Spotlight: Broken Nose stages sci-fi drama 'After the Blast'
For his new musical, Brian Quijada looked to his mother, whose real-life story about crossing from El Salvador to the U.S. inspired his show "Somewhere Over the Border." Set in the 1970s to a score that pairs rock, cumbia and Mexican mariachi music, the musical combines with Reina Quijada's story of crossing into Mexico and the friends she collected along the way with "The Wizard of Oz." Denise Yvette Serna directs Teatro Vista's premiere.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 13-14, and Wednesday, May 18, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 15, at Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago. The show opens Thursday, May 19. $15-$49.50. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. teatrovista.org.
Broken Nose Theatre continues its 10th season with Zoe Kazan's sci-fi drama "After the Blast." Set generations after a global catastrophe has forced humans into underground cities, the play centers on the efforts of Anna and Oliver to secure government approval to have a child. Things change when Oliver brings home a small robot named Arthur. Ensemble member JD Caudill directs.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 13-14, at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The show opens at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 15. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. brokennosetheatre.com or thedentheatre.com.
Julie Partyka, left, Claire Allegra Taylor, JoAnn Birt and Halle Hoffman star in AstonRep Theatre Company's Chicago premiere of "When We Were Young and Unafraid."
- Courtesy of Derek Bertelsen
Aston Rep Theatre presents the pandemic-delayed, Chicago-area premiere of "When We Were Young and Unafraid," Sarah Treem's play about a woman during the early 1970s who turns her bed and breakfast into a haven for victims of domestic violence. "Treem's play shines a light on the faces of women who fought (each in their own ways) to create lasting and powerful change in America," said director Sara Pavlak McGuire in a prepared statement. "At the same time, this play provides a cautionary tale for today's woman of how close she may be to witnessing an oppression that this generation has not yet seen. We hope it provokes her to continue to fight, whether it be quietly from her home or loudly from the front lines."
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, at The Edge off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave., Chicago. The show opens Saturday, May 14. $10, $20. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (773) 828-9129 or astonrep.com.
In other news
• Emmy Award-winner Richard Thomas stars as Atticus Finch in the national tour of "To Kill of Mockingbird," adapted by Aaron Sorkin from Harper Lee's beloved 1960 novel. Performances begin Tuesday, May 17, at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Also returning to Chicago is the touring production of the Broadway revival "Fiddler on the Roof," with choreography by Hofesh Shechter, based on Jerome Robbins' original choreography. Performances run Tuesday through Sunday, May 17-22, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.
• After a seven-year hiatus, Lookingglass Theatre Company remounts its signature work "Lookingglass Alice," adapted from Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" by David Catlin. Performances continue through July 31 at Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (312) 337-0665 or lookingglasstheatre.org.
• Previews continue for The Second City's 110 main stage revue, 230 W. North Ave., Chicago. The new show opens Thursday, May 19. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required. (312) 337-3992 or secondcity.com.
• Court Theatre continues its season with a revival of August Wilson's "Two Trains Running," directed by resident artist Ron OJ Parson. Previews begin Friday, May 13, at 5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago. Part of Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle, consisting of 10 plays chronicling African Americans' experiences in the U.S. during each decade of the 20th century, "Two Trains Running" is set during the 1960s. It's about the regulars at a diner grappling with their changing neighborhood. The show opens May 21. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (773) 753-4472 or courttheatre.org.
• Janus Theatre co-founder and artistic director Sean Hargadon directs Elgin Theatre Company's "The Tin Woman," a play about loss, family and moving on after a tragedy. Performances run Friday, May 13, through May 29 at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division St., Elgin. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (847) 741-0532 or elgin-theatre.org.
• The seventh annual Belting for Life fundraiser for Howard Brown Health, a health care agency serving members of the LGBTQ+ community, takes place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 16, at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard St., Evanston. More than 20 Chicago-area musical theater veterans will perform, including Joseph Jefferson Award-winners Bethany Thomas and Donica Lynn, J Alan, Mia Nevarez, Desiree Gonzalez and others. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. See theo-u.com.
• The next in Porchlight Music Theatre's Porchlight Revisits series showcasing "lost" musicals is "Passing Strange," about a young musician rebelling against his conservative upbringing by writer/lyricist/composer Stew+ and composer Heidi Rodewald. Performances are at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, and 1:30 and 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (773) 777-9884 or porchlightmusictheatre.org.
• Light and Sound Productions premieres "Seven Days at Sea," about five older lesbian women who meet on a lesbian cruise where they reflect on their lives. Martha Hansen's play is for mature audiences. Previews begin Thursday, May 19, at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway St., Chicago. The show opens May 20. See lightandsoundproductions.org.
• Shattered Globe Theatre hosts its first, in-person soiree since 2019 at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at the Ravenswood Event Center, 4043 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago. The fundraiser includes performances by SGT ensemble members, food and beverages and an auction. Tickets range from $150 to $200. (773) 770-0333 or sgtheatre.org/shatteredsoiree2022/.
• "Disney's Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation," in collaboration with Chicago Autism Network, hosts a sensory-friendly performance at 7 p.m. Friday, May 27, at the Mercury Theatre Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. The modified production includes reduced noise levels, additional house lighting and spaces with minimal stimuli. "In our special sensory-friendly performance, we make even further minor tweaks to ensure the Hundred Acre Wood and the theater environment is an even more welcoming and relaxing place for all," said creator and producer Jonathan Rockefeller. See winniethepoohshow.com.
• Raven Theatre announced its 40th anniversary season will commence with a fresh take on Noel Coward's classic comedy "Private Lives" (Sept. 29-Nov. 13), about a formerly married couple who unexpectedly reunite while honeymooning with their new spouses. Next up is the Chicago premiere of "Right to Be Forgotten" (Feb. 9-March 25, 2023), Sharyn Rothstein's drama about a man who attempts to erase a teenage indiscretion that continues to haunt him thanks to the internet. The season concludes with the Chicago premiere of "The October Storm" (March 11-June 25, 2023), Joshua Allen's tale of a widow and her teenage granddaughter who encounter a troubled Vietnam vet. Performances take place at 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. Subscriptions range from $45 to $100. (773) 338-2177 or raventheatre.com.
• Chicago Children's Theatre announced its 18th in-person season will begin Sept. 9 with a Manual Cinema production titled "Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About a Terrible Monster," based upon the books by Mo Willems about a monster who befriends a scaredy-cat boy. That's followed on Nov. 19 by "The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party," consisting of favorite Potter stories and characters, including Peter Rabbit. In-person performances conclude with "The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show" (April 10-June 4, 2023), about an insatiable caterpillar who munches his way into a butterfly. Performances take place at 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago. CCT's virtual season includes "Walkie Talkies," podcast tours of various Chicago neighborhoods. Other digital offerings will be streamed on CCT's YouTube channel CCTV. See chicagochildrenstheatre.org.