There’s a chill in the air and ol’ Jack Frost is just around the corner. It’s time to put away the BBQ’s and get out the wool sweaters. We’re heading for Thanksgiving with family and friends, and we’re smack dab in the heart of the theatre season. There are so many great shows to see; so let’s review and preview some of our favorite picks.


Broadway in Chicago (312) 902-1400. Mary Poppins at the Cadillac Palace Theatre until 11/6 is musical theatre at it’s best. Disney’s magic, some brilliant dance and stage magic combine to make this an unforgettable show. The chimney sweeps, the misbehaving children and of course the mystical, Mary Poppins the nanny everyone would love to have, sing, dance, fly a kite and the nanny, herself, even flies. So sing along; all your favorites are here: 'A Spoonful of Sugar…’, 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, 'Chim Chim Cheree’ and so many more.  Memphis 11/22-12/4 is the winner of four 2010 Tony’s including Best Musical. It takes us back to the dance clubs of the 1950’s and a white DJ, that wants to change the world of music and a black club singer ready to reach for the stars.  It will be followed by The Addams Family, the musical comedy opening 12/13.  At The Broadway Playhouse Love, Loss and What I Wore  by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron runs until 12/4. If I asked you „how was the wedding?” or „how was the dance?” or „how was the play?” …most women would know and be able to tell you what they wore, where they got the outfit and everything about it. This play relates several stories through the clothes and accessories that women wear and the memories that are triggered, it’s told brilliantly and touchingly with humor with a stellar rotating cast. Most all women can relate to it-it’s well worth seeing and enjoying. By the way, don’t forget to wear that favorite scarf or bracelet. Also playing, Pinkalicious: The Musical has been extended until 1/7. What happens if you eat one too many pink cupcakes? Pinkalicious turns pink from head to toe, her broccoli-eating little brother is the one that helps her out. Emerald City Theatre’s production of this smash-hit is based on the popular book by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, it’s best for cupcake lovers aged 3 and up. Rock of Ages at The Ford Oriental Theatre runs11/8-11/13. It’s 1987 on the Sunset Strip and girl meets boy, boy falls in love with girl all to the „awesome” tunes of the 80’s. Donnie & Marie-Christmas in Chicago 12/6-12/24. They bring their incomparable magic for the first time to a Chicago stage. Reaching back to the „Osmond” tradition and forward with their show stopping numbers, they bring your favorite Holiday songs to life with their wonderful charm and appeal. At The Bank of America for it’s pre-Broadway engagement, Ann 11/13-12/4. This is a new inspiring, humorous and touching look at Texas Governor, Ann Richards. She was sometimes outrageous, sometimes funny but she always loved her Lone Star State and she was always herself. It will be followed by La Cage aux Folles opening 12/20. The Auditorium Theatre will present Fiddler on the Roof 11/22-11/27. Based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, Fiddler with it’s wonderful score that includes such classics as „Sunrise, Sunset”, „Matchmaker, Matchmaker” , „If I Were a Rich Man” and so many more, continues to touch the hearts of its audiences the world over. Other shows include: Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance 11/5-6; Axis Dance Company 11/19-11/20; and the world renowned Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra with Pockapella 11/30.


The Goodman Theatre (312) 443-3800. Presents New Stages Amplified on the 10th Anniversary of the oldest and largest not for profit theater in Chicago, about which Mayor Emmanuel said, ” anchors the city’s cultural life”, running until 11/20 is the popular new play festival. Plays include, Chicago Boys until 11/6 and Ask Aunt Susan until 11/18. For many, A Christmas Carol 11/19-12/31 opens the Holiday season in Chicago. For thirty years Chicagoans have looked forward to this production of Bah Humbug, the Christmas Ghosts, Tiny Tim and Scrooge finally learning the true meaning of Christmas. Make this a tradition for you and your family.


Timeline Theatre (773) 281-8463 x 6 is currently running two productions at two different venues. A Walk in the Woods until 11/20 at Theater Wit (773) 975-8150 is the Pulitzer nominated tale of two superpower arms negotiators who meet informally in the woods after frustrating hours at the negotiating table. Part of the uniqueness of this story is that it was originally written for two men, however it’s played this time with a woman and a man. One of the characters, a wry but cynical Russian is at the end of her rope, the other a new idealistic American is just starting out. This drama is filled with humor and touches the heart and soul in all of us that hope for a day when we won’t need 'arms negotiations’. The Pitmen Painters until 12/4 is at Timeline Theatre 615 W. Wellington. The new play by the Tony award winning author of Billy Elliot, is based on a true story. A group of miners in Northern England take up painting during an art appreciation class; and they go on to become the new 'art world sensations’. The show,  filled with humor, is touching and surprisingly human.


Theater Wit (773) 975-8150 in their newly renovated multiple venue intimate theater bring us many marvelous shows including BoHo’s Pippin The Musical until 11/13. From the creators of Godspell  and  Wicked, with humor and talent, takes us on a fun ride. The Santaland Diaries opens 11/25.


Steppenwolf Theatre (312) 335-1650. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter running until 11/4 is a very well done Production for Young Adults is based on the Carson McCullers novel. The 2011 Pulitzer Prize winning drama, by Bruce Norris, Clybourne Park, runsuntil 11/13. It’s a glimpse of Chicago’s history of changing neighborhoods and is done with humor and talent. The 7th Annual First Look Repertory of New Work runs until 11/20. It will be followed by Penelope 12/1-2/5. While waiting for her husband to return from war, the lovely Penelope is pursued by four men. This is the newest play by Irish playwright Edna Walsh, and it’s filled with humor about life, love and war.


Lookingglass Theatre (312)337-0665. The Great Fire until 12/4 is absolutely brilliant. One hundred forty years ago October 8, 1871 at 9:40p.m. the Great Chicago Fire began on the Southwest Side-before it was over it would burn through the city until there was nothing left to burn. This tale is told with great imagination, emotion, dance and a good deal of dark humor and wit, never letting us forget that even then politics in Chicago was…well politics in Chicago. The „Fire” is played almost ballerina style and though she looks innocent, nothing can get away from her grip. It’s also amazing, to sit in this space, the Water Tower pumping station, now a fantastic award winning theatre space, and realize that it was one of only a few buildings spared from the fire’s consumption. See it before it disappears.


American Theatre Co. (773) 409-4125. Escape running 11/3-11/6- three recently discovered Tennesse Williams plays. Celebrating it’s 10th year of production, a Chicago Holiday Tradition, presents It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play. Adapted from Frank Capra’s film, we return to Bedford Falls 1948, and ATC’s theater spaced is turned into a 1940’s radio studio. This classic tale shows the effect one man’s life has on his community and family. Free milk and cookies served after every show!


Profiles Theatre (773) 549-1815. At their approximately 60 seat store front intimate venue, presents the Midwest premiere of award winning playwright, Martin McDonagh’s  A Behanding in Spokane until 12/4. This dark comedy, absurdly funny, has a gun-slinger missing his left hand and a pair of quarreling lovers that have a hand to sell…the story exposes the underside of America with all it’s prejudices, madness and many of the horrors lurking beneath it. Also, on their second stage, opening 11/10 is the world premiere of Assisted Living by Deirdre O’Connor running until 12/18.


Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier (312) 595-5600. Murder for Two-A Killer Musical  has been extended until 11/27. It’s musical comedy, murder with a twist, one actor investigates the murder of a well known novelist, while the other actor plays all 13 suspects and through it all they both play the piano. Fun-Fun-and more fun as you keep track of the characters, suspects and enjoy the songs. Follies running until 11/13 is a brilliant Broadway musical with a Tony award winning score about the reunion of the „girls of the Follies” when the legendary Weismann Follies is going to finally close. Wonderful songs like, ” I’m Still Here”, and „Broadway Baby” along with beautiful sets, costumes and lots of talent pack the stage-this is surely a don’t miss. Elizabeth Rex opening 11/29 imagines an encounter between Queen Elizabeth and an actor on the eve of the beheading of her court favorite.


Court Theatre (773) 753-4472. An Iliad, 11/10-12/11, by Lisa Petersen and Denis O’Hare (TV’s True Blood)  featuring Timothy Edward Kane return Homer’s Iliad to a one man adaptation by performing the epic poem of the 10 year Trojan War in a singular voice that powerfully tells of the horrors of war.

The Mercury Theatre (773)325-1700. A favorite Chicago musical tradition, The Christmas Schooner 11/16-12/31 tells the story of how German immigrants risked their safety and lives to bring the first Christmas trees to Chicago by boat. This magical musical is a treat for the whole family, with a heartwarming story that’s sure to become one of your family’s traditions, too. Also running until the end of the year, The Game Show Show.


Royal George Theatre Centre (312) 988-9000. The Doyle and Debbie Show is a hilarious send up of „country/western”, that is a rollicking good time. It’s fun, fun and more fun-hang on to your seat for a „country ride” you’ll never forget. Hershey Felder in The Art of Leonard Bernstein-the music and inspiration behind some of the most beautiful music of all time. Also running are: Put the Nuns in Charge; Late Nite Catechism, Sunday School Cinema, Saints and Sinners.


The Greenhouse Theatre Centre (773)404-7336 All Childish Things 11/10-12/17 is the story of the perfect robbery gone terribly wrong. A Bright New Boise 11/12-12/17 is a dark comedy about family and faith. Commedia Beauregard presents A Klingon Christmas Carol  in the „original Klingon language” with English subtitles. (Conan O’Brien said, ” This show honors the true meaning of Christmas”.)  The Greenhouse is also home to many new productions and Chicago favorites such as Remy Bumppo’s  Changes of Heart running 11/23-1/8.


The Black Ensemble (773) 769-4451 at 4450 N. Clark Street. A Legendary Season of Music opens the new state of the art theater. The season and theater will open bringing back the smash hit The Jackie Wilson Story 11/18-1/8, written and directed by the very talented Jackie Taylor. It’s the riveting story, life and music of Jackie Wilson. There will be some star-studded surprises for everyone.

Redtwist Theatre (773) 728-7529. Opus,opening 12/10, is a Chicago premiere about a world class string quartet with two leaders manifesting the „family dynamics” when there is a clash of wills, with one leaving and a new young woman fresh from school entering the quartet.


Just a blink from Chicago:


The Real Thing at Writers’ Theatre (847) 242-6000 Glencoe, now with 35,000 patrons that regularly enjoy the quality and intimacy of the two venues. At (325 Tudor Court) Tom Stoppard’s brilliant drama examines what happens when a playwright crosses the line from his plays to his life off stage. The turmoil he  creates when his real life collides with his dramas explodes as he tries to come to grips with what is real and what is not. The dialogue and talent are electric in this performance. In The Caretaker,11/8-3/25, (644 Vernon Ave.), when Aston takes in a down and out, fast talking drifter named Davies, to his junk filled home and he meets his brother, Mick, he soon realizes something’s different about the way these brothers see the world. The real story is in how the three try to make that important human connection.


Northlight Theatre (847) 673-6300 Skokie. Season’s Greetings runs 11/11-12/18. Welcome to the Bunker home for the Holidays. Bickering family, a little too much to drink…here for all to laugh at are the Holiday traditions we all love?! They meet with calamity in this funny take on a „normal Christmas”. Also at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Centre East there’s always terrific entertainment that’s varied and wonderful.


Light Opera Works (847) 920-5360 terrific production of Rodgers & Hart A Celebration will close 11/6. The Secret Garden,12/26-1/1, with a 26 piece orchestra at Cahn Auditorium is the  spellbinding story of an orphan sent to live with her widowed uncle, who discovers the mystery of the secret garden and unlocks it’s mysteries and opens the door to happiness for herself and her uncle. It’s recommended for ages 6 and up.


Circle Theatre (708) 660-9540 Oak Park. The Baker’s Wife runs 11/11-1/22 in their 26th Anniversary Season in their new 150 seat space. By the creator of Wicked, is the tale of a French Village that has no baker and no gossip. A new baker, with a much younger wife arrives and to the delight of the town there’s much gossip about her leaving him. With a beautiful score that features, „Meadowlark”, this is sure to be a musical joy.


Metropolis Performing Arts Centre (847)577-2121 Arlington Heights, The Andrews Brothers take over when the Andrew Sisters get the chicken pox. With songs like „Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and so many other 40’s hits-catch it before it closes 11/5. A Christmas Carol runs 11/25-12/24. The Ghosts, plum pudding, Tiny Tim and all are here as Scrooge looses his Bah Humbug and learns the lesson of the Christmas miracle. The Second City’s Holidays in the Heights 11/25-12/24 with a terrific troupe from Chicago’s famous Second City this is a send up of all that we love and hate about the Holidays. Adult language and content, not recommended for children or young teens.


Next Theatre (847) 475-6763 Evanston.  Maple and Vine  runs until 12/4. An upscale couple give up their 21st Century lives, cell phones, ipods and sushi and embrace the 1950’s through a re-enactor group. Taking up cigarettes and Tupperware parties, the results of what people will do for happiness are surprising.


Last But Not Least:


Second City’s (312) 337-3992 mainstage show, South Side of Heaven, their new comedy club, Up with stand up, improve, kids-its comedy 7 nights a week; The Second City Walking Tour; and The Dysfunctional Holiday Revue. Gift Theatre’s (773) 283-7071 Cloud 9 until 12/4. Provision Theatre’s  (312) 455-0066 world premiere adaptation The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey running 11/23-12/23. Lifeline Theatre’s 29th Anniversary Season (773) 761-4477 with  a terrific world premiere adaptation of  Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. Piccolo Theatre’s (847) 424-0089 Evanston Space Wars: The Panto 11/4-12/18 it’s the only theater in an operating train station. The Apollo Theatre’s (773) 935-6100 The Million Dollar Quartet now in it’s 3rd year with over 1000 performances extends the standing ovation. Raven Theatre’s (773) 338-2177 Bus Stop until 12/11. Piven Theatre’s (847) 866-8049 world premiere, Cities of Light 11/5-12/11. Theo UBique Cabaret Theatre’s (773)347-1109 at The No Exit Café, Starting Here Starting Now until 11/6 and Pump Boys and Dinettes 11/26-1/15. Red Orchid’s (312) 943-8722 Chicago premiere Becky Shaw until 11/6. Blue Man Group (with new material) at Briar Street Theatre (773)348-4000. Chopin Theatre’s (773) 278-1500 The Nutcracker 11/3-12/24 by House Theatre (773) 251-2195. Straw Dog Theatre Co’s. (773) 528-9696 Old Times until 11/12. Polarity Ensemble’s (312) 834-2310 Chicago premiere of Peer Gynt 11/15-12/18. Paramount Theatre (630) 896-7676, Aurora-lots of great entertainment. Drury Lane Oak Brook’s (630) 530-0111 Sound of Music. At Stage 773 (773) 327-5252, there lot’s of great entertainment in their new renovated space with multiple stages including, Let My People Come a Sexual Musical 11/10-12/31. Old Town School of Folk Music’s (773)728-6000 Keep a Song in Your Soul: The Black Roots of Vaudeville 11/3-11/6. Red Moon’s (312) 859-8440 Winter’s Pageant 11/26-1/8. Rosemont Theatre (800) 745- 3000.



Until next time we invite you to call us at (312) 661-1976 with opinions, suggestions, or for other recommendations.



Rich Gore
Terribly Smart People Productions
1479 N. Clybourn Ave.
Unit A
Chicago, Il.  60610