2023 Lake County Spring-Summer Theatre Schedules are Released

By: Jonathan Jones 02/17/2023

Lake County is renowned for its live theatre community. These thespians are performing in fan-favorite productions this month as we return from the holidays into the dog days of winter. Theater junkies have awaited the 2023 schedule. Your wait is over, as the Lake County theaters have released their lineups this season.

As always, you will laugh, cry, sing along and maybe dance to the tunes performed by the talented actors and actresses all year. This season the Lake County arts venues feature a slew of big exciting shows, thrilling dances, great storytelling and some of the most enchanting music ever written for the center stage.

Remember, "it's bad luck to say good luck on opening night." So, visit the land of lakes and see what the 2023 schedule has to offer.

"Big Fish" at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire (Through Mar. 19)





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Visit the Marriott Theatre and witness a tale that keeps you guessing what is and isn't real. "Big Fish" tells the story of Will, whose father lies dying in a hospital bedridden with cancer. The Lincolnshire production’s protagonist seeks to mend the strained relationship that he has had with his father, Edward. But to begin the healing process, Will has to sort through numerous stories his father told him throughout his life. The son parses his father’s history to sort out factual and fictional information. "Big Fish" is a musical stage performance adapted from Daniel Wallace's 1988 book. Director Tim Burton also created a 2003 film adaptation. The show runs on select days through March 19.

"The Christians" at Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest (Through Mar. 12)





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The Citadel Theatre recently received the designation of “Jeff Recommended” as the Lake Forest equity theatre’s “The Christian” achieved the nod. The story follows Pastor Paul, a 20-year clergyman who has grown his small brick-and-mortar parish into a mega church. The aforementioned charismatic protagonist of the production feels there is a flaw in the congregration’s faith when the pastor recites his homily. The play follows the relationship between practicing what you preach and an intriguing take on the modern-day United States. No matter what sector you practice, the presentation dips into a provocative and nonpartisan debate based on a book with the same title written by Lucas Hnath in 2015. The Citadel Theatre stages “The Christians” on Wednesdays-Sundays through March 12. For tickets, visit CitadelTheatre.org.

"You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" at Marriott Theatre (Feb. 17-Apr.1)





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“Good grief!” “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown: The Musical” opens at the Marriott Theatre this weekend. Based on the “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown and the gang explore life’s great questions as they navigate through adolescence in this comedic musical. Through playing baseball, struggling with homework, swooning over their crushes and celebrating the joy of friendship, the Lincolnshire production provides a refreshing look to life through the eyes of Charlie and Sally Brown, Linus and Lucy Van Pelt, Patty, Schroeder and the charismatic beagle, Snoopy. The Tony Award-winning Broadway revival show runs on select days through April 1.

Improv Playhouse Theater in Libertyville Show Offerings (year-round) 





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Whether acting off the cuff; or a planned presentation, the Improv Playhouse provides plenty of laughter and talent. Every week, the Libertyville stage memories, funnies and much more. Continue scrolling to see the offerings of the Improv Playhouse  Theater.

"Desdemona" at the James Lumber Center of the Performing Arts in Grayslake (JLC) (Feb. 24-26)

The protagonist Desdemona is a character in Shakespeare's play "Othello." Desdemona wed Othello, which ultimately angered her senator father. The Grayslake "play about a handkerchief" follows the title character with a tad of humor while also visiting the role of women through centuries. This three-day presentation squelches the idea that Desdemona is naive and explores issues facing women today, like work, class, friendship, abuse and survival. 

Ballet Folkórico Tayahua's "A Night in Mexico" at Genesee Theatre in Waukegan (Mar. 11)





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Waukegan's own dance crew graces the Genesee Theatre stage. The Ballet Folkórico Tayahu observes the vast diversity of Mexican and Mexican-American Culture through dance and live music, keeping the tradition alive for generations to come. You will adore the colorful costumes, intricate choreography and toe-tapping tunes during this family-friendly show. 


"I Will Always Love You" Katie Deal Sings Dolly Parton at the Marriott Theatre (Apr. 1-2) 

Parton is the most decorated country performer achieving 25 RIAA Certified Gold, Multi-platinum status and having 25 songs to reach no. 1 on the Billboard Country charts. Parton has 41 career top 10 country albums and 110 charted singles for over four decades. Katie Deal takes on the challenging task of emulating her renowned live shows. Deal, an award-winning country artist and the recipient of the Georgia Country Artist of the Year award, has also sung the songs of legend Patsy Cline. The Lincolnshire show will feature Parton hits like "I Will Always Love You," "Joelene," "9 to 5" and more.

"Boeing Boeing" Presented by Three Bros. Theatre at Genesee Theatre (Apr. 7-8)

The Three Bros. Theatre cast performs live the 1965 film of the same name that featured Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis. The story follows socialite and American journalist Bernard Lawrence, who has a post for his paper in Paris. Lawrence devises a plan to date three different female flight attendants while his actual German girlfriend. After successfully scheming, Lawrence turns down a promotion back home in NYC. The plot thickens during this comedy farce as the Waukegan troupe's production will hit the big stage next door at the Genesee. 

