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Tony n' Tina return to Noble Fool
By Barbara Vitello | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/19/2010 12:01 AM | Updated: 2/19/2010 3:13 PM

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The lovebirds return

They're a little late for Valentine's Day, but Tony and his bride are back, and so are their embattled families in Noble Fool's "Tony n' Tina's Wedding."

7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at Pheasant Run Resort & Spa, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. (630) 584-6342 or noblefool.org.

Black History Month

The Paramount Theatre salutes great African Americans with TheatreworksUSA production of "Freedom Train," the musical based on the life of Harriet Tubman, and Dallas Children's Theatre's "Most Valuable Player," about Jackie Robinson, the athlete who broke pro baseball's color barrier.

"Freedom Train" plays at 9:30 a.m. and noon Monday, Feb. 22, and "Most Valuable Player" plays at 9:30 a.m. and noon Thursday, Feb. 25, at 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.

Coming-of-age tale

Steppenwolf Theatre presents an adaptation of John Knowles' classic coming-of-age tale, "A Separate Peace," as part of its young adults series. Set at a New England boarding school during World War II, the play examines codependency, betrayal and forgiveness through the friendship of two very different teenage boys.

Previews begin Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The show opens Feb. 27. (847) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.

• Previews begin Friday, Feb. 19, for Quest Theatre Ensemble's "Evolution/Creation" at 1609 W. Gregory St., Chicago. The production incorporates music and puppetry to examine both sides of the evolution vs. creation debate. Andrew Park wrote and directs; Scott Lamp composed the music and Nick Rupard designed the puppets. The show opens Feb. 26. (312) 458-0895 or questensemble.org.

• Strangeloop Theatre's production of Brian Friel's "Living Quarters" opens Friday, Feb. 19, at Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland St., Chicago. Friel adapts the myth of Phaedra and Hippolytus to 20th century Ireland where commander Frank Butler returns home to his adult children from his first marriage and his young bride to find his family relationships much altered. (773) 276-0458 or strangelooptheatre.org.

• Ten plays by Anton Chekhov comprise "Chekhov's Shorts," Saint Sebastian Players' latest production opening Friday, Feb. 19, at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, Chicago. Featured plays include: "The Proposal" in which a man's attempts to propose are thwarted by the couple's constant arguments; "The Bear" about a creditor who falls in love with his debtor's widow; and an adaptation of Chekhov's short story, "The Only Way Out." (773) 404-7922 or saintsebastianplayers.org.

"I Killed My Mother," Eastern European playwright Andras Visky's examination of the punishing reproductive policies of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu gets its world premiere courtesy of Theatre Y. The play is about a Romanian teenager abandoned by her mother after her birth, who comes to terms with her past with help from a young man. It opens Friday, Feb. 19, at the Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 404-7336 or theatre-y.com.

• No Use For a Name, also known as the n.u.f.a.n. ensemble, presents a new late-night radio play by artistic director Paul Barile titled "Two Hundred Bullets and Seven Poison Apples." The adults-only show centers on what happens when a writers' strike forces the cast of a popular 1930s radio show to make do with second-stringers. The show opens Friday, Feb. 19, at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave., Chicago. (773) 282-0344 or nufanensemble.com.

• After he's mugged and left unconscious, the spirit of comedian Eddie Jester ruminates on the events of his life and near death in "A Year in the Death of Eddie Jester," opening Friday, Feb. 19, at the Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, 3801 S. Central Ave., Cicero. (708) 656-1800 or jpactheatre.com.

• Collective midlife crises and a video game inspire five male friends to form a band in "Man-O-Pause," in a brief run beginning Friday, Feb. 19, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.

• Steppenwolf Theatre's Garage Rep, showcasing small and mid-size theater ensembles, continues with XIII Pocket's "Adore." Written by Stephen Louis Grush (who appeared onstage himself in Steppenwolf's "The Tempest," "Dublin Carol" and "Good Boys and True"), the play is inspired by the story of Armin Meiwes, a German man who was sentenced to life in prison after killing and eating Bernd Brandes, a willing victim he found online. Previews begin Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The show opens Feb. 28. Also part of Garage Rep is Dog & Pony Theatre's world premiere of "The Twins Would Like to Say." Written and directed by Seth Bockley and Devon de Mayo, it's inspired by June and Jennifer Gibbons, twin sisters who acted in unison and spoke only to each other, and whose idiosyncratic behavior and codependency led to a crime spree and eventually a mental hospital. Previews begin Sunday, Feb. 21. The show also opens Feb. 28. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org/garagerep.

• Emerald City Theatre presents its version of the children's classic "Peter Pan," Alyn Cardarelli and Steve Goers' musical for children age 3 and older beginning Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 935-6100 or emeraldcitytheatre.com.

• New Leaf Theatre's Treehouse Readings continues at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, with Yusef Komunyakaa's "Gilgamesh," about a demigod who battles monsters and gods in his quest to consult with a wise man who lives at the end of the world. The reading takes place at the Lincoln Park Cultural Center, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago. See newleaftheatre.org for information.

• "Here Where It's Safe," written by Stage Left ensemble member M.E.H. Lewis and directed by Scott Bishop, opens Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 3408 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago. Reproductive issues, including surrogacy and exploitation, underscore this play about a childless American couple who hire a 19-year-old Indian woman to serve as surrogate. (773) 883-8830 or stagelefttheatre.com.

• Kimberly Senior, fresh from directing redtwist theatre's acclaimed production of "The Pillowman," returns to her Strawdog Theatre home to helm that company's production of Anton Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" translated by former Steppenwolf associate artistic director Curt Columbus. The play centers on the upheaval caused by an aging professor and his young wife, who return to the professor's country estate where they encounter Vanya, the professor's embittered brother-in-law who is in love with the old man's wife. (773) 528-9696 or strawdog.org.

• Steppenwolf Theatre honors ensemble member Joan Allen on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, when the company hosts its first salute to women in the arts. Artistic Director Martha Lavey will interview Allen as part of the fundraising luncheon whose proceeds benefit Steppenwolf's professional leadership program for aspiring arts administrators. Call (312) 654-5632 for ticket information.

• New Suit Theatre Co. made its Chicago area debut recently with the world premiere of "JedIraq: Meghan's First War" about a college journalist who chronicles a woman's experiences in war-torn Iraq. Performances run through March 14 at Piccolo Theatre, Evanston Arts Depot, 600 Main St., Evanston.

• Metropolis School of the Performing Arts, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, partners with Chicago Dramatists to offer a playwriting workshop April 10 and 11, for writers 18 and older. Chicago Dramatists resident playwright and Jeff Award-winner Robert Koon will participate in the staged reading of the plays. Call (847) 577-5982 or see metropolisarts.com/sopa for more information.

• Speaking of Chicago Dramatists, resident playwright and Arlington Heights native Keith Huff, who penned the bristling "A Steady Rain" - currently in a hit Broadway production starring Daniel Craig Hugh Jackman - is now writing for TV's "Mad Men."

• Buffalo Theatre Ensemble member Kurt Naebig takes over as artistic director of the Theatre of Western Springs on April 1.

• Annoyance Theatre's Triple Feature featuring three original 20-minute shows every two weeks has returned after its January hiatus and runs at 8 p.m. Wednesdays at 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago. (773) 561-4665 or annoyanceproductions.com.