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Performing Arts

From critically acclaimed dramas and hilarious comedies to upbeat musicals and performances just for kids, there's a performance for everyone. See this season's lineup below.

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Now - March 3, 2019
DON'T DRESS FOR DINNER
Bernard is planning a romantic weekend with his chic Parisian mistress in his charming converted French farmhouse, whilst his wife, Jacqueline, is away. He has arranged for a cordon bleu cook to prepare gourmet delights, and has invited his best friend, Robert, along too to provide the alibi. It’s foolproof; what could possibly go wrong? Well…. suppose Robert turns up not realizing quite why he has been invited. Suppose Robert and Jacqueline are secret lovers, and consequently determined that Jacqueline will NOT leave for the weekend. Suppose the cook has to pretend to be the mistress and the mistress is unable to cook. Suppose everyone’s alibi gets confused with everyone else’s. An evening of hilarious confusion ensues as Bernard and Robert improvise at breakneck speed.
Location: Oil Lamp Theater, 1723 Glenview Road, Glenview
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January 24, 2019 - January 27, 2019
CAPITOL STEPS: ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
All the news that’s fit to print, fake and parody. No matter who or what is in the headlines, you can bet the Capitol Steps will tackle both sides of the political spectrum with their hilariously biting musical satire. What more would you expect from the group that put the “MOCK” in Democracy?! The Capitol Steps first began tickling political funny bones over thirty years ago as a group of Senate staffers who set out to poke fun at the very people and places that employed them. Since they began, The Capitol Steps have recorded over thirty-six albums, including the latest, Make America Grin Again (2018).
Location: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie
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January 24, 2019 - March 2, 2019
NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN
Nina Simone: Four Women — In the aftermath of 1963’s 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, Nina Simone rocked the nation with “Four Women,” her tribute in song to the four little girls lost in the tragedy. Powerful anthems such as “Mississippi Goddam,” “Old Jim Crow,” and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” followed, fueling the Civil Rights movement and transforming her public persona from songstress to activist. Celebrate Ms. Simone’s lasting legacy in this provocative and personal musical journey.  
Location: Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
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January 26, 2019
ELLIS PAUL
Evanston SPACE: Ellis Paul is one of those gifted singer/songwriters.Though some may refer to him as a folksinger, he is more, for lack of a better word, a singular storyteller, a musician whose words reach out from inside and yet also express the feelings, thoughts and sensibilities that most people can relate to in one way or another, regardless of age or upbringing. Catch him at Evanston Space. 
Location: Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
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January 27, 2019
CHELY WRIGHT
After more than five years away from the spotlight, and through a heroic personal and creative journey, Chely Wright has returned with the release of a long anticipated new CD. And as she begins to sing the lyrics of “Inside,” her confidence, intelligence, and poetic ambition quickly come into focus.
Location: Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
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January 27, 2019
MUSIC OF THE BAROQUE: HEWITT PLAYS MOZART
Music of the Baroque: Hewitt Plays Mozart.Pianist Angela Hewitt, whom the New York Times calls “an artist of consummate technical skill and refinement,” makes her Music of the Baroque debut in Mozart’s shimmering Piano Concerto No. 27—the very last he wrote. The masterful “Gran Partita” for winds completes a program that shows why Maurice Ravel called Mozart “the greatest musician…our god.”  
Location: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
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February 1, 2019 - February 10, 2019
THE CHERRY ORCHARD
The Cherry Orchard: Bask in the timely and timeless brilliance of this immortal theatre classic by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. The Gayev family are sociable, intelligent, caring and hopelessly in debt. Unless they can find the funds, their huge estate, including its much-loved cherry orchard, will go to a mortgagee auction.  Chekhov's endearing and everlasting drama in which a family's cross generational dispute about the future of their beloved estate creates a clash between socialism and capitalism, legacy and reality.
 

