Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves

Hamilton Chicago
HAMILTON now playing at Privatebank Theater. Photo: Joan Marcus

Picture this Post Guide to Best Plays in Chicago

Click the READ MORE buttons in the thumbnail descriptions below to find picture-rich descriptive reviews of PICTURE THIS POST'S  writers' TOP PICKS FOR CHICAGO PLAYS ON CHICAGO STAGES NOW.

The Chicago plays selected for this roundup includes both RECOMMENDED and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Chicago theater options.  Our Chicago theater top picks select from dramas, comedies, musicals, and some off-the-beaten path live theater options such as puppet shows, magic shows, and more.

How do plays become our theater in Chicago top picks?

This is not a comprehensive guide to Chicago plays.  Rather, this is a short-list of Chicago theater events our writers pick.

You may notice that our writers tend to recommend plays more often than not.  This is not accidental.  Many PICTURE THIS POST theater writers are theater insiders-- playwrights, directors, actors, etc. with more of an inside track on theater in Chicago.  Picture this Post's writers always choose which plays they see and write about.  Just like you and me, they want to make the best use of their time and cherry pick the Chicago plays that they think they will like the most.

Chicago Theater Top Picks are listed here alphabetically.

Click the READ MORE button to find a descriptive and picture-rich review for the Chicago play you are interested in.

As much as Picture this Post loves and supports Chicago theater, we urge you to check out the many other talents you will find on Chicago stages and cultural venues now.  Click to read about Chicago dance, music, museums, and more.

  • Goodman Theatre presents Blind Date Review- HISTORIC

    Goodman Theatre presents Blind Date-the story of the historic meeting between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. Through February 25th

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  • Briar Street Theatre Presents THE BLUE MAN GROUP SHOW

    Briar Street Theatre THE BLUE MAN GROUP SHOW

    Briar Street Theatre in Chicago presents The Blue Man Group Show, a celebration of human connection. Mixing art, music, comedy and state-of-the-art technology, this open run show encourages audiences to reconnect with their inner child and see the world through a new perspective.

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  • TimeLine Theatre Company Presents BOY Review -Inspired by a true story

    TimeLine Theatre Company BOY

    TimeLine Theatre Company presents BOY in a very intimate staging setup at TimeLine Theatre. This play, written by Anna Ziegler, directed by Damon Kiely and inspired by a true story is an exceptional representation on the complexity of gender identity. Running through March 18, 2018 it is highly recommended.

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  • Victory Gardens Theater presents BREACH: A MANIFESTO ON RACE IN AMERICA THROUGH THE EYES OF A BLACK GIRL RECOVERING FROM SELF-HATE Review: Clever Comedy Raises Important Questions

    Victory Gardens Theater presents Antoinette Nwandu's BREACH: A MANIFESTO ON RACE IN AMERICA THROUGH THE EYES OF A BLACK GIRL RECOVERING FROM SELF-HATE, directed by Lisa Portes, and running through March 11, 2018.

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  • Steppenwolf for Young Adults presents Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins' THE BURN review - The Crucible and Heathers run face first into the 21st Century

    THE BURN

    Steppenwolf for Young Adults presents Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins' THE BURN review - Miller's The Crucible and the '80's Heathers run face first into the 21st Century thru March 10

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  • CHICAGO MAGIC LOUNGE presents magic show at Uptown Underground

    FEATURE

    CHICAGO MAGIC LOUNGE at Uptown Underground revitalizes magic shows Chicago style with lots of HOW DID HE DO THAT?? awesome wonders. Open run

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  • Lyric Opera present Mozart's COSI FAN TUTTE, thru March 17

    Lyric Opera presents Mozart's COSI FAN TUTTE, in a whimsical production that seems to channel a Moliere farce with beautiful music, thru 3/17

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  • (re)discover theatre FIFTY SHADES OF SHAKESPEARE Review

    rediscover theatre FIFTY SHADES OF SHAKESPEARE

    (re)discover theatre presents Fifty Shades of Shakespeare now through February 24. All of Shakespeare's sexy love scenes at once. Read the review here!

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  • Chicago Theater Works presents FLANAGANS WAKE Review

    Chicago Theater Works FLANAGAN'S WAKE

    Chicago Theater Works presents FLANAGANS WAKE review- Grab a Guinness and plan to laugh at this improv - party- theater mix. Open Run.

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  • Jackalope Theatre FRANKLINLAND Review - Touching the Key on the Kite

    Jackalope Theatre FRANKLINLAND

    Jackalope Theatre presents Franklinland now through February 24th. Franklinland tells the story of Benjamin Franklin and his son, William. Read the review here!

