Spotlight: Suburban theaters celebrate 'Star Wars' aficionados and artist/activist Nina Simone
'Fillet of Solo'
Lifeline Theatre's annual multivenue Fillet of Solo Festival returns for its 22nd year. In addition to solo storytellers, the festival, helmed by artistic director Dorothy Milne and former Live Bait Theater artistic director Sharon Evans, also includes 12 storytelling collectives. Participating artists include: the kates; Sweat Girls, Stir-Friday Night!; Tellin' Tales Theatre; GeNarrations and others.
Performances are at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, and 4, 5:30, 7 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Lifeline Theatre, 6012 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, and Heartland Event Space, 7006 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at Lifeline. Runs through Feb. 2. $10 for single tickets, $50 for an all-festival pass. (773) 761-4477 or lifelinetheatre.com.
First Folio Theatre kicks off the new year with a heist comedy by playwright and ensemble member Joseph Zettelmaier ("The Man-Beast," "The Gravedigger," "Salvage"). "All Childish Things" centers around a group of friends and avid "Star Wars" fans who plot to break into a warehouse and steal collectibles. All's well until greed gets the better of them and the Dark Force emerges. Ensemble member Melanie Keller directs.
Previews at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Jan. 23-25, at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 31st St., Oak Brook. The show opens Jan. 26. $25-$44. (630) 986-8067 or firstfolio.org.
Ariel Richardson (front), Sydney Charles (back left), Deanna Reed-Foster and Melanie Brezill make their Northlight Theatre debuts in "Nina Simone: Four Women."
- Courtesy of Greg Inda
Little girl blue
Northlight Theatre welcomes new artists on stage and off with its production of Christina Ham's "Nina Simone: Four Women." The title is inspired by the jazz singer/songwriter/Civil Rights activist's 1966 song "Four Women," which examines African-American female stereotypes from the point of view of a former slave, a biracial woman, a sex worker, and a strong African-American woman who's withstood a lifetime of oppression and suffering. The production marks director Kenneth L. Roberson's Northlight debut along with the Northlight debuts of lead performers Melanie Brezill, Sydney Charles, Deanna Reed-Foster and Ariel Richardson.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24; 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25; 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26; and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. The show opens Feb. 1. $30-$88. (847) 673-6300 or northlight.org.