14 Upcoming Plays in Chicago You Can't Miss ("Jesus Christ Superstar"

Jesus Christ Superstar (Photo by David Jensen.)

We turn the spotlight on the hottest plays and musicals in Chicago this spring and summer.

Jesus Christ Superstar

April 27 to May 20

Lyric Opera of Chicago continues its acclaimed Broadway at Lyric initiative with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s popular 1970 rock opera about the last week of Jesus’ life. This is the North American debut of Timothy Sheader’s energetic production, which won Britain’s Olivier Award after its first run in London. The Guardian called it “gorgeous, thrilling, heavenly.” Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, 312-827-5600

Buried Child

May 9 to June 17

The late, great Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner from 1978 gets a fresh look from talented director Kimberly Senior, who’s working with a stellar cast, including Larry Yando, Shannon Cochran, and Mark Montgomery. Shepard’s stark drama captures a family disintegrating in a desolate corner of rural Illinois. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, 847-242-6000

Ever in the Glades

May 18-27

Laura Schellhardt, a local playwright who teaches at Northwestern, wrote this tale of five teens growing up on an island in the Everglades — where the adults are as dangerous as the gators. Northwestern’s Wirtz Center is presenting this world premiere, directed by Rives Collins, before it moves to New York City’s prestigious Kennedy Center. The show is said to be suitable for kids 12 and older, but it does contain strong language. Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, 847-491-7282

20,000 Leagues Under the Seas

May 23 to Aug. 19

Plays in Chicago: "20,000 Leagues Under the Seas" at Lookingglass Theatre.

Photo courtesy of Lookingglass Theatre.

Jules Verne’s thrilling nautical adventure from 1870 should be an ideal vehicle for Lookingglass, a company renowned for its playful and inventive stagings of literary classics. Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 312-337-0665

The Pirates of Penzance

June 9-17

Music Theater Works, the local group formerly called Light Opera Works, presents the most famous of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas, promising a swashbuckling good time that’s suitable for kids as young as 8, with plenty of wit and musical flourishes that the grown-ups will appreciate. Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson, Evanston, 847-920-5360

Other plays worth checking out:

Plays in Chicago: "Guards at the Taj" at Steppenwolf

“Guards at the Taj” (Photo courtesy of Steppenwolf.)

 

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Robert Loerzel is a freelance journalist who lives in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. His work has also appeared in Playbill and on WBEZ, and he is the author of the book “Alchemy of Bones: Chicago’s Luetgert Murder Case of 1897.”