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Performing Arts

From critically acclaimed dramas and hilarious comedies to upbeat musicals and performances just for kids, there's a performance for everyone. See this season's lineup below.

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Now - March 1, 2020
JAKE'S WOMEN
Jake's Women: America’s premier comic playwright, Neil Simon, makes another hilarious foray into the world of modern relationships. Jake, a novelist who is more successful with fiction that with life, faces a marital crisis by daydreaming about the women in his life. The wildly comic and sometimes moving flashbacks played in his mind are interrupted by visitations from actual females. Jake’s women include a revered first wife who was killed years earlier in an accident, his daughter who is recalled as a child but is now a young woman, his boisterous and bossy sister, an opinionated analyst, his current wife who is leaving Jake for another man, and a prospective third wife. Jake, played by Alan Alda on Broadway, and his women definitely deliver.
Location: Oil Lamp Theater, 1723 Glenview Road, Glenview
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Now - March 1, 2020
HOW A BOY FALLS
How A Boy Falls: A world premiere from one of America’s essential playwrights will keep you on the edge of your seat! A newly hired au pair is thrust into the midst of a mystery when the loss of a young boy casts suspicion on her and the boy’s wealthy parents. The parents are each seeking answers and retribution while the au pair is hatching a dangerous scheme of her own, and no one is exactly who they seem to be in a new psychological thriller that asks who can we trust… if we can trust anyone.
Location: Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie
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Now - March 15, 2020
STICK FLY
Stick Fly: What begins as a relaxing summer weekend on Martha’s Vineyard escalates when the LeVay brothers bring their new girlfriends home to meet their affluent and imposing parents. But even as the newcomers find themselves under familial scrutiny, long-hidden family tensions bubble to the surface and by the end of the weekend, almost everyone at the Vineyard finds themselves under a microscope as they grapple with arguments about class, race and cultural expectations.
Location: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
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Now - March 1, 2020
LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL
Elle Woods appears to have it all but her life is turned upside down when her boyfriend Warner dumps her so he can attend Harvard Law. Determined to get him back, Elle ingeniously charms her way into the prestigious law school. While there, she struggles with peers, professors and her ex. With the support of some new friends, though, Elle quickly realizes her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world.
Location: Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
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February 18, 2020
SHAKEY GRAVES
Shakey Graves “FOR THE RECORD” is both an acoustic retrospective and a glimpse into what’s coming next. An evening of experimental arrangements of familiar music and a glimpse into the inner workings of an unborn album. Shakey Graves is using specific rooms and multiple nights in a row to create a unique environment in order to explore and find the best, strangest, and perhaps first version of each song.
Location: Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
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February 20, 2020
SNEAK PEEK: TWO REMAIN
Chicago Fringe Opera presents a preview of Jake Heggie and Gene Sheer’s new opera, Two Remain. Based on the lives of Holocaust Survivors Gad Beck and Krystyna Zywulska (born Sonia Landau), this opera explores the haunting scar of what it means to be left behind. Discussion with performers and members of the production team to follow. Reservations required. 
Location: Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie
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February 21, 2020 - March 8, 2020
THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES
The frivolously fashionable Emperor and his opinionated daughter Sam just can’t get along. But with the help of some fun new characters and colorful new threads, the two come to see themselves—and appreciate each other—for the first time. This new family musical based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale promises to shows us that it’s not the clothes that make the person, it’s what’s inside that matters the most. 
Location: Northwestern Wirtz Center, 1949 Campus Drive, Evanston
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February 28, 2020
PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON
Piff the Magic Dragon is back! After earning national acclaim as the standout star of NBC’s America’s Got Talent andPenn & Teller: Fool Us, Piff The Magic Dragon continues to win over audiences across the globe with his mythical mixture of wizardry, wit and sarcasm that ignites a one-of-a-kind comedy magic show you must see to believe! Joined by his trusty sidekick Mr. Piffles, The World’s Only Magic Performing Chihuahua™, the dynamic duo performs nightly to sold out rooms at his residency at the world-famous Flamingo Casino in Las Vegas in the newly renamed Piff the Magic Dragon Theatre. In addition to the residency, Piff along with Jade Simone, a genuine Las Vegas Showgirl, are currently performing across the US and Canada as part of their 2019 tour The Lucky Dragon.
