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redeyechicago.com

June theater guide: Shows you can't miss

Step back indoors for these new Chicago productions in your neighborhood

By Julia Borcherts for RedEye

11:49 AM CDT, May 30, 2012

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Weather this gorgeous and we’re suggesting you spend part of your night inside? Actually, yes.

These seven theater companies aim to lure you indoors with new comedies, musicals and specialty shows, all of which kick off in June. And really, how can you pass up Power Rangers burlesque, Chicago-centric productions, asci-firock extravaganza, a revenge comedy, a five-program theater festival and a Shakespeare-Godfather mash-up?

Space Invasion: An Epic Rock Benefit
The Scooty & JoJo Show explodes onstage with scenes and songs from “Alien Queen,” their campy original rock opera parody of “Alien” films set to songs by rock band Queen—featuring a live band and 35-member choir—interspersed with sci-fi-themed burlesque sets from Battlestar Fantastica. Doors open at 9 p.m. and extra- terrestrial costumes are encouraged. Proceeds benefit The Scooty & JoJo GoGo Legit Campaign.
Go:
10 p.m. Friday at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St.
Tickets:
$20-$25 (18+); scootyjojo.com; metrochicago.com; 773-549-4140

“Corleone: The Shakespearean Godfather”
Here’s an offer thou canst not refuse: The Bard meets “The Godfather” in Commedia Beauregard’s witty original mob tale in which characters from the classic Mario Puzo novel and Francis Ford Coppola film—Michael as a prince, Fredo as a fool—create a poetic bloodbath of betrayal, vengeance and honor in iambic pentameter.
Go:
7:30 p.m. Friday through June 24 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Tickets:
$25; 773-404-7336; greenhousetheater.org

“Immediate Family”
Tony Award-winner Phylicia Rashad—yes, that Phylicia Rashad, from “The Cosby Show”—directs local playwright Paul Oakley Stovall’s dramedy in which secrets come to light when a South Side Chicago family reunites in their Hyde Park home for the first time in five years.
Go:
8 p.m. Saturday through Aug. 5 at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.
Tickets:
$20-$54; 312-443-3800; goodmantheatre.org

Sketchbook: Reincarnate
For its 12th annual play festival, Collaboraction changes up the format—in addition to one program of signature short-short plays, there’s a program of three mid-length shorts plus three full-length pieces: “Honeybuns,” a physical comedy-performance art show; “[f¿r] women,” a movement, song and poetry work inspired by Nina Simone’s “Four Women” song; and “A Day in the Unweeded Garden,” a dance-theater piece which explores Shakespearean characters Hamlet and Ophelia. Bonus: See all five programs June 9-10.
Go:
June 6 (various times) through July 15 at Collaboraction, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., third floor
Tickets:
$20; $10 for students; $65 for five-program pass ($35 for students); 312-226-9633; collaboraction.org

“Eastland: A New Musical”
The world premiere of Lookingglass artistic director Andrew White’s musical saga, which re-imagines the 1915 Chicago ship disaster in which hundreds of passengers lose their lives—and unexpected heroes emerge. The production, based in part on events from Jay Bonansinga’s book, “The Sinking of the Eastland: America’s Forgotten Tragedy,” also features an early American folk music-inspired score by Ben Sussman and artistic associate Andre Pluess.
Go:
7:30 p.m. June 6 through July 29 at Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan Ave.
Tickets:
$24-$68; 312-337-0665; lookingglasstheatre.org

“Exit, Pursued by a Bear”
Theatre Seven of Chicago mounts the Chicago premiere of a revenge comedy by Lauren Gunderson (“The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog”) in which a mistreated wife ties up her jerk of a husband, surrounds him with venison and lures in a neighborhood bear for a snack—with help from her two best pals, a female stripper and a sassy gay friend.
Go: 7:30 p.m. June 7-July 15 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $20-$30; $15 for students; 773-404-7336; theatreseven.org

“Go-Go Power Rangers: A Mighty Morphin Burlesque"
Devious monster, giant robots—and of course, skintight spandex—star in Gorilla Tango Burlesque’s newest sexy geek show. And just in case it occurs to you to ask if there’s a plot: yes, there is. Villainess Rita Repulsa hatches a devious plan to set the town of Angel Grove against the Power Rangers, but they unite to kick her butt—while shaking their own, of course.
Go: 11:59 p.m. June 8tktk through June 27 at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Tickets: $20; 773-598-4549; gorillatango.com