12 Chicago theater shows to see in September

Theater is back in full swing this month, which means there are plenty of shows to see in Chicago in September
Caroline, or Change
Photograph: Rob Riddle/Ghost Light Headshots Caroline, or Change
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Summer is fading, which can mean only one thing: Theater is back, baby! Clybourne Park author and satirist Bruce Norris debuts a new play about registered sex offenders at Steppenwolf. Feminist musical theatre company Firebrand Theatre revives Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s Civil Rights-era musical Caroline, or Change. Celebrating the novel’s 200th anniversary, the first of several local Frankenstein adaptations jolts to life at Lifeline Theatre. Plus, the city’s latest Broadway tryout swoops into town: a musical adaptation of the classic Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie. No matter what you’re looking for—drama, horror, psychedelia, comedy, drag or a period piece—Chicago stages have something for everyone this month.

September theater picks

Photograph: Joe Mazza
Theater

Radio Golf

icon-location-pin Hyde Park
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An ambitious black real estate developer seeks to “revitalize” his childhood neighborhood in Pittsburgh, putting the area’s vital history at risk. Ron OJ Parson directs the final play in August Wilson’s Century Cycle, starring Allen Gilmore and James Vincent Meredith.

Chopin Theatre
Photograph: Katie Kullen
Theater

Borealis

icon-location-pin River West/West Town
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Armed with an axe and a book on corporate communications, 13-year-old Cozbi fights through the heart of an Alaskan big oil conglomerate to find her missing big brother. Monty Cole directs this satirical, surreal epic from playwright Bennett Fisher for the House Theatre of Chicago.

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Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett
Theater

Frankenstein

icon-location-pin Rogers Park
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A family tragedy spurs Victoria Frankenstein to create a creature that will defy death. Adaptors Robert Kauzlaric and Paul S. Holmquist deliver the first of many Chicago Frankenstein adaptations this season, commemorating the famed novel’s 200th anniversary.

RivendellTheater.VEnue.jpg
Photograph: Joe Mazza
Theater

The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?

icon-location-pin Edgewater
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Man meets goat. Man falls in love with goat. Man’s wife is very upset. Edward Albee’s twisted 2002 play about love in a time of moral hypocrisy receives a storefront revival from Interrobang Theatre.

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Theater

Tootsie

icon-location-pin Loop
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If you don’t already know the plot of Tootsie, this show might not be for you. The production features music from The Band’s Visit composer David Yazbeck (winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Original Score) and stars Santino Fontana from Frozen and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It bows at the Cadillac Palace on its way to Broadway in spring 2019.

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Second Skin

icon-location-pin Wicker Park
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A woman returns home to care for her dying mother and to confront the secret horrors that caused her to flee years ago. This world premiere from writer Kristin Idaszak is being directed by Jess Hutchinson at Wildclaw Theatre, a company that specializes in horror plays.

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Photograph: Rick Aguilar
Theater

The Artificial Jungle

icon-location-pin Lake View
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A bored housewife meets a sexy drifter, and the duo plots to off her husband in a zany ’80s noir pastiche from the late, great Charles Ludlam. Shade Murray directs for Hell in a Handbag Productions, the city’s premiere home for drag parodies.

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Theater

Nell Gwynn

icon-location-pin Streeterville
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One day you’re hawking oranges in the streets of Restoration-era London, and the next you’re a famous actress and the mistress of King Charles II—go figure! Christopher Luscombe directs Scarlett Strallen and Timothy Edward Kane in this period comedy.

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Downstate

icon-location-pin Lincoln Park
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A man turns up at a group home for sex offenders to confront his childhood abuser. Pam Mackinnon directs this world-premiere drama by Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park).

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Indecent

icon-location-pin Sheffield & DePaul
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Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Paula Vogel recounts the true tale of the 1923 Broadway premiere of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance, a lesbian love story that caused a public stir.

Theater

Caroline, or Change

icon-location-pin Wicker Park
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Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s beautiful 2003 musical charts the moral crisis of Caroline Thibodeaux, a black woman working as a maid for a Jewish family in Louisiana in 1963.

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