Cabin fever? Live theater beckons

The season of snow is also a great time for shows with lots of local options

Melt away the winter malaise with some engaging theatrics this season. Stages around the area are coming alive with shows tailored for kids, just for adults or for full family enjoyment.

Get a good seat at a great price compared to downtown Chicago acts. For an overdue date night, a friends' outing or just to get the crew off their devices and out of the house, consider one of these close-to-home productions.

• The troupe at Stage Door Fine Arts' invites all to dive headfirst into an family-friendly undersea adventure packed with song, dance and a tidal wave of fun as the citizens of Bikini Bottom face a volcanic threat - and hope for unexpected heroes to rise.

Shows begin tomorrow, Jan. 26, and run through Sunday, Feb. 4, at The Community House, 415 W. Eighth St. Performances are 7 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Thursday, Feb. 1; 2 p.m. Sundays and Saturday, Jan. 27; and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28.

Tickets are $25 to $30. Visit

• Bruce Graham's "The Outgoing Tide" is the latest offering from the Buffalo Theatre Ensemble at the College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center. Set on Chesapeake Bay, the story follows Gunner and his vision for safeguarding the family's future. Stunned, his wife and son have other plans. Both surprising humor and powerful emotion are woven together in this highly relatable play, which poses thoughtful questions about personal choice, and what it means to truly love someone.

Shows run Feb. 1 to March 3 at the MAC, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, with shows at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. A pre-show discussion with the director and designers will be held at 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1. A post-show discussion with director, cast and crew will be held following the performance on Friday, Feb. 9. An ASL performance will be given Thursday, Feb. 22. The play contains adult themes and language.

Tickets are $44 for general admission and $42 for seniors. Visit or call (630) 942-4000.

• Don't miss the Theatre of Western Springs' production of George Bernard Shaw's classic comedic drama "Pygmalion," in which linguist professor Henry Higgins and gentleman Col. Pickering make a whimsical bet to pass off Eliza, a low-class street flower girl, as a respectable royal lady of high society. Pickering offers to cover the expenses of the experiment if Higgins can pass Eliza off as a duchess at a garden party in six months. After undergoing grueling training, Eliza successfully "passes" in high society, having in the process become a lovely young woman of sensitivity and taste. But when Higgins dismisses her abruptly as a successfully completed experiment, she finds belonging in neither the upper class of her new mannerisms and speech, nor in the lower class from which she came.

The show opens tonight and runs through Sunday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays at the theater, 4384 Hampton Ave.

Tickets are $28 for general admission and $15 for ages 18 and under. Visit or call (708) 246-3380.

• Elmhurst University's Theatre and Dance Department presents "The Lifespan of a Fact" as Jim Fingal, a fresh-out-of-Harvard fact checker for a prominent but sinking New York magazine, comes up against John D'Agata, a talented writer with a transcendent essay about the suicide of a teenage boy. When Fingal is assigned to fact check D'Agata's essay, a comedic yet gripping battle ensues over facts versus truth.

Shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, Feb. 1-4, at Mill Theatre, 253 Walter St. in Elmhurst.

Tickets are $15. Visit or contact Trish Thoren at [email protected].

• Hinsdale Central Drama invites audiences to enjoy "80 minutes of adventure" with a student-directed adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved "James and The Giant Peach."

Shows are at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, and 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, in the Hinsdale Central auditorium, 5500 S. Grant St.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for students and children. Visit

• Also at the Theatre of Western Springs this month is "The Other Place" about successful neurologist Juliana Smithton, whose life seems to be coming unhinged. Her husband has filed for divorce, her daughter has eloped with a much older man and her own health is in jeopardy. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface, revealing to herself and the audience that her version of things is skewed and incorrect.

It runs Feb. 15-25, with performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, at the theater, 4384 Hampton Ave.

Tickets are $28 for general admission and $15 for ages 18 and under. Visit or call (708) 246-3380.

• Experience Drury Lane Theatre's production of "Fiddler on the Roof" as Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill them with traditional values in the face of political and social change in his tight-knit Jewish community in Czarist Russia.

The musical runs through Sunday, March 24, at 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. Performances are 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays; 1:30 and 7 p.m. Thursdays; 7 p.m. Fridays; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 2 and 6 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets are $100.75 to $111.25. Visit or call (630) 530-0111.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean