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Del Close

Theatrical treasures you can't find on Broadway

At the Goodman Theatre, 170 Dearborn St., a human skull sits in a place of honor. When the legendary Chicago improv guru Del Close died in 1999, he willed his cranium to the Goodman for use as a prop -- Close had poor Yorick specifically mind. Seated on a red velvet cushion in a plastic box, Close's skull resides in the office of Robert Falls, the Goodman's artistic director. Look up in the cramped lobby of the Shubert Theatre, 22. W. Monroe St., and you'll see ceiling tiles. But underneath those tiles resides a gorgeous period ceiling. When the theater is restored later this year, the original lobby will re-emerge. Also, the Shubert (formerly the Majestic) Theatre housed the...