"Late Nite Catechism"

It won't absolve you of your obligations to attend Mass, but Catholics and "publics" alike have enjoyed Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan's interactive and tongue-in-slightly-irreverent-cheek show about parochial education for almost twenty years. Royal George Theater; open run

"Who Do We Think We Are?"

Second City's 100th revue tackles the frustrations and absurdities of being an American in an election year. Second City; open run



Cirque du Soleil brings back its 1999 spectacular, which draws upon Chinese circus traditions and legends, in two area venues. Allstate Arena, Rosemont; June 20-24. Also United Center, June 27-July 1

"Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon"

Can't make it to "Dralion?" Cirque Shanghai's return engagement also features the finest in Chinese circus artists, including motorcycle daredevils "Imperial Thunder." Navy Pier Skyline Stage; through Sept. 3

"Disney's Beauty and the Beast"

Rachel Rockwell directs the stage version of the Disney musical. Chicago Shakespeare Theater; June 28-Aug. 26

"Pinkalicious: the Musical"

You are what you eat, as the heroine of this Emerald City Theatre show (based on the book by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann) finds out after consuming too many pink cupcakes. Broadway Playhouse; through Aug. 5


"Inherit the Wind"

Oak Park Festival Theatre kicks off its outdoor season with Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's drama based on the Scopes "monkey trial" of the 1920s, back in those unenlightened times when people thought teaching Darwin was controversial. Steve Pickering directs. Austin Gardens, Oak Park; June 14-July 16

"The Hound of the Baskervilles"

A couple of local outdoor gems stand in for the gloomy moors in F. Andrew Leslie's version of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic, directed by Bradley Baker for Theatre-Hikes. North Park Village Nature Center, June 23-24. Also Morton Arboretum, Lisle, July 7-29

"The Merchant of Venice"

First Folio tackles one of Shakespeare's most troubling "problem plays." In addition to Alison C. Vesely's production on their outdoor stage, the company also offers the National Yiddish Theatre of New York's "Shylock and His Daughter" by Maurice Schwartz, running as a staged reading with the same cast as "Merchant" on Thursday evenings. Mayslake Peabody Estate, Oak Brook; July 11-Aug. 19