2024 Lake County Spring-Summer Theatre Schedules are Released

By: Stephanie Wylie 04/12/2024

As the festive cheer fades and winter settles in, Lake County's stages come alive with a vibrant tapestry of theatrical delights. Thespians, seasoned and new, take center stage in productions that promise to enthrall, captivate and transport audiences beyond the ordinary. For theater enthusiasts, the wait is over. The 2024 season has arrived, brimming with captivating shows. Prepare to be swept away by exhilarating dance, gripping storytelling, melodic music and hilarious comedies. This season, Lake County's theaters are more than just performance venues; they are portals to new worlds, emotional journeys and unforgettable experiences. So, don your metaphorical playbills and step into the spotlight of a theatrical winter wonderland.

From the intimate stages of community theaters to the grand prosceniums of established establishments, Lake County's 2024 season caters to every theatrical taste. Whether you're a seasoned aficionado or a curious newcomer, there's a show waiting to steal your heart. So, gather your fellow theater lovers, book your tickets, and prepare to be dazzled. Let the curtain rise on a season of spellbinding performances and unforgettable memories.

"Nunsense" at Three Brothers Theatre in Waukegan (March 14-April 6)

Get Holy and Hilarious with "Nunsense" at Three Brothers Theatre! Get ready for divine laughter with "Nunsense," the side-splitting musical spoof coming to Three Brothers Theatre. Five sassy sisters are all that's left of the Mount St. Francis Convent after a bad batch of Sister Julia Child of God's vichyssoise sends their fellow nuns to the celestial choir. Undeterred, these remaining laugh-riot ladies – the ballet-loving Sister Leo, the street-smart Sister Robert Anne, the memory-challenged Sister Mary Amnesia, the sassy Mother Superior Sister Regina and the novice-wrangling Sister Mary Hubert – decide to raise the funds for their departed sisters' burials in the most hilarious way possible: a variety show! Get ready for a night of holy hilarity as these nuns belt out showstoppers, bust out tap-dancing numbers, and unleash enough puns to make even Mother Teresa giggle. From wacky costumes and side-splitting routines to unexpected twists and turns, "Nunsense" is a laugh-a-minute adventure that will leave you breathless with glee. So grab your rosary beads and your funny bone and get ready to join the Mount St. Francis sisters for a night of heavenly hilarity! 

"The Chairs" at the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts (April 12-13)

In the intimate setting of the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, CLC Theatre presented Eugene Ionesco's tragic farce, "The Chairs," exploring themes of isolation and existential dread. An elderly couple, await invisible guests in a high tower surrounded by water, their futile attempts to find meaning underscored by the symbolic backdrop of countless chairs. The production captivated audiences with its poignant portrayal of human frailty and the breakdown of communication. Through stellar performances, the James Lumber Theatre delivers a thought-provoking examination of the absurdity of existence. Leaving the audience was left to ponder the profound questions raised by this timeless masterpiece.

"The 39 Steps" at Three Brothers Theatre in Waukegan (April 19-May 11)

Are you ready for a whirlwind of espionage, side-splitting laughs and Hitchcockian thrills? Buckle up, because Three Brothers Theatre's stage is transforming into a high-octane adventure with "The 39 Steps." A Hitchcock masterpiece meets a juicy spy novel, a fast-paced, nonstop laugh riot perfect for anyone who loves the magic of theatre. Over 150 characters, one ridiculously talented cast: Witness the impressive feat of a mere four actors bringing to life the entire cast of characters, from dashing heroes and femme fatales to bumbling spies and suspicious milkmen. This whirlwind adventure has it all, keeping you guessing and grinning until the very curtain call. "The 39 Steps" is the perfect way to conclude Three Brothers Theatre's Main Season at Stage 221. So gather your friends, family, and anyone who loves a good laugh (and a thrilling escape). See you there for a spy-tastic, action-packed adventure!

"Alice: Dreaming of Wonderland" at Genesee Theