10 Hot Shows To See in Chicago

August 2019


With more than 250 companies, Chicago is known across the world for its innovative and vibrant live theatre scene. Add a 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 and musicals playing this August.

The Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz at Chicago Shakespeare TheatreChicago Shakespeare Theater
800 E. Grand Ave. on Navy Pier
Now playing through Aug. 25, 2019

Take an unforgettable 75-minute journey down the Yellow Brick Road to the magical land of Oz, and share the wonder and delight of live theater with the young people in your life this summer. Dorothy and her trusty pup Toto encounter new friends—including Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion—and face unexpected challenges in the musical stage adaptation of the landmark 1939 MGM film. Be dazzled by the spectacular setting and charmed by its timeless score, featuring such cherished classics as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”—ultimately to discover that there’s truly no place like home. After the show, meet the cast in the lobby for conversation and photos. Most enjoyed by ages 5 and up. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

Drunk Shakespeare

Meme Juice Productions at The Lion Theatre
182 N. Wabash Ave. in the Loop
Now playing

One professional actor downs 5 shots of whiskey and then attempts to a Shakespearean play. Hilarity and mayhem ensues while the four sober actors try and keep the script on track. Every show is different depending on who is drinking...and what they're drinking! The stage is set in a hidden speakeasy located behind the Chicago Theater. Guests enter through a locksmith's shop to find a glam cocktail bar and library with over 10,000 books. Craft cocktails are available throughout the show. Running time is 90 minutes with no interval. Entry is strictly 21+. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

Miracle: A Musical 108 Years in the Making

Miracle the MusicalRoyal George Theatre
1641 N. Halsted St. in Lincoln Park
Now playing through Sept. 1, 2019

Set against the backdrop of the Chicago Cubs 2016 championship season, this heartwarming story chronicles the life of a northside family whose lives for generations have been intrinsically linked to the Cubbies. As times change and the family business faces the threat of a growing neighborhood, can they keep faith, not just in their team, but each other? Most enjoyed by fans ages 8 and older. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

All That He Was

Pride Films and Plays
4147 N. Broadway in Buena Park
Playing Aug. 10 - Sept. 8, 2019

With music by Cindy O’Connor and book and lyrics by Larry Todd (Johnson) Cousineau, this winner of the National Playwright’s Award and the ACTF Musical Theatre Award is a moving and surprisingly funny account of one man’s struggle with AIDS and the reverberations of his death. The deceased functions as host and narrator, invisible among the friends and family assembled to pay him final respects. Hoping for a day when the shattered pieces of his life can come together, he leads them on a journey of shared reminiscences. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

The Second City e.t.c.’s 43rd Revue: Grinning from Fear to Fear

Second City Grinning From Fear to Feare.t.c. Theater at The Second City
230 W. North Ave. in Old Town 
Now playing

Dive into the e.t.c.’s latest comedy onslaught that will leave you laughing like you’re high on life–or maybe just copious amounts of Lexapro. From psycho killers to big pharma, coming out to your family to coming undone in your nightmares, The Second City’s fearless force of comedy commandos takes on everything that makes us all unfalteringly unique. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 3

Hell in a Handbag Productions at Mary’s Attic
5400 N. Clark St. in Lakeview
Now playing through Aug. 31, 2019

Now in its 3rd year, Golden Girls: Lost Episodes series features Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, Sophia and their whacky friends and relatives are back for all new adventures including the first-ever musical episode. Hell in a Handbag Productions’ Chicago Golden Girls parody series features original scripts and goes where they couldn't go on television. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

Head Over Heels: The Musical

Head Over Heels MusicalKokandy Productions at Theater Wit
1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Lakeview   
Now playing through Aug. 25, 2019

Head Over Heels is the bold new musical comedy from the visionaries that rocked Broadway with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Avenue Q, and Spring Awakening. This laugh-out-loud love story is set to the music of the iconic 1980’s all-female rock band The Go-Go’s, including the hit songs, “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation,” Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Mad About You.” A hilarious, exuberant celebration of love, Head Over Heels follows the escapades of a royal family on an outrageous journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction—only to discover the key to their realm’s survival lies within each of their own hearts. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

True West

True West at SteppenwolfSteppenwolf Theatre Company 
1650 N. Halsted St. in Lincoln Park
Now playing through Aug. 25, 2019

In 1982, Steppenwolf exploded onto the American Theatre scene with its now legendary production of Sam Shepard's True West. This American classic traces the volatile relationship of Austin and Lee, estranged brothers who find themselves holed up together in their mother's well-kept suburban house with a typewriter, a set of golf clubs and the undeniable call of the desert. In its first Steppenwolf revival, our new generation of artists take on Shepard's masterpiece. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

Now or Later

Intrinsic Theatre Company At The Edge Theatre
1133 W. Catalpa Ave. in Edgewater 
Playing Aug. 9 - 31, 2019

On election night, the son of a presidential candidate sends his father's political team into crisis mode when controversial photos of him at a college party spread over the internet, potentially sparking an international incident. Shinn's searching play examines religion, freedom of expression, and personal responsibility. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

Teatro ZinZanni: Love, Chaos and Dinner

Teatro Zin ZanniTeatro ZinZanni at the Spiegeltent Zazou in the Cambria Hotel
32 W. Randolph St. in the Loop  
Now playing through Sept. 29, 2019

Teatro ZinZanni is a whirlwind of international cirque, comedy and cabaret served with a multi-course feast. Described as the “Kit Kat Klub on acid”, the fast-paced action unfolds around, above and alongside guests as world-class acrobats, musicians, divas, illusionists, madmen, and aerialists fill our intimate Spiegeltent ZaZou, a unique jewel box mirror tent. Teatro ZinZanni’s signature blend of Love, Chaos & Dinner has played to sold out audiences in Seattle and San Francisco. Don’t miss the show The New York Times calls, “A feast for the senses” and the “city’s hottest ticket!”. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!


Hamilton: The Exhibition  

Hamilton: The ExhibitionNortherly Island  
1535 S. Linn White Drive on Northerly Island 
Now open through Aug. 25, 2019

Hamilton: The Exhibition takes visitors deeper into Alexander Hamilton’s life as it chronicles the American Revolution and the creation of the United States of America. Find yourself in the eye of the hurricane that drove Hamilton to America. Gaze upon the same New York streets where he first landed in 1776. Step into George Washington’s war tent and see the Battle of Yorktown come alive through an intricately reenacted virtual battle. *Note: This is Hamilton: The Exhibition at Northerly Island and NOT Hamilton: The MusicalCheck for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

Note that the schedules included above are subject to change; visit the Hot Tix website for exact dates and half-price ticket availability. Visit 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.

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