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American Blues Theatre Theatre is Where Chicago Bares Its Soul

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

Neighborhood events

Chicago neighborhoods will offer theatre-themed events as part of the Night Out in the Parks series.

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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

Othello

APR 11-MAY 25

Babes With Blades Theatre Company at The Factory Theater

Othello

Babes With Blades Theatre Company brings you their biennial production of BWBTC Shakespeare: productions which solely feature actors who identify as female, trans, and gender-nonconforming, providing the opportunity for audiences to perceive these classic stories through a new lens. Now, they bring their take on the Bard’s classic tale of jealousy and manipulation.

Tickets

The Children

APR 18-JUN 9

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

The Children

On a summer evening in an isolated seaside cottage in the East of England, a pair of retired nuclear scientists are startled by a visit from a former colleague. As some crackers and wine are trotted out, so are various old jealousies, leading to the true reason for Rose’s sudden reappearance: the revelation of a chilling and dangerous plan.

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Hands on a Hard Body

MAR 15-APR 27

Refuge Theatre Project at Preston Bradley Center

Hands on a Hard Body

Inspired by true events, the hilarious and hopeful Hands on a Hard Body is based on the acclaimed 1997 documentary of the same name. Only one winner can drive home the American Dream and 10 hard-luck Texans all want the keys. Under a scorching sun for days on end, they will each fight to keep at least one hand on a brand-new truck in order to win it.

Tickets

Hamlet

APR 17-JUN 9

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Hamlet

Reeling from grief, the Prince of Denmark attempts to navigate his father’s death, betrayal, and relationships torn asunder. Barbara Gaines returns for the first time in more than twenty years—to this enduring masterpiece that weighs the cost of betrayal, passion and revenge.

Tickets

Pinocchio

MAR 28-MAY 19

The House Theatre of Chicago at the Chopin Theatre

Pinocchio

The House brings to life the classic fairy tale of a wooden boy who wishes to become real. Carved from an enchanted stump from the charred Black Forest, toy-shop owner Geppetto’s puppet child flourishes. But this protective father keeps Pinocchio’s wild branches trimmed back, and forbids venturing out. A method sure to inspire rebellion in this precocious, curious not-quite-real young man.

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West Side Story

MAY 3-JUN 2

Lyric Opera of Chicago

West Side Story

Tony and Maria are two wide-eyed teenagers from opposing gangs who fall in love. As their friends and family battle with one another, Tony and Maria long for “a place for us… somewhere.” Their songs illuminate every scene and permeate our culture; add that to the bold, sexy, iconic dances of Jerome Robbins that smolder and sizzle with energy, and you have a musical-theater experience you’ll never forget.

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Corduroy

MAR 1-APR 20

Emerald City Theatre at the Athenaeum Theatre

Corduroy

A small bear’s quest for a missing button leads to the friendship of a lifetime! Learn the importance of empathy and unconditional love along with a young girl and her mother in this sweet adaptation of the beloved book by Don Freeman. Corduroy is a Chicago premiere and a playful adventure that will delight ages 3 and up!

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Little Shop of Horrors

MAR 1-APR 28

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.

Tickets

Single Black Female

May 3-May 19

Congo Square at eta Creative Arts

Single Black Female

Single Black Female (SBF) is a two-woman show with rapid-fire comic vignettes that explores the lives of African American middle class women. We join these women as they search for love, clothes and dignity in a world that fails to recognize them amid a parade of stereotypical images.

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La Havana Madrid

MAY 11-JUN 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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The Watsons Go to Birmingham

MAR 30-MAY 19

Chicago Children’s Theatre

The Watsons Go to Birmingham

When Kenny’s older brother starts getting into too much trouble in Michigan, it’s decided that he needs to pay a visit to Grandma Sands in Birmingham, Alabama to straighten him out. The whole family – Momma, Dad, Byron, Kenny and Joetta – sets out on a cross-country journey in the family car, the “Brown Bomber.” When they make it to Birmingham, however, they find much more than they bargained for.

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Falsettos

MAY 28-JUN 9

Broadway in Chicago at James M. Nederlander Theatre

Falsettos

Falsettos revolves around the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin, his wife, lover, about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and the lesbians next door. It’s a hilarious and achingly poignant look at the infinite possibilities that make up a modern family… and a beautiful reminder that love can tell a million stories.

Tickets

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