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 26 (ROUND TWO) Review

    Pride Films and Plays presents 26 (ROUND TWO) a set of twenty-six short sketches, most around two-and-a-half minutes long running through September 23rd.

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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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  • Definition Theatre Presents AN OCTOROON - deconstructing racism

    Definition Theatre presents playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins AN OCTOROON, using a pre-civil war melodrama as launch point to examine race thru 8/20

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  • First Folio Theatre Presents AS YOU LIKE IT by William Shakespeare

    First Folio Theatre AS YOU LIKE IT

    First Folio Theatre presents William Shakespeare's famously whimsical comedy As You Like It at the Mayslake Peabody Estate thru August 20

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  • Broken Nose Theatre AT THE TABLE dissects political belief systems

    Broken Nose Theatre AT THE TABLE

    Broken Nose Theatre presents AT THE TABLE, friends' political beliefs collide at a reunion, reprised at the Den Theater thru 8/26/17

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  • Blue Goose Theatre Ensemble Presents Bison? Bison. Bison!

    Blue Goose Theatre BISON BISON BISON

    Blue Goose Theatre Ensemble presents Bison? Bison. Bison! presented in Winnemac Park, Touhy Park, and Columbus Park up to August 30th.

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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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  • 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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  • Stellar Productions Presents ENGAGE- hilarity and references galore

    Stellar Productions Presents ENGAGE- A CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN SCIENCE FICTION FIGHT SHOW. Runs Thursday-Sundays at 8 PM until August 25.

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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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  • The NeoFuturists Present The Food Show Review

    The NeoFuturists present The Food Show at the Metropolitan Brewery's new location, running from July 27th to September 2nd.

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  • Grippo Stage Company Presents The God Of Isaac Review

    Grippo Stage Company THE GOD OF ISAAC

    Grippo Stage Company presents THE GOD OF ISAAC, a young man's ethno-spiritual odyssey, thru August 27, 2017, by James Sherman

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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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  • 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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  • Midsommer Flight presents HAMLET, timely political tale

    Midsommer Flight presents HAMLET, a classic Shakespeare tale performed in the parks with uncanny resonance with today's headlines THRU August 27

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  • Steppenwolf Theatre presents Taylor Mac's HIR, a patriarchy parody

    Steppenwolf Theatre presents Taylor Mac's HIR, a patriarchy parody typical of performance artist/playwright's incomparable focus on gender thru 8/20

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  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company resents HIR Review

    Steppenwolf TAYLOR MAC

    Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents HIR a return to their tradition of absurd realism. Running July 29 through August 20.

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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. Thru Dec 17.

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  • The Comrades Present IN THE WAKE Review at the Greenhouse Theatre Center

    The Comrades IN THE WAKE

    The Comrades' stellar cast stays on the mark in Lisa Kron's IN THE WAKE, a portrait of political and personal blindspots.Through August 26.

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  • Royal George Theater presents Late Nite Catechism from Nuns4Fun Inc.

    Nuns4Fun Entertainment, Inc. LATE NITE CATECHISM

    Royal George Theater hosts Nuns4Fun's Late Nite Catechism Review- Fun no matter what your religion. Runs through December 30, 2017.

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  • Steep Theatre Presents Lela & Co Review- witty and emotionally charged

    Steep Theater LELA & CO

    Steep Theatre presents Lela & Co written by Cordelia Lynn and directed by Robin Witt. Sexual Slavery focus- -one woman show thru September 2, 2017.

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  • Cirque du Soleil presents the Mexico-inspired LUZIA

    Cirque du Soleil presents Mexican dreamscape LUZIA, with amazing athletics and engineering both for SPECTACLE through September 3

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  • Eclipse Theatre Company Presents Megastisis Review

    Eclipse Theatre MEGASTASIS

    Eclipse Theatre Company shows MEGASTASIS and reveals a gigantic theme on a small stage. Megastasis runs through August 20th.

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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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  • Black Button Eyes Productions Presents SHOCKHEADED PETER


    Black Button Eyes Productions Presents SHOCKHEADED PETER now playing at the Athenaeum Theatre through September 16, 2017 in Studio 2.

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  • Barrel of Monkeys Presents THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA Review

    Barrel of Monkeys THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA

    Barrel of Monkeys presents That's Weird, Grandma, where adults perform plays written by kids! Running from August 7-August 28.

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  • Brown Paper Box Co. Presents THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG Review

    Brown Paper Box Co. - THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG

    Brown Paper Box Co. Presents THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG Review - Charming Romantic Comedy at Rivendell Theatre until August 20, 2017

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  • Writers Theatre - Trevor the Musical Review - gay coming of age story

    Writers Theatre TREVOR

    Writers Theatre presents Trevor the Musical, based on an Academy Award winning short film about an 8th grader's coming of age. Through 9/17.

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