Chicato theater openings, previews June 28-July 4, 2019



“The Music Man”: Director Mary Zimmerman has found inspiration in the works of Leonardo da Vinci, the tales of the Arabian Nights, Marcel Proust, Chinese legends, Shakespeare and opera. In 2016, she also worked her magic on the musical “Wonderful Town” at the Goodman Theatre. Now she returns to direct one of the great classics. Meredith Wilson’s marching band musical, filled with an array of memorable songs, debuted on Broadway in 1957 winning five Tony Awards. Zimmerman says her take will “emphasize the natural world” of the show’s Midwest Iowa setting. But some things never change as there’s still “trouble in River City” as charismatic con man Harold Hill takes the town on a wild ride of promises only to learn his own lessons of moral responsibility. Geoff Packard stars as Hill with Monica West as Marion, the town librarian, who sees Hill for what he is. Previews begin June 29, opens July 8; to Aug. 11. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, $45-$142;

More previews, openings:

“Coraline”: David Greenspan and Stephen Merritt’s musical based on the novella by Neil Gaiman about a young girl who stumbles into a new universe. June 28-30. Moon Jumpers Ensemble at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, $12-$17;

“The Flower of Hawaii”: Paul Abraham’s exotic jazz operetta, a spoof of American colonialism, inspired by the story of Princess Ka’julani; directed by Amy Hutchison and featuring soprano Marisa Bucheit. Opens June 29; to July 14. The Folks Operetta at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, $30-$40;

Kokandy Productions’ “Head Over Heels” features Caitlyn Cerza (from let), Jeremiah Alsop, Liz Norton, Parker Guidry, Frankie Leo Bennett, Bridget Adams-King, Shane Roberie and Deanalis Resto.
Collin Quinn Rice

“Head Over Heels”: Jeff Whitty and James Magruder’s musical comedy, featuring songs by The Go-Gos, about the escapades of a royal family out to save their kingdom from extinction; co-directed by Derek Van Barham and Elizabeth Swanson. Previews begin July 1, opens July 6; to Aug. 25. Kokandy Productions at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, $40;

“King Lear”: Shakespeare’s tragedy follows Lear’s descent into madness and the legacy he leaves his three daughters; directed by Steve Scott. Previews begin July 2, opens July 6, to Aug. 4. Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, $35, $40;

“The Recommendation”: In this immersive theater experience, Jonathan Caren’s psychological thriller follows two friends through the trials and tribulations of life; directed by Jonathan Wilson. Previews begin July 2, opens July 11; to Sept. 22. Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park, $80-$100;

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.

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