First Folio Theatre commences its final season with a remount of “Jeeves Intervenes,” which in 2008 was its first production of a Margaret Raether comedy adapted from British author P.G. Wodehouse’s tales of the misadventures of upper-crust Bertie Wooster and his imperturbable valet Jeeves. Christian Gray returns for the sixth time to reprise his role as Bertie. Christopher John Grella plays Jeeves. Director Michael Goldberg’s cast also includes ensemble members Lydia Berger Gray and Nick Sandys.
Previews at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2; 3 and 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3; and 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook. The show opens Nov. 5. $29-$59. Masks encouraged. (630) 986-8067 or firstfolio.org.
With Christmas approaching, 9-year-old Ralphie Parker wants only one thing: a Red Ryder BB Gun and will do whatever it takes to get one in “A Christmas Story, The Musical,” adapted from director Bob Clark’s beloved 1983 holiday film of the same name. Kavon Newman stars as Ralphie (a role he shares with Keegan Gulledge) in director Scott Weinstein’s Marriott Theatre revival.
Previews at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3; and 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, and through Nov. 8, at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. The show opens Nov. 9. $59-$64. Masks encouraged. (847) 634-0200 or marriotttheatre.com.
A classic revived
TimeLine Theatre revives Alice Childress’ landmark 1955 drama “Trouble in Mind,” an examination of race, the American theater and the danger of superficial representation on stage. Shariba Rivers stars as Wiletta, a Black actress starring in a 1950s production of a fictional anti-lynching drama. However, tensions rise when Wiletta challenges the white director’s interpretation of the play. Ensemble member Ron OJ Parson directs.
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Previews at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 2-4; 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6; and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. The show opens Nov. 9. $25-$57. Masks required. (773) 281-8463, ext. 6, or timelinetheatre.com.
In other news
Check with venues regarding COVID-19 precautions.
• Improv Playhouse presents a 1938 radio play adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at 735 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7.50 for students in advance; $20 for adults, $10 for students at the door. Anyone in costume receives $2 off. (847) 968-4529 or improvplayhouse.com.
• Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, stages “Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera” about a young widow attempting to “meet the demands of her deceased husband’s undying love.” Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-29. Tickets are $45. Masks recommended. See deeploveopera.com.
• A bachelor living in Paris during the 1960s manages to juggle his three stewardess girlfriends, that is until they all end up in the city at the same time in “Boeing-Boeing,” a farce by French playwright Marc Camoletti. Saint Sebastian Players opens its 41st season with a revival of the comedy beginning Friday, Oct. 28, at St. Bonaventure Church, 1625 W. Diversey Ave., Chicago. Masks recommended. (773) 404-7922 or saintsebastianplayers.org.
• Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre presents the U.S. premiere of “American Son,” Christopher Demoz-Brown’s drama about the estranged, biracial parents of a teenage boy who goes missing and may have been arrested. The preview is Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston. The show opens Sunday, Oct. 30. Masks optional. (847) 866-5914 or fjtheatre.com.
• Previews begin Saturday, Oct. 29, for Babes With Blades’ pandemic-delayed premiere of “Plaid as Hell,” a “slightly raunchy, queer comedy about an annual camping trip that gets off to a rocky start, and that’s before they learn about the serial killer on the loose. The production opens Nov. 4 at The Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard St., Chicago. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masks required. babeswithblades.org.
• The Haven hosts the immersive, Halloween-themed Science Fiction/Double Feature: A Rocky Horror Picture Party Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29-30, at The Den Theater, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Drag performers Aurora Gozmic, Charity Share-a-Like, Vanda La Rose and Fox E. Kim, and DJ Ca$h Era will perform. The evening also includes a costume contest, tarot readers and a photo booth. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required. Masks recommended. See havenchi.org.
• Theater in the Dark’s production of the new audio play “A Murder in the Court of Xanadu” begins streaming online on Thursday, Nov. 3. Written and directed by Corey Bradberry, the play transposes the story of emperor Kublai Khan to the 21st century where Khan’s international corporation is threatened from within by an executive named Ahmad. See theatreinthedark.com.
• The Conspirators — a Chicago-area newcomer known for producing theater in the neo-commedia style known as “The Style” — present The Conspirators 125th Anniversary Jubilee, Feat. “The Ineptidemic” about how the fictional Conspirators influenced everyone from Harry Truman to Monty Python to Donald Trump. Performances begin Thursday, Nov. 3, at Otherworld Theatre, 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masks required. See conspirewithus.org.
• Kokandy Productions has extended its acclaimed revival of “Sweeney Todd,” Stephen Sondheim’s macabre musical about an innocent barber, wrongfully convicted of a crime, who returns to London to exact his revenge on those who harmed him and his family. Performances continue through Nov. 20 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. See kokandyproductions.com.
• Goodman Theatre has added performances on Nov. 8 and 10 for its premiere of Rebecca Gilman’s “Swing State,” a superb look at grief and loss in America’s heartland. Performances are at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.
• The League of Chicago Theatres announced that Chicago Theatre Week will take place Feb. 16-26, 2023. Among the theaters that will likely participate in the celebration of Chicago-area theater are: Marriott, Northlight, Drury Lane, Broadway in Chicago, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Lookingglass theaters and others. Tickets for individual productions go on sale at 10 a.m. Jan. 10, 2023. See leagueofchicagotheatres.org.
• Definition Theatre Company announced the winners of the Amplify Series Two Festival, a new play development program established to empower underrepresented theater artists. The winners are “Thirty” by Melda Beaty, “Black Bone” by Tina Fakhrid-Deen, “In the Back” by Julian Parker and “Salsa, A Slow Death” by Briana Yrene Ramirez. The development process spans two years and includes a commission for workshops and a final public reading of the play.
• Mercury Theater Chicago’s 2023 season begins Jan. 27 with a revival of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” a fictionalized account of one of Billie Holiday’s last musical performances during which the blues great recounts her life. That’s followed by “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (April 21-June 11, 2023), the musical adapted from Mark Twain’s novel. Next up is “Rock of Ages” (July 14-Sept. 17, 2023), the jukebox tuner that affectionately sends up hair metal bands and their fans. The season concludes with a revival of “Young Frankenstein” (Oct. 13-Dec. 31, 2023), the Mel Brooks-Thomas Meehan musical adapted from Brooks’ comic retelling of Mary Shelley’s tale. Performances take place at 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Season memberships are $300 for four shows, plus two special events. See mercurytheaterchicago.com.