This month on Chicago’s stages, Aaron Posner and Teller return to Chicago Shakespeare Theater to follow up their Tempest with some darker tricks in Macbeth. Playwright of the moment Ike Holter returns to Jackalope Theatre Company and reunites with Exit Strategy director Gus Menary for a new horror story onstage. Brett Neveu brings a ripped-from-the-Milwaukee-headlines tale to TimeLine, and new plays abound at About Face, Strawdog and First Floor Theater. Broadway in Chicago has a slow month ahead of a busy summer, but if you’re looking for a musical, may we recommend a little Sondheim at BoHo Theatre? Better start laying out your calendars now.
May theater picks
About Face Theatre stages this feminist comedy by Bryna Turner about Mary Woolley, an early 20th-century activist for women’s education and suffrage, and her partner Jeannette Marks. Keira Fromm helms an all-female cast that includes Kelli Simpkins, Aurora Adachi-Winter, Adithi Chandrashekar, Mary Beth Fisher and Emjoy Gavino.
Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s musical adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night follows a collection of moony, mismatched Swedish romantics out on a weekend in the country. The 1973 musical launched a thousand renditions of “Send in the Clowns”; in BoHo Theatre’s revival, directed by Linda Fortunato, it will be sung by two-time Jeff Award winner Kelli Harrington.
A Somali airport shuttle driver in Minneapolis agrees to drive a white teenager to Chicago in this new play by Bennett Fisher, described as “a claustrophobic thriller about privilege, paranoia, and the assumptions we make about one another.” Sam Hubbard, Terence Sims and Eleni Pappageorge make up the cast of Cody Estle’s production.