Spotlight: 'Late Nite Catechism,' 'Little Mermaid' and 'Mamma Mia!' return to the stage

  • Rose Guccione stars as the wisecracking Sister in a special May 29 anniversary performance of "Late Nite Catechism."

    Rose Guccione stars as the wisecracking Sister in a special May 29 anniversary performance of "Late Nite Catechism." Courtesy of Nuns 4 Fun

  • Noelle Jay plays bride-to-be Sophie and Max Martin plays her fiance Sky in BrightSide Theatre's revival of "Mamma Mia!"

    Noelle Jay plays bride-to-be Sophie and Max Martin plays her fiance Sky in BrightSide Theatre's revival of "Mamma Mia!" Courtesy of BrightSide Theatre

 
 
Posted5/27/2022 6:00 AM

'Late Nite' deal

Chicago-area theater veteran and Dominican University faculty member Rose Guccione takes on the role of the cantankerous Sister in a special anniversary performance of "Late Nite Catechism." The interactive comedy by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan centers on Sister teaching her peculiar brand of Catholic catechism. A limited number of tickets for this performance will be available at the original 1993 ticket price.

 

2 p.m. Sunday, May 29, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. For this performance only, 29 tickets will be available for $8 through the box office. Other tickets are $35. Proof of vaccination and masking required. (773) 404-7336, greenhousetheater.org or nuns4fun.com.

Under the sea

Music Theater Works' season continues with "Disney's The Little Mermaid." Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen's tale and the 1989 animated film, the musical by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater tells the story of the mermaid Ariel who falls in love with a human and makes a deal with a sea witch to be with her beloved. Joselle Reyes stars as Ariel in the revival codirected by Stacey Flaster and Joshua Castille.

Preview at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 2, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. The show opens June 3. $39-$106. Face masks recommended but not required. (847) 673-6300 or musictheaterworks.com.

ABBA tuner

BrightSide Theatre concludes its 10th anniversary season with "Mamma Mia!" the ABBA jukebox tuner about Sophie, a 20-year-old bride-to-be in search of her biological father who learns through her mother's diary that he could be one of three former suitors. Unbeknown to her mother Donna, Sophie invites all three men to her wedding, hoping one of them will walk her down the aisle. Artistic director Jeffrey Cass directs.

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8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 3-4, and 3 p.m. Sunday, June 5, through June 19 at Meiley-Swallow Hall Theatre, North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville. $28, $31. Face masks required. (630) 447-8497 or brightsidetheatre.com.

In other news

Check with venues regarding COVID-19 precautions.

• Goodman Theatre's Future Labs Series to develop new works continues Saturday, May 28, with a reading of "White Monkey," Charlie Oh's absurdist play about a man who loans white actors to Chinese businesses who want to boost their international prestige. The reading takes place at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Admission is free, but registration is required. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. See goodmantheatre.org/whitemonkey.

• (sub)version productions hosts the pun competition The Chicago Puntathlon -- Redux at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, at The Call Bar, 1547 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. Rounds and rules will be announced at facebook.com/thechicagopuntathlon. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. See subversionproductions.com.

• Free Street opens "57 Blocks," an immersive play examining education, immigration and incarceration helmed by Katrina Dion, Marilyn Carteño and Sebastian Olayo, on Friday, May 27. Performances begin at Pulaski Park, 1419 W. Blackhawk St., Chicago, after which audience members board a bus and travel down Ashland Avenue to The Storyfront, 4346 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago. The play "is an incredibly important culmination of youth voices in a time when our country and school systems are reckoning with social injustices. It's not enough to be an ally, we must be accomplices to youth, and this show shows us what that looks like," said Olayo in a prepared statement. See freestreet.org.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Raven Theatre has extended its Chicago premiere of "The Luckiest," Melissa Ross' drama about a woman diagnosed with a terminal illness and how she, her mother and her best friend cope with the news. Performances run through June 26 at 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (773) 338-2177 or raventheatre.com.

• The Tony Awards Committee announced recently that Chicago's Court Theatre, now in its 67th season, will receive the 2022 Regional Theatre Tony Award, which is accompanied by a $25,000 grant. The regional Tony honors a nonprofit professional regional theater company in the United States that has displayed a continuous level of artistic achievement contributing to the growth of theater nationally. The award "belongs to the Court community, the South Side community, and the University of Chicago community," said artistic director Charles Newell in a prepared statement. "It belongs to everyone who has fought to see themselves onstage. And belongs to everyone who has been moved by the power of storytelling. That is why we do what we do." Court is the sixth Chicago theater to be so recognized, following Lookingglass Theatre Company (2011), Chicago Shakespeare Theater (2008), Victory Gardens Theatre (2001), Goodman Theatre (1992) and Steppenwolf Theatre (1985).

• The Rhapsody Theater, formerly known as the Mayne Stage, is set to open in June at 1328 W. Morse Ave., Chicago. Physician and illusionist Dr. Ricardo T. Rosenkranz, of "The Rosenkranz Mysteries," will serve as artistic director and managing partner for the space. Performances are scheduled to begin this summer. See rhapsodytheater.com.

• For its 26th season, taking place at 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago, TimeLine Theatre will stage two premieres and a revival. The 2022-2023 season opens Aug. 11 with the premiere of "Campaigns, Inc.," ensemble member Will Allan's dramedy -- developed through Timeline's Playwright's Collective. Inspired by the true story of Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker, the first political campaign consultants, it's about the fantastical smear orchestrated during the 1934 California gubernatorial race between novelist Upton Sinclair and Frank Merriam. That's followed by a revival of "Trouble in Mind" (Nov. 10-Dec. 18), Alice Childress' backstage drama/satire set in the mid-1950s about the conflict between a Black actress starring in an anti-lynching drama and her white director over his interpretation of the play. The season concludes with the premiere of "Boulevard of Bold Dreams" (Feb. 16-March 26, 2023), LaDarrion Williams' drama about race, class and gender in 1940s Hollywood. Flex pass subscriptions range from $74.50 to $178. (773) 281-8463, ext. 6, or timelinetheatre.com.

• Remy Bumppo Theatre Company celebrates the resilience of the human spirit during its 2022-2023 season consisting of plays about people whose life journeys take unexpected turns. The season begins Oct. 12 with "Routes," Rachel De-lahay's drama about immigrants in conflict with the law who are struggling to get home. That's followed by a revival of Nilo Cruz's "Anna in the Tropics" (Feb. 8-March 19, 2023) about a lector who in 1929 reads Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" to cigar factory workers whose passions bubble up as the story progresses. The season concludes with "God's Spies" (April 5-May 14, 2023), Bill Cain's 1603-set play about a famous playwright who, when a plague afflicts London, is forced to quarantine with a lawyer and a sex worker. Performances take place at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Season subscriptions and flex passes available. (773) 244-8119 or remybumppo.org.

• The Opera Festival of Chicago opens its second season on July 8 with Gioachino Rossini's "L'inganno felice" (The Fortunate Deception)" at the Athenaeum Center, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. That's followed on July 15 with "Tebaldi@100," a tribute to Italian soprano Renata Tebaldi, at Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. The season concludes July 22 with Giuseppe Verdi's "Il Corsaro" at Cahn Auditorium, Northwestern University, 600 Emerson St., Evanston. See operafestivalchicago.org.

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