Spotlight: 'Frankenstein' opens at Glenview's Oil Lamp, 'Alma' at American Blues Theater
A tale for the season
Oil Lamp Theater stages Vincent S. Hannam's adaptation of "Frankenstein," Mary Shelley's gothic tale of Victor Frankenstein, a physician who aspires to play God, who subsequently creates a creature that he then abandons, prompting the Creature to seek revenge on his maker and his family.
Previews continue at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at 1723 Glenview Road, Glenview. The show opens at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. $20-$45. Masks required at matinees, recommended at other performances. (847) 834-0738 or oillamptheater.org.
Bryanna Ciera Colón plays Angel in American Blues Theater's premiere of "Alma" by Benjamin Benne.
American Blues premiere
American Blues Theater, in association with Center Theatre Group, premieres "Alma," Benjamin Benne's Blue Ink Award-winning play about immigrants and their first-generation children. It centers on Alma, an immigrant whose sacrifice and hard work is about to pay off as her U.S.-born daughter Angel prepares to take the SATs. However, Angel has other plans for her future. Ana Velazquez directs Jazmín Corona as Alma and Bryanna Ciera Colón as Angel.
Previews continue at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 Ridge Ave., Chicago. The show opens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28. $25-$45. Proof of vaccination and masking required. (773) 654-3103 or americanbluestheater.com.
In other news
Check with venues about COVID-19 precautions.
• Chicago actors Esteban Schemberg and Tommy Rivera-Vega play a playwright and a convicted killer in the U.S. premiere of "Tebas Land," by Uruguayan playwright Sergio Blanco, running through Oct. 9 at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, as part of Destinos, Fifth Chicago International Latino Theater Festival. The action centers around the playwright's attempt over a series of meetings to reconstruct the killer's crime. Tickets are $20-$25 and are available at destinosfest.org.
• ETA Creative Arts Foundation presents "Preachers Kids: The Untold Stories" at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at 7558 S. South Chicago Ave., Chicago. See etacreativearts.org.
• Congo Square Theatre, in cooperation with Lookingglass Theatre, remounts its production of "What to Send Up When It Goes Down." Previews run Saturday through Wednesday, Sept. 24-28, at 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. The show, described as a play-pageant-healing ritual in response to racial trauma, opens Thursday, Sept. 29. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required. See congosquaretheatre.org or lookingglasstheatre.org.
• The next show in Story Jam's monthly storytelling series takes place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago. "Story Duets With Ian Maksin" features a collaboration with cellist Ian Maksin and three storytellers whose true tales will be accompanied by him. Admission is pay-what-you-can. See storyjamshow.com.
• The International Voices Project, which showcases works by global writers on Chicago stages, continues at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, with three plays by Tetyana Kitsenko ("Call Them By Their Names"), Oksana Gritsenko ("The Peed-Upon Armored Personnel") and Elena Astasyeva ("A Dictionary of Emotions in War Time"). Each chronicles the emotions and horrors of the war in Ukraine. Performances continue at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, with "Totentanz: Black Night, Black Death," about a former model and her television host husband who hosted an illegal dinner during the COVID-19 lockdown. Performances take place at the Instituto Cervantes of Chicago, 31 W. Ohio St., Chicago. See ivpchicago.org.
• Comedian/actress Cristela Alonzo ("The Upshaws," "Cars 3") headlines The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, and 7:15 and 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required, masks are optional. (773) 697-3830 or thedentheatre.com.
• Hell in a Handbag Productions announced its 2022-2023 season begins Thursday, Sept. 29, with the premiere of "Frankenstreisand," a satire in which Dr. Frankenstreisand attempts to clone her beloved dog Samantha. Performances take place at the Raven Room at the Red Line VR, 4702 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago. That's followed by the next in the company's "Golden Girls" parody series "The Golden Girls, The Lost Episodes: The Obligatory Holiday Special" (Nov. 26-Dec. 30 at the Hoover Leppen Theater, Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago), in which the girls learn the Shady Pines Retirement Community is on the verge of closing, leaving most of Sophia's friends homeless. Next up is the Chicago premiere of "I Promised Myself I Would Live Forever" (spring 2023), an intergalactic queer extravaganza about closeted extraterrestrials and space nuns created and conceived by Pig Iron Theatre Company. The season concludes in summer 2023 with the premiere of "Murder, Rewrote," a parody of a TV drama centered around a Maine mystery writer. In this version, the novelist encounters murder and mayhem when she visits a movie star's Hamptons mansion. Season tickets are $120 and $190. They're available at handbagproductions.org.
• The League of Chicago Theatres announced Marissa Lynn Ford as its new executive director. Formerly Goodman Theatre's associate managing director, Ford replaces Deb Clapp, who stepped down in June. "What excites me about working with the League of Chicago Theatres is the opportunity to help share the stories of many voices across the Chicago community," said Ford -- who began her Goodman tenure as an apprentice to producer Roche Schulfer in 2014 -- in a prepared statement. "By building off the current framework and programs with the League's amazing team of board and staff, I am confident that we will uplift Chicago theater in a new way."