Caroline, or Change
The Chicago premiere of Tony Kushner’s ambitious musical mixes Negro spirituals, blues and Motown with Jewish Klezmer and folk music, and features E. Faye Butler in the title role as the African-American housekeeper whose relationship to an 8-year-old Jewish boy set in Louisiana in 1963 plays out in personal terms the civil rights struggle unfolding in America at the time.
Begins September 11 at Court Theatre
Joffrey Tower Opening Event Series
The Joffrey celebrates the opening of its tower of dance with a series of events, some hoity-toity, some for the people.
September 11-15 at The Joffrey Tower at State and Randolph
Bailiwick 2008 Pride Series
Bailwick tackles international themes in three plays this fall from GLBT writers, including the Dublin-set opener “Anna Livia, Lucky in Her Bridges”
“Anna Livia” begins September 12 at Bailiwick
The U.N. Inspector
Chicago playwright James Sherman has “localized” British playwright David Farr’s adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s classic for its American premiere
Begins September 12 at Next Theatre
The Picture of Dorian Gray
World-premiere adaptation by Lifeline ensemble member Robert Kauzlaric of Oscar Wilde’s classic meditation on beauty, both internal and external.
Begins September 12 at Lifeline
San Francisco Ballet
America’s oldest ballet company celebrates its 75th anniversary season with a week in Chicago, its first visit here in two decades
Opens September 16 at the Harris Theater
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Jessica Thebus directs the Chicago premiere of a new adaptation of the classic.
Begins September 17 at Northlight
Kafka on the Shore
Haruki Murakami, Frank Galati and the Steppenwolf ensemble. What else do you need to know about this world premiere?
Begins September 18 at Steppenwolf
The Voysey Inheritance
Corruption and issues of morality in a family business makes perfect fodder for David Mamet, even when he’s adapting someone else’s work, in this case, the 1905 play by Harley Granville-Barker, being given its Chicago premiere in its new form.
Begins September 18 at Remy Bumppo
Ten Cent Night
Chicago Dramatists kicks off its thirtieth anniversary season with a world premiere comedy by Marisa Wegrzyn featuring a dysfunctional country-music family on the road.
Begins September 18 at Chicago Dramatists
The story of a then-unconventional postwar couple—a Japanese divorcee and an African-American GI—form the center of Philip Kan Gotanda’s play, getting its Midwest premiere
Begins September 18 at Silk Road
Turn of the Century
Tommy Tune directs Jeff Daniels and Rachel York in the world-premiere musical from the team behind “Jersey Boys,” as a duo who travel in time and music through the twentieth century.
Begins September 19 at Goodman Theatre
Chicago playwright Robert Koon won the EcoDrama award for this story of the struggle between the forces of nature and the forces of commerce; now it gets its world premiere
Opens September 20 at Infamous Commonwealth
David Dorfman Dance
Politically charged dance tackles the Weather Underground and abolitionist John Brown
Opens September 25 at the Dance Center of Columbia College
Luna Negra celebrates its tenth anniversary with a suite of works by contemporary Latino choreographers
Opens September 25 at the Harris Theater
Million Dollar Quartet
A new musical based on the legendary meeting (and jam session) at Sun Studios in 1956 of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley makes its Midwest premiere.
Begins September 27 at the Goodman Theatre
Dirty Dancing—The Classic Story on Stage
Will Broadway put Baby in the corner? Chicago gets first look in this pre-White Way premiere of what hopes to be a blockbuster musical.
Starts September 28 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre
The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Death of Edward II, King of England, with the Tragical Fall of Proud Mortimer
Wundkerkind director Sean Graney tackles Shakespeare’s contemporary rival Christopher Marlowe in a production that features actors performing amongst standing members of the audience.
Begins October 1 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Oobleck Election Play 2008: The Trojan Candidate
Dick Cheney’s fantastic voyage, as imagined by Oobleck founding members Jeff Dorchen and Danny Thompson
Opens October 3 at the Neo-Futurarium
Something tells us that Sarah Ruhl’s take on the Greek Orpheus myth will be controversial. We heard it on the “Dead Man’s Cell Phone.”
Begins October 3 at Victory Gardens
The Fall Series
Hubbard Street Dance kicks off its expanded local season with a couple of audience favorites—”Minus Sixteen” and “Extremely Close”—along with a world premiere.
Opens October 9 at the Harris Theater
If You See Something Say Something
Mike Daisey’s been called the master of extemporaneous monolgue; here for his Chicago premiere he’ll tackle the “secret history” behind US Homeland Security.
Opens October 10 at the Museum of Contemporary Art
The Joffrey Ballet kicks off its “Time to Move” season with Robert Joffrey’s “Postcards” in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of his death, along with Jerome Robbins’ “In the Night.”
Opens October 15 at the Auditorium Theatre
The Brothers Karamazov
Lookingglass leaves the kiddies behind this season, as evidenced by their original take on Dostoevsky’s murderous masterpiece
Begins October 15 at Lookingglass
Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)
Cie Heddy Maalem brings an African interpretation of Stravinsky’s masterwork, featuring fourteen dancers from West African schooled in both contemporary dance and their own countries’ traditions.
Opens October 17 at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Trisha Brown Dance Company
The legendary choreograher presents a four-decade career overview, includings some of her collaborations with the late artist Robert Rauschenberg
Opens October 23 at the Dance Center of Columbia College
A Sandra Bernhard Halloween
Now that’s scary, especially with an audience invited to show up in costume.
October 27 at Steppenwolf
See story. Opens November 1 at the Auditorium Theatre.
Alban Berg’s “Lulu,” one of the great twentieth-century operas, is a perfect atonal example of German Expressionism that is rarely produced.
Opens November 7 at the Lyric Opera
Experimental theater meets F. Scott Fitzgerald in this six-hour staging of “The Great Gatsby,” unabridged, as performed by Elevator Repair Service.
Opens November 14 at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Cut to the Quick
The side project undertakes a yearlong series of forty unpublished one-acts from mostly local playwrights, including folks like Sean Graney and Brett Neveu
Begins November 16 at the side project
Porgy and Bess
Believe it or not, Gershwin’s opera has never been performed at Lyric Opera, despite premiering in 1935. Talk about “Plenty o’Nuttin.’
Opens November 18 at the Lyric Opera
Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
The Chicago native brings home his fortieth anniversary tour with “Men’s Stories.”
Opens at the Harris Theater November 22
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare in eight different languages in this multilingual take from India and London. They say it wowed ’em in London.
Begins November 25 at Chicago Shakespeare
Global Rhythms 4
Chicago Human Rhythm Project brings Barbatuques to Chicago for their North American premiere, with their mix of Afro-Brazilian chants, body drumming, stomping feet, video montage and pulsating rhythms.
Opens November 28 at the Harris Theater