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.

  • Rivendell Theatre Ensemble presents ALIAS GRACE Review

    Rivendell Theatre Ensemble presents ALIAS GRACE, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood about a historic crime in 19th Century Canada, thru 11/4

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  • Timeline Theatre Company Presents THE AUDIENCE Review

    Timeline Theatre Company presents THE AUDIENCE thru November 12, recreating Queen Elizabeth's weekly meetings with Britain's PMs through history

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  • Windy City Playhouse Presents BECKY SHAW Review- A Sharp Comedy

    Windy City Playhouse Becky Shaw

    Windy City Playhouse presents Becky Shaw, a sharp comedy about a setup gone wrong. The show runs from September 27 to November 12.

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  • Porchlight Music Theatre Presents BILLY ELLIOT- Review

    Porchight Music Theatre BILLY ELLIOT

    Porchlight Music Theatre presents BILLY ELLIOT, a musical that launches its 23rd season and its new home at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts.

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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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  • Raven Theatre Presents Choir Boy- A Black Male Coming-Of-Age Story


    Raven Theatre presents Choir Boy, the story of an elite Black boys prep school where a gay man comes of age with his singing talents thru 11/12

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  • Permoveo Productions presents THE CIVILITY OF ALBERT CASHIER Review

    Permoveo Productions in association with Pride Films & Plays present THE CIVILITY OF ALBERT CASHIER thru October 22, a musical about a Trans Civil War hero

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  • Steppenwolf Theater (For Young Adults) Presents THE CRUCIBLE Review


    Steppenwolf Theater (for young adults) presents Arthur Miller's classic play about the Salem Witch trials— The Crucible. Thru 10/21

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  • Red Orchid Theatre Presents AN EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE Review

    Red Orchid Theatre presents AN EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE, vintage Wallace Shawn capture of the cruelty of today's zeitgeist thru November 19

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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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  • Interrobang Theatre Project presents playwright Dawn King's FOXFINDER

    Interrobang Theatre Project stages playwright Dawn King's FOXFINDER thru November 5 at the Athenaeum Theater-- a disturbing dystopia of near future

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  • Victory Gardens Theater Presents Fun Home Review -coming out stories


    Victory Gardens Theater presents Fun Home, the story of a lesbian cartoonist coming out in the context of a dysfunctional family thru 11/12

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  • Akvavit Theatre Presents GHOSTS & ZOMBIES Review

    Akvavit Theatre presents Ghosts & zombies, an interpretation of the classic Norwegian play Ghosts, but with a hair-raising twist thru 10/29

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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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  • Lookingglass Theatre presents HARD TIMES FOR THESE TIMES Review

    To launch their 30th season, Lookingglass Theatre brings back Heidi Stillman's HARD TIMES FOR THESE TIMES thru January 14, 2018

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  • Shattered Globe Theatre presents THE HEAVENS ARE HUNG IN BLACK

    Shattered Globe Theatre presents THE HEAVENS ARE HUNG IN BLACK, portraying Lincoln and the story behind Emancipation, thru 10/21

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  • Quest Theatre Ensemble presents I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT...


    Quest Theatre Ensemble presents I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE.Book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, music by Jimmy Roberts, thru 10/29

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  • Steep Theatre Presents THE INVISIBLE HAND Review

    Steep Theatre presents Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Ayad Akhtar's THE INVISIBLE HAND, a finance lesson presented as a political thriller thru Nov 11

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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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  • Northlight Theatre presents LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE REVIEW

    Northlight Theatre presents THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE, a beginner's drag story with a sweet love story within Thru October 22

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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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  • Redtwist Theatre presents OUR TOWN, Thornton Wilder classic

    Redtwist Theatre presents OUR TOWN by Thornton Wilder, re-imagined in a modern Edgewater setting, now through October 29, 2017.

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  • Pride Films & Plays Presents Perfect Arrangement-A Gay Bedroom Farce

    Pride Films & Plays Perfect Arrangement

    Pride Films & Plays presents PERFECT ARRANGEMENT, Satiric comedy takes aim at homophobia in McCarthy-era Washington, D.C. running thru 10/22

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  • Steppenwolf Theatre Presents THE REMBRANDT Review

    Steppenwolf Theatre presents THE REMBRANDT starring John Mahoney and Francis Guinan, about mortality and art, now through November 11

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  • Lyric Opera Presents Verdi's RIGOLETTO Review -talents abound

    Lyric Opera presents Verdi's RIGOLETTO based on the novel by Victor Hugo, with singing talents that transport you. Now thru November 3.

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  • Remy Bumppo presents THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH Review

    Remy Bumppo presents THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH by Thornton Wilder, a play about the cycle of catastrophes, now through November 12.

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  • Lifeline Theatre presents Sylvester, Regency-era Romance

    Lifeline Theatre presents SYLVESTER, adapted from Georgette Heyer's Regency romance, as a game of Snakes and Ladders. Now through October 29.

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  • The House Theatre Presents UNITED FLIGHT 232 Review

    House Theatre UNITED FLIGHT 232

    The House Theatre presents UNITED FLIGHT 232 through October 21, 2017. This harrowing, human tale is inspired by a true story and won two Jeff Awards.

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  • Goodman Theatre presents VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE Review - Tragedy of Jealousy

    Goodman Theatre presents Arthur Miller's VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE. This tragedy of jealousy, directed by Ivo Van Hove runs through October 22, 2017.

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