Discover the Year of Chicago Theatre

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Welcome to the Year of Chicago Theatre

 

The Year of Chicago Theatre is a citywide celebration of the Chicago’s vibrant theatre scene, featuring performances, free events, and special exhibits throughout 2019.

This year-long initiative, the first of its kind in the nation, will welcome visitors and locals to experience the city’s dynamic theatre community at hundreds of cultural venues, theaters, parks and neighborhoods throughout the city.

Year of Chicago Theatre events

Night Out in the Parks
Night Out in the Parks

Choose from more than 200 free performance by local theatre groups in more than 100 parks all across Chicago.

Art on theMART
Art on theMART

The world's largest digital art projection will feature a new season of original art, inspired by the Year of Chicago Theatre.

Open House Chicago theatre trail
Open House Chicago theatre trail

Explore dozens of theatres and related sites throughout the city during Open House Chicago, a free architecture festival this October.

Featured shows

Always…Patsy Cline
Nov 16 – Dec 15

Always…Patsy Cline

Based on the true story of Patsy’s friendship with Houstonite Louise Seger. Having first heard Patsy on the Arthur Godfrey Show in 1957, Louise became an immediate and avid fan of Patsy’s and she constantly hounded the local disc jockey to play Patsy’s records on the radio. In 1961 when Patsy went to Houston for a show, Louise and her buddies arrived about an hour-and-a-half early and, by coincidence, met Patsy who was traveling alone. The two women struck up a friendship — a friendship that lasted the rest of Patsy Cline’s life.

Saturday November 16, 2019 Sunday December 15, 2019

Firebrand Theatre at The Den Theatre
1331 N. Milwaukee in Wicker Park

Spamalot
Now through Dec 29

Spamalot

Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, SPAMALOT retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, featuring ridiculous men in tight pants — not to mention cows, killer rabbits, and French people. SPAMALOT is an irreverent musical of the legend of King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail. Spurred on by a plague with a 50% chance of pestilence and famine, Arthur recruits knights to accompany him on his quest in pursuit of the salvation of Camelot, and their own destinies. Along the way they encounter crazy shenanigans, including the Lady of the Lake and her Laker Girls, flatulent Frenchmen with flying cows and blood-thirsty killer rabbits.

Now playing through December 29, 2019

Mercury Theater Chicago
3745 N. Southport Ave. in Lakeview

Lindiwe
Nov 17 – Jan 5

Lindiwe

The evocative live music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo forms the foundation of this Steppenwolf world premiere production. As the story travels from Chicago’s Kingston Mines to South Africa and beyond, Lindiwe’s love story challenges us to define the boundaries between this world and the next, all the while exploring the sacrifices we make for love. What holds us together between this world and the next?

Sunday November 17, 2019 Sunday January 5, 2020

Steppenwolf Theatre Company
1650 N. Halsted in Lincoln Park

Love, Chaos and Dinner
Open Run

Love, Chaos and Dinner

Enter a realm where reality and dreams converge; an experience unlike any other! 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 their 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!”

Open Run

Teatro ZinZanni at Spiegeltent ZaZou inside the Cambria Loop Hotel
32 W. Randolph in the Loop

The Infinite Wrench
Open Run

The Infinite Wrench

The Infinite Wrench is a mechanism that unleashes a barrage of two-minute plays for a live audience. Each play offers something different, be it funny, profound, elegant, disgusting, topical, irrelevant, terrifying, or a song; all are truthful and tackle the here-and-now, inspired by the lived experiences of the performers. With new plays every week, The Infinite Wrench is The Neo-Futurists’ ongoing and ever-changing attempt to shift the conventions of live performance and speak to those unreached or unmoved by traditional theatre. Recommended for ages 14 and up.

Open Run

The Neo-Futurists
5153 N. Ashland Ave.

