Spotlight: Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Laugh Out Loud bring out the holiday humor

  • Katelyn McKeon and Robert Jordan Bailey co-star in Buffalo Theatre Ensemble's revival of "Season's Greetings," a farce by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn.

    Katelyn McKeon and Robert Jordan Bailey co-star in Buffalo Theatre Ensemble's revival of "Season's Greetings," a farce by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. Courtesy of Rex Howard Photography

 
 
Posted11/18/2022 6:00 AM

Holiday farce

Buffalo Theatre Ensemble revives Alan Ayckbourn's farcical "Season's Greetings" about a dysfunctional family's disastrous holiday reunion. Mayhem ensues along with illicit trysts and an ill-fated puppet show when Belinda (Lisa Dawn) and Neville (Kurt Naebig) welcome assorted relatives and friends to their home for Christmas. Connie Canaday Howard directs.

 

Opens at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at the McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. $42. Masks recommended. (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org.

'Holidazed' in Schaumburg

Schaumburg's Laugh Out Loud Theater presents "Holidazed," an improvised show inspired by the season.

8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18; 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, and Friday, Nov. 25; and 9:30 p.m. Nov. 26 at 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. $15, $25. Vaccinations and masks encouraged. (847) 240-0386 or laughoutloudtheater.com.

Goodman's 'Carol'

Larry Yando returns as Ebenezer Scrooge opposite Vikram Konkimalla's Tiny Tim in Goodman Theatre's 45th annual production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" directed by Jessica Thebus. Note: Austin Tichenor will step in for Yando for nine performances.

Previews at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 and 26; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20 and 27; 7 p.m. Nov. 22-25, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The show opens Nov. 28. $25-$144. Masks recommended. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org/carol.

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Frank Ferrante channels Groucho Marx for his show "Frank Ferrante's Groucho."
Frank Ferrante channels Groucho Marx for his show "Frank Ferrante's Groucho." - Courtesy of Michael Doucett
Here's Groucho

Actor/comedian Frank Ferrante, co-star of Cabaret ZaZou's cirque/cabaret show "Luminaire," performs his solo show, "Frank Ferrante's Groucho," a celebration of the life and talent of the late comedian through songs, comedy bits and improvisation.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, at Cabaret ZaZou, 14th floor, Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop, 32 W. Randolph St., Chicago. $45-$85. Masks encouraged. (312) 488-0900 or cabaretzazou.com.

In other news

Check with theaters about COVID-19 precautions.

• On Sept. 7, the Factory Theater's furnace malfunctioned and caused a fire in the storage room. The damage was minimal, but the theater company must replace its heating system. To that end, supporters have established a GoFundMe account to help offset the cost of replacing the system. See thefactorytheater.com.

• Previews continue through Sunday, Nov. 20, for About Face Theatre's premiere of "Mosque4Mosque," Omer Abbas Salem's play about a queer Arab-American Muslim man whose well-intentioned mother tries to find him an ideal husband. The show opens Monday, Nov. 21, at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masks required. See thedentheatre.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Mudlark Theatre presents "The Wonderful Land of Oz," a musical based on L. Frank Baum's sequel to "The Wizard of Oz" about an orphan named Tip who travels through Oz in pursuit of the long-lost Princess Ozma. Mudlark examines the story through the lens of young people grappling with their sexual identity. Performances run Friday through Sunday, Nov. 18-20, at 1417 Hinman Ave., Evanston. mudlarktheater.org.

• Steppenwolf Theatre Company's LookOut season continues with "Before Winter," a solo performance piece inspired by deadly violence against Black trans women. Performances take place Friday through Sunday, Nov. 18-20, at the 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Masks required. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org/lookout.

• ETA Creative Arts Foundations remounts its production of "Preacher's Kids: The Untold Stories," at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, and 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at 7558 S. South Chicago Ave., Chicago. etacreativearts.org.

• West Side Improv, 125 W. Front St., Wheaton, presents a Sunday night sketch show, written and directed by Peter Dytrych and Matt Koonce, beginning Sunday, Nov. 20, and running through Dec. 11. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m. See westsideimprov.com.

• Theatre Above the Law presents an evening of one-acts beginning Friday, Nov. 18, at the Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis St., Chicago. Each play will be staged according to a different television genre. The plays include: "A Dollar" by David Pinski; "The Wreck on the 525" by Thornton Wilder; "Fourteen" by Alice Gerstenberg; and "The Proposal" by Anton Chekhov. See theatreatl.org.

• "Forts: Build Your Own Adventure," Filament Theatre's immersive play experience for parents and children, kicks off the company's 15th anniversary season on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Children and parents can build new worlds using cardboard boxes, sheets, clothespins and other items through Jan. 8. A special BYOB version, "Forts: Adult Night," runs Friday evenings Dec. 9 through Jan. 6. See filamenttheatre.org.

• Porchlight Music Theatre has extended its revival of "Rent," Jonathan Larsen's Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning musical about a group of struggling artists during the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Performances continue through Dec. 11 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. (773) 777-9884 or porchlightmusictheatre.com.

• The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) announced the appointment of Jorge Valdivia, former director of performing arts for the National Museum of Mexican Art and curator of the multidisciplinary Sor Juana Arts Festival. Valdivia replaces the late Myrna Salazar, former director who co-founded CLATA in 2016 with the National Museum of Mexican Art, the International Latino Cultural Center and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance.

• Dramaturge, literary manager and producer Sarah Slight has been named Raven Theatre's interim director while the board of directors seeks a replacement for Cody Estle, who left the theater to serve as artistic director for Next Act Theatre in Milwaukee. Slight served as associate artistic director at American Theater Company and artistic programs manager at Northlight Theatre.

• Curious Theatre Branch has published an anthology of plays by ensemble members Beau O'Reilly, Jenny Magnus, Bryn Magnus, Jayita Bhattacharya, Matt Rieger, Matt Test, Shawn Reddy and Julia Williams. "Curious Plays: Chicago 1988-2022" ranges from "experiments in form to character-driven stories exploring the absurdity of human nature and the banality of personal relationships." It's available through Jackleg Press. See bookshop.org.

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