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April 9, 2014

Backstage Pass:
Top 5 Plays to See in April

BY
DANNY BERNARDO

Celebrate spring in Chicago with some amazing theatre. Here are my top picks for April:

Top 5 Plays to See in April
Brahman/i (About Face Theatre and Silk Road Rising)

In this provocative play masquerading as a stand-up comedy routine, an Indian intersex person, or hijra, explores history, mythology, gender roles... and high school. Brahman/i – funny, cynical, inventive and intensely charismatic – takes on more than a dozen unforgettable characters in a fascinating life story that most of us can barely even begin to imagine. Fawzia Mirza in the title role is a force to be reckoned with. This is a must-see this spring!

Performs through April 27 at Silk Road Rising (in the Chicago Temple Building at 77 W. Washington). Tickets are avaiable on the websites for About Face Theatre and Silk Road Rising, or by calling (312) 857-1234 ext. 201.



Top 5 Plays to See in April
Cicada (Route 66 Theatre Company)

Set in rural Mississippi, this coming of age ghost story is deeply rooted in the life of a small southern family on the verge of transformation. The unrelenting July heat presses in on seventeen-year-old Ace and his mother Lily as they dig their way out of the past. Poetic, dynamic, lyrical and hard-hitting, this unique piece of theater sheds light on the enduring southern spirit and the ties that bind. The piece is directed by my dear friend and collaborator Erica Weiss and features my friends Amy Matheny and Aaron Kirby.

Performs through May 25 at the Greenhouse Theater Center (2257 N. Lincoln). Tickets can be purchased here or by calling 773.404.7336.

Top 5 Plays to See in April
Happy Endings (Second Thought Theatre Company)

A new theatre company launches by presenting the world premiere of my buddy Matt Tassell's new play. Happy Endings examines a ten-year friendship between a young heterosexual woman and a young homosexual man, and the limits of that friendship. The play explores concepts of power, manipulation, and the idea of sexuality versus sexual identity.

Performs through May 4 at Stage 773 (1225 W. Belmont). Tickets can be purchased here.

Top 5 Plays to See in April
The Haunting of Hill House (City Lit Theater)

Adapted from the book by Shirley Jackson, the story concerns several people brought together by a professor who wishes to investigate supposed paranormal phenomena in a country house. In fact, neither the characters nor readers are quite sure of what they experience in Hill House -- but all are profoundly effected by it. Features my good friends Charlie Rasmann and Kinglsey Day.

Performs through May 11 at City Lit Theater (1020 W. Bryn Mawr). Tickets can be purchased here.



Hey! Dancin'! Hey! Musical! (The Factory Theater)



Based on the Factory's 2010 hit play that Time Out Chicago named one of the best in the city, Hey! Dancin'! Hey! Musical! features original songs that evoke memories of Heart, The Pointer Sisters and Mr. Glenn Fry. Set in Chicago in 1986, teenagers Halle and Trisha finagle their way in the final taping of the hippest cable access dance show in the Chicagoland area in the hopes of finding true love...or sex...or both! The hair is big, the fashion is ridiculous, dancing is king and EVERYBODY SINGS! Directed by Matthew Gunnels, choreographed by Brigitte Ditmars, and featuring my friends Eunice Woods and Jon Martinez.

Performs through May 31 at the Prop Thtr (3502 N. Elston Ave). Tickets can be purchased here or by calling 866.811.4111.

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This is just a small sampling of the amazing theatre happening in Chicago right now. For an extensive list of what's playing in Chicago right now, visit the League of Chicago Theatres.

 
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