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Among the 100-plus productions on tap during the seventh annual Chicago Theatre.

Byline: Barbara Vitello bvitello@dailyherald.com

Among the 100-plus productions on tap during the seventh annual Chicago Theatre Week are more than a dozen suburban shows including a couple of popular jukebox tuners, a whodunit, a classic by August Wilson, a family-friendly musical showcasing Dr. Seuss' characters and a behind-the-scenes romp about the making of a Broadway flop.

The 10-day celebration runs Feb. 7-17 at venues throughout the city and suburbs and is co-produced by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. It marks the beginning of a yearlong salute to Chicago theater announced last September by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Tickets for select performances are $30 and $15 and are available for sale online at chicagotheatreweek.com. Order tickets soon as discounted tickets tend to go fast.

Organizers advise theatergoers to step outside their comfort zones and check out smaller theaters, suburban companies and off-Loop venues they may not ordinarily patronize.

Here are some of the productions at participating suburban theaters.

'All Childish Things

First Folio Theatre stages this comedy heist by ensemble member Joseph Zettelmaier about a group of longtime friends and "Star Wars" aficionados who plan to break into a warehouse to steal memorabilia.

Through Feb. 24 at First Folio Theatre, 1717 31st. St., Oak Brook, (630) 986-8067 or firstfolio.org.

'Bonnie & Clyde -- The Musical'

This 2011 bio-musical about Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, the outlaw lovers and bank robbers who cut a murderous swath through the southern United States during the Great Depression, gets a revival courtesy of MadKap Productions.

Feb. 8-24 at Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie, (847) 677-7761 or skokietheatre.org.

'Defiance'

A Caucasian Lt. Colonel enlists help from an African-American captain to investigate a series of racial crimes on a North Carolina Marine base in "Defiance," John Patrick Shanley's examination of race and personal responsibility. Buffalo Theatre Ensemble member Kurt Naebig directs the revival.

Jan. 31 to March 3 at the McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, (630) 942-4000, atthemac.org or btechicago.com.

'Mamma Mia!'

Susie McMonagle, a veteran of the "Mamma Mia!" national tour, stars as a single mom whose daughter is determined to learn the identity of her biological father so he can walk her down the aisle in Drury Lane Theatre's revival of the jukebox tuner crafted from songs by ABBA. Artistic director William Osetek helms the revival.

Feb. 7 to April 14 at 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, (630) 530-0111 or drurylanetheatre.com.

'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'

Felicia P. Fields plays the titular blues legend (born Gertrude Pridgett) in the Writers Theatre revival of August Wilson's fictionalized account of a Chicago recording session with Rainey and her band. Part of Wilson's 10-play Pittsburgh cycle chronicling the African-American experience in the 20th century, the drama is set during the 1920s and examines the three Rs: race, religion and the record company exploitation of blues artists. Resident director Ron OJ Parson directs.

Feb. 6 to March 17 at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, (847) 242-6000 or writerstheatre.org.

'Million Dollar Quartet' and 'Seussical'

There'll be plenty of shakin' goin' on at Marriott Theatre where the popular jukebox tuner "Million Dollar Quartet" -- inspired by an impromptu, 1956 jam session between Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley -- gets yet another Chicago revival. For youngsters, Marriott offers the family-friendly "Seussical." Inspired by Dr. Seuss stories, specifically "Horton Hears a Who," the musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty also incorporates "The Cat in the Hat," "The Lorax" and "If I Ran the Zoo" among other tales.

"Million Dollar Quartet" runs through March 10 and "Seussical" runs Feb. 8 to March 31 at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire, (847) 634-0200 or marriotttheatre.com.

'The Mousetrap'

A group of guests staying at a remote British guesthouse appear to be targets of a killer in Agatha Christie's whodunit "The Mousetrap." Metropolis Performing Arts Centre revives the mystery, which has run continuously in the West End since its London debut more than 66 years ago.

Jan. 31 to March 16 at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

'Nina Simone: Four Women'

Northlight Theatre's production of Christina Ham's bio-drama of the jazz singer/songwriter/social activist marks the Northlight debut of lead actresses Melanie Brezill, Sydney Charles, Deanna Reed Foster and Ariel Richardson as well as the Northlight debut of director Kenneth L. Roberson.

Jan. 24 to March 2 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, (847) 673-6300 or northlight.org.

'The Producers'

A failing theater producer and his very nervous accountant hatch a plan to make money by staging the worst musical in Broadway's history in "The Producers," adapted for the stage by writer/director Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan from Brooks' 1967 film. Paramount Theatre's production stars Broadway veteran Blake Hammond as Max Bialystock and Jake Morrissy as his partner-in-musical-theater-crime Leo Bloom.

Feb. 6 to March 17 at 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.

'The Roommate'

A recently divorced Iowa housewife advertises for a roommate and winds up sharing her house with a New Yorker with a taste for medicinal herbs in "The Roommate," a dark comedy by Jen Silverman. Citadel Theatre's production of the 2015 play stars Ellen Phelps and Laurie Carter Rose.

Jan. 30 to March 3 at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, (847) 745-8554 or citadeltheatre.org.
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Title Annotation:TimeOut
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Geographic Code:1U3IL
Date:Jan 25, 2019
Words:898
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