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.

Here are 10 top plays and musicals — both traditional favorites and main-stage headliners — with discount tickets during the month of October. Also check out our 10 Hot Shows for the Halloween Season!

1. Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Broadway in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre
24 W. Randolph in the Loop
Now playing through October 2-21, 2018

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Broadway in Chicago

Roald Dahl's amazing tale is now Chicago’s golden ticket! It's the perfect recipe for a delectable treat: songs from the original film, including "Pure Imagination," "The Candy Man," and "I've Got a Golden Ticket," alongside a toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score from the songwriters of Hairspray. Get ready for Oompa-Loompas, incredible inventions, the great glass elevator, and more, more, more at this everlasting showstopper! Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

2. Caroline, or Change

TimeLine Theatre in partnership with Firebrand Theatre at The Den Theatre
1331 N. Milwaukee Ave in Wicker Park
Now playing through October 28, 2018

Caroline, or Change - TimeLine Theatre

Caroline, or Change is set in Lake Charles, Louisiana at the end of 1963. America is changing. Caroline Thibodeaux is a mother of four and a maid, working for the southern Jewish Gellman family. Caroline struggles with changes monumental and mundane, and her relationship with the young, grieving boy who lives in the house she cleans. Riveting, moving and awe-inspiring, Caroline, or Change features a virtuosic score by Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Violet) and a breathtaking book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America), the music ranges from Motown to Klezmer, the storytelling from political to magical. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

3. Indecent

Victory Gardens Theater
2433 North Lincoln Ave in Lincoln Park
Now playing through November 4, 2018

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive) tells the deeply moving story of the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Jewish playwright Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance — a play about a forbidden lesbian romance that enchanted and outraged audiences. Inspired by true events, Indecent, is performed by an ensemble of seven actors and three musicians portraying more than 40 roles to chart an explosive moment in theatrical history and the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

4. Flyin’ West

American Blues Theater at Stage 773
1225 W. Belmont in Lakeview
Playing October 5-November 3, 2018

Following the end of the Civil War, many former slaves took advantage of The Homestead Act and went West to build new lives for themselves and their families. Many of these homesteaders were black women who overcame tremendous odds to work their own land and make a place for themselves in an often harsh and forbidding environment. Set in 1898, Flyin’ West is the story of some of these African-American female pioneers who settled, together, in the all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

5. Eclipsed

Pegasus Theatre Chicago at Chicago Dramatists
1105 W. Chicago Ave in West Town
Playing October 4-November 4, 2018

Eclipsed, the first play to premiere on Broadway with an all-female and black cast and creative team, was inspired by a photo that Gurira saw in The New York Times. “I was raised in Africa and I had never seen anything like it, women with AK-47s, dressed very hip and looking formidable.” she said. “I was keen to one day pursue that story and put it on the stage.” Taking place in a bullet-ridden rebel army camp during the Liberian civil war in 2003, the five "wives" of a commanding officer band together to form a fragile community and care for a 15-year-old girl who has been abducted. The balance of their lives is upset by the return of a former "wife" turned rebel soldier and, as the war draws to a close, each woman must discover her own personal means of survival in this deeply felt portrait of women finding and testing their own strength. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

6. Crumbs from the Table of Joy

Raven Theatre
6157 N. Clark in Edgewater
Playing October 4-November 18, 2018

Brooklyn, 1950. Ernestine and Ermina Crump have moved to New York with their father, Godfrey, who is seeking spiritual guidance from a man called Father Divine. In the swirling, glamorous commotion of this new city, with calls for equal rights and communist rebellion hanging in the air, the girls begin a turbulent journey toward independence and a challenging future. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

7. It's Only a Play

Pride Films and Plays at The Broadway
4139 N. Broadway in Buena Park
Playing October 11-November 11, 2018

In It’s Only a Play, it’s the opening night of a play called The Golden Egg on Broadway, and the wealthy producer Julia Budder is throwing a lavish party in her lavish Manhattan townhouse. Downstairs, the celebrities are pouring in, but the real action is upstairs in the bedroom, where a group of insiders have staked themselves out to await the reviews. The assembled group of theater professionals and hangers-on will be the perfect ingredients for a prime recipe for the narcissism, ambition, childishness, and just plain irrationality that infuse the theatre—and for comedy. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

8. Borealis

The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre
1543 W. Division St in Wicker Park
Now playing through October 21, 2018

Borealis - Chopin Theatre

When a redacted and ominous letter arrives from her brother on the Alaskan oil fields, 13-year-old Cozbi sets off to rescue him. Armed with a book on corporate communication strategy and a sharp axe, Cozbi battles her way through an Arctic wilderness in pursuit of her missing brother. But she'll have to face more than a multi-tentacled HR rep to learn the truth. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

9. Nell Gwynn 

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 E. Grand Ave on Navy Pier
Now playing through November 4, 2018

London 1660, free of Puritan austerity and reveling once more in its theater, where a new style has taken hold, and women now act alongside men. When The King’s Company at Drury Lane casts Nell Gwynn, an orange seller with a quick wit and beauty to match, as its first leading lady, she captures the hearts of her audience—and King Charles II. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

10. Destinos

Chicago Latino Theater Alliance at Multiple Venues
Now playing through November 4, 2018

The second Chicago International Latino Theater Festival will celebrate homegrown Latino theater artists and companies, both emerging and established, from Chicago. Destinos will also showcase national and international artists and companies from Dallas and Los Angeles, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico at presenting theatres all over the city. Take a look at the full festival scheduleCheck 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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