Fall Theater Preview: 5 Plays in Chicago You Won’t Want to Miss

Plays in Chicago: "The Taming of the Shrew" at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

The Chicago theater season is in full swing, with a whole slate of plays we’ve never seen before. Even tried-and-true scripts by William Shakespeare and Arthur Miller are showing up in brand-new incarnations.

Honeymoon in Vegas

Through Oct. 15

This Broadway show began its life as a 1992 rom-com about a couple heading to Las Vegas to get married (plans that get complicated when a casino shark falls in love with the bride-to-be). The film’s writer-director, Andrew Bergman, transformed it into a swinging stage musical with a big assist from composer Jason Robert Brown. Marriott’s regional premiere is directed by local Gary Griffin, who also guided the show on Broadway “with exactly the right synthetic-satin touch,” The New York Times said in its rave review. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire, 847-634-0200

The Rembrandt

Sept. 7 to Oct. 22

If you’ve ever been to an art museum, you know the cardinal rule: Don’t touch! But in Jessica Dickey’s play, a handsy guard gets physical with a famous Rembrandt painting, setting off a journey across human history as the play explores the meanings of art, life and death. Hallie Gordon directs this Chicago premiere, which stars Francis Guinan and John Mahoney. Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago, 312-335-1650

A View From the Bridge

Sept. 9 to Oct. 15

In 2015, Belgian director Ivo van Hove reimagined Arthur Miller’s 1955 drama with an energy so raw, it took home Tony Awards for best revival of a play and best director. According to the London Evening Standard, this story about jealousy and betrayal in an Italian neighborhood near the Brooklyn Bridge was “magnetic, electrifying, astonishingly bold,” — and now van Hove brings the show to the Goodman for its local premiere. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, 312-443-3800

The Taming of the Shrew

Sept. 16 to Nov. 12

Plays in Chicago: "The Taming of the Shrew"
The company of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s all-woman production of “The Taming of the Shrew,” directed by Barbara Gaines with additional dialogue by Ron West, in CST’s Courtyard Theater, Sept. 16 to Nov. 12, 2017. Photo courtesy Chicago Shakespeare Theater. From left to right: Top row – Director Barbara Gaines, Heidi Kettenring, Olivia Washington, Lillian Castillo, Tina Gluschenko. Middle row – Alexandra Henrikson, Crystal Lucas-Perry, Hollis Resnik, E. Faye Butler. Bottom row – Cindy Gold, Faith Servant, Rita Rehn, Ann E. James, Kate Marie Smith.

Moving a Shakespeare story into a new historical setting is old hat, but this production takes the idea a step further by depicting “The Taming of the Shrew” as a play within a play. It’s America in 1919, and an all-female cast — suffragettes who have been fighting for women to get the right to vote — is performing Shakespeare’s battle of the sexes. The production is adapted and directed by Chicago Shakespeare’s artistic director, Barbara Gaines, with additional dialogue by Ron West for the framing story. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, 312-595-5600

Quixote: On the Conquest of Self

Sept. 27 to Dec. 17

Plays in Chicago: Henry Godinez in "Quixote: On the Conquest of Self"
Henry Godinez in “Quixote: On the Conquest of Self” (Photo courtesy of Writers Theatre.)

Four hundred years after Miguel de Cervantes wrote his Spanish epic about Don Quixote, a delusional dreamer who thinks he’s a knight on quests of chivalry, the insightful satire continues to fascinate us. This new interpretation, staged by acclaimed Mexican director Claudio Valdés Kuri, stresses the story’s parallels to today’s world. He now brings an English translation to Glencoe for the play’s U.S. premiere, starring Chicago’s own Henry Godinez in the title role. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, 847-242-6000

Other shows worth checking out:

Plays in Chicago: "Trevor: The Musical"
“Trevor: The Musical” (Photo courtesy of Writers Theatre.)


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Robert Loerzel is a freelance journalist who lives in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. His work has also appeared in Playbill and on WBEZ, and he is the author of the book “Alchemy of Bones: Chicago’s Luetgert Murder Case of 1897.”








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