Theatergoers have plenty of options this winter, including world premieres, touring productions of Broadway tuners and a couple of new plays inspired by Andy Warhol.
Of the many shows set to open over the next three months, here are a baker’s dozen that are worth braving the elements.
If you’re so inclined, consider taking them in during Theatre Week, Feb. 16-26, when many suburban and city theaters will offer tickets for $30, $15 or less. See choosechicago.com/chicago-theatre-week/ for information on participating theaters.
“Andy Warhol in Iran”: Jan. 19-Feb. 19 at Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Artistic director BJ Jones directs Brent Askari’s based-on-fact play inspired by the pop artist’s 1976 trip to Iran to photograph the Shah’s wife for a commissioned portrait. (847) 673-6300 or northlight.org.
“Big Fish”: Jan. 25-May 19 at Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. Broadway veteran Alexander Gemignani stars as Edward Bloom, the traveling salesman, teller of tall tales and absent father at the center of Andrew Lippa’s musical about love and reconciliation (which premiered here in 2013), inspired by Daniel Wallace’s 1998 novel and Tim Burton’s 2003 film. (847) 634-0200 or marriotttheatre.com.
“Wuthering Heights”: Jan. 26-Feb. 19 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. CST’s World Stage Series returns after two years with U.K. director Emma Rice’s re-imagined adaptation of Emily Bronte’s gothic tale of love and revenge incorporating music, dance and puppetry. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com.
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“Into the Woods”: Feb. 1-March 19 at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. Expect a visually arresting revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s fairy tale-inspired tuner and coming-of-age tale about aspiring, overprotective and absent parents, their willful children and what comes after happily ever after. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.
“Andy Warhol’s Tomato”: Feb. 2-March 5 at Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Steve Scott directs Vince Melocchi’s fictionalized two-hander examining the genesis of a pop artist’s genius. (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org.
Chicago’s Remy Bumppo Theatre revives Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Anna in the Tropics” this winter. – Courtesy of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
“Anna in the Tropics”: Feb. 8-March 19 at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Nilo Cruz’s wonderfully poetic, Pulitzer Prize-winning play unfolds in 1929 in a Cuban-American cigar factory where a lector reads “Anna Karenina” to workers and, in so doing, changes their lives. (773) 975-8150 or remybumppo.org.
Gabrielle Lott-Rogers plays Academy Award winner Hattie McDaniel in TimeLine Theatre’s premiere of “Boulevard of Bold Dreams” by LaDarrion Williams.
“Boulevard of Bold Dreams”: Feb. 9-March 19 at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. TimeLine’s production marks the premiere of LaDarrion Williams’ play about art and representation, which imagines Hattie McDaniel stopping for a drink at a Los Angeles bar instead of attending the 1940 Academy Awards ceremony, where she won the supporting actress Oscar for “Gone With the Wind.” (773) 281-8463, ext. 6, or timelinetheatre.com.
“The Christians”: Feb. 10-March 12 at Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. A pastor’s revelation ruptures the congregation of his megachurch in Lucas Hnath’s play about the fallout within the evangelical community when long-held beliefs are challenged. (847) 735-8554, ext. 1, or citadeltheatre.org.
“Once”: Feb. 16-March 26 at Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. Based on the 2007 film, the musical by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová centers on an Irish musician contemplating giving up his career until he meets a Czech woman, a pianist, with whom he forms a band and a romantic attachment. (847) 242-6000 or writerstheatre.org.
The national tour of “1776” stops in Chicago next month. The cast includes Sushma Saha, left, Sara Porkalob, Mehry Eslaminia, Gisela Adisa, Crystal Lucas-Perry, Elizabeth A. Davis, Becca Ayers, Brooke Simpson and Oneika Phillips. – Courtesy of Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade
“1776”: Feb. 28-March 12 at the CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago. The national tour of Roundabout Theater Company’s 2022 Broadway revival of the 1969 musical about the events leading to the signing of the Declaration of Independence has a cast comprised of female, transgender and nonbinary theater artists. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.
“Describe the Night”: March 2-April 9 at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1646 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Ensemble member Austin Pendleton directs the Chicago premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s thriller about a journal written in the 1920s by a Jewish soldier that’s found 90 years later in the wreckage of a suspicious plane crash. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
“Layalina”: March 3-April 2 at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Seventeen years after the newly wedded Layal immigrates to the U.S. from Iraq, her life is much different from what she imagined in Goodman’s premiere of Martin Yousif Zebari’s examination of loss, queerness and making a home for oneself. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.
“Tina — The Tina Turner Musical”: March 14-April 2 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago. This bio-musical, in its first national tour, chronicles the rise, fall and comeback of the queen of rock, Tina Turner. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.