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 "3C" a 70's sitcom like farce

    REd Orchid Theatre presents "3C" a 70's sitcom like farce by playwright David Adjmi, now thru June 4, chock full of campy humor

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  • City Lit Theater presents 42 STORIES, a comedy about a Chicago condo

    City Lit Theater presents 42 STORIES, a comic play about a Chicago high rise that is a microcosm of our culture, now thru May 28

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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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  • First Floor Theater AMERICAN HERO - Sandwich Shop Gone Awry

    First Floor Theater presents American Hero now through June 3. After the opening of a new sandwich shop, three workers find themselves without a manager

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  • Black Ensemble Theater presents BLACK PEARL, a Josephine Baker tribute

    Black Ensemble Theater presents BLACK PEARL, the story of famed chanteuse and expat fleeing racism Josephine Baker, thru June 18

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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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  • Drury Lane CHICAGO - A Windy City Jazz Classic

    Drury Lane CHICAGO

    Drury Lane presents Chicago now through June 18th. The classic vaudeville musical starring Kelly Felthous as Roxie Hart and Alena Watters as Velma Kelly.

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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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  • Rivendell Theatre Ensemble AND THE FIREBIRDS TAKE THE FIELD Review

    Rivendell Theatre Company presents And the Firebirds Take the Field. Now through May 27th. Cheerleaders develop a mysterious illness that no one can explain

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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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  • 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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  • Steep Theatre presents HOOKMAN Review - horror genre

    Steep Theatre presents HOOKMAN, Lauren Yee's slasher horror-comedy genre full of surprises and not for squeamish, now thru May 27

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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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  • 16th Street Theater presents INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH review


    16th Street Theater presents INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH, by playwright Karen Zacarias based on novel by Luis Alberto Urrea, now thru June 17

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  • Paramount Theatre presents JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

    Paramount Theatre JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

    The Paramount Theatre presents the rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar now through May 28th. The life and death of Jesus Christ.

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  • Hell in a Handbag Productions presents LADY X spoof

    Hell in a Handbag Productions presents LADY X, a campy comedy where we meet all the "dames" of Hollywood movies, now through June 8

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    Second City UP Comedy Club puts together a night of lighthearted fun with LEGENDARY LAUGHS. Now running Thursdays through June 1, 2017.

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  • Promethean Theatre Ensemble Presents THE LIAR Review

    Promethean Theatre presents the witty wordplay rich THE LIAR, a fun and playful story of mistaken identity, now through May 27

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  • Steppenwolf Theatre presents LINDA VISTA by Tracy Letts

    Feature LINDA VISTA

    Steppenwolf Theatre presents LINDA VISTA by Pulitzer Prize winning actor and playwright Tracy Letts, with stellar cast and superb script. Thru May 28

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  • Chicago Theatre Workshop Presents LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE

    Chicago Theatre Works presents LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, a comedy with outstanding young actors who make the show. Thru June 5

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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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  • 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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  • Underscore Theatre presents a thriler musical MY NAME IS ANNIE KING

    Underscore Theatre presents MY NAME IS ANNIE KING, a suspense musical about a cult, with standout acting and lighting effects through May 28

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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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  • Goodman Theatre presents OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR Review

    Charles Smith's new play lays bare the horror of Liberia's Civil War and the complexities of a refugee's new life in Australia. Thru June 4

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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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  • Subtext Theatre Company's A PRAYER FOR THE SANDINISTAS

    Subtext Theatre Company A PRAYER FOR THE SANDISTAS

    Subtext Theatre Company presents A PRAYER FOR THE SANDINISTAS, a play about political and religious turmoil, in a humble and honest production, thru June 11

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  • Genesis Theatrical Productions presents THE RADIANT review

    Genesis Theatrical Productions THE RADIANT

    Genesis Theatrical Productions presents THE RADIANT by playwright Shirley Lauro, a story of love, scandal, and the discovery of radium, now thru June 11

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  • Northlight Theatre presents RELATIVITY, Einstein the man unveiled

    Northlight Theatre RELATIVITY

    Northlight Theatre presents RELATIVITY, with Mike Nussbaum as Albert Einstein, exploring his hidden past as a father and family man, thru June 18

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  • Marriott Theatre SHE LOVES ME Review, musical

    Marriott Theatre SHE LOVES ME

    The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire presents musical She Loves Me, now through June 18th. Two salesclerks write love letters to an anonymous friend.

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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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    Refuge Theatre - THINGS TO RUIN

    Refuge Theatre continues its streak of unique theatrical experiences with THINGS TO RUIN: THE SONGS OF JOE ICONIS. Now thru June 18th.

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  • TIS! A Dungeons and Dragons Improv Review - A Mythical Adventure


    TIS! A Dungeons and Dragons Improv brings the classic game to life. Now through June 17th at the MCL Chicago. Rolling dice makes it an improv like no other.

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  • Victory Gardens Theater presents Where Did We Sit on the Bus Review

    Victory Gardens Theater Presents WHERE DID WE SIT ON THE BUS? by Brian Quijada playing now through June 4 as part of the Up Close & Personal Series.

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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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