Theater: Students perform at Piven, ETHS

Students in Piven Performance Project.

Piven Theatre Workshop’s advanced students take the stage with stories about identity. The ETHS Jazz Festival showcases student talent. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” opens at Writers Theatre. And the Alice Millar Birthday Concert features organ, orchestra and choral performances.These are among the performances on stage in and around Evanston this weekend.

Piven Theatre Workshop’s Performance Project
Piven’s advanced 7th-9th grade students comprise the ensemble of Performance Project. Working with fairy tales and myth, students work for months to adapt stories for the stage. This year’s stories will focus on the theme of Identity, through tales of gender, coming of age, and family.
At Piven Theatre, 927 Noyes St., Feb. 11-16, tickets $15

ETHS Jazz Festival
Chicago State University Community Jazz Band performs starting at 7 p.m. Throughout the day, 24 jazz ensembles from nine schools large and small will perform to build their performance experience, sharpen their skills and showcase the amazing jazz talent that our area music programs are nurturing.  Following each performance, the group will participate in a half hour clinic.
At Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave., Saturday, Feb. 9, tickets $15-20

Alice Millar Birthday Concert
Two musical jewels adorn this year’s concert. Joseph Jongen’s epic Symphonie Concertante offers luminous harmonies and blazing climaxes that unleash the full sonic power of organ and orchestra. Haydn’s stunning Missa Cellensis in honorem Beatissimae Virginis Mariae blends stirring choral passages with exquisite solo writing.
At Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road, Sunday, Feb. 10, free (offering accepted)

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
This visceral American classic serves as the 1920s chapter of August Wilson's epic American Century Cycle. What begins as a routine recording session becomes more strained as tensions rise between the members of a blues band and the owners of the recording studio. The white producers mean to exploit the talents of the band—especially the gifted and impulsive Levee—but when Ma insists on having things her way, tensions are inflamed and the play builds to an unexpected and searing climax.
At Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, runs Feb. 6 through Mar. 17, tickets $60-70

The Wolves
Winter indoor soccer. Saturdays. The Wolves, a girls’ indoor soccer team, practice drills as they prepare for a succession of games. As they warm up and talk about life, the girls navigate the politics of their personal lives as well as the politics of the larger world. Each team member struggles to negotiate her individuality while being a part of a group.
At Wallis Theater in the Wirtz Center, 1949 Campus Drive, Feb. 8-10, tickets $10

Luciano Antonio Quartet
Brazilian jazz guitarist and vocalist Luciano Antonio leads this quartet featuring Luiz Ewerling on drums, Jack Zara on bass and Adrian Ruiz on piano. This concert will be recorded live for Chicago Jazz Live on WDCB.
At Studio5, 1938 Dempster St., Saturday, Feb. 9, tickets $20-25

The Cherry Orchard
Chekhov's endearing and everlasting tragicomedy in which a family's cross generational dispute about the future of their beloved estate creates a clash between socialism and capitalism, legacy and reality in this sharp new adaptation by Stephen Karam.
At Wirtz Center, 20 Arts Circle Drive, runs through Feb. 10, tickets $25

Nina Simone: Four Women
In the aftermath of 1963’s 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, Nina Simone rocked the nation with “Four Women,” her tribute in song to the four little girls lost in the tragedy. Celebrate Ms. Simone’s lasting legacy in this provocative and personal musical journey.
At Northlight Theater, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, runs through March 2, tickets $30-55

Seussical
In this fantastical, magical musical, some of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters are lovingly brought to life with the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and all of the Whos of Whoville. These classic, colorful tales are brought together by Jojo, a young "thinker of strange and wonderful thinks."
At Marriott Lincolnshire, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire, runs Feb. 8 through March 31, tickets $18

Million Dollar Quartet
This Tony Award-Winning musical is set on December 4, 1956, when an extraordinary twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley together at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever.
At Marriott Lincolnshire, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire, runs through March 16, tickets $50-60

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