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Friday, May 1, 2015

10 Groovy Things to Do in May

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) Encores! Zorba
May 6 - 10 at NYC's City Center
John Turturro plays the titular life-affirming Greek in this concert staging of John Kander, Fred Ebb and Joseph Stein's 1968 musical. The cast also includes Santino Fontana, Elizabeth A. Davis, Marin Mazzie, Robert Cuccioli, Adam Chanler-Berat and Zoë Wanamaker.

2) Cinema Q V Film Series
May 7, 14, 21 & 28 at the Chicago Cultural Center
The Queer Film Society (QFS) in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and in association with Chicago Filmmakers and The Legacy Project present Cinema Q V, the fifth annual film series celebrating outstanding LGBT movies. The lineup at this year’s series focuses on extraordinary LGBT historical figures – underground superstar and John Waters muse Divine in I Am Divine (May 7), bisexual French feminist writer Violette Leduc in Violette (May 14), transgender Thai kickboxer Nong Toom in Beautiful Boxer (May 21), and gay Italian film director Luchino Visconti, whose Death in Venice will be featured on May 28.

3) An Act of God
Broadway previews begin May 7. Opens May 28 at Studio 54.
This spring God takes the form of four-time Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) in this 90-minute comedy where the Almighty and His devoted angels (played by Christopher Fitzgerald and Tim Kazurinsky) answer some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since Creation. He's finally arrived to set the record straight… and He's not holding back! Based on the critically acclaimed book The Last Testament: A Memoir by God, this new play was written by 13-time Emmy Award winner David Javerbaum (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Wicked).

4) MIRACLE! by Dan Savage
May 14 - July 10 at Mary's Attic in Chicago
Celebrating its 13th year, Hell in a Handbag Productions kicks off its 2015-16 season with the Midwest Premiere of this wickedly funny parody of The Miracle Worker as reimagined by Dan Savage. MIRACLE! tells the story of Helen Stellar, a young deaf and blind drag queen who loves to perform under the watchful eye of her drag mother Crystal Pain (who just happens to be her biological father). Crystal is owner of The Brass Connection, an old school drag club where the performers are just like any other normal family - crazy as hell. When the state assigns Annie Sullivan to teach Helen to better communicate, all hell breaks loose and we soon discover that Helen is the most normal of all of the inhabitants of The Brass Connection. MIRACLE! is about family (biological and chosen), a father and son, gay and lesbian subculture and finding your voice.

5) Our Guy, Cy: The Songs of Cy Coleman
May 15, 16 & 20 at NYC's 54 Below
Directed and conceived by Will Nunziata, this theatrical event brings together three Tony Award-winning ladies who all originated roles on Broadway in a Cy Coleman show - Randy Graff (City of Angels), Cady Huffman (The Will Rogers Follies), and Lillias White (The Life). Songs will include selections from Cy's pop standards canon and film scores, as well as his musicals Wildcat, Little Me, Sweet Charity, Seesaw, I Love My Wife, On the Twentieth Century, Barnum, City of Angels, The Will Rogers Follies and The Life.

6) An Intimate Evening with Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen: Deep Talk and Shallow Tales
May 16 at The Chicago Theatre
Legendary TV personalities and longtime friends Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will take the stage for an unscripted, uncensored and unforgettable night of conversation.

7) Chicago Gay Men's Chorus presents We're Still Here
May 16 at Skokie's North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
May 23 at Chicago's Harris Theater
May 24 at Naperville's Wentz Concert Hall
Chicago Gay Men's Chorus celebrates the 85th birthday of acclaimed composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim with a classic boy-meets-boy love story. Using Sondheim’s profound repertoire, CGMC will take you on the journey of meeting that special someone, falling in love, working through the disagreements and issues, and making it all work. These ups and downs include some gems from Sondheim’s greatest and most performed shows, including Company, Follies, Anyone Can Whistle, Into the Woods, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story and many more!

8) Jonathan Groff in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
May 19 at London's Royal Festival Hall
Broadway and TV star Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening, HBO's Looking) will play J. Pierrepont Finch in this classic Frank Loesser musical, which makes its UK concert performance debut at Royal Festival Hall.

9) Brady vs. Partridge: The Bardy Bunch
May 23 at NYC's 54 Below
It’s 1975 and The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family are brought together on one cabaret stage by an accidental double booking. The two television families will then compete for your vote to win one precious prize. Enjoy Brady and Partridge hits, including “I Think I Love You,” “It’s A Sunshine Day,” and “I Woke Up in Love This Morning,” plus several hits from the '70s. The show will feature the stars from Stephen Garvey's acclaimed Off-Broadway play, The Bardy Bunch: The War of the Families Partridge and Brady, including Sean McDermott (Miss Saigon, Falsettos), Kristy Cates (Wicked) and Lori Hammel (Mamma Mia!).

10) Broadway Bares Fire Island
May 30 at Whyte Hall's Brandon Fradd Theater in Fire Island Pines
The sexy men and women of Broadway Bares will kick off the summer season with two performances, produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. A more intimate version of the annual Broadway Bares performances in New York City, the Fire Island shows will feature new numbers directed by Michael Lee Scott.

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