With more than 250 theaters in Chicago, the options for live entertainment are almost endless. If ever there was incentive to get out and experience someplace new, it’s Chicago Theatre Week, presented February 7-17 by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago.
With dozens of venues participating — from the Goodman Theatre downtown to Northlight Theatre on the North Shore — audiences can enjoy dramas, comedies, musicals, and more at reduced prices. New this year, the week kicks off something even greater and more inspiring: the Year of Chicago Theatre, an initiative orchestrated by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). Its aim, notes DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly, is to recognize “the importance of all types of theater performances in venues, theaters, parks, and neighborhood locations throughout the city … and not only to support budding and storied thespians, but to inspire the next generation of theatergoers.”
Ready to catch a show? Here are our top picks.
On tap at Court Theatre, this compelling scientific drama follows physicist Rosaland Franklin and the discovery of the DNA double helix. 5535 S. Ellis, courttheatre.org
“A Doll’s House, Part 2”
A hit on Broadway (with Laurie Metcalf turning in a Tony-winning performance), Lucas Hnath’s inventive musing on the next act of Ibsen’s heroine Nora gets the Steppenwolf treatment. 1650 N. Halsted, steppenwolf.org
“Algorithm Nation or The Static Quo”
The Second City’s 107th mainstage revue (shown above) is further proof that this sketch comedy ensemble can find the funny in everything from politics to the workplace (keep your eyes open for the bit on diversity training videos). 1616 N. Wells, secondcity.com
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Writers Theatre offers its rendition of this 1920s Chicago-set classic by August Wilson about the dues musicians paid and the management that didn’t. 325 Tudor, Glencoe, writerstheatre.org
“How to Catch Creation”
Goodman Theatre presents this drama from rising playwright Christina Anderson about artistic struggles, parenting aspirations, and the challenges of sustained intimacy. 170 N. Dearborn, goodmantheatre.org
For a full list of shows that are participating in this year’s event, go to chicagotheatreweek.com. Tickets are discounted to $30, $15 or less.