newell directs The Misanthrope and Tartuffe at Court Theatre The Misanthrope runs through June 16, 2013. Tartuffe runs June 20 through July 14, 2013.

In the Company of Men.

Profiles Theatre premieres the revised stage version of Neil LaBute’s In the Company of Men. Through June 30, 2013.

The Glass Menagerie

Mary Arrchie There Company remounts their re-imagined hit production of Tennessee Williams’ classic play The Glass Menagerie at Theater Wit. Through June 30, 2013.

Blood and Gifts

TimeLine Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of JT Rogers acclaimed Blood and Gifts, directed by Nick Bowling. Through July 28, 2013.


Bailiwick Chicago premieres Mahal, written by Danny Bernardo and directed by Erica Weiss at Stage 773, June 26 through August 4, 2013.


Broadway in Chicago presents Buddy, the true story of Buddy Holly’s meteoric rise to fame and his tragic death. Buddy runs June 18 through June 30, 2013 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.

The Burden of Not Having a Tail

Sideshow Theatre Company concludes its 2012/13 season with the world premiere of The Burden of Not Having a Tail, by Carrie Barrett, directed by ensemble member Megan Smith, playing June 29 through August 4, 2013 at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago. This darkly comical, one-woman tour-de-force features ensemble Karie Miller.

The Jungle Book

Mary Zimmerman adapts and directs the new musical The Jungle Book based on Rudyard Kipling’s time-honored children’s tales. The show, which features music from the classic Disney film, plays at the Goodman Theatre, June 27 through July 28, 2013.

The Book of Mormon

From the creators of South Park comes the hot Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical. The Book of Mormon runs through September 08, 2013 at the Bank of America Theatre. Contains explicit language.

Million Dollar Quartet

The hit musical Million Dollar Quartet continues through September 2013 at the Apollo Theater.


Simpatico comes to A Red Orchid Theatre, opening on the 4th of July.  Through August 25.

The Casuals.

The Jackalope Theatre Company presents The Casuals, a play about American nuclear testing in the ’50s at DCASE Storefront Theater, Gallery 37 Center for the Arts. July 11 through July 28.

First Look Repertory of New Work

Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s eighth annual First Look Repertory of New Work, features three developmental productions of new plays presented in rotating repertory July 29 through August 25, 2013 in the Garage Theatre, 1624 N Halsted.

A complete list of summer offerings is available throughout the year at Chicago Plays.

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