BootLeg Betty

Chicago’s Marriott Theater To Stage “For The Boys” Musical

Chicago Tribune
2011 SUMMER STAGE GUIDE: Our Top-10 picks for the most promising shows
by Chris Jones


After the grayest spring on record, Chicago is looking forward to a change in season. Time and reviews will tell for sure, but here are 10 summer shows for which I have especially high hopes. In alphabetical order:

‘After the Fall’
In its initial staging at Eclipse Theatre, director Steve Scott’s take on the autobiographical Arthur Miller drama somehow managed to cram 15 actors and a lifetime of authorial contemplation into a tiny studio theater on Lincoln Avenue. The show gets a welcome reprise, complete with a performance by Nora Fiffer that carefully steps over every trap in portraying Marilyn Monroe, revealing a woman irresistible to men and utterly convinced of her worthlessness. July 13-17 by Eclipse Theatre Company at Theater on the Lake, Fullerton Avenue and Lake Shore Drive; $17.50 tickets go on sale June 7 at 312-742-7994; more information at chicagoparkdistrict.com

‘Broadway Bound’
One of the first nonmusicals at the re-energized Drury Lane Theatre in more than a year, “Broadway Bound” is among Neil Simon’s greatest comedic achievements and, if done right, is a wry, moving look at a great theatrical life. The director is David New, formerly of Steppenwolf, and it stars Mike Nussbaum and Carmen Roman. June 9 to July 31 at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace; $33-$41 at 630-530-0111 and www.drurylaneoakbrook.com

‘For the Boys
The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire has staged many new musicals in its long history; this latest endeavor is a musical version of the 1991 Bette Midler movie. Penned by co-artistic director Aaron Thielen, it’s the tale of a 1940s big-band singer and uses the songs of the era. Marc Robin will direct the world premiere. Aug. 17 to Oct. 16 at Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire; $45-$48 at 847-634-0200 and marriotttheatre.com

‘Middletown’
Will Eno — a writer who seems to combine elements of Samuel Beckett and Thornton Wilder — is one of the most interesting emerging playwrights in America. With a cast that includes Martha Lavey and Tracy Letts, “Middletown” looks at emotional life in a small town. June 16 to Aug. 14 at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 1650 N. Halsted St.; $20-$73 at 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org

‘One Thousand and One Nights’
This massive, epic new production of the famous ancient stories uses actors from across the Arabic-speaking world. It’s the work of the internationalist British director Tim Supple, in its U.S. premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. June 25 to July 3 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave.; $130 at 312-595-5600 and chicagoshakes.com

Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Ovo’
With memories fading of its disastrous “Banana Shpeel,” Cirque du Soleil is back in Chicago with its familiar upscale big top and a show that has been widely acclaimed in other cities. This latest extravaganza is themed around the world of insects. June 29 to July 31 outside the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St.; $60-$130 at cirquedusoleil.com

‘Shout!’
When we last saw this revue of the music of Swingin’ London in the 1960s, it was in a lackluster production downtown. Marriott Theatre says it has redone the material and added dancers, creating a newly empowered tribute to the music of Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark and those other glamorous Carnaby Street gals. June 15 to Aug. 14 at the Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire; $41-$49 at 847-634-0200 and marriotttheatre.com

‘Sweeney Todd’
Any major Chicago-area of revival of this Stephen Sondheim masterpiece is always welcome. Rachel Rockwell will both direct and choreograph the latest tale of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Aug. 11 to Oct. 9 at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace; 630-530-0111 and drurylaneoakbrook.com

‘Transposition’
Part of the Eye on India festival taking place this summer in Chicago and Seattle, this is a rare chance to see India’s leading puppet theater and the work of its famed founder, Dadi Punumjee. The piece, which combines live actors and puppets, probes the duality of love. July 15 by the Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park; 312-334-7777 or eyeonindia.com

‘West Side Story’
The belated Chicago appearance for this national tour of the Broadway revival became especially poignant after the death earlier this month of the great Arthur Laurents, the writer of the book to “West Side Story” and the director of this moving production, which uses Spanish in some places. July 19 to Aug. 14 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St.; $32-$95 at 800-775-2000 and broadwayinchicago.com

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