10 Hot Shows to See in Chicago


The League of Chicago Theatres rounds up this month's theatrical favs.

With more than 250 theater companies, Chicago is renowned around the world for its innovative and vibrant theater scene. Add a performance (or two or three) to your Chicago itinerary — plus, experience many shows on a budget with HALF-PRICE THEATER TICKETS FROM HOT TIX! From Broadway musicals and world premieres to intimate dramas and side-splitting comedies, you could fill every night of your visit with a front-row performance.

And here’s even more good news! 

The League of Chicago Theatres has launched its brand new Hot Tix website, featuring a sleek new look, user-friendly search options, geo-locating to find nearby half-price performances, and the ability to buy your half-price tickets straight from your mobile device.

Now back to this month's hot shows! Here are 10 top plays and musicals — both traditional favorites and main-stage headliners — with discount tickets during the month of JUNE.

1. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 

Lookingglass Theatre 
821 N. Michigan Ave along the Magnificent Mile 
Now playing through Aug 19, 2018​

Lookingglass - 20k Leagues

When a terrifying sea monster is spotted off the coast, renowned scientist Professor Aronnax and fellow explorers set out to investigate. They soon find themselves kidnapped and held under the command — and spell — of the mysterious Captain Nemo. As they circle the globe aboard the most advanced submarine the world has never seen, they confront giant squid, bizarre sea creatures, and the monsters that lurk in the depths…and within. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix! 

2. Bull in a China Shop 

About Face Theatre at Theater Wit
1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Lakeview
Now playing through June 30, 2018​

Bull in a China Shop is a play about Mary Woolley and her partner, Jeanette Marks, two brilliant women who reimagined and revolutionized women's education at the turn of the 20th century. This fast-moving feminist comedy chronicles the growth of the women's suffrage movement, as well as Mary and Jeanette's romantic relationship. It examines the strength it takes to find your voice, be brave and feel less at odds with the world. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

3. Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) 

Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn in the Loop 
Now playing through June 24, 2018​

Father Comes Home From the Wars

Hero, a Texas slave, faces a simple yet monumental choice: join his master in the Confederate army to win his freedom—or remain enslaved at the plantation. As he debates leaving his lover for what may be another empty promise, Hero must take charge of his life, even when much remains beyond his control. Filled with music, wit and poetic wisdom, this devastatingly beautiful work challenges us to navigate our own moral compass in a country that both unites us and rips us apart. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

4. Mies Julie

Victory Gardens Theater      
2433 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Park
Now playing through June 24, 2018​

Mies Julie

In the sweltering kitchen of a remote farm, John, a laborer, and Mies Julie, the daughter of his white master, embark on a feverish night. Fueled by drink, heat, generation-deep resentments and primal passion, John and Julie’s deadly attraction spins dangerously out of control. Dexter Bullard (Sucker Punch), directs Yaël Farber’s Mies Julie, an explosive and simmering adaptation of August Strindberg’s classic play set against the poignant backdrop of post-apartheid South Africa. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

5. Neverwhere

Lifeline Theatre
6912 N. Glenwood Ave. in Rogers Park
Now playing through July 15, 2018​

Lifeline Neverwhere

Richard Mayhew commits an act of kindness on the streets of London and finds himself trapped in a shadow world beneath the city. Lady Door returns home one day to find her family slain and her life upended. Drawn together by fate – and forces more powerful than they can guess – these two must brave countless trials, uncover the truth behind a dark conspiracy, and face the indomitable Great Beast before they can set things right. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

6. The Displaced 

Haven Theatre at The Den Theatre
1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park 
Now playing through July 1, 2018

Marísa and Lev have just moved into their new Pilsen (Chicago) apartment in hopes of rekindling a spark that’s long been extinguished. While looking for the circuit breaker in the attic, a mysterious coconut, left by the previous tenants, appears with a dark history inside it. The Displaced explores the wake of pain and yearning left behind when gentrification forces people out of their homes, and confronts the kind of vengeance that can stem from it. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

7. Guards at the Taj

Steppenwolf Theatre            
1650 N. Halsted St. in Lincoln Park
Now playing through July 22, 2018

India 1648. Dawn will reveal for the first time the extraordinary beauty of the Taj Mahal, built as a tribute to the ruler's wife, who demanded its construction. But for two hapless imperial guards, the morning light brings with it an impossible task that will shake their faith in God, the Empire and their lifelong friendship. This boldly funny and deeply moving play examines the true meaning of beauty and the cost of transcendence in a world that confuses the value of bothCheck for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

8. Burnham’s Dream: The White City

Lost and Found Productions at Theater Wit
1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Lakeview 
Playing June 2 - July 1, 2018​

When Chicago wins its bid to host a World’s Fair celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the New World, ambitious architect Daniel Burnham fights to win the job of building it. But challenged by time, fate and Louie Sullivan, he’s forced to confront immigrants, women, and African-Americans who fight to be included in the Fair. Business leaders, workers and architects face looming deadlines to welcome millions of visitors to the Columbian Exposition. This new musical traces Burnham’s journey from an ambitious promoter to a visionary urban designer who would later direct the master plan for the future of Chicago’s developmentCheck for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

9. A Little Night Music

BoHo Theatre at Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Park 
Now playing through July 8, 2018 ​

From the writers of Sweeney Todd comes this hilarious story of romantic attachments, detachments, and mismatches. The winner of four Tony Awards, A Little Night Music explores the tangled web of affairs that center around actress Desiree Armfeldt and the men who love her — and the women who love them. All parties meet for a “Weekend in the Country” at Desiree’s mother’s estate, where the tangled web of romantic involvements continues to surprise us with its twists and turns. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

10. To Catch a Fish

TimeLine Theatre
615 W. Wellington Ave. in Lakeview
Now playing through July 1, 2018​

Timeline - To Catch a Fish

Inspired by true events, this new play examines how the pursuit of justice can devastate a family and community. In a low-income neighborhood of Milwaukee, Terry Kilbourn has begun a new job passing out flyers for a discount warehouse. When his bosses start asking more of him, his loved ones begin to question what is really going on. As higher stakes are revealed and relationships tested, the clarity of who to trust and what to believe grows murky. To Catch a Fish walks the line between good intentions and deceit, testing the bonds we have to family and community. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

BONUS! HALF PRICE Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise

Chicago’s First Lady Cruises
Departs from the southeast corner of Michigan and the Chicago River

Chicago's First Lady

Voted the #1 tour in Chicago, and one of the top 10 tours in the country by TripAdvisor, Chicago's First Lady Cruises feature Chicago Architecture Foundation-certified tour guides who 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 at Hot Tix!

Note: Schedules are subject to change; visit the Hot Tix website for up-to-the-minute dates and half-price ticket availability. Visit to find other exciting productions on stage while you're here, and get insider guides to all things performing arts and the Chicago theatre scene to create your Chicago itinerary.

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