The shows are set to begin

Get the new year off to a dramatic start with a local theater production

Warm up this winter season with the stimulating experience of live theater. The curtain will soon be raised on productions in and around Hinsdale, offerings that promise to provide entertainment for all audiences.

• The Theatre of Western Springs, 4384 Hampton Ave., opens 2023 with its production of "The Father," running Jan. 26-Feb 5.

The play follows Andre, a cantankerous old widower suffering from dementia, who receives regular visits from his caring but frustrated daughter Anne. His mood swings and fits of temper result from his inability to grasp reality. His awareness of his previous existence occasionally resurfaces, causing even more confusion.

Director Greg Kolack said playwright Florian Zeller crafted the story using a novel perspective.

"While most plays that deal with dementia are told through the point of view of family members and others close to the dementia patient, Florian Zeller tells this story through the viewpoint of Andre, Kolack said. "His confusion becomes our confusion as we take this frustrating and scary journey with him."

Some audience members also might be familiar with 2020 film version, for which Anthony Hopkins won an Academy Award for best actor in the title role.

Kolack said the themes have universal relevance.

"Ultimately, it is a story about family love, past and present, and how that love endures in the most difficult situations," he remarked.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $25, $12 for children and students. Visit or call (708) 246-4043.

• Family means everything in 1950s Ireland in First Folio's staging of "And Neither Have I Wings to Fly." So when Eveline Donnelly abandons university to care for her widowed father, it seems only natural. But as her younger sister prepare to leave home, a visit from her mother's ghost makes Evie begin to ask, "When is it my turn?"

The play, which runs Jan. 26-Feb. 26 at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook, is a ghost story, of sorts, according to director Heather Chrisler.

"It's very Irish," she said. "It morbid and morose, and there's always this sense that this world of otherness is just beneath the surface somewhere."

A longtime member of First Folio fold, Chrisler said the opportunity to direct a show during the company's final season is special.

"A lot of the play is about moving on and choosing to move on," she said, noting many fellow troupe veterans are in the cast. "It's nice to feel like I'm creating something that will honor the theater's legacy."

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, 3 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 4 and 8 p.m. most Saturdays.

Captioned performances for the deaf and hearing impaired are 4 p.m. Feb. 11 and 8 p.m. Feb. 17. Tickets are $29-$59 and $20 for students. Visit or call (630) 986-8067.

• Stage Door Fine Arts presents "Roald Dahl's Matilda: The Musical" Jan. 27-Feb. 5 at The Community House, 415 W. Eighth St. in Hinsdale.

Cheer on Matilda, a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers who's unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, Miss Honey. The school's mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, loves to punish those who don't abide by her rules. But Matilda's courage and cleverness may be her classmates' saving grace.

Most shows are 7 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $25-$30. Visit

• Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace, presents "A Chorus Line" Jan. 25- March 19.

The Tony Award- and Pulitzer Award-winning musical offering a backstage look at the intimate lives of dancers auditioning for a Broadway chorus features memorable numbers, including "What I Did for Love," "One," and "I Hope I Get It."

Showtimes are 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 1:30 and 8 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 and 6 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $85–$95, with a $5 discount for seniors on Wednesday and Thursday matinées. Visit or call (630) 530-0111.

And in February...

• The Buffalo Theatre Ensemble's performance of "Any Warhol's Tomato," will transport audiences to 1946 Pittsburgh to follow an 18-year-old Andy Warhol in a fictional take on an apocryphal story of an American legend. The play runs Feb. 2-March 5 at the College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $42, $40 for seniors. Visit or call (630) 942-4000.

• Join Grove Players as they map out the nuances of relationships in "Almost Maine" at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 10-12 and 17-19, at Lincoln Center, 935 Maple Ave., Downers Grove.

Tickets are $20, $17 for students and seniors. Visit or call (630) 415-3682.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean