Theater Commitment Issues? TV Guide to Choosing Wisely

Want a guaranteed date night? Then put aside the remote, get off the couch and treat yourself to live theater.


Now is when 2010-2011 seasons are announced, so it’s the ideal time to lock in good seats at the best prices—some 25 and even 30 percent less than single performance tickets.

But which theater to choose? Start with your favorite TV program to find your perfect stage match.

“Lost” = Steppenwolf
If the completion of “Lost,” is making you anxious, consider Steppenwolf and its edgy, enigmatic dramas. For the 2010-11 season, the plays explore the conflict between our public and private selves and include:

  • “Detroit,” a new play by Lisa D’Amour Sept. 9 to Nov. 7
  • “Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” from Dec. 2 to Feb. 6
  • Laura Eason’s “Sex with Strangers” Jan. 20 to May 15 (Upstairs Theatre)
  • Lanford Wilson’s “Hot L Baltimore” March 24 to May 29
  • “Middletown,” a new play by Will Eno June 16 to Aug. 14

Only Steppenwolf would schedule “Virginia Woolf” during the winter holidays!

1650 N. Halsted, Chicago
Five play subscriptions start at $135

“Glee” = Light Opera Works
If “Glee” is your cup of tea, then look at Light Opera Works, its 2010-11 season includes favorites:

  • Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Yeoman of the Guard” June 4 through 13
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” Aug. 14 to 29
  • Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones’s two person musical “I Do! I Do!” Oct. 4 to Nov. 14
  • Jerry Herman’s “Hello Dolly!” Dec. 26 to Jan. 2.

You’ll leave the theater humming.

Light Opera Works
Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson on Northwestern’s Evanston campus
Four show series start at $99 per person

Mad Men = Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Laurel-laden “Mad Men,” is set in the early 1960s at an advertising agency and accurately recreates the intrigues, overt sexism and bigotry of that time and place. If you enjoy that beautifully produced show, the polished productions of Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the twists and turns of the Bard’s plots will meet your standards. The 2010-11 season includes:

  • Shakespeare’s  “Romeo and Juliet” Sept. 15 to Nov. 14
  • “As You Like It” from Jan. 5 to March 6
  • Alan Bennett’s “The Madness of George III” April 13 to June 12

Oh those Brits, they charm us every time.

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre
800 E. Grand Ave. on Navy Pier, Chicago
A three-play subscription starts at $120

The Sopranos = Next Theatre Company
If you liked the murders and family intrigues of “The Sopranos,” you’ll love Next Theatre Company’s 30th anniversary season. The theater does only new shows or Chicago-area premieres and its 2010-11 selections are full of dead bodies, convicted murderers and psychopaths.

  • Dominic Orlando’s “Danny Casolaro Died for You” Oct. 14 to Nov. 14
  • Motti Lerner’s “Benedictus” Jan. 20 to Feb. 20
  • The Phyllis Nagy Project March 31 through May 8, presents two plays by the English playwright: “Butterfly Kiss” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley” with the playwright herself in residence and directing the first play.

The Mafia has nothing on the guys in these shows.

Next Theatre Company
927 Noyes Street in Evanston’s Noyes Cultural Arts Center
Subscriptions for four plays begin at $125 or choose three plays for $85
847-475-1875, ext. 2

The Office=Attic Playhouse
If “The Office” tickles your funny bone, then see what’s happening at Attic Playhouse in Highwood. For more than a decade this tiny 94-seat theater has been lacing their season with comedies, such as “My Three Angels,” “Harvey,” “Enter Laughing,” “Lost in Yonkers” and “The Odd Couple.”  The 2010-11 season has not yet been announced, but check or call 847-433-2660 to be put on the theater’s contact list.

Laughter is good medicine.

Attic Playhouse
410 Sheridan Road, Highwood

PBS Fan = Northlight Theatre
If you are a fan of PBS musicals, dramas, Sound Stage and documentaries on WTTW 11, then take a look at Northlight Theatre’s new and nicely varied line-up:

  • “Daddy Long Legs” from Sept. 16 to Oct. 24
  • “A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration” Nov. 11 to Dec. 19
  • “Eclipsed,” a drama about survival during the Liberian civil war Jan. 13 to Feb. 20
  • “Sense and Sensibility,” from March 10 to April 17
  • “The Outgoing Tide,” a world premiere starring John Mahoney

Keep connected to this eclectic, brainy bunch.

Northlight Theatre
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Subscriptions run from $99 to $230

Afraid you won’t be able to use all your tickets? Not a problem.

  • Donate unused tickets back to the theater.
  • Most theaters allow subscribers to change dates without penalty.
  • Donate tickets to your favorite charity and auction them on

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