17 theater shows to see this fall

These 17 plays and musicals are the fall theater shows to see

Smokefall; The Magic Flute; King Lear; Sweeney Todd; Great Expectations

The beginning of the fall theater season continues to creep backward into August, with terrific new shows already up and running, including the Hypocrites' epic All Our Tragic and Sideshow Theatre Company's Stupid Fucking Bird. But as we enter the post–Labor Day season, it's time to look ahead to what's new and necessary in the next few months—including highly anticipated performances like Larry Yando's turn in King Lear and tantalizing new works such as Nambi E. Kelley's adaptation of Native Son. Here's what we're most intrigued by on Chicago stages this fall.

RECOMMENDED: Your guide to fall in Chicago

Great Expectations

Critics' pick

Strawdog's stirring new adaptation of Dickens's novel earned the No. 3 slot on Time Out Chicago's list of the best plays of 2013. Director Jason Gerace returns for a remount this fall.

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Strawdog Theatre Company

Buddy Cop 2

Set in small-town Indiana in the 1980s, this 2010 piece by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen's of NYC's The Debate Society is a quirky tale of cops, cancer and Christmas cheer with a slightly sinister bent. In other words, don't fret over missing Buddy Cop 1. Cassy Sanders directs Pavement Group's Midwest premiere, with a cast featuring Cyd Blakewell, Joe Zarrow, Gabe Franken and Leah Raidt.

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Theater Wit Until Sunday December 21 2014