Play On! at the JLC (Apr. 7-8 and 14-16)





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With theatre, you have to be ready for anything,” said actor Willem Dafoe. Celebrate the creativity of CLC students in their performance entitled ‘Play On!’ at the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts. College of Lake County students showcases their abilities and talents as actors, directors, stage managers, designers and technicians. The center stage acts are a variety of comedy, parody, drama and other genres. The Grayslake center features this event on select days through April 16.

"Damn Yankees" at Marriott Theatre (Apr. 12-Jun. 4)

"Now listen to me, you guys. This game of baseball is only one-half the skill. The other half is something else. Something bigger. You gotta have heart!" This spring, see the Tony Award-sweeping 1956 classic "Damn Yankees" at the Marriott.  The 10-time, award-winning (revivals included) musical follows the Washington D.C. baseball fan and real estate agent Joe Boyd, who sells his soul to the devil for a slugger to play for the Washington Senator. Mr. Applegate, who is also satan himself, turns Boyd into a 22-year-old superstar. Boyd, now known as Joe Hardy, must leave his wife. To get out of the clause, Boyd/Hardy must not play in the season's final game on September 25 and return to his wife by 9 p.m. that night. The story is based on the novel "The Year the Yankees Lost the Penant," by Douglass Wallop in 1954. 

Drew Lynch's "Short King Tour" at Genesee Theatre (Apr. 13)





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Drama is not always what we're looking for. Indianapolis native Drew Lynch visits the storied City of Progress theatre. Lynch received his claim to fame after reaching the hit reality series "America's Got Talent," where the comedian achieved a berth to the show's finals, topping out at second place. Lynch's comedy is observational, self-deprecation and sometimes musical. Also a content creator, the comedian has over two-million followers. 

World Ballet Series: "Cinderella" at Genesee Theatre (Apr. 21)





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"Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo. Put 'em together and what have you got? Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo" Receive a taste of a classic Disney movie, complemented by a renowned ballet company. The World Ballet Series: follows the fair maiden who seeks out her handsome trip with the help of her fairy godmother, a few mice and a dog and, of course, an uncomfortable glass slipper. 

Fear No Art Festival at the JLC (Apr. 21-22)





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Every year the James Lumber Center gives us a slew of eye-opening performances from the Fear No Art Festival. This year is no different, as the Grayslake Art Festival has featured unbelievable talent for over two decades at the College of Lake County. This lively festival features a variety of artists performing music, dance and poetry. Also, there will be a stunning display of other art mediums, including paintings, photography and sculptures by CLC students and community artists.

"Airness" at the Citadel Theatre (Apr. 21-May 21)





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Find the competition, completion and your "airness." The story's main character Nina is an air gutarist. Charismatic nerds love her art form as she performs with just raw joy. However, will Nina be able to find peak shredding "airness" and win the contest? The comedic presentation reminds us that everything we need to rock is already inside us. 

Dane Cook at Genesee Theatre (Apr. 23)





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Dane Cook is known for his touring track record. The comedic gentleman utilizes observational and dark comedy, also dabbling in American politics from time to time. His album "Retaliation" became the highest-charting comedy album in 28 years and went platinum. Cook is also known for a collection of films, including "Employee of the Month," "Mystery Men," Good  Luck Chuck and more. Three of his six comedy albums topped at no. 1 on the U.S. Comedy Charts, with one being second.

Chicago Dance Crash at the JLC (April 23)





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Visitors will witness breakdance, hip-hop, ballet, jazz and more dance styles on the Grayslake stage. The Chicago Dance Crash, an eight-member ensemble, premiered in 2002, showcasing its athleticism and accessibility. The dance crew was recognized nationally by "Dance Magazine," "Pitchfork" and "The Huffington Post" while also notching two Black Theater Alliance Awards for Choreography. 

"Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" at the Marriott Theatre (Jun. 21-Aug. 13)

The Lincolnshire production takes you back to 1956 when Holly first hit the scene and the following three short years that helped cement his legacy in rock music. You'll hear all the classics and the stories behind them. Holly's raw rock 'n' roll style inspired many, including the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The Texan was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him no. 13 in its list of "100 Greatest Artists". The show also visits "the day the music died," when Holly, Richie Valens and "The Big Bopper" boarded that fateful plane in Mason City, Iowa. 

"School House Rock Live!" at the JLC (Jul. 14-16 & 20-23)

"I'm just a bill; yes I'm only a bill. and I'm sitting up on Capitol Hill." Everyone's favorite animated Saturday morning children's programming on ABC covered grammar, science, economics, history, math and civics. The show turned live in 1993, opening at Chicago's Carabet Voltaire. The James Lumber Center is an all-ages show encouraging parents to "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your" summer school here.

For more information about other productions going on in the land of lakes, click here. To see other arts and entertainment venues, continue here.

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