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* Premieres by playwright Seth Bockley and Chicago Fringe Opera and BraveSoul Mo.

* Premieres by playwright Seth Bockley and Chicago Fringe Opera and BraveSoul Movement and other artists are on tap for the seventh annual Pivot Arts Festival, a celebration of multidisciplinary performances that takes place at various locations in Chicago's Edgewater and Uptown neighborhoods. Among the premieres is "The Rosina Project," a collaboration between Chicago Fringe Opera and BraveSoul that updates Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" by incorporating hip-hop, street-dancers and a live DJ. Also on tap is the cabaret-style "Girasol: An Evening of Latinx Performances" featuring comedians, poets, storytellers and musicians. Bockley collaborates with actor/writer Jesse LaVercombe and Toronto musician/actor Ahmed Moneka for Tria Theatre's "Gilgamesh and Enkidu" adapted from the oldest piece of world literature about the friendship that develops between an oppressive king and a primitive man who battle then become friends. The festival runs Friday and Saturday, May 31-June 1. Tickets range from $15 to $35. See for a complete schedule and locations.

* City Lit Theater hosts its 12th annual Art of Adaptation Festival Friday through Sunday, May 31-June 2, at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. Following a nationwide call, seven theatri

cal adaptations of nondramatic material were selected for the showcase. They include: Preston Choi's "Advice to Chicago Residents About Lead in Drinking Water" adapted from the U.S. government website; Robert Halverson's "Dandelion" adapted from Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "Two Sisters (On the Terrace)" and Will Boersma's "Two Desperate Men," adapted from O. Henry's "The Ransom of Red Chief." Other works include: Terilyn Eisenhauer's "Crazed Girls," adapted from W.B. Yeats' "A Crazed Girl"; Ryan Yapp's "Three Wishes," with three short stories involving three wishes; Jack Cummings' "More Uncomfortable Than Wet Socks" adapted from Emily Dickinson's "I'm Nobody Who are You?"; and David Finney's " ... And So It Goes," adapted from the Emmett Till murder trial transcripts and FBI reports. Tickets are $15 on Friday and Saturday and $20 for Sunday's marathon performances. (773) 293-3682 or

* "The Golden Age: Scarred for Life," the latest improvised drama by Theatre Momentum, opens Friday, May 31, at 1803 W. Byron St., Chicago. The play, about the off-air relationships between radio station co-workers, unfolds in 1944 in station WKII. The drama unfolds over 12 episodes through July 13. Dedicated to dramatic improvisation, Theatre Momentum strives to "create three-dimensional characters, dynamic relationships and dramatic stories that present the breadths of scripted theater hand-in-hand with the immediacy and energy of improvisation," said artistic director Tony Rielage in a prepared statement. See

* Babes With Blades concludes its 21st season with its Fighting Words Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2, at Otherworld Theatre, 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. Since 2005, ensemble members have selected three plays from its development series for works that expand combat roles for women. The festival consists of readings of Jayme McGhan's "Life in a Sandcastle," about two families battling over a beachside fire pit; Bianca Sams' "Summer Nights and Fireflies," about a woman struggling to keep her family's east Texas bar afloat; and Deborah Yarchun's "Jenga," about a woman who returns to her childhood home and engages in ever-escalating battles with her sister. Admission is free. See

* Chicago Dramatists continues its Monday Night Drama Series, consisting of public readings of in-progress plays, at 7 p.m. Monday, June 3, at 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago. Next up is "His Shadow" by Loy A. Webb. See

* The International Voices Project concludes Tuesday, June 4, at the Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio St., Chicago, with South Korean writer Sam-Shik Pai's "Inching Towards Yeolha" in collaboration with Token Theatre. Set in an isolated village, it's about a four-legged beast who suddenly starts talking. The performance is at 6:30 p.m. See

* A woman battling depression decides to become a competitive rock-climber in "Grace, or the Art of Climbing," by L.M. Feldman. Brown Paper Box Co. presents the Midwest premiere beginning previews Thursday, June 6, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The play, which opens June 8, "amplifies the complexities of mental illness without ever dismissing our lead characters as a victim," said director Erin Shea Brady in a prepared statement. "We recognize (her) challenges as our own as she navigates heartbreak and loss, finding her footing in an unpredictable and ever-changing world." See

