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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

Summer Film Series

Summer Film Series in Millennium Park

Look for a theatre-themed film line up at this popular outdoor movie series.

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Chicago!

Chicago! The Play, The Movies, The Musical...The Murders

Explore artifacts from the musical’s evolution and the real crimes that inspired it.

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goat island archive

goat island archive – we have discovered the performance by making it

A collection of new work inspired by Chicago’s groundbreaking performance group.

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Neighborhood events

Night Out in the Parks

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

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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.

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Millennium Park Theatre Residencies

Millennium Park Theatre Residencies

A series of weekly residencies will bring local theatre companies into the park for free shows from July to October.

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Featured shows

Cats

July 16 – August 4

Broadway Chicago at James M. Nederlander Theatre

Cats

CATS, the record-breaking musical spectacular by Andrew Lloyd Webber that has captivated audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages, is now on tour across North America. CATS tells the story of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn.

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True West

July 5 – August 19

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

True West

This American classic traces the sometimes violent and always volatile relationship of Austin and Lee, estranged brothers who find themselves trapped together in their mother’s empty house with not much more than a typewriter and a set of golf clubs. In its first Steppenwolf revival, Shepard’s masterpiece is reimagined through the eyes of a new generation of Steppenwolf artists, with a little help from those who came before.

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Something Clean

June 16 – July 21

Sideshow Theatre Company and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble at Victory Gardens Theater

Something Clean

Charlotte has been a mother for nineteen years, a wife for three decades, and a respectable community member her entire life. But when her son is incarcerated for sexual assault, Charlotte is forced to reckon with a brand new identity, both public and private. Desperate to find a way back to who she was, she seeks out work at a sexual assault crisis center and meets Joey, a volunteer coordinator and a survivor of assault himself, who allows her a glimpse of who she might be able to become.

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Algorithm Nation or The Static Quo

Now playing through September 6

The Second City

Algorithm Nation or The Static Quo

Unseen forces have assessed the data to create the perfect comedy content for all humans! Algorithm Nation or The Static Quo takes no prisoners (well, maybe just a few prisoners) during this frenetic, ultra-current, fall-down funny ride that focuses its sights on hyper-violence, astrological love connections, being woke, pyramid schemes, Facebook soldiers, Black Twitter, morning TV, and a whole lot more. Consider this show to be the kind of escape room you’ll never want to escape from…ever.

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The Music Man

June 29 – August 4

Goodman Theatre

The Music Man

Seventy-six trombones. One joyous musical masterpiece. Con man Harold Hill assumes he can easily fleece the citizens of staid River City, Iowa with the grand promise of a marching band. But the smooth-talking swindler can’t tell a trombone from a treble clef—and Marian, the local librarian, knows it. In his attempt to steal her heart (and save his hide), Harold learns a thing or two about moral responsibility—and unexpectedly enriches the town with a love of music.

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The Comedy of Errors

July 18 – August 18

Chicago Shakespeare Theater: Shakespeare in the Parks

The Comedy of Errors

Now in its eighth year, the free Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour heads out to neighborhood parks across the city with a 75-minute abridged production. The story unfolds when Antipholus and his lifelong servant Dromio search the world over for a twin, lost in infancy. Everywhere they go in this foreign land, complete strangers insist that they’re best of friends. Is everyone here quite mad? Mistaken identities abound, as one bewildering day in makes for hilarious complications—and a bewitching theatrical experience.

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Frankenstein

MAY 8 – AUG 4

Lookingglass Theatre Company

Frankenstein

Within every man there is a monster; every monster, a man. But which is which? Mary Shelley’s unsettling story crackles to life as Victor Frankenstein must contend with his unholy creation. From the brain of Lookingglass Ensemble Member David Catlin (Moby Dick, Lookingglass Alice) comes a new, visceral adaptation of Frankenstein.

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Little Shop of Horrors

MARCH 1 – JUNE 30

Mercury Theater Chicago

Little Shop of Horrors

Assistant at Mushnik’s flower shop, orphan Seymour Krelborn is in search of an escape from his poverty-stricken life on an urban skid-row, and in love with his co-worker, Audrey. After obtaining a mysterious carnivorous plant, whom he names Audrey II, he discovers that it survives only by blood. As the shop’s popularity grows, so does Audrey II’s hunger for blood, along with Audrey’s love for Seymour. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

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Sweet Texas Reckoning

June 7 – 30

Artemisia, A Chicago Theatre at The Den Theatre

Sweet Texas Reckoning

Ellie, a lonely, bigoted alcoholic, is eager to wed her daughter Kate off to Alan John, Kate’s childhood sweetheart. Imagine Ellie’s surprise when Kate visits with her beautiful black wife, Samantha. Written by Traci Godfrey, Sweet Texas Reckoning won Artemisia’s Fall Festival 2016 and the New Works of Merit & Panndora Production’s Playwriting Contests.

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La Havana Madrid

MAY 11 – JUNE 22

Teatro Vista and Collaboraction at The Den Theatre

La Havana Madrid

Based on the true story of the 1960’s Chicago nightclub, La Havana Madrid and inspired by real stories of Cuban, Puerto Rican and Colombian immigrants who found refuge there, La Havana Madrid recreates a special time and place in Chicago history by immersing audiences in the lively music of that decade, from mambo to salsa.

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Too Heavy For Your Pocket

APRIL 24 – JUNE 30

TimeLine Theatre Company

Too Heavy For Your Pocket

Bowzie Brandon, his wife Evelyn, and their best friends Tony and Sally-Mae see happiness on the horizon when Bowzie gets a scholarship to attend college and improve his family’s life. However, when the opportunity to become a Freedom Rider arises, Bowzie leaves his obligations as a husband and friend behind to join the fight against racism in the Deep South. Too Heavy For Your Pocket is a powerful look at the tenuous balance between security and risk, the bonds of love and friendship, and the personal cost of progress.

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VOLTA

May 18 – July 6

Cirque du Soleil at Soldier Field, Under the Big Top

VOLTA

A spellbinding story about the freedom to choose and the thrill of blazing your own trail.

Tickets

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