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.

  • Pride Films and Plays presents late night comedy 26 Review

    Pride Films and Plays 26

    Pride Films and Plays presents 26, the Pride Arts Center's first late night comedy, in the Buena theater space through July 14

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  • Broadway in Chicago presents ALADDIN, a musical spectacular

    Broadway in Chicago ALADDIN

    Broadway in Chicago brings a Broadway hit to the Cadillac Palace Theatre with Aladdin. Now through September 10th -- a musical spectacular!

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  • Briar Street Theater updates its long run of BLUE MAN GROUP

    Briar Street Theater has hosted The Blue Man Group for twenty years. The group announced new changes to the show and are still colorful! Open run

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  • About Face Theatre Bright Half Life Play Theater Wit

    About Face - BRIGHT HALF LIFE

    About Face Theatre presents BRIGHT HALF LIFE at Theater Wit. Run ends on July 1, 2017 evoking discussion on sexual identity.

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  • CHICAGO MAGIC LOUNGE presents magic show at Uptown Underground


    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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  • 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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  • Eclectic Full Contact Theatre presents GIDION'S KNOT

    Eclectic Full Contact Theatre - GIDIONS KNOT

    Eclectic Full Contact Theatre presents Gidions Knot review which runs through July 2, 2017 at Athanaeum Theatre Studio 2 in Chicago

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  • Hell in a Handbag Productions presents THE GOLDEN GIRLS


    Hell in a Handbag Productions presents The Golden Girls - The Lost Episodes Review running through August 26, 2017 at Mary's Attic.

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  • Silk Road Rising and Remy Bumppo GREAT EXPECTATIONS Review


    Silk Road Rising and Remy Bumppo present Charles Dickens' classic GREAT EXPECTATIONS set in colonial India through July 2nd

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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. Thru 1/7/18

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  • Lifeline Theatre Presents HER MAJESTY'S WILL Review

    Lifeline Theatre presents HER MAJESTY'S WILL, Shakespeare and Marlowe fantasy tale recreating Tudor times through July 16

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  • Akvavit Theatre presents HITLER ON THE ROOF, clown spoof of Nazis

    Akvavit Theatre presents HITLER ON THE ROOF, a romp of two gender swapped clowns playing Goebbels and Leni Riefenstahl. Thru July 9

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  • Neo-Futurists Present THE INFINITE WRENCH Improv Review

    The Neo-Futurists bring THE INFINITE WRENCH a new take on their old late-night formula--a certain amount of plays in a certain amount of time. Open run

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  • Windy City Playhouse presents KING LIZ Review - a woman's world

    Windy City Playhouse KING LIZ

    KING LIZ tells the story of a sports agent whose career advancement depends on her management of basketball rookie. Now thru July 16th.

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  • House Theatre presents THE MAGIC PARLOUR Review

    House Theatre THE MAGIC PARLOUR

    House Theatre presents the Magic Parlour with magician, Dennis Watkins. Now through July 1, 2017. An evening filled with tricks in an intimate space.

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  • Lookingglass Theatre Presents MOBY DICK Review

    Lookkingglass Theatre's revival of its MOBY DICK adaptation makes visual and emotional sense of Melville's exhaustive novel. Thru 9/3

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  • Writers Theatre presents THE MYSTERY OF LOVE AND SEX

    Writers Theatre presents THE MYSTERY OF LOVE AND SEX, with frank dialogue and multilayered characters in a story of love, sex and relationships THRU JULY 2

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  • Eclectic Full Contact Theatre presents naked boys singing

    Eclectic Full Contact Theatre NAKED BOYS SINGING!

    Eclectic Full Contact Theatre presents Naked Boys Singing! Review Closes July 2, 2017 at Theater Wit in Chicago Comedy and Raw

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  • Victory Gardens presents NATIVE GARDENS - Review

    Victory Gardens

    Victory Gardens presents NATIVE GARDENS, looking at our behavior when it comes to our neighbors – both locally, and on a global scale, thru July 2.

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  • Strawdog Theatre Presents THE NIGHT SEASON Review

    Strawdog Theatre presents playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz THE NIGHT SEASON, a story about a family recovering from loss, now thru June 24

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  • Timeline Theatre presents PARADISE BLUE Review, a jazz set story

    TimeLine Theatre PARDISE BLUE

    Timeline Theatre presents PARADISE BLUE thru July 23, a story about a jazz trumpeter's inner demons, filled with music from his horn in engaging story

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  • Writers Theatre Presents PARADE Review- A Gripping Education

    Writers Theatre PARADE

    Writers Theatre presents PARADE, a gripping education. The story of a Jewish man in the south in the 1940's. Now thru July 2.

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  • Steppenwolf Theatre Presents Antoinette Nwandu's PASS OVER

    Steppenwolf Theatre presents Antoinette Nwandu's PASS OVER, a mix of Waiting for Godot and the bibie's Exodus story, set in the Black ghetto. Thru July 9th.

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  • Gift Theatre Presents PILGRIMS Review– Taut Interstellar Drama

    Gift Theatre PILGRIMS

    Gift Theatre presents Pilgrims, an outstanding sci-fi drama written by playwright Claire Kiechel, from June 9th through July 30th.

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  • Griffin Theatre Company presents RAGTIME musical

    Griffin Theatre Company presents RAGTIME, a musical based on E.L.Doctorow's novel, capturing America's zeitgeist in early 1900's, thru July 17

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  • Greenhouse Theater and Random Acts present STRANGEST THINGS musical

    Random Acts and Greenhouse Theater present Strangest Things! The Musical now extended through July 8th. Based on the hit Netflix show, Stranger Things.

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  • Boho Theatre Presents THREE DAYS OF RAIN Review

    Boho Theatre of Chicago presents THREE DAYS OF RAIN, a character drama from 1997, starring three incredibly versatile and talented actors. Thru June 25th

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  • Chimera Ensemble THE TOTALITARIANS review- So Absurd it's Real!

    Chimera Ensemble presents THE TOTALITARIANS review --from real to absurd, or vice versa? Take a spin through what might be or already is! Thru July 2

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  • Second City WINNER OF OUR DISCONTENT review

    Second City takes on our post-election angst in their new revue, WINNER OF OUR DISCONTENT reviewer says "hilarity with bite". Thru 7/27/17

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