This week is a busy one for Evanston area theater companies, bringing audiences spring comedies and bold new plays. Here’s a shortlist of what’s happening on stage in and around Evanston for the next few weeks.

The relatively young Emergent Theatre’s “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers” opens this weekend and runs through April 19. This lesser known play by Neil Simon is set in the 1960’s. Afraid that the sexual revolution will pass him by as he nears a mid-life crisis, Barney is determined to have one memorable romantic encounter before death.

The Venetian Twins” at Piccolo Theatre also opens this weekend and runs through May 9. The always fun Piccolo shows off the roots of their theatrical style with a play by Carlo Goldoni, Italian comedic master. Identical twins unaware of each other’s existence arrive simultaneously in a strange town. Mayhem and mischief involving Dottore, Arlecchino, and other favorite characters ensues.

Outside Mullingar” continues its run at Northlight Theatre in Skokie until April 19. Written by Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley, “Outside Mullingar” brings hope to an isolated cattle farm-boy and his pining lover. Through eccentricity and introversion, Shanley builds a relationship for these two hopefuls over the course of a surprising and mishap-ridden courtship.
Read Evanston Now’s Review of “Outside Mullingar”.

Performances of “The Diary of Anne Frank” continue at Writers Theatre in Glencoe through August. Based on the perennial classic, this new adaptation is directed by Chicago favorite Kimberly Senior in a claustrophobic setting. Tickets sell fast due to the intimate nature of the space.

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