1. It's Bastille Day and Steppenwolf wants to know what your favorite French play is. Oh, and they send out congrats to Martha Plimpton, a Steppenwolf ensemble member who's been nominated for her role in the television show Raising Hope. Her last production with the company was 2001's Absolution.
2. First Folio is in its second week of performances for Romeo and Juliet. Will it be as good as Shakespeare in the Park's 2007 version, featuring Six Feet Under's Lauren Ambrose? The performances are held outside, so perhaps it will at least be as scenic? Also, in a clear dig at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Folio's website features a quote from the Tribune: "First Folio offers something Navy Pier can't — plenty of greenery, gentle breezes and the chance to stretch out on a blanket with family and friends while being transported to Shakespeare's otherworldly romance."
3. Beast Women is a cabaret show at National Pastime Theater, and the Beast Women will be there, tonight at 8pm. But wait -- this is no ordinary cabaret (though what is an ordinary cabaret?): "This is not your typical show," they say. "The artists presented, display their passion, strength, freedom, and sensuality to reveal the very things that make them the women they are today." It's all part of Naked July at the National Pastime, which also features some of your favorite movies.
4. Lifeline Theater has the Fillet of Solo festival starting next week, and it's quite the whos-who of Chicago performers. A Festival Pass is probably your best deal if you want to go to several pieces; that's only 30 dollars, but $10 per performance. The Festival runs for three weeks, so carefully note down your best bets. Thus far, Free Beer looks good ("Generation Y takes the mic: Adventure stories from Lifeline 80s babies") as well as I Got Sick and Then I Got Better by Jenny Allen.
5. Curious about Hot Tix and their tweets and their business model? Read Kris Vire's story about Joe Wescott, the man behind the humor, and an active part of Chicago's theater scene himself.
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