* The Second City hosts its fifth annual Break Out Comedy Festival showcasing emerging, multicultural stand-up, sketch and improv artists. Held in cooperation with NBC, the fest runs Thursday through Sunday, June 6-9, at the Up Comedy Club, Piper's Alley, 230 W. North Ave., Chicago. Chicago native Godfrey headlines and hosts the June 7 and 8 performances. Others scheduled to appear include Second City alum Christina Anthony ("Key and Peele"), T Murph ("Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level") and others. Tickets range from $20 to $30. Second City also announced the return of its weekly variety show "Salute to Pride" written and performed by an all-LGBTQ cast. "The Second City's Salute to Pride" runs Tuesdays and Wednesdays in June at the Up Comedy Club. (312) 337-3992 or

* Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced longtime ensemble member, stage manager Malcolm Ewen died earlier this month after a long battle with cancer. A company member for 32 years, Ewen stage managed more than 40 shows, four of which went to Broadway. "Welcoming every actor and artist through our doors, he carried the originating spirit of ensemble, embodied it and passed it along to each production that had the good fortune of Malcolm at the helm," said artistic director Anna D. Shapiro and executive director David Schmitz in a prepared statement.

* Valiant Theatre, a new Chicago ensemble whose mission is to "tell the stories of real people and historic events marked by courage, valor and determination with the goal of inspiring others," announced its creative team. Led by artistic director and Chicago theater veteran Nich Radcliffe, the team includes general manager David Heimann, formerly Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre's company manager and associate artistic director Bobbi Masters, former associate artistic director of Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, Texas.

* The Joseph Jefferson Award committee will recognize Trap Door Theatre's 25-year commitment to producing challenging, obscure works with a special award during its Monday, June 3, non-equity award presentation at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Founded by Beata Pilch, the acclaimed avant-garde theater has performed in France, Hungary, Romania, Poland and the Republic Moldova.

* Teatro Vista announced its 30th season will begin Sept. 21 with the Midwest premiere of "Hope: Part II of a Mexican Trilogy" (location TBD), Evelina Fernandez's examination of Mexican-American life in the 1960s presented as part of the Chicago International Latino Theater Festival. That's followed by the premiere of Marvin Quijada's "The Dream King" (April 4-May 10, 2020, at the Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago). Ensemble members Sandra Marquez directs the love story about a man who falls in love with a woman in his dreams. The season concludes with a Goodman Theatre co-production of "American Mariachi" (April 25-May 31, 2020, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago) by Jose Cruz Gonzalez. The 1970s-set comedy centers on a woman who decides to create an all-female mariachi band. See

* City Lit Theater will devote its 40th anniversary season to exploring significant moments in American history "through fact, fiction and fantasy." It begins Sept. 27 with Peter Parnell's "Romance Language" described as a "mock-epic comic fantasia set in 1876 where Huck Finn and Walt Whitman head on a cross-country search for Tom Sawyer during which they encounter Louisa May Alcott and other literary greats. That's followed by resident playwright Kristine Thatcher's "Voice of Good Hope" (Jan. 3-Feb. 16, 2020), a bio-drama about Barbara Jordan, the Deep South's first elected African-American congresswoman, who played a pivotal role in Richard Nixon's impeachment hearings. Next up is the premiere of director/adapter Brian Pastor's "Thirteen Days" (Feb. 28-April 12, 2020) based on Robert F. Kennedy's memoir about the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. The season concludes with a premiere adaptation of Owen Wister's "The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plaines" (June 5-July 19, 2020) by L.C. Bernadine and Spencer Huffman. The production will incorporate Von Orthal Puppets to tell the story of a soft-spoken cowboy with a singular code of honor who confronts a former ranch hand turned cattle rustler. Performances take place at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. Season subscriptions are $68 for preview performances and $90 for regular-run performances. They're available online at

Barbara Vitello
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Title Annotation:TimeOut
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Geographic Code:1U3IL
Date:May 31, 2019
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