Newly established Iambe Theatre Ensemble’s season continues with “The Roommate,” Jen Silverman’s dark comedy about the unlikely friendship between a recently divorced, middle-aged Iowa woman and the Bronx, New York, transplant who answers her ad for a roommate. Janus Theatre artistic director Sean Hargadon directs Iambe co-founders Doreen Dawson and Shannon Mayhall.
7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21 and 28 and Nov. 4; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23 and 30 and Nov. 6, at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division St., Elgin. No show Saturday, Oct. 22. $22. Masks are optional. cityofelgin.org.
Wheaton native John Gawlik helms The Gift Theatre’s premiere of “The Locusts,” an examination of male violence by Jennifer Rumberger. Commissioned and developed by The Gift, Rumberger’s thriller centers on a Miami police officer who returns to her hometown to help catch a serial killer and, in the process, is forced to confront dark elements from her own past.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens Monday, Oct. 24. $25-$45. Proof of vaccination required; masks may be required. (773) 975-8150, thegifttheatre.org or theaterwit.org.
Music Theater Works revives “Camelot,” the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical based on T.H. White’s “The Once and Future King.” Rooted in the tales of King Arthur, Queen Guenevere, Sir Lancelot and the other Knights of the Round Table, “Camelot” tells of the illicit love affair between Lancelot and Guenevere and its effect on the idyllic kingdom. Brianna Borger directs.
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Opens at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. $39-$106. Masks recommended. (847) 920-5360 or musictheaterworks.com.
Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel plays Isabel in Chicago Shakespeare’s production of William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” directed by Henry Godinez. – Courtesy of Chicago Shakespeare Theater Shakespeare, Havana-style
Chicago Shakespeare Theater favorite Kevin Gudahl plays the Duke, who steps away from governing his increasingly licentious city, leaving his deputy Angelo to clean up the mess in CST’s “Measure for Measure.” Teatro Vista ensemble member Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel stars as Isabel, the nun blackmailed by the unyielding Angelo after she tries to save her brother who’s been arrested on charges of impregnating his girlfriend. Henry Godinez directs the production, which is set in 1950s Havana, Cuba.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Oct. 25-27, at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. $49-$92. Masks recommended. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com.
In other news
Check with theaters about COVID-19 precautions.
• Previews continue through Sunday, Oct. 23, for Invictus Theatre Company’s season-opening production of “Julius Ceasar,” William Shakespeare’s tragedy about the victorious general who fellow senators assassinate because they fear he will become a dictator. The show opens Monday, Oct. 24, at 1106 W. Thorndale Ave., Chicago. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masks required. See invictustheatreco.com.
• “Buried Child” is Sam Shepard’s dark domestic drama about a young man who returns home to his family’s farm where he uncovers some disturbing secrets. AstonRep Theatre’s revival, directed by Derek Bertelsen, launches the company’s 15th season. Previews begin Friday, Oct. 21, at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway, Chicago. The show opens Saturday, Oct. 22. Masks required. (773) 828-9129 or astonrep.com.
• City Lit Theatre Company kicks off its 42nd season with the premiere of “The Mark of Kane,” Mark Pracht’s play about Bob Kane and Bill Finger who, in 1939, created Batman, the signature DC Comics hero. Their creation made Kane a millionaire while Finger died penniless. Previews begin Friday, Oct. 21, at the Edgewater Presbyterian Church, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. The show opens Oct. 30. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masks required. (773) 293-3682 or citylit.org.
• Black Ensemble Theater celebrates the music of Big Mama Thornton, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and Stevie Ray Vaughan in the original revue “Blue Heaven,” in which the late blues legends reminisce about their careers while awaiting a new arrival to heaven. Previews begin Saturday, Oct. 22, at 4450 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens Oct. 30. Masks required. (773) 769-4451 or blackensemble.org.
• Stage Left Theatre presents “Man of the People,” a new play about “America’s love affair with charlatans” by Dolores Diaz. It’s inspired by the true story of John Brinkley, who sold a cure for male impotence during the 1920s that made him an enemy of the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, who tried to “hold him accountable for his quackery.” The preview is Monday, Oct. 24, at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago. The show opens Tuesday, Oct. 25. (773) 883-8830 or stagelefttheatre.com.
• Broadway in Chicago and Session Zero team up for “The Twenty-Sided Tavern,” an interactive theater event inspired by tabletop role-play games like Dungeons & Dragons, where performances are based on decisions audience members make via an app on their smartphones. Performances begin Thursday, Oct. 27, and run through Jan. 15 at the Broadway Playhouse, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. See thetwentysidedtavern.com or broadwayinchicago.com.
• Previews begin Thursday, Oct. 27, for Porchlight Music Theatre’s revival of “Rent,” Jonathan Larsen’s Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical about struggling New York City artists, many of whom are living with HIV/AIDS. Adrian Abel Azevedo directs the production, which opens Nov. 3 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Face masks required. (773) 777-9884 or porchlightmusictheatre.org.
• Writers Theatre named as its new artistic director Braden Abraham, currently the artistic director of Seattle Rep. The director/producer will take over Writers’ artistic leadership on Feb. 1. “The commitment Writers Theatre has to playwrights, artists and the written word speaks to my passions as an artist, a producer and a director,” said Abraham in a prepared statement. “I’m inspired by Writers’ dedication to bringing new voices to the stage, its educational programs that align with the mission, and the opportunities to build community partnerships both within and beyond the physical spaces.”
• Mudlark Theatre, an Evanston-based youth theater company, received a $47,000 grant from Northwestern University’s Office of Neighborhood and Community Relations to fund Latinadades, a new, free program where participants create an original theater piece based on the histories and traditions of Evanston’s Latino community to be performed next spring. For information on performances and classes, see mudlarktheater.org.
• Goodman Theatre announced the Chicago-based writers who will make up its Playwrights Unit for 2022-2023. They include: Lena Barnard, Dillon Chitto, Hanna Kime and Jarrett King. Additionally, Goodman is accepting applications through Nov. 1 for its 2022/2023 Michael Maggio Directing Fellowship. See goodmantheatre.org.
• About Face Theatre’s 2022-2023 season begins Nov. 17 with “Mosque4Mosque,” about 30-something Ibrahim, a queer Arab-American Muslim man whose mother takes it upon herself to find him the perfect husband. That’s followed by “Gender Play, or what you will” (May 4-June 3, 2023), a one-person show in which co-creator/star Will Wilhelm conjures the spirit of William Shakespeare to examine the playwright’s works from a queer perspective. Performances are at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See aboutfacetheatre.com.
• The Neo-Futurists Theater announced its upcoming season will include the long-running flagship production “The Infinite Wrench,” consisting of two-minute plays performed during an hourlong show, as well as its alternative incarnation “The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral,” released online the last Sunday of each month. The company’s seasonal “The Infinite Wrench Gets Frightful” runs live, in-person from Oct. 28-30. That’s followed by “The Neo-Futurists Sell Out” (Nov. 10), a laboratory production in which cast members engage in moneymaking stunts, schemes and scams in advance of the full production running March 6-April 22, 2023. The company’s Pride benefit show “The Infinite Wrench Gets Prideful” runs from June 22-25, 2023, followed by the musical “Elements of Style” (July 10-Aug. 9, 2023), inspired by the grammar guide and E.B. White’s children’s stories. The season concludes in fall 2023 with “My Cult Show,” about a woman navigating “the fine line between community and cult.” In-person performances take place at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. See neofuturists.org.