Back for a second year, Chicago Theatre Week 2014 kicks off Tuesday and continues through Feb. 16 — presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. About 100 area stage productions are taking part, offering reduced price tickets for $15-$30, sometimes less. A handful of productions are also offering discounted hotel packages, and a number of performances are already sold out — tickets and more information are available at chicagotheatreweek.com.
But the overarching goal remains: Get more backsides in theater seats.
Another attraction during the week is the Storefront Playwright Project, a curious-sounding experiment giving passers-by a window-shopping look at the creative process. Taking place at Expo 72 (at 72 E. Randolph St.), emerging and established playwrights will seat themselves in a window space to work on a current project. On a video screen facing the sidewalk, according to an announcement, "the public will be able to read what the playwright is writing and watch the creation of the next great Chicago play in real time." And you thought writing a play in your boxers in the kitchen was pressure. More information about the Storefront Playwright Project at storefrontplaywright.tumblr.com.
Here's a small sampling of what's on offer.
"Luna Gale": Goodman Theatre artistic director Robert Falls directs a world-premiere drama from Rebecca Gilman about a veteran social worker deciding the case of an infant daughter in the middle of a family conflict. Check out Chris Jones' four-star review. Tickets are $30 for Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 14-15 at 8 p.m. A post-show discussion will be offered Wednesday and Thursday, and a pre-show discussion will be offered Feb. 14. The Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.; 312-443-3800 and goodmantheatre.org
"Number the Stars": Annemarie Johansen and Ellen Rosen play games in the streets of Copenhagen, until the Nazi occupation casts its shadow. One friend's family must then help the other. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Tickets are two for $15 for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Feb. 14; 2 p.m. Feb. 16. The Theatre School at DePaul University, in the Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo Drive.
"Tom Jones": The story of lovelorn Tom Jones in a new adaptation of Henry Fielding's classic novel. Tickets are $15 for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Feb. 14-15 and 7 p.m. Feb. 16. Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie; 847-673-6300 and northlight.org
"Chicago's Golden Soul": A tribute to the music that put Chicago on the map from Jerry Butler, the Chi-Lites, Gene Chandler, Barbara Acklin and more. Tickets are $30 for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark St.; 773-769-4451 and blackensembletheater.org
"From White Plains": A young filmmaker uses his Academy Award acceptance speech to call out an old high school bully as the cause of his friend's suicide. Broken Nose Theatre presents the Chicago premiere. Tickets are $15 for 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Feb. 14-15, and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 16. Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-404-7336 and greenhousetheater.org
"Luck of the Irish": An upwardly mobile African-American couple want to buy a home in an all white neighborhood of 1950s Boston, and they pay a struggling Irish family to "ghost-buy" a house on their behalf. Tickets are $15 for Thursday at 7:30 pm, Feb. 14-15 at 8 p.m., Feb. 16 at 2:30 p.m. Next Theatre Company, Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston; 847-475-1875 and nexttheatre.orgCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun