With more than 250 theatre companies, Chicago is known across the world for its large and vibrant theatre community. Add a theatre performance (or two!) to your Chicago itinerary – plus, experience many shows on a budget with half-price theater tickets from Hot Tix! From Broadway musicals to intimate dramas to sidesplitting comedies, every night you can choose from dozens of shows – including these top plays with discount tickets during the month of August.
For more recommendations, send a tweet to @ChicagoPlays with the dates of your Chicago trip and the type of show you’re looking for!
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
Broadway In Chicago at the Oriental Theatre
24 W. Randolph in Chicago’s Loop
Now playing through August 13, 2017
An American in Paris is the new Tony Award-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl, and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Acclaimed director/choreographer and 2015 Tony Award-winner Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin in the show that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2015 season. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Check for half-price tickets!
THE FAIR MAID OF THE WEST
Oak Park Festival Theatre at Austin Gardens
167 N. Forest Ave. in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park
Now playing through September 2, 2017
A swashbuckling, award-winning, rip-roaring comedy that tells the adventures of lowborn tavern girl, Bess Bridges, and her true love, Spencer. Through a series of misadventures, the ardent lovers are separated. Bess, seeking to rescue her true love, inspires a rag-tag group of friends to sail across the seas on a fantastical adventure to bring him home. Accompanied by the brave Goodlack, the braggart Roughman, and the comic innkeeper Clem, Bess faces many a challenge, including roaring battles, mistaken identities, and storm-tossed seas! (Spoiler alert- love conquers all.) Check for half-price tickets!
MADAGASCAR: A MUSICAL ADVENTURE
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 E. Grand Ave. on Chicago’s Navy Pier
Now playing through August 27, 2017
Share the wonder and delight of live theater with the young people in your life this summer with this family-friendly 70-minute adaptation! A wild and wacky adventure awaits Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, Melman the Giraffe and those pesky, plotting Penguins when they stage a jailbreak from New York’s Central Park Zoo. After busting out of their home and landing on the far away island of Madagascar, these furry friends encounter the madcap antics of the outrageous King Julien and his fellow island inhabitants in a musical celebration of friendship. Check for half-price tickets!
Mercury Theater Chicago
3745 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood
Now playing through September 17, 2017
A celebration of life, a love letter to freedom, and a passionate cry for hope and change, HAIR defined one generation and continues to inspire today. Join the tribe of the Age of Aquarius for the story of a group of friends choosing to speak up and sing out in celebration of love, life, and freedom. The first great rock musical, it has some of the most rousing and soulful songs ever written for the stage, including "Let the Sun Shine In," "Good Morning Starshine," "Aquarius," and the infectious title song, "Hair." Check for half-price tickets!
Broadway In Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre
151 W. Randolph St. in Chicago’s Loop
Now playing through September 10, 2017
From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite. Disney recommends its productions for ages 6 and up. Check for half-price tickets!
1650 N. Halsted in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood
Now playing through August 20, 2017
The classic dysfunctional family drama has just crashed through into a wholly original place. Meet Paige, a wife and mother liberated from an oppressive and abusive marriage; Max, her newly out transgender teen; and Isaac, Max’s PTSD-addled older brother, who discovers a brand new war zone when he comes home from Afghanistan. Hir’s crusade to shake up the patriarchy is disarmingly funny, absurd, and surprising as it looks at an American family forced to build a new world out of the pieces of the old. Check for half-price tickets!
LA HAVANA MADRID
Teatro Vista at Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn in Chicago’s Loop
Now playing through August 20, 2017
Chicago’s legendary 1960s nightclub comes bursting back to life in a "heartfelt and fascinating" (Chicago Tribune) musical celebration of the city’s Latino community. Step back into 1960s Chicago and La Havana Madrid, the long-gone Caribbean night club that drew throngs of newly-arrived Latinos to the city’s north side. Inspired by real stories, this intimate recreation of the vibrant music venue immerses audiences in the pulsing sounds of live mambo and salsa. Check for half-price tickets!
UP COMEDY CLUB
230 W. North Ave. in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood
Various shows playing year-round
A hybrid performance venue with an eclectic blend of comedy. UP Comedy Club features the best in stand-up comedy and a variety of original full-length shows and improv revues created and presented by Second City Theatricals. In addition to a diverse slate of original programming, UP Comedy Club also features a full service restaurant and bar with a no drink minimum. Check for half-price tickets!
Lookingglass Theatre Company
821 N. Michigan Ave. along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile
Now playing through September 3, 2017
The critically-acclaimed Moby Dick returns to the Lookingglass stage in this harrowing and intoxicating exploration of revenge, obsession, and destiny. Madness rages like the angry sea when man pits himself against leviathan in Herman Melville’s epic and poetic tale, furiously reimagined by director David Catlin (Lookingglass Alice). Climb aboard the Pequod with Ishmael, Starbuck, and the intrepid crew on a voyage into the darkest reaches of the human psyche with an insatiably driven Captain Ahab at the helm in reckless pursuit of the legendary white whale. Check for half-price tickets!
Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood
August 11 – September 24, 2017
One young woman must break out in this exhilarating reimagining of Machinal, the American classic inspired by the first woman to face the electric chair. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, Helen finds a thrill in the arms of a flyby lover, but when reality returns how far will her fight for freedom take her? And who will pay the ultimate price? Check for half-price tickets!
BONUS! CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE FOUNDATION RIVER CRUISE
Chicago’s First Lady Cruises
Departs from the southeast corner of Michigan and the Chicago River
A "must" for out-of-towners and Chicagoans alike. Chicago Architecture Foundation certified volunteer tour guides - called docents - interpret more than 50 buildings along the Chicago River, revealing how the city grew from a small back-country outpost into one of the world's most important crossroads in less than 100 years. Check for half-price tickets!
Note that the schedule above is subject to change; visit the Hot Tix website for exact dates and half-price ticket availability. Visit ChicagoPlays.com to find other exciting productions on stage while you're here, and find insider guides to all things performing arts and the Chicago theatre scene to create your Chicago itinerary.