The Other Cinderella
Now through JAN 19

The Other Cinderella

The Other Cinderella is a Black Ensemble classic that has been enjoyed by people of all colors, kinds and ages. In this African American rendition of this African fairy tale, Cinderella is from the projects, The Stepmamma works at the Post Office, there are the Brothers From The Hood, and The Fairygodmamma is from Jamaica. The Other Cinderella is a musical classic that audiences have returned to see time and time again. The music is divine, the dancing is wild and the story is uplifting, positive, and infectious.

Now playing through January 19, 2020

Black Ensemble Theater
4450 N. Clark in Uptown

Grinning from Fear to Fear
Open Run

Grinning from Fear to Fear

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.

Open Run

The Second City’s e.t.c. Theater
1616 N. Wells St.

Packing
Now through DEC 7

Packing

Don’t miss this world premiere solo show as it begins its U.S. tour! From writer/performer Scott Bradley comes a three-decade odyssey of reinvention and self-discovery. This personal snapshot of recent queer history is told with Bradley’s signature blend of humor, pop music, and disarming honesty, plus a few ancestral frontier stories to round it all out. From small-town Iowa to England, New York City, and Chicago, Bradley’s story navigates relationships, assaults, addictions, the plague years of the AIDS crisis, and the fight for marriage equality.

Now playing through December 7, 2019

About Face Theatre at Theater Wit
1229 W. Belmont in Lakeview

Romeo and Juliet
Now Through DEC 22

Romeo and Juliet

A city, two households, and a hatred so old that no one remembers its cause. Defying the barriers forged from their families’ enmity, Romeo and Juliet risk everything to be together. Armed only with their extraordinary capacity for love and imagination, Romeo and Juliet dare to inhabit a world where hearts are not ruled by hatred. In the uniquely personal setting of CST’s Courtyard Theater, Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and her 25-person cast will make you feel every spark of emotion as tempers flare, family’s brawl, and love blazes!

Now playing through December 22, 2019

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 E. Grand on Navy Pier

The Steadfast Tin Soldier
Now Through JAN 26

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

True to his loyal and resolute nature, The Steadfast Tin Soldier returns! Hans Christian Andersen’s story about a little tin soldier who never gives up comes back to Lookingglass for a winter-time curtain call. Ensemble member Mary Zimmerman fashions an extravagant and exhilarating spectacle, infused with music and movement. Don’t miss the triumphant return of Chicago’s newest holiday tradition.

Now playing through January 26, 2020

Lookingglass Theatre
821 N. Michigan along the Magnificent Mile

The Simon & Garfunkel Story
Nov 19 – Dec 8

The Simon & Garfunkel Story

Since its sell out in London’s West End, The Simon & Garfunkel Story is now the world’s leading theatre show concerning Simon & Garfunkel featuring a full live band and state of the art video projection and lighting. The show includes all of their hits, including ‘Mrs. Robinson’, ‘Cecilia’, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, ‘Homeward Bound’, and many more.

Tuesday November 19, 2019 Sunday December 8, 2019

Broadway In Chicago at the Broadway Playhouse
175 E. Chestnut along the Magnificent Mile

Sunset Boulevard
Now Through DEC 8

Sunset Boulevard

In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess Norma Desmond lives in a fantasy world. When impoverished screenwriter Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive domain he is persuaded to work on Norma’s “masterpiece,” a screenplay that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras. Seduced by Norma and her luxurious lifestyle, he finds himself trapped in her clutches until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with shattering consequences. This Tony Award-winning masterpiece of obsession, romance and the golden age of Hollywood stars one of the most celebrated leading ladies of Chicago theatre: Hollis Resnik, making her Porchlight Music Theatre Mainstage debut.

Now playing through December 8, 2019

Porchlight Music Theatre at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts
1016 N. Dearborn in the Near North Side

For more information about the Year of Chicago Theatre and to see a full list of shows, visit ChicagoPlays.com.

Cloudgate (The Bean) at night

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