Spotlight: The hills come alive at Paramount with 'Sound of Music'
Buddy, a human raised by elves, travels from the North Pole to New York City to reconnect with his biological father in Drury Lane Theatre's production of "Elf -- The Musical" adapted from the 2003 film starring Will Ferrell. Jake Morrissy stars as the titular elf opposite Sean Fortunato, who plays his dad, Walter Hobbs. Lynne Kurdziel Formatto directs and choreographs.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9 and 16; 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 10-11; 3 and 8 p.m. Nov. 12; and 2 and 6 p.m. Nov. 13 at 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. The show opens Nov. 17. $75-$85. Masks optional. (630) 530-0111 or drurylanetheatre.com.
Jake Morrissy stars as Buddy the elf in Drury Lane Theatre's holiday production of "Elf -- The Musical."
A classic revived
Paramount Theatre revives the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic "The Sound of Music." Helmed by director/choreographer Amber Mak, the production stars Alicia Kaori as Maria, the novitiate who becomes the governess to a widowed Austrian naval commander's seven precocious children on the eve of the Nazi annexation of their country.
Previews at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9 and 16; Thursday, Nov. 10 and 17; 8 p.m. Nov. 11; 3 and 8 p.m. Nov. 12; and 1 and 5:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. The show opens Nov. 18. $28-$79. Masks optional. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.
Love is love is love
The Artistic Home premieres the William Shakespeare-inspired "Malapert Love," Siah Berlatsky's gender-bending, gender-fluid romantic comedy about people who fall in love with the wrong folks. Berlatsky, who began writing the play as a teenager, said in a prepared statement she was "intensely aware of the pressures which were starting to be applied to me surrounding gender and sexuality ... This piece is a rebellion against taking heteronormative society too seriously. In writing it, I hoped to free myself through laughter."
Previews at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, and Wednesday, Nov. 9, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The show opens Thursday, Nov. 10. $15-$35. Proof of vaccination required; masking recommended. (773) 697-3830, thedentheatre.com or theartistichome.org.
The Artistic Home presents the premiere of the Shakespeare-inspired romantic comedy "Malapert Love" starring Grant Carriker, top left, Declan Collins, Karla Corona and Emilie Rose Danno; and Ernest Henton, bottom left, Frank Nall, Luke Steadwell and Jenna Steege Ramey.
In other news
Check with venues about COVID-19 precautions.
• Performances continue through Nov. 20 for Red Theater's production of "Vinegar Tom," Caryl Churchill's 1976 drama examining gender, power and autonomy through the lens of 17th-century society in which nonconforming women were labeled "witches." Directed by Clare Brennan, the production is accompanied by a live band. Performances take place at The Edge Off Broadway, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave., Chicago. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. See redtheater.org.
• Congo Square Theatre Company has released season three of its digital sketch comedy series "Hit 'Em on the Blackside" online. Twelve new episodes will be released weekly. Anthony Irons and Ron Connor co-direct the episodes, which are available at congosquaretheatre.org.
• Shuttered since 2020, the iO Theater, one of Chicago's longtime improv and sketch comedy venues, reopened this week at 1501 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago. One of the returning productions is iO's signature improv show "The Armando Diaz Experience," along with the group Improvised Jane Austen, "Anarchy: The Improvised Rock Opera," "Improvised Survivor," the Asian American comedy ensemble Stir Friday Night, "Sex and the Windy City: An Unofficial Musical Parody" and "Take Two" an improvised movie among others. See ioimprov.com.
• Performances begin Friday, Nov. 4, for Skokie Theatre's revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Tennessee Williams' melodrama about life, death, money, sex and mendacity. Former Goodman Theatre associate producer and director Steve Scott helms the production, which runs through Nov. 20 at 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. Masks recommended. (847) 677-7761 or skokietheatre.org.
• "Are You Smarter than Your 8th Grade Nun?" a new game show comedy inspired by "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" by Vicki Quade, a co-creator of "Late Nite Catechism," runs Friday, Nov. 4, through Nov. 20 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 404-7336 or greenhousetheater.org.
• Emmy Award-winner Jerrod Carmichael ("Rothaniel") brings his new show, "Jerrod Carmichael: Ari told me I lack focus," to Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Performances are at 7 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4-5. The use of phones, smartwatches and accessories will not be permitted in the performance space. Upon arrival, all electronic devices will be secured in individual Yondr pouches that will be opened at the end of the event. Guests maintain possession of their devices at all times. Anyone seen using a device during the performance will be escorted out of the venue. Masks recommended. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org/jerrod.
• Collaboraction Theatre Company, which recently earned a Chicago Emmy Award nomination for its documentary teleplay "The Lost Story of Emmett Till: Trial in the Delta" produced in association with NBC 5 Chicago, hosts its annual fundraiser Utopian Ball beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Venue West, 221 N. Paulina St., Chicago. The event includes cocktails, dinner, dancing, performances by ensemble members and a raffle. Tickets are $250. See collaboraction.org.
• Theater artists Miranda Gonzalez and Omar Abbas Salem are among the 10 recipients of this year's 3Arts Awards, $30,000 unrestricted grants to artists including women, people of color and people with disabilities working in the six-county metropolitan area. The award celebration livestreams Monday, Nov. 7, on YouTube. See 3arts.org/event.
• Interrobang Theatre Project and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble present the pandemic-delayed premiere of "A Mile in the Dark," Emily Schwend's drama about a woman searching for answers to her stepmother's unexpected death. Previews begin Thursday, Nov. 10, at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago. The show opens Nov. 14. Masks required. (773) 334-7728, rivendelltheatre.org or interrobangtheatreproject.org.
• Broadway and television veteran Sandy Duncan ("The Hogan Family," "Funny Face") will receive the Sarah Siddons Society Award Nov. 14 at the organization's annual fundraiser at the Watts Theatre, DePaul University, 2350 N. Racine Ave., Chicago. NBC 5 Chicago's LeeAnn Trotter hosts the event, which includes Chicago theater veterans performing selections from Duncan's most memorable shows including "Peter Pan," "The Boyfriend" and "The King and I" among others. The fundraiser marks the 70th anniversary of the Sarah Siddons Society, which funds theater scholarships at DePaul, Northwestern and Roosevelt universities and Columbia College. See sarahsiddonssociety.org.
• Goodman Theatre has added performances of Rebecca Gilman's "Swing State" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, and 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org/swingstate.
• The sci-fi/fantasy theater Otherworld Theatre expands "Starship Edsel," its "Star Trek"-inspired comedy improv show rooted in live action role play, to two days per month. The adults-only show runs at 10 p.m. the first and third Saturday of each month at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. Performances will also be streamed on the company's YouTube channel. See otherworldtheatre.org.
• Berwyn's 16th Street Theater announced recently that it will close in December at the conclusion of its 15th season. The theater will host a celebration beginning at 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at The Outta Space, 6840 32nd St., Berwyn. See 16thstreettheater.org.
• After five years as Raven Theatre artistic director, Cody Estle has stepped down to become the artistic director of Next Act Theatre in Milwaukee. Estle oversaw the company's transition from non-equity to equity status, the commissioning of seven new plays and the remodel of Raven's two theater spaces, among other accomplishments. The theater will share information about its search for a new artistic director in the coming months.