On Stage in January
This month, local theaters show us a hard look at the police force as well as the No Child Left Behind initiative. Two brothers struggle to understand one another with the help of rhythmic poetry, and in a world premiere, four friends sing about growing apart. Also on stage this month, two classic stories are reworked to incorporate movement and whimsy.
Studio Theatre's fresh production of "The Brothers Size" tells the story of two brothers struggling to overcome forces that drive them apart. With rhythmic speech and movement, the actors speak many of their cues -- "teeth kissing" -- and perform on a sparse black set. The names of the brothers and the younger brother's prisonmate are influenced by West Africa's Yoruba deities. (Jan. 2-Feb. 10)
American Century Theater, which produces 20th century plays, starts the year with the intense "Cops" by Terry Curtis Fox at Gunston Arts Center. This 1976 play, which focuses on the Chicago police force, influenced television dramas like "Hill Street Blues" with its less-than-glamorous look at police officers and topics of drug use and police brutality. (Jan. 4-26)
Charter Theatre presents the premiere of Keith Bridges's new dark comedy, "Forgive Us." Staged at Theatre on the Run, this edgy dark comedy follows a man frustrated by his job, marriage and self-loathing. (Jan. 11-Feb. 2)
"Argonautika" at Shakespeare Theatre tells the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts in their perilous hunt for the Golden Fleece. Presented in association with Chicago's whimsical Lookingglass Theatre Company, this fanciful show involves water demons, sorceresses and other distractions. The play is directed by Mary Zimmerman, who directed it for Lookingglass in Chicago. (Jan. 15-Feb. 2)
Signature Theatre presents the world premiere of a musical about coming of age and growing apart. In "Glory Days," four friends reunite a year after high school graduation to find that life has become changed since the simplicity of school days. Eric Schaeffer directs. (Jan. 15-Feb. 17)
This month, Woolly Mammoth Theatre's two productions each feature a woman performing multiple roles. First, company member Kimberly Gilbert brings a whole town to life in the world premiere of "The K of D." Standing for the kiss of death, "The K of D" follows the supernatural events of the town when a girl derives power from her twin brother's last kiss after he is mortally wounded by a reckless driver. (Jan. 16-Feb. 10)
Then, writer and actress Nilaja Sun performs her reaction to No Child Left Behind in "No Child..." With exuberant energy, Sun becomes the teachers, administrators, students, parents and janitorial staff of a New York City high school. (Jan. 21-Feb. 17)
Writer Judy Gold shares "25 Questions for a Jewish Mother," her profile of Jewish mothers after interviewing over 50 Jewish women. At Theater J, this patchwork of the different women she met uncovers plenty of neuroses along with loving bonds. (Jan 23-Feb. 24)
Continuing the traditions commenced with "Macbeth" and "Hamlet," Synetic Theatre performs a silent version of "Romeo and Juliet." Directed by Paata Tsikurishvili and choreographed by Irina Tsikurishvili, the production tells the story of the star-crossed lovers through music, movement and wordless interactions at Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre. (Jan. 27-March 9)
Signature Theatre produces "The Tricky Part," a one-man show about sexuality, desire and maturation. Written and performed by Martin Moran, this play describes the playwright's three-year relationship with a Catholic boys' camp counselor during his adolescence. The emotional story won the 2004 Obie Award. (Jan. 29-Feb. 17)
GALA Hispanic Theatre presents "Your Molotov Kisses" (Tu Ternura Molotov), a look at a professional couple and their precise schedule for having a baby until an FBI intrusion upsets all of their best-laid plans. The production, at Tivoli Theatre, is in Spanish with English surtitles. (Jan. 31-Feb. 24)
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