Setting the stage: Notable theater openings for January 19–25

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  • Photograph: Michael Brosilow

    The cast of Griffin Theatre Company's U.S. premiere of Simon Stephens's Punk Rock

  • Photograph: Lee Miller

    Love and Money at Steep Theatre

Photograph: Michael Brosilow

The cast of Griffin Theatre Company's U.S. premiere of Simon Stephens's Punk Rock


We've hardly caught our breath from the first big weekend of 2012 theater (see the Theater section for our reviews from Lookingglass, Chicago Dramatists, A Red Orchid and five more new shows), but here comes another big slate of openings. Check out another U.S. premiere by Simon Stephens (and read my interview with the British playwright); catch David Mamet's latest at the Goodman; or see Court's much-anticipated adaptation of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. All that and more, as they say, is coming this week.

Thursday 19

Accidental Rapture 16th Street Theater
Ten years after grad school, a married couple struggles to reconnect with an old friend after his religious awakening in Eric Pfeffinger’s comedy.

Clutter Greenhouse Theater Center
Los Angeles playwright Mark Saltzman's 2004 work examines the Collyer brothers, who were compulsive hoarders long before A&E came along.

Love and Money Steep Theatre
Dennis Kelly makes the argument that it’s a lot easier to be happy in love if a person is also happy in wealth. His dark comedy receives its Midwest premiere at Steep.

Friday 20

Black Pearl Sings! Northlight Theatre
Northlight regulars E. Faye Butler and Susie McMonagle star in Frank Higgins’s play with music about two women who find friendship through song during the Great Depression.

A Chorus Line Paramount Theatre 
Mitzi Hamilton, the inspiration for Val in the original A Chorus Line production, directs and choreographs the classic musical about a group of dancers hoping they get the job.

Courting Vampires Clockwise Theatre 
Alexandra Main directs the area premiere of local playwright Laura Schellhardt's "Midwestern Gothic" about a pair of sisters facing undead opposition.

Saturday 21

Invisible Man Court Theatre 
Oren Jacoby adapts Ralph Ellison’s classic novel about a young black man’s journey to self-discovery. Christopher McElroen directs the world premiere.

Sunday 22

The Drawer Boy Filament Theatre Ensemble and the Den Theatre 
Michael Healy’s 1999 play reveals the healing power of art when two World War II veterans are forever changed by a young actor who visits them for research.

Punk Rock Griffin Theatre Company 
Griffin continues a season of rebellious youth with Simon Stephens’s drama about the everyday struggles of contemporary British teens. Jonathan Berry directs the American premiere.

Monday 23

The Girl in the Yellow Dress Next Theatre Company 
Carrie Coon stars as an English teacher whose dark past comes to light after she starts up a relationship with a student. Joanie Schultz directs the U.S. premiere by South African playwright Craig Higginson.

Race Goodman Theatre 
Race issues threaten to tear a law firm apart in David Mamet’s drama, premiering in Chicago under the helm of Goodman resident director Chuck Smith.

Wednesday 25

The Feast: an intimate Tempest Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Redmoon and Chicago Shakespeare unite for an intimate, three-actor adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic play utilizing handcrafted puppets, original music and animations.

The Hunchback Variations Opera Theater Oobleck 
Mickle Maher’s 2001 play about a meeting between Beethoven and Quasimodo is adapted into an opera by Mucca Pazza’s Mark Messing.


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