With May comes celebration of the hardest job on the planet—motherhood.
What better way to say thank you to the woman who facilitated one’s worldly existence than the gift of live theatre? These Chicagoland offerings deserve to be included among this May’s flowers.
MARRIOTT LINCOLNSHIRE THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES
“JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT”
Through May 12
10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire
Don’t let this terrific regional’s company’s “young audiences” moniker get in the way. Chicagoland’s favorite musical for all ages from way, way back plays on the Marriott matinee stage with a fresh approach directed by audience favorite Matt Raftery. A terrific ensemble of instrument-playing actors whizzes through an upbeat retelling of the “Genesis” story with the legendary Andrew Lloyd Weber soundtrack. No doors are closed in this infinitely accessible staging, so there’s no reason for any Joe or Jo not to go, go, go, go.
WRITERS THEATRE GLENCOE
“A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC”
May 1 – July 8
325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
A little-known commonality shared by all mothers is an inexplicable draw to the works of Stephen Sondheim. Who knew? Writers Theatre in Glencoe, that’s who. So all month, and running into the summer is a fresh production of the Sondheim classic farcically examining the intricacies of three couples. For good measure, a mother is called in to save the day and the score includes the lovely, well-known, “Send in the Clowns.” Tickets are on sale now.
AMERICAN THEATRE COMPANY
Through June 27
1909 West Byron Street, Chicago
If there are 529,600 minutes in a year, everyone has 44,640 in the month of May from which to choose roughly 120 to take Mom to see the most popular, edgy, musical-drama of the past 20 years. This new Chicago staging is called “what you’d see at America’s leading progressive theatres.” Indeed, the topic of impoverished young artists and musicians in a New York apartment building under the shadow of HIV/AIDS is deep. But the treatment netted both a Pulitzer and Tony for best musical and enjoyed a 12-year Broadway run. This is one not to be missed.
TIMELINE THEATRE COMPANY
“MY KIND OF TOWN”
Previews May 1-10
Through July 29
615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago
For the risk-taking mom who prefers edgy world premieres to the safe and known, there’s TimeLine Theatre. Playwright John Conroy, who covered the Chicago police torture scandal as a journalist, weaves stories by victims, police officers, prosecutors and families affected by the scandal into a passionate examination of corruption within law and order. Early month previews might offer audiences an opportunity to have a say on what becomes the finished product, premiering May 11.
EMERALD CITY THEATRE/BROADWAY IN CHICAGO
“PINKALICIOUS: THE MUSICAL”
Through May 27
Broadway Playhouse, 175 E. Chestnut Ave., Chicago
Broadway in Chicago is marketing Emerald City Theatre’s production that hilariously, musically answers the dire question: What happens when someone eats one too many pink cupcakes? Of course, she catches Pinkititis, turns pink from head to toe and relies on help from her little brother to get out of the predicament. Moms always like it when siblings work together. This show, based on the popular children’s book by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, is designed especially for families with members ages 3 and up.
Barry Reszel is a Libertyville-based writer, at-home dad and executive director of the not-for-profit entertainment company Liberty Town Productions. www.libertytownproductions.com