Theater: Dance, drama and comic opera

Evanston Dance Ensemble.

Evanston Dance Ensemble presents the solar system in dance, “Landladies” opens at Northlight Theatre, and Evanston Chamber Opera offers a comic double bill. These are among the many and varied performances on stage in and around Evanston this weekend.

Space Odyssey: the solar system in dance
This striking and completely original work performed by the Evanston Dance Ensemble conceptually explores each planet in the solar system through movement and music. Inspired by both the science and the mythologies surrounding the heavenly bodies, each planet is given a distinct musical personality, and the choreographers capture the essences of the planets, the sun, and comets through an eclectic variety of dance styles.
At Wirtz Center, Arts Circle Drive, March 14-17, tickets $15-24

Landladies
Marti and Christine are both working their way to a better life – one a self-made building owner clawing her way to the top, the other a single mom juggling the care of her daughter with a part-time job and a complicated ex-boyfriend. They have a lot in common, but as landlady and tenant their friendship walks a delicate balance. Faced with dilemmas of fairness versus kindness and honesty versus eviction, both women are determined to build a home, and both know the threat of losing one.
At Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, runs March 14 through April 20, tickets $30-52

Doctor Miracle and Susanna’s Secret
The Evanston Chamber Opera Company marks its second season with a comic double bill featuring Bizet’s “Doctor Miracle” and Wolf-Ferrari’s “Susanna’s Secret,” presented in English with English titles.
At St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 2120 Lincoln St., March 15-17, tickets $25-40

Terra Nova
Inspired by the real-life race to the South Pole, this Obie-winning play by Academy Award-winning writer Ted Tally tells the true story of English explorer Robert Falcon Scott, who led an expedition across Antarctica in 1911, only to find he'd been beaten to his goal by a Norwegian team.
By Three Crowns Theatre at Piven Theatre, 927 Noyes St., runs through March 17, tickets: pay what you can

Chute Middle School’s Wizard of Oz
Using L. Frank Baum’s book as its inspiration, this version of The Wizard of Oz uses the story elements and famous songs from the classic stage musical. Join Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and several new characters as they follow the Yellow Brick Road for a twisting and entertaining trip to the Emerald City.
Chute Middle School, 1400 Oakton St., March 13-14, tickets $10

The Bridges of Madison County
Francesca Johnson, a beautiful Italian woman who married an American soldier to flee war-ravaged Italy, looks forward to a rare four days alone on her Iowa farm when her family heads to the 1965 State Fair then. Then, ruggedly handsome National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid pulls into her driveway seeking directions...
At Theo Ubique, Howard Street Theatre, 721 Howard St., runs through April 21, tickets $39-69

Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus
Founded in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1918 by Vasyl Yemets as the “Kobzar Choir”, its successor continued to perform until being disbanded by the Soviet government at the outbreak of World War II. In 1941, the ensemble was reconstituted in Ukraine’s capital by many of its former members, and eventually emigrated to the United States in 1949 where it continues its mission: to share the bandura, a 60-stringed instrument, on the global stage.
At Northshore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, Saturday, March 16, tickets $28-51

Beethoven Lives Upstairs
The world-famous production features a lively exchange of letters between young Christoph and his uncle. Their subject is the “madman” who has moved into the upstairs apartment of Christoph’s Vienna home. Through a touching correspondence dramatically underscored with the composer’s most beautiful excerpts, Christoph comes to understand the genius of Beethoven, the beauty of his music and the torment of his deafness.
At Northshore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, Sunday, March 17, tickets $12-20

Through the Looking Glass
Alice is back in this sparkling adaptation of the sequel to “Alice in Wonderland.” In “Through the Looking Glass,” Alice reunites with some familiar faces, while encountering a whole chessboard of absurd new players including Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledee & Tweedledum, and the formidable Red Queen. Join Mudlark as we journey into this madcap tale of self-discovery, absurdity, and pretend.
At Mudlark Theater, 927 Noyes St., runs March 8-23, tickets $11-14

All the Time in the World
The 10th annual Winter Circus is a circus about time. Trudy is a young girl who lives a hectic life with her very busy family, and who also has an imaginary friend. When Trudy's imaginary friend is suddenly too busy to play with her and leaves to join the circus, she and her parents enter the circus paracosm to find more time and reunite Trudy and her imaginary friend.
At Actors Gymnasium, Noyes Cultural Center, 927 Noyes St., runs through March 24, tickets $30-60

May The Road Rise Up
Shannon O'Neill's newest play shows the consequences of a community that fails to communicate, and how refusing to grieve can lead to tragedies of its own.
At The Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard St., Chicago, runs through March 30, tickets $25

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 through March 17, tickets $60-70

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 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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