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  • HAMILTON production by Broadway in Chicago lives up to its reputation

    Hamilton Chicago

    HAMILTON production by Broadway in Chicago lives up to and exceeds its reputation. Top recommendation for Chicago musical.

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  • Lyric Opera presents I PURITANI Review - Vocal Powerhouses

    Lyric Opera presents I PURITANI Review- vocal powerhouses Lawrence Brownlee, Albina Shagimuratova, Adrian Sampetrean and more make this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED through 2/28

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  • Drury Lane JOSEPH AND THE TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT Review

    Drury Lane JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT

    Drury Lane presents Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat now through March 25. A fantastical reinterpretation of a biblical classic. Read the review here!

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  • Trap Door Theatre stages Canetti's play THE LOCKETEER

    Trap Door Theatre stages Nobel Prize winning playwright Elias Canetti's THE LOCKETEER, standout acting making it a best play pick, thru March 3

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  • House Theatre presents THE MAGIC PARLOUR Review

    House Theatre of Chicago presents THE MAGIC PARLOUR for an open run at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel. A spellbinding magician performs an intimate show.

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  • Porchlight Music Theatre presents MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG

    Porchlight Music Theater stages a RECOMMENDED BEST PLAY of Sondheim's MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, superb direction, cast, staging and projection design thru 3/11

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  • Definition Theatre Company presents MOON MAN WALK Review: A Deeply Moving Journey

    Definition Theatre Company presents MOON MAN WALK, written by James Ijames and directed by Tyla Abercrumbie. Running through February 25, 2018 at Victory Gardens Theatre.

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  • MPAACT Presents MOTHER OF THE DARK WATER Review

    MPAACT presents MOTHER OF DARK WATER: Five black goddesses meet in as special realm to express and discover their black womanhood thru 3/3

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  • Strawdog Theatre Company presents PILLARS OF THE COMMUNITY

    Strawdog Theatre Company presents PILLARS OF THE COMMUNITY, a rarely revived Ibsen classic in their new home. Now through March 3.

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  • Broadway in Chicago presents POTTED POTTER: THE UNAUTHORIZED HARRY POTTER EXPERIENCE Review: Seven Books in Seventy Hilarious Minutes

    Broadway in Chicago presents POTTED POTTER, written by and starring Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner. Through February 25, 2018 at Broadway Playhouse.

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  • Comrades at Apollo Theater presents ROW AFTER ROW Review

    Apollo Theater presents The Comrades’ performance of ROW AFTER ROW Review – Battle on the Field and in the Soul!

    Comrades presents ROW AFTER ROW Review - Battle on the field and in the soul. Past meets present and hopes to build a better future. Thru 2/27

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  • Second City presents SHE THE PEOPLE Review - gender explored

    Second City SHE THE PEOPLE

    Second City presents SHE THE PEOPLE, a new all-female review that explores gender issues and female behavior with a generous spirit. Through 4/1.

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  • Plagiarists at the Berger Park Coach House present SOME LIKE IT RED Review - Bad Girls at a Soviet Bloc Party! Hysterical look at the last gasps of a Soviet People's Republic

    The Plagiarists present SOME LIKE IT RED at the Berger Park Coach House - a farcical look at the last gasps of a Soviet People's Republic through the eyes of a bad-girl '80's band

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  • Brown Paper Box Co presents SPEECH & DEBATE Review: When Young Voices Unite and Speak Up

    Brown Paper Box Co presents Stephen Karam's SPEECH & DEBATE, directed by David Lipschutz. Running through March 4, 2018 at The Edge Theatre.

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  • Redtwist Theatre presents SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY Review

    Redtwist Theatre presents SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY, a new slice-of-life drama about children developing their faith and true family. Now through March 18.

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  • Red Orchid Theatre Presents TRAITOR - retelling Ibsen Enemy of the People

    Red Orchid Theatre presents TRAITOR - retelling Ibsen's ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE with a contemporary update by playwright Brett Neveu thru February 25

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  • American Theater Company presents WE’RE GONNA BE OKAY Review: Rebuilding the American Family

    American Theater Company presents the Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl's WE'RE GONNA BE OKAY, directed by Artistic Director Will Davis. Running through March 4, 2018.

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  • Goodman Theatre Presents THE WOLVES Review - REALISM AT ITS FINEST Now playing through March 11, 2018

    Goodman Theatre Presents THE WOLVES Review - REALISM AT ITS FINEST Now playing through March 11, 2018. The reality of being a teenage girl.

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