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Monday, September 1, 2014

10 Groovy Things to Do in September starring Margaret Cho, Spencer Day & Chita Rivera

Since there are so many groovy plays, musicals, concerts and events, this is my monthly list to help promote a few of them (click on a title for more information or to purchase tickets):

1) 50 Years of John Waters: How Much Can You Take?
September 5 - 14 at NYC's Walter Reade Theater
Get ready for some of the "filthiest people alive" heading once again to the big screen. The Film Society of Lincoln Center will celebrate legendary director and personality John Waters's five decades in filmmaking with a complete retrospective, the first in the United States. The event will be comprised of his 12 features, including Pink Flamingos, Female TroublePolyester (with the famous "Scent-tastic Odorama" cards), HairspraySerial Mom, and his first two, Mondo Trasho and Multiple Maniacs. Waters has also compiled a group of "Movies I'm Jealous I Didn't Make" that will screen as part of the series, including David Cronenberg's Crash and William Friedkin's Killer Joe.

2) Margaret Cho
September 6 at Skokie's North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
Don’t miss an intimate evening with one of the greatest female voices in American comedy. A truly well-rounded artist, Margaret Cho is a comedian, actress (Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva), author, fashion designer and singer-songwriter.

3) Spencer Day
September 9 at Chicago's Mayne Stage
Acclaimed singer/songwriter Spencer Day returned to his musical roots with the June release of his fifth full-length album, Daybreak, featuring signature interpretations of well-loved songs from the 1960s - including Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin',” - along with five brand-new compositions written in homage of these classic American tunes.

4) The Birds
September 11 - November 1 at Chicago's Berger Park Coach House
Hell in a Handbag Productions presents a reimagined remount of their adaptation of The Birds, which is both a ridiculous parody of the classic Hitchcock film and a look inside the mind of actress Tippi Hedren. Endorsed by none other than Ms. Hedren herself, The Birds stands out as one of Handbag's most critically acclaimed and memorable shows. The environmental staging at the Berger Park Coach House on Lake Michigan makes it a unique experience you won't soon forget.

5) 54 Sings Elaine Stritch
September 12 at NYC's 54 Below
Few legends come along as brassy and powerful as Elaine Stritch, and so it’s time to “Rise, Rise, Rise” in tribute to her. Director Eric Ulloa and Music Director John McDaniel bring you an all-star Broadway cast singing the songs that made Stritch famous and telling the stories that made her infamous. So come join us for an evening of great music, memories, food and, of course, cocktails. Oh, and one for for Mahler…

The evening will be hosted by Ben Rimmalower (Patti Issues) and will feature performances by Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens, 42nd Street), Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), Harriet Harris (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cinderella), Edward Hibbert (The Drowsy Chaperone, TV’s Frasier), Paul Iacono (G.B.F., MTV’s The Hard Times of RJ Berger) and many others.

6) Love Letters
Broadway previews begin September 13. Opens September 18 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
Directed by Tony Award nominee Gregory Mosher (A View from the Bridge) and written by celebrated playwright A.R. Gurney, this enduring romance about first loves and second chances comes to Broadway. See your favorite stars including Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow (Sept. 13 - Oct. 10), Carol Burnett and Brian Dennehy (Oct. 11 - Nov. 8), Alan Alda and Candice Bergen (Nov. 9 - Dec. 5), Stacy Keach and Diana Rigg (Dec. 6 - Jan. 9) and Anjelica Huston and Martin Sheen (Jan. 10 - Feb. 15).

7) Reeling 32: The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival
September 18 - 25
Reeling, the second-oldest LGBT film festival in the world, returns for its 32nd edition, presenting over 100 films from 19 countries. This year's festival selections include Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy, The 10 Year Plan, Crazy Bitches, Tom at the Farm and Waiting in the Wings: The Musical.

8) On the Town
Broadway previews begin September 20. Opens October 16 at the Lyric Theatre.
This fall, one of America's greatest musical comedies is docking at Broadway's beautifully restored Lyric Theatre. With the biggest orchestra on Broadway and a 30-member cast of New York's most talented singers and dancers, On the Town tells the story of three wide-eyed sailors on a whirlwind musical tour of the city that never sleeps. With just 24 hours of shore leave, they’re eager to experience all that New York City has to offer… including a chance to discover love with the girl of their dreams.

Directed by Tony winner John Rando (Urinetown) and choreographed by Emmy winner Joshua Bergasse (Smash), this big, brassy musical comedy features a beloved Leonard Bernstein score, lyrics by Comden and Green, and breathtaking dancing inspired by the original Jerome Robbins choreography. The cast includes Tony Yazbeck, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Clyde Alves, Megan Fairchild, Alysha Umphress and Elizabeth Stanley.

9) 28th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction
September 21 in NYC's Times Square, Shubert Alley and West 44th Street
Join Broadway Cares and thousands of other theatre fans as they find one-of-a-kind showbiz treasures, meet their favorite cast members and bid on exclusive backstage experiences. One of the most anticipated days of the year on Broadway, this annual event is free and open to the public.

10) Chita: A Legendary Celebration
September 27 at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, IL
Come celebrate the one and only Chita Rivera in a unique solo concert event celebrating the Broadway legend’s 80th birthday. The two-time Tony Award winner recreates signature moments from her legendary career, including numbers from West Side Story, Sweet Charity, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Bye Bye Birdie and The Rink. In addition to a special tribute to her dear friends John Kander and Fred Ebb, the timeless music of Leonard Bernstein, Charles Strouse, Jerry Herman and Stephen Sondheim are featured with orchestral accompaniment.

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