Marius von Mayenburg's international hit that deconstructs superficial notions of beauty and identity via "the ugliest man in the world" gets a local premiere under Seth Bockley's hand with Sideshow Theatre Company. Oracle Theater; Oct. 8-Nov. 20
New York-based writer Candido Tirado, Teatro Vista's newest resident writer, updates his play about a young man pondering the murder of his best friend for a Chicago setting. The company presents Tirado's "Fish Men" at the Goodman in the spring. Chicago Dramatists; Oct. 23-Dec. 4
Immediate Theatre Company was a stalwart of the Chicago storefront scene until the early 1990s. Now original member Peter Cieply resurrects the troupe and directs the local premiere of Adam Bock's award-winning portrait of grieving siblings and the aviary they inherited from their deceased father. Red Tape Theatre; Nov. 10-Dec. 18
"Murder for Two — A Killer Musical"
Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair's two-actor musical whodunit continues its hit run. Chicago Shakespeare Theater; through Oct. 16
"Putting It Together"
The eminence grise of American musicals gets a tip of the hat in Porchlight Music Theatre's revival of this showcase of great Sondheim songs set against the backdrop of a cocktail party. Brenda Didier directs and choreographs. Theater Wit; Sept. 2-Oct. 16
"Urinetown: The Musical"
Steampunk meets satire in Kevin Bellie's staging of onetime-Chicagoans Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann's Tony-winning salute to distressed bladders and revolutionary impulses. Circle Theatre, Oak Park; Sept. 9-Oct. 23
Hip-hop theater maestro Will Power originally crafted this show in which seven contemporary DJs/griots connect the past and present through a mix of rhyme, narration, and beats. Sonita Surratt directs. ETA Creative Arts Foundation; Sept. 15-Oct. 23
Jeanine Tesori ("Caroline, or Change") composed the score and Brian Crawley wrote the book and lyrics for this bittersweet story of a physically scarred young woman whose chance encounter with a black soldier on a bus during the civil rights movement changes her life. Elizabeth Margolius stages the piece for Bailiwick Chicago. Mercury Theatre; Sept. 16-Oct. 16
Stephen Schwartz moves away from the fantasia of "Wicked" to explore the mystery of middle-aged romance, as explicated in David Stern's book. Ken Sawyer directs. Northlight Theatre, Skokie; Sept. 16-Oct. 23
And more Schwartz in the Middle Ages: the composer's 1972 picaresque about the son of Charlemagne and his adventures in love and war, as told by a troupe of traveling actors, opens BoHo's season. Theater Wit; Oct. 15-Nov. 20
"Starting Here, Starting Now"
Richard Maltby and David Shire's 1976 revue about the joys and pitfalls of urban romance gets an intimate urban staging by Fred Anzevino for Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre. No Exit Café; Sept. 23-Nov. 6
Rising director Rachel Rockwell tackles Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved tale of the original singing nun and her wealthy but forlorn charges. Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook, Oakbrook Terrace; Oct. 20-Jan. 8
Margaret Wise Brown's iconic children's story comes to life in Chad Henry's musical, directed for Chicago Children's Theatre by David Kersnar of Lookingglass and featuring musical arrangements by longtime Redmoon associate Mark Messing and choreography by House Theatre's Tommy Rapley. Victory Gardens Biograph Theater; Oct. 27-Dec. 23