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.

  • Red Orchid Theatre Presents 33 TO NOTHING Review


    Red Orchid Theatre Presents 33 TO NOTHING Review - Intimacy on Every Level now playing through May 27, 2018 in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood.

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  • Second City 42ND REVUE: GASLIGHT DISTRICT Review - Truth Zone


    Second City presents its 42nd Revue: Gaslight District now through September 3, 2018. This topical comedy show balances politics and humor all in a culturally relevant show. Read the review here!

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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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  • American Blues Theatre presents BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY Review: An energetic and fun musical

    American Blues Theatre presents BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY Review: An energetic and fun musical especially perfect for early rock n roll lovers thru May 26th

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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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  • Yard Presents COLUMBINUS Review - Through These Halls

    Yard Presents COLUMBINUS at The Steppenwolf Theatre. Running now through May 26th. Directed by Mechelle Moe and featuring an ensemble of 15 students.

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  • Strawdog Theatre Company Presents DAMASCUS Review

    Strawdog Theatre Company presents DAMASCUS Review thru June 23, a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED thriller with superb acting by playwright Bennett Fisher

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  • Steppenwolf Theatre Presents THE DOPPELGANGER Review

    Steppenwolf Theatre presents the world premiere of THE DOPPELGANGER, written by Matthew-Lee Erlbach. This international farce features work from six Steppenwolf ensemble members and actor/comedian Rainn Wilson. Thru May 27

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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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  • Redtwist Theater Presents FROST/NIXON Review - thru June 3

    Redtwist Theater presents Richard Morgan's FROST/NIXON thru June 3, a BEST PLAY pick, showcasing historic first TV interview of Richard Nixon by journalist David Frost after he left office

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  • Raven Theatre Company presents THE GENTLEMAN CALLER Review

    Raven Theatre GENTLEMAN CALLER

    Raven Theatre presents the world premiere of Phillip Dawkins' THE GENTLEMAN CALLER, directed by Raven Theatre Artistic Director Cody Estle. Running through May 27, 2018 at Raven Theatre.

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  • Interrobang Theatre Project presents GRACE Review - thru June 3

    Interrobang Theatre Project presents playwright Craig White's GRACE, thru June 3, with superb cast and creative team making this a BEST PLAY pick

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  • Kokandy Productions Presents GRAND HOTEL Review

    Kokandy Productions Presents GRAND HOTEL Review- a musical portrait of the anxieties in Weimer Era Germany, now thru May 27

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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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  • Goodman Theatre presents HAVING OUR SAY Review: THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS: A Captivating Re-Telling of History

    Goodman Theatre presents Emily Mann's HAVING OUR SAY: THE DELANY SISTER'SFIRST 100 YEARS, directed by Chuck Smith. Playing through June 10, 2018 at the Goodman Theatre.

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  • Shattered Globe Theatre Presents HOW TO USE A KNIFE Review

    Shattered Globe Theatre Presents Will Snider's HOW TO USE A KNIFE, the last play of their 2017-18 season - A fast-paced and ruthless production HIGHLY RECOMMENDED thru 6/9

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  • Jackalope Theatre Presents THE LIGHT FANTASTIC Review

    Jackalope Theatre presents the world premiere of Ike Holter's THE LIGHT FANTASTIC. Running through June 16th, THE LIGHT FANTASTIC is old-school horror from one of Chicago's hottest playwrights.

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  • Chicago Shakespeare Theater Presents MACBETH Review

    Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents HIGHLY RECOMMENDED production of MACBETH thru June 24 - co-directed by Aaron Posner and Teller

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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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  • Greenhouse Theatre Center Presents MIND READER Review

    Greenhouse Theatre Center MIND READER

    Greenhouse Theatre Center presents MIND READER, Mark Toland's mentalism performance. Running through July 25th on Wednesday nights, Mark Toland's show is as impressive as it is entertaining.

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  • Porchlight Music Theatre Presents MEMPHIS Review - top talent

    Porchlight Music Theatre presents Tony-Award winning MEMPHIS, with top-notch talent and timely story about racism in America and ROCK N ROLL thru 6/16

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  • Albany Park Theatre Project Presents OFRENDA Review

    Albany Park Theatre Project OFRENDA

    Albany Park Theatre Project presents the world premiere of OFRENDA, written by Isaac Gomez. Devised by the Albany Park Theatre Project youth ensemble, the play explores themes of home, immigration, and homeland. Thru 6/2

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  • Marriott Theatre OKLAHOMA Review - A Cowboy Ballet on the Plains

    Marriott Theatre presents the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic Oklahoma, now through June 11, 2018. Filled with singing, dancing, and a love story. Read the review here!

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  • Paramount Theatre ONCE Review - An Atypical Love Story

    Paramount Theatre ONCE

    Paramount Theatre presents Once now through June 3, 2018. This love story takes a different turn for the two main characters as they share their love of music. Read the review here!

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  • Court Theatre presents THE ORIGINALIST - Antonin Scalia Profile

    Court Theatre presents THE ORIGINALIST, thru June 10-- a portrayal of late Supreme Court Justice and right wing icon Antonin Scalie

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  • Windy City Playhouse Presents SOUTHERN GOTHIC Review

    Windy City Playhouse presents SOUTHERN GOTHIC, an immersive twist on an atmospheric drama, now through December 9.

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  • Raven Theatre Presents SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER Review

    Raven Theatre Presents fiercely entertaining production of Tennesse William's SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER through June 17, 2018.

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  • Timeline Theatre Company Presents TO CATCH A FISH Review

    Timeline Theatre presents TO CATCH A FISH thru July 1 - telling the human story behind Milwaukee headlines of a botched ATF sting operation

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