Spotlight: Mike Lew's family comedy 'Tiger Style' opens at Writers Theatre

  • The cast of Raven Theatre's revival of "Private Lives" includes Emily Tate, clockwise from top left, Matthew Martinez Hannon, Bradley Halverson, Rudy Galvan and Alexis Green.

    The cast of Raven Theatre's revival of "Private Lives" includes Emily Tate, clockwise from top left, Matthew Martinez Hannon, Bradley Halverson, Rudy Galvan and Alexis Green.

 
 
Posted9/30/2022 6:00 AM

Sibling rivals

Christopher Thomas Pow and Aurora Adachi-Winter play squabbling siblings in "Tiger Style," Mike Lew's comedy about Chinese American heritage, in which a brother and sister who achieved academically as children can't seem to make it as adults. Brian Balcom directs Writers Theatre's season-opening production.

 

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, and Thursday, Oct. 6; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1; 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2; and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. The show opens Oct. 7. $35-$90. Masks required. (847) 242-6000 or writerstheatre.org.

True love?

A divorced couple, on their respective honeymoons with their new spouses, wind up in adjoining hotel rooms in Noel Coward's "Private Lives." The smart, sassy comedy about passion, betrayal and love kicks off Raven Theatre's 40th anniversary season. "The affair is easy. The marriage is hard," said director Ian Frank in a prepared statement. "It's especially hard when you learn that there is only one person in the entire world to whom you can reveal your true and vulnerable self, your private life."

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens Monday, Oct. 3. $30, $40. Masks required. (773) 338-2177 or raventheatre.com.

Tyler Anthony Smith wrote and stars in Hell in a Handbag Productions' world premiere parody with puppets "Frankenstreisand."
Tyler Anthony Smith wrote and stars in Hell in a Handbag Productions' world premiere parody with puppets "Frankenstreisand." - Courtesy of Rick Aguilar Studios
Handbag Productions premiere

The death of her dog Samantha sent Dr. Barbra Frankenstreisand into seclusion. Now, 27 years later, the megastar is back determined to clone her beloved pooch with help from her loyal assistant, her stage manager and a couple of Hollywood favorites in Hell in a Handbag Productions' premiere of "Frankenstreisand." Tyler Anthony Smith wrote and stars in this affectionate parody with puppets, which includes offbeat versions of some of Streisand's greatest hits.

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Previews at 9:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at Red Line VR, 4702 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago. The adults-only show opens at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. $21-$40. Masks required. handbagproductions.org.

A grand life

Griffin Theatre launches its 33rd season with the Midwest premiere of "Marys Seacole," Jackie Sibblies Drury's drama inspired by real-life 19th-century British-Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole, who cared for soldiers during the Crimean War. Drury's time-jumping play examines what it is like to be a female caregiver, one determined to live a grand life.

Previews at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, and Oct. 6-8, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens Oct. 9. $30-$40. Masks required. (773) 338-2177 or griffintheatre.com.

The cast of Griffin Theatre's Midwest premiere of "Marys Seacole" includes Izzie Jones, top from left, Stephanie Mattos and RjW Mays and Jesi Mullins, bottom from left, India Whiteside and Mackenzie Williams.
The cast of Griffin Theatre's Midwest premiere of "Marys Seacole" includes Izzie Jones, top from left, Stephanie Mattos and RjW Mays and Jesi Mullins, bottom from left, India Whiteside and Mackenzie Williams. -
In other news

Check with venues about COVID-19 precautions.

• The smash hit "Wicked" returned this week to the James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago, where it will remain through Dec. 4. Tickets range from $59-$184. Masks recommended. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• UrbanTheater Company presents the Midwest premiere of "Evolution of a Sonero" as part of Destinos, 5th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival continuing through Oct. 16. The solo show by poet/actor/singer Flaco Navaja -- backed by five musicians known as The Razor Blades -- is about growing up in the Bronx. Performed in English and Spanish, it runs through Oct. 23 at 2620 W. Division St., Chicago. See destinosfest.org.

• The interactive comedy "Holy Ghost Bingo: God, Goblins & Games" returns Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. In the play, former nun Mary Margaret O'Brien calls bingo and quizzes players about Halloween traditions, best candy, scariest movies and best costumes. Performances run through Oct. 30. Nancy Greco, Liz Cloud and creator Vicki Quade alternate as Mary Margaret. (773) 404-7336 or greenhousetheater.org or nuns4fun.com.