Location: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
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February 29, 2020
YOU AND ME TOUR: AN EVENING WITH DREW & ELLIE HOLCOMB
Drew and Ellie Holcomb are a husband and wife Americana duo from Nashville, TN. Shortly after their marriage in 2006, the couple began touring together with Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors. The band has supported many national touring acts including Ryan Adams, The Avett Brother, Don Henley, and Willie Nelson.
Location: Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
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March 4, 2020 - March 8, 2020
DANCEWORKS 2020
Northwestern’s annual showcase of dance featuring new works by acclaimed and nationally recognized guest choreographers and faculty.
Location: Northwestern Wirtz Center | Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
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March 4, 2020
MAEVE & QUINN WITH SAVANNA DICKHUT
Described as "anything but ordinary" by the Chicago Tribune, Maeve & Quinn is the duo of Alaskan twin sisters Maris and Bryce O'Tierney, multi-instrumentalists, songwriters, and composers. Classically trained musicians (voice, guitar, violin, piano), Maeve & Quinn write music that combines alt pop, rock, and folk influences. At SPACE, Maeve & Quinn will be joined by bassist Kitt Lyles, for a show that features songs from their forthcoming second album.
Location: Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
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March 12, 2020 - March 15, 2020
EVANSTON DANCE ENSEMBLE: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
Evanston Dance Ensemble – The magical world of Narnia returns with an unforgettable production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Artistic Directors Béa Rashid and Christina Ernst use original music, beautiful costumes, and exceptional choreography, to bring this story to life.
Location: Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
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March 14, 2020
NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE: PRESENT LAUGHTER
As he prepares to embark on an overseas tour, star actor Garry Essendine’s colourful life is in danger of spiralling out of control. Engulfed by an escalating identity crisis as his many and various relationships compete for his attention, Garry’s few remaining days at home are a chaotic whirlwind of love, sex, panic and soul-searching. Captured live from The Old Vic in London, Present Laughter is a giddy and surprisingly modern reflection on fame, desire and loneliness.
Location: Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
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April 24, 2020 - May 3, 2020
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
A young orphan and his mates are shipped off from Victorian England to a distant island ruled by and evil King. On board, they know nothing of the mysterious trunk in the captain’s cabin, which contains a precious, otherworldly cargo. While at sea, the boys are discovered by a precocious young girl named Molly, a Starcatcher-in-training who realizes that the trunk’s precious cargo is a celestial substance so powerful that it must never fall into the wrong hands. When the ship is taken over by pirates their fearsome leader Black Stache is determined to claim the trunk and its treasure for his own.
Location: Northwestern Wirtz Center | Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
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April 28, 2020
PENNY AND SPARROW WITH SAWYER
Joy and pain walk hand in hand on ‘Finch,’ Penny & Sparrow’s magnificent sixth album. See the due together at Evanston SPACE. 
Location: Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
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May 1, 2020 - May 10, 2020
THE WAA-MU SHOW
The Waa-Mu Show is Northwestern University’s own original musical, written, performed, and presented by Northwestern students. The Waa-Mu Show’s quirky name stands for the two organizations that banded together to present the first show in 1929, the Women’s Athletic Association (W.A.A.) and the Men’s Union (M.U.). Since then, Waa-Mu has become a virtual institution for budding young theatrical talent. 
Location: Northwestern Wirtz Center, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
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October 2, 2020 - October 11, 2020
RICHARDS RODGERS' GREATEST HTIS
Show-stopping songs from the classic musicals OKLAHOMA!, CAROUSEL, PAL JOEY, SOUTH PACIFIC, BABES IN ARMS and others.
Location: Music Theater Works, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
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