Location: Josephine Louis Theater, Northwestern University, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
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February 6, 2019 - March 17, 2019
MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM
This visceral American classic serves as the 1920s chapter of August Wilson's epic The American Century Cycle. What begins as a routine recording session becomes more strained as tensions rise between the members of a blues band and the owners of the recording studio. The white producers mean to exploit the talents of the band—especially the gifted and impulsive Levee—but when Ma insists on having things her way, tensions are enflamed and the play builds to an unexpected and searing climax. Inspired by the real-life Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, this groundbreaking work is the only play by American icon August Wilson to be set in Chicago.
Location: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
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February 9, 2019
JANE MONHEIT
Evanston SPACE:  Blessed with “a voice of phenomenal beauty” (Stephen Holden, New York Times), Jane Monheit has had plenty of milestone moments in establishing herself as one of today’s best and most important vocalist-musicians. With her new album, The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald—the first to be released on her own Emerald City Records—the Long Island native has surprised even herself with her artistic leap.
Location: Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
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February 15, 2019 - March 3, 2019
GUYS AND DOLLS
Guys and Dolls: Luck be a lady tonight in this hilarious romantic comedy that takes us through heart of Times Square to the cafes of Havana, Cuba, and even into the sewers of New York City! Gambler, Nathan Detroit, tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck; meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer, Adelaide, laments that they've been engaged for fourteen years. Nathan turns to fellow gambler, Sky Masterson, for the cash, and Sky ends up chasing the straight-laced missionary, Sarah Brown, as a result. Mobsters, mayhem and musical comedy light up the stage in this multiple award-winning Broadway fable that is beloved by generations.
Location: Ethel M. Barber Theater, Northwestern University, Evanston
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February 16, 2019 - March 24, 2019
ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD
All the Time in the World is a circus about time. Trudy is a young girl who lives a hectic life with her very busy family, and who also has an imaginary friend. When Trudy’s imaginary friend is suddenly too busy to play with her and leaves to join the circus, she and her parents enter the circus paracosm to find more time and reunite Trudy and her imaginary friend.
Location: The Actors Gymnasium, 927 Noyes Street, Evanston
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February 16, 2019
NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE: I'M NOT RUNNING
Pauline Gibson has spent her life as a doctor, the inspiring leader of a local health campaign. When she crosses paths with her old boyfriend, a stalwart loyalist in Labour Party politics, she’s faced with an agonizing decision. What’s involved in sacrificing your private life and your piece of mind for something more than a single issue? Does she dare? Hare was described by The Washington Post as ‘the premiere political dramatist writing in English’. His other work includes Pravda and Skylight, broadcast by National Theatre Live in 2014.
 

Location: Northwestern Wirtz Center, Josephine Louis Theatre,, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
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February 23, 2019
NOAM PIKELNY AND STUART DUNCAN
Noam Pikelny and Stuart Duncan: The virtuoso Punch Brothers banjoist (and Skokie native) returns to the club for two shows with fiddler Stuart Duncan at Evanston Space. 
Location: Evanston Space, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston
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February 24, 2019 - March 10, 2019
WHEN SHE HAD WINGS
A fiercely determined young girl and aspiring pilot named B. has decided that she must realize her destiny to fly before turning ten. In a makeshift airplane built in her backyard treehouse she recounts the thrilling and legendary victories of her hero, Amelia Earhart. That night following a tremendous summer thunderstorm, a mysterious birdlike visitor takes up residence in her imaginary cockpit and B. wonders if the strange creature may be an incarnation of her hero and inspiration to finally take flight.
Location: Northwestern Wirtz Center / Hal & Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, 1949 Campus Drive, Evanston
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March 1, 2019 - March 10, 2019
DANCEWORKS 2019
Danceworks 2019: The best of dance at Northwestern University is always on full display each year at the annual Danceworks concert featuring new works in a variety of styles including contemporary, ballet, and jazz. This year’s exciting showcase will feature new works from acclaimed Chicago-based choreographers Paige Fraser and J’Sun Howard, as well as works by Northwestern University dance faculty members Jeff Hancock and Joel Valentin-Martinez.
Location: Northwestern Wirtz Center / Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
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May 9, 2019 - June 16, 2019
INTO THE BREECHES!
Into the Breeches: It’s 1942 and with the men off at war, the Oberon Play House is lacking its director and leading men. The season will be canceled… until the director’s wife rallies the troops at home for an all-female production. With the opportunity to move from the sidelines to centerstage, the women forge ahead with a spirit of collaboration, dauntless enthusiasm, and a belief in the power of art to move us forward. This surprisingly modern comedy proves that the show not only must, but will go on.    
Location: Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie
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May 11, 2019
SEGOVIA CLASSICAL GUITAR SERIES: JUDICA√čL PERROY
Segovia Classical Guitar Series features Judicaël Perroy, guitar. Since capturing first prize at the 15th Guitar Foundation of America International Competition, Judicaël Perroy has garnered worldwide acclaim as an extraordinary virtuoso guitarist. He is the winner of five Diapason d’Or awards and top prizes at the Ile-de-France, René Bartoli, and Bourg-Madame competitions. Highly sought after as a teacher, Perroy has coached students who went on to win regional, national, and international competitions including the Guitar Foundation of America.
 

Location: Pick-Staiger Concert Hall at Beinen School of Music, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston
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May 17, 2019 - May 26, 2019
VOYEURS DE VENUS
Sara, a young African-American scholar of pop culture is writing a book about Saartjie Baartman, better known as the 19th-century sideshow sensation “The Hottentot Venus.” The deeper Sara delves, the more tragic and shocking Saartjie's story becomes, and the more Sara is forced to confront her own identity and complicated relationships. Faced with frequent dreams of Saartjie and pressure from her publishers, Sara is forced to wonder; can she honor the life and memory of Saartjie Bartman and still write a bestseller? Written by Northwestern alumni, Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly, Smart People, The Bluest Eye), this bold, often comedic, and revealing drama won the Joseph Jefferson Award for “Best New Play” in 2006.
Location: Northwestern Wirtz Center / Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
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