• Otherworld Theatre presents "Starship Edsel," a "Star Trek"-inspired, adults-only, improv show opening at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, and running thereafter at 10 p.m. the first Saturday of the month at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. In other Otherworld news, the theater company hosts Gothic Galaween: An Evening Celebrating 10 Years of Otherworld Theatre from 7-11 p.m. Oct. 14 at Michelle's Ballroom, 2800 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The evening includes live music, palm readers, a silent auction, dinner and Edward Gorey-inspired caricatures. Tickets are $175. See otherworldtheatre.org/gala2022.

• Cabaret artist Anita Kallen brings her show "The Cy Coleman Story," about the composer of such standards as "Witchcraft" and "Big Spender," to the Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. Kallen performs at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Masks are recommended. (847) 677-7761 or skokietheatre.org.

• In her poem "1919," Eve L. Ewing chronicles the Chicago race riot of July 27, 1919, which J. Nicole Brooks adapted as her play "1919," the latest production in Steppenwolf Theatre's young adults series. Performances begin Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 1646 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The show is directed by Gabrielle Randle-Bent and Tasia A. Jones. Masks required. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.

• The Ladies Night Comedy Jam returns to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5. Comedians Bridget McGuire, Chelsea Hood, Colleen Brennan and Maggie Hughes DePalo share the stage at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, during a night of clean comedy. $30. Masks recommended. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

• The Chicago Magic Lounge, 5050 N. Clark St., Chicago, continues its artist-in-residence series with ensemble member and "America's Got Talent" and "Masters of Illusion" veteran Paige Thompson. Thompson performs "A Paige in Time" at 7 p.m. Wednesdays beginning Oct. 5 and running through Dec. 21. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required. Masks optional. (312) 366-4500 or chicagomagiclounge.com.

• Northlight Theatre hosts its gala fundraiser Purpose. Passion. Progress beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at Theater on the Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. ABC 7 News anchor Karen Jordan hosts the event, which includes dinner, entertainment courtesy of Rashada Dawan, and live and silent auctions. Tickets are $300. See northlight.org/nlgala.

• Previews begin Thursday, Oct. 6, for A Red Orchid's season-opening world premiere of "The Malignant Ampersands," the latest by ensemble member Brett Neveu ("The Earl," "4 Murders," "Eric LaRue") described as the "unofficial sequel to Orson Welles 'The Magnificent Ambersons,'" in which a once thriving, wealthy family is cursed by disease and misfortune. The show opens Oct. 8 at 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masks required. (312) 943-8722 or aredorchidtheatre.org.

• After 11 years and 16 world premieres, Underscore Theatre Company has closed. However, its acclaimed Chicago Music Theater Festival showcasing new and in-development musicals and emerging artists will be produced by Kokandy Productions. "While Underscore is closing its doors, our mission isn't over. When we founded this company over a decade ago, it was with the goal of making Chicago a hub for new musicals. We're thrilled Kokandy Productions is committed to carrying the torch of new musicals into the future by taking the reins of the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival," said founding artistic director Alex Higgin-Houser in a prepared statement. Kokandy artistic director Derek Van Barham thanked Underscore for creating "such an inspired opportunity for emerging artists" and for entrusting the festival to Kokandy.

• Filament Theatre announced a change in artistic leadership. Artistic director Julie Ritchey, who co-founded the theater for young audiences 15 years ago, is stepping down and the board of directors has named resident artists Molly Bunder, the education director, and casting director Rejinal Simon as co-artistic directors.

• Stage Left Theatre announced it will return to in-person performances for its 41st season, which will take place at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago. The season begins Oct. 25 with "Man of the People," Dolores Diaz's drama about a medical charlatan who, in the days before regulation, peddles a radical remedy. That's followed in March 2023 by Ken Green's "In the Back/On the Floor" about minimum-wage workers at a chain retail store who are referred to as "family" but are seen as the most easily replaceable members of the team. The season concludes in summer 2023 with LeapFest, Stage Left's annual new play development festival. Continuing throughout the season is Off Stage Left, the theater's monthly new play reading series. Memberships are $115 and include admission to both main stage productions, six online play readings and LeapFest. See stagelefttheatre.com.

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