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Chicago theater shows to see this summer

Mark your calendar for these 24 summer highlights on Chicago theaters' stages

Ana VillafaƱe and Josh Segarra of On Your Feet!; Zeke Sulkes and Lindsey Gavel in All Our Tragic; Andrew Goetten and Ethan Warren in Love and Human Remains; the cast of Pippin

Theater in Chicago can slow down a bit in the summer, amid all the music fests, street fairs, ballgames and beach time—and after a winter that seems unwilling to let go (is it warm yet?!), outdoor time—and outdoor drinking—are very necessary. But with more than 200 producing companies in and around the city, there are still plenty of good reasons to spend a few hours in a dark theater—or to see a show under the stars. Here you'll find our guide to 24 promising plays, musicals and theater festivals to keep your eye on this summer.

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24 summer theater picks

Grand Concourse

A volatile young volunteer (Brittany Uomoleale) threatens to upend the careful routine of a nun (Mariann Mayberry) who manages a Bronx soup kitchen in Heidi Schreck's 2014 play. Yasen Peyankov directs the Chicago premiere, which also features Francis Guinan, Tim Hopper and Victor Almanzar.

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Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Lincoln Park Sunday August 30 2015

Loving Repeating

Critics' pick

First produced by Chicago's About Face Theatre and the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2006, Frank Galati and Stephen Flaherty's musical adaptation of the works of Gertrude Stein gets a revival via Kokandy Productions. Allison Hendrix directs.

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Theater Wit, Lakeview Sunday August 30 2015

Stupid Fucking Bird

Critics' pick

Sideshow Theatre Company's hit 2014 production of Aaron Posner's Chekhov riff was one of our favorites of the year. Now it returns for a commercially-backed run, moving downstairs from the Richard Christiansen Theater to Victory Gardens's main stage, with director Jonathan L. Green and the complete original cast intact.

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Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, Lincoln Park Sunday August 30 2015

The Boy from Oz

Pride Films & Plays stages the Chicago premiere of the 2003 Broadway biographical musical about Australian singer Peter Allen, best known in the states as Liza Minnelli's first gay husband.

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Stage 773, Lakeview Sunday August 30 2015

After Miss Julie

Strawdog Theatre Company opens its 28th season with this 2003 adaptation of Strindberg's Miss Julie by the British playwright Patrick Marber (Closer); Elly Green directs.

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Strawdog Theatre Company, Lakeview Until Saturday September 26 2015