July theater picks
How would one spice up Sir Philip Sidney’s 16th-century pastoral romance The Arcadia for modern audiences? A book from Avenue Q author Jeff Whitty doesn’t hurt, and neither does tossing in songs from The Go-Go’s. Fresh off its run on Broadway, this Chicago premiere promises gender-bending romance spiked with lots of laughs.
In 1982, Gary Sinise’s production of Sam Shepard’s True West—starring young unknowns Jeff Perry and John Malkovich—put Steppenwolf on the map. Now the Lincoln Park theater is reviving the show with actors Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood taking over the roles of Hollywood screenwriter Austin and his vagrant, thieving brother, Lee.
In this surreal thriller from Alistair McDowall, a woman searches for her missing sister across a dark, eldritch urbanscape. Things start weird and then get much weirder. Director Robin Witt helmed McDowall’s Brilliant Adventures at Steep Theatre back in 2015, and this followup is likely to be the surprise D&D-inspired hit of the summer.
In 2017, the staff at the Cambria Hotel were shocked to discover a long forgotten theater hidden behind their walls. Two years later, the newly renovated space is being christened by Love, Chaos & Dinner, a circus/comedy/cabaret confection from Seattle-based troupe Teatro ZinZanni. The show is performed inside a Belgian mirror tent and features a menu from Debbie Sharpe of The Goddess and Grocer.