1. The Tribune has complied TWO best of summer performance lists -- one for Chris Jones' picks, and the more off-the-beaten path work that Kerry Reid likes. Highlights include Cirque de Shanghai, The Wizard of Oz (performed outside!), Neil Simon's Broadway Bound, and West Side Story.
2. More interactive dinner theater comes in the form of Tommy Gun's Garage, which bills itself as Chicago's longest running audience interactive dinner show, and has been open since 1987, and shows are Wednesday through Sunday evenings. In case you were wondering, they're "not responsible for well done prime rib", and the "portion sizes are all before cooked."
3. It's Friday, which means The Kiss Kiss Cabaret is on at the Greenhouse. Though every performance features a rotating roster of the same lovely ladies, expect a surprise guest each week as well. Musical accompaniment from The Claptrap Family Orchestra.
4. Drury Lane Children's Theatre is ending its run of E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, which will probably reduce the number of tears shed in the city of Chicago. If your kids like theater and food at the same time, take them to a Breakfast Buffet with the Charlotte's Web characters at 11:30 on Saturday after the 10:00 show. And yes, those times are in the AM.
5. The Chicago Theater Addict has this adorable video of Elaine Stritch surprising Patti LuPone backstage at the New York Philharmonic’s production of Company. You may recall that this production of Company is basically a who's who of America's best entertainers (Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Hendricks, Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer, Martha Plimpton and LuPone make up the cast. It's actually been so difficult to get them all together in the same place because of all their other commitments, so they've been rehearsing with various understudies; The New York Times did an amusing piece about their unusual rehearsal schedule a few weeks back).
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