10 Hot Shows To See in Chicago

May 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 May.

1. Buyer and Cellar

Buyer and Cellar

Pride Films and Plays
4139 N. Broadway in Buena Park
Now playing through May 19, 2019

Buyer & Cellar is a comedy about Alex More, a struggling actor who takes a job managing a make-believe shopping mall in Barbra Streisand’s basement. It was a 2013 off-Broadway hit, running for 13 months at the Barrow Street Theatre immediately after its sold-out world premiere. A national tour starring Michael Urie played Chicago for six weeks in 2014. The show has been performed in many countries around the world since then. This will be the play’s first Chicago production since the tour’s engagement here. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

2. Mad Beat Hip & Gone

Promethean Theatre Ensemble at The Edge Theatre
5451 N. Broadway Ave.
Now playing through June 1, 2019

This Midwest premiere of a new Steven Dietz play considers 1950s America, when magnificent poets roamed open highways, accompanied by jukebox jazz. The nation’s youth hit the road, high on full tanks of gas and brimming with unattainable dreams. Two magnificently average young men from Nebraska encounter Jack Kerouac and his friends in a bar. They respond by heading west themselves, trailing the Beat poets all the way to the golden land of California. Youthful exuberance is balanced by the untethered floundering of the older generation and their bittersweet knowledge that all dreams are fleeting. Mad Hip & Gone marries the realism and sharp dialogue for which Dietz is famous, with the achingly brilliant poetry of the Beat Generation. It’s a road trip you won’t want to miss. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

3. Hannah and Martin

A scene from Hannah and Martin

Shattered Globe Theatre at Theater Wit
1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Lakeview
Now playing through May 25, 2019

Based on the tumultuous love affair between German-Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt and her mentor, the celebrated German philosopher Martin Heidegger, this emotionally intense drama focuses on the crisis that erupts when Arendt discovers that her former teacher is using his brilliance and fame to help further the goals of the Nazi Party. Hannah and Martin is a provocative exploration into the activity of thinking and its relation to passion, love, and politics. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

4. One For the Road

MPAACT at Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Now playing through June 2, 2019

The year is 1972, and Ray Haskins is the proud owner of a south side bar passed down to him from his late father. However, between the neighborhood gang squeezing him for protection money, the mysterious Vietnam vet he just hired, and dealing with his own personal demons, Ray may find himself in a fight for survival of his most prized possession. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

5. A Chorus Line

Chorus Line

Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Theater
1016 N. Dearborn on the Near North Side  
Now playing through May 31, 2019

Winner of nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, this landmark work has electrified audiences around the world. In an empty theatre, on a bare stage, casting for a new Broadway musical is almost complete. For seventeen dancers, this audition is the chance or a lifetime. It’s what they’ve worked for with every drop of sweat and every hour or training, putting their lives on the line for the opportunity to do what they’ve always dreamed of doing: to dance. Featuring an incomparable score including “What I Did for Love,” “One,” and “Dance Ten, Looks Three,” you won’t want to miss this singular sensation!  Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

6. The Adventures of Augie March

Court Theatre
5535 S. Ellis
Playing May 9 – June 9, 2019

Young Augie March is a product of the Great Depression: plucky, resourceful, searching for love, and striving to grow up and away from home. Through odd jobs and encounters with unique characters, Augie explores what it takes to succeed in the world as a true individual. The Adventures of Augie March is an epic coming-of-age story that bridges continents and stages of life, exuding the endearing confidence of a boy taking in a complex world. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

7. Rent

A scene fro Rent

Broadway In Chicago at James M. Nederlander Theatre
24 W. Randolph in the Loop  
Playing May 10 – May 19, 2019

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s Rent continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, Rent follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters — love. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

8. The Winter’s Tale

Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn in the Loop
Playing May 4 – June 9, 2019

Jealousy can drive you wild. Following his celebrated productions of King Lear and Measure for Measure, Robert Falls reimagines one of Shakespeare’s most wildly theatrical tales. A paranoid king accuses his queen of infidelity setting off a calamitous series of events spanning 16 years. But what begins as tragedy unexpectedly evolves into romantic comedy filled with song and dance, magic and metamorphosis and an appearance from Shakespeare’s most iconic furry beast. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

9. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

A scene from Tulane

Filament Theatre
4041 N. Milwaukee Av. in Portage Park  
Now playing through May 26

Kate DiCamillo’s beloved book is brought to life in Filament’s characteristic intimate style, with dynamic characters and live music. Edward Tulane is an expensive toy rabbit made of china. He is loved by a little girl named Abilene, but Edward has no interest in anyone other than himself. On an ocean voyage, Edward is accidentally thrown overboard and sinks to the bottom of the sea. So begins his journey — a journey over which he has no control, for he is a toy rabbit. He can neither move nor speak. As the years pass by, Edward meets many different people in many different situations. Through this miraculous journey, Edward learns what it is to love, what it is to lose that love, and how to find the courage to love again. Check for half-price tickets at Hot Tix!

10. Two Days in Court

City Lit Theater Company
1020 W. Bryn Mawr in Edgewater
Now playing through May 26, 2019

Come for the greatest orator of early America arguing contract law with Satan, stay for the riotous musical farce with a plot too ridiculous to summarize. Although the story of The Devil and Daniel Webster is well-known, few people have actually seen it onstage, because not many theatres do one-acts anymore. After intermission, the same actors will then perform Trial by Jury, the equally great but completely different thirty-minute operetta that launched Gilbert & Sullivan's career as the English stage's finest satirists. Check 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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