1. THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION.
TV or not TV that is the question. Can a hay-seed farm boy from South Dakota outsmart a RCA CEO to claim his rights to the invention of television. This award winning show by Aaron Sorkin, presented by one of Chicago’s nationally acclaimed theaters, examines this historic true story. Hurry, it’s been extended but must close July 24. Timeline, 615 W. Wellington, 773 281 8463. www.timelinetheratre.com
How Sweet it is. If you were around in the ’60’s for the blockbuster movie, Some Like It Hot, with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe you know a little about what to expect from Sugar. Two struggling male musicians witness what appears to be the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and go to extremes to get away from the mob. Some of their hilarious misadventures include cross-dressing and joining an all-female band. Check it out at the Drury Lane Oakbrook. 630 530 0111. www.drurylaneoakbrook.com Through August 1.
3. BLUE MAN GROUP.
These guys have been on the Chicago scene for so long they are blue in the face. The show features performance theater with lots of drumming, audience participation and blue men. Good for all ages and fun for out of town guests. If you’re a water person, sit in the front few rows where you will be given ponchos to protect you from getting soaked. Go drunk or sober or anywhere in-between. There’s got to be a reason this show is still hanging around since the last century. Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted,773 348 4000. www.blueman.com Open end.
4. BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL.
Can a small boy from a poor, tough mining town in England make it as student at the Royal
Ballet School of London? This touching story with unbelievable dancing is sure to entertain and even bring a tear or two to the eyes of the most unsentimental. Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre. 24 W. Randolph. 800 775 2000.
5. FUERZA BRUTA: LOOK UP.
Watch out up above, there’s trouble in the air. A man is running full throttle suspended in the air on a giant treadmill, people are floating in a vast sea of cloud-like mylar, and who are those sexy ladies twisting above in that see-through pool? This heart-pounding 70-minute spectacular from the creators of the worldwide sensation De La Guarda is a one-of-a-kind experience that puts the audience in the center of the action. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress. 800 775 2000.
6. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE.
Written in 1947 when there actually were streetcars, this Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tennessee Williams, has taken on a new life at Writer’s Theater revival about which Wall Street Journal theater critic, Terry Teachout, says is even better than the Broadway revival. Writers’ Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. 847 242 6000. www.writerstheatre.org Extended through August 1.
7. KILLER JOE.
Playing to sell out crowds since January 2010, this Tracy Letts original written in 1991, when the Pulitzer Prize-winning author was a mere young lad, played in Chicago in 1993, around the country, and now is back in Chicago for a new look. First at Profiles, now at the Royal George, the unlikely story of a sexual predator and cop for murderous hire is enjoying a welcoming homecoming, having walked away with the Jeff Awards for best actor in a principal role (Darrell W. Cox), best director (Rick Snyder), and best-production. Royal George Theatre Center, 1641 N. Halsted St. 773 549 1815. Through July 1
This adaptation of the urban fantasy novel (and TV-mini series), Neverwhere, brings alive the London underground in all of its eerie glory. Expect wild costumes, special puppets and a wonderfully vivid, somewhat scary production. Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. www.lifelinetheatre.com Through July 18.
9. TAMING OF THE FLU.
Even though it’s no longer flu season, this Second City Mainstage Revue may make you sick
from laughter–that is if you think “sick humor” is funny. Although Taming of the Flu is an open-run it’s been around since December 2009 and a new title is about to be announced, so don’t delay if you want to see this one. Second City, 1616 N. Wells, www.secondcity.com 312 337 3992.
10. THE DROWSY CHAPERONE.
Although I haven’t seen it, this spoof of a 1920’s song-and-dance frolic, is getting a lot of good buzz from the audiences at The Marriott Theatre. The theater-in-the-round has a good reputation for putting together quality entertainment and has a loyal subscription base. This Chicago-area premiere production is choreographed and directed by multi-Jeff Award winner Marc Robin. The Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. www.marriottheatre.com 847 634 0200. Through June 27.
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