Spotlight: Felicia P. Fields celebrates the blues in Writers Theatre's premiere

  • Felicia P. Fields, seen here in Writers Theatre's 2019 revival of "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," stars in the premiere of "Pearl's Rollin' With the Blues."

    Felicia P. Fields, seen here in Writers Theatre's 2019 revival of "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," stars in the premiere of "Pearl's Rollin' With the Blues." Courtesy of Michael Brosilow

 
 
Posted6/24/2022 6:00 AM

Writers premiere

Felicia P. Fields and director Ron OJ Parson, who last collaborated on Writers Theatre's revival of "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," reunite for the world premiere of "Pearl's Rollin' With the Blues: A Night With Felicia P. Fields." Created by Fields and Parson, the show celebrates such blues greats as Big Mama Thornton, Son House, Howlin' Wolf and others.

 

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 24, and Thursday, June 30; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25; 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday, June 27; and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. The show opens July 1. $35-$90. Proof of vaccination and masking required. (847) 242-6000 or writerstheatre.org.

Shereen Ahmed, center, plays Eliza Doolilttle in the Lincoln Center Theater production of "My Fair Lady" in its North American tour. The cast also includes Shavey Brown, left, Mark Aldrich, William Michals and Colin Anderson.
Shereen Ahmed, center, plays Eliza Doolilttle in the Lincoln Center Theater production of "My Fair Lady" in its North American tour. The cast also includes Shavey Brown, left, Mark Aldrich, William Michals and Colin Anderson. - Courtesy of Joan Marcus
'My Fair Lady' returns

"My Fair Lady," the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe classic adapted from George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion," returns to Chicago as part of the North American tour of director Bartlett Sher's 2018, Tony-nominated Lincoln Center Theater revival.

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. The show opens Wednesday, June 29. $27-$98. Proof of vaccination and masking required. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.

Revolution re-examined

The Story Theatre presents the Chicago-area premiere of "Marie Antoinette and the Magical Negroes," Terry Guest's examination of Black liberation through the lens of the French Revolution. Brenna DiStasio plays Marie Antoinette in this play about "what happens when Black people grow tired of sitting down and turning the other cheek."

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Previews at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, June 30-July 1, at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens July 2. $15, $20. Proof of vaccination and masking required. (773) 338-2177 or thestorytheatre.org.

The Story Theater ensemble members Ayanna Bria Bakari, right, and Brenna DiStasio appear in a preproduction photograph for the company's Chicago premiere of "Marie Antoinette and the Magical Negroes" by Terry Guest.
The Story Theater ensemble members Ayanna Bria Bakari, right, and Brenna DiStasio appear in a preproduction photograph for the company's Chicago premiere of "Marie Antoinette and the Magical Negroes" by Terry Guest. - Courtesy of David Hagen
In other news

Check with venues regarding COVID-19 precautions.

• Musical theater artists from Poland, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina share their life experiences in song as part of the Global Artists for Peace benefit concert taking place at 8 p.m. Friday, July 15, at Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. Broadway Without Borders, an organization that connects emerging theater artists from around the world, presents the concert featuring central and eastern European artists performing songs from "Hair," "Spring Awakening" and "The Greatest Showman," as well as originals. Broadway Without Borders is the brainchild of Marriott resident music director Ryan Nelson and former Marriott artistic director Aaron Thielen. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Global Citizens organization and their "Stand Up for Ukraine" program, which provides grants to help Ukrainian artists tell their stories. Tickets are $55 and available at the box office, (847) 634-0200, or broadwayacrossborders.com/marriotttheatre.com. VIP tickets, which include a post-show reception with champagne and desserts, cost $150.

• Comedian Ike Avelli brings his adult variety show "50 Shades of Gay" to the Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The show starts at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 24-25. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required. (773) 697-9693 or theannoyance.com.

• Artists Lounge Live presents "Leaders of the Pack," a salute to classic girl groups starring The Lovettes, as its next Marriott Theatre concert production. The trio will perform hits by female ensembles ranging from The Andrews Sisters to The Supremes at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25, and 3 p.m. Sunday, June 26, at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. Tickets are $55. Face masks optional. (847) 634-0200 or artistsloungelive.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Goodman Theatre announces a reading of "Pueblo Revolt" by Dillon Chitto as part of its ongoing Future Labs new play development series. The play was inspired by the first Indigenous revolution in North America. The free reading takes place at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Reservations are required. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.

• "The Pride Monologues," a collection of stories about LGBTQ+ people by David Dilsizian, will be performed at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 26, at the Red Room Comedy Club, 7442 N. Western Ave., Chicago. See choosechicago.com/event/the-pride-monologues.

• Season of Concern Chicago, an organization that provides emergency financial assistance for theater artists, hosts a benefit performance of Jerry Herman's "Jerry's Girls," a revue consisting of memorable songs from "Mame," "La Cage aux Folles," "Hello, Dolly!" and other tuners. The performance takes place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 27, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The event includes a 6:30 p.m. preshow reception and a post-show dessert reception. Tickets are $50 for regular seating and $75 for VIP seating. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masks required. See seasonofconcern.org.

• Story Jam kicks off its new, monthly storytelling event with a Pride show at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, at Artifact Events, 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago. Performers include writers, comedians, actors and musicians. Admission is pay-what-you-can. See storyjamshow.com.

• Broken Nose Theatre announced artistic director E.M. Davis and managing director Rose Hamill will step down from their leadership roles effective Sept. 1. The board of directors, staff and ensemble members will conduct a search for new leadership. The board released a prepared statement, writing "over the last four years, E.M. and Rose have navigated Broken Nose through multiple transitions and challenges, from our first leadership transition to a global epidemic. We are grateful for both their leadership of the company during this time and their combined 15 years of involvement with the company and wish them both well in their future endeavors."

• Otherworld Theatre Company announced its 10th anniversary season will begin Sept. 30 with "A Midsummer Night's Scream: A Devised Shakespearean Nightmare," which puts a 1980s slasher film twist on William Shakespeare's bucolic comedy. That's followed by "The Tale of the Nutcracker: An Immersive Retelling of the Holiday Fairytale" (Dec. 2-Jan. 8, 2023) and "Last Ship to Proxima Centauri" (Jan. 27-March 5, 2023), about the last ship escaping a doomed earth that arrives at the new home planet centuries after everyone else. "Albion School of Sorcery: Ostara," an immersive, live-action, role-playing game, takes place March 16-19, 2023, at the DeKoven Center in Wisconsin. "20,000 Leagues: A Feminist Adaptation," in which Jules Verne's Captain Nemo is a female accompanying a professor, his assistant and an expert harpooner on a search for a mysterious sea creature, runs April 1-May 15, 2023. "The Trade Federation, or, Let's Explore Globalization Through the Star Wars Prequels" (April 28-May 14, 2023) is about an aspiring screenwriter who pitches to George Lucas a "Star Wars" prequel that replaces the federation with the International Monetary Fund and the Gungans, Jedi and Zapatistas with the U.N. A second live-action, role-playing event, "Chronicles of the Realm: Liaisons & Legions of New Lystar," takes place from July 21-23, 2023. Most performances take place at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. See otherworldtheatre.org.

• Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre celebrates its 25th anniversary season with four musicals, including the Midwest premiere of "Refuge," a tuner that incorporates puppetry to tell an immigration tale about a Honduran girl who crosses the border into Texas. It runs Oct. 7 to Nov. 13. That's followed by "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (Dec. 2-Jan. 29, 2023), about the madam of a beloved bordello whose business is attacked by a televangelist and a group of politicians. Next up is a revival of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's "The Threepenny Opera," about crime lord Macheath who marries Polly Peachum, angering her father who tries to have Macheath hanged. It runs from March 10-April 30, 2023. The season concludes with a revival of "Passing Strange" (June 9-July 30, 2023), about a young artist and his journey toward personal and professional authenticity. Performances take place at 721 Howard St., Evanston. Subscriptions range from $120 to $280. (773) 939-4101 or theo-u.com.

• The New Coordinates announced its 2022 season will take place at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. It begins July 22 with a workshop production of "American Side Efectos," Debbie Baños' play about a young woman who traces her mother's immigration journey from El Salvador to Arkansas. That's followed by the premiere of "Last Ascent" (Oct. 15-Nov. 7), about a professional alpine climber sidelined by a heart condition who seeks help from a therapist who uncovers more than the climber bargained for. See thenewcoordinates.org.

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