What could be more Chicago than seeing original, gripping storefront theater just steps away from Lake Michigan? Theater on the Lake is celebrating 60 years of Chicago’s rich off-Loop theater community, and this year the lakeside venue is packing in eight original plays in just eight weeks.

Among the lineup, I'm most looking forward to The Inconvenience's remount of Hit the Wall by Ike Holter (July 25 – 29). This powerful new play about the Stonewall Uprising is one of those shows everyone in Chicago has been talking about. It premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre’s Garage Rep Series in February and started gaining buzz following its stellar reviews. Then, the likes of Rosie O’Donnell and Mayor Rahm Emanuel showed up in the 100 seat space to see it. And then the production got extended — twice -- and quickly sold out. And now it's back for just a handful of performances. So grab your ticket!

The Building Stage's Moby-Dick (August 1 – 5) provides a visually arresting and inspired retelling of the Herman Melville epic, using percussion, innovative staging and intricate model ships. And Redtwist Theatre's Opus (July 4 – 8), which was nominated for a Best Play Jeff Award this season, is another must-see.

For a complete lineup of Theater on the Lake shows, go here. Looking for a deal? Try Theater on the Lake's Weekend Diamond Flex Pass, which gets you three different shows for $35, available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances only. See the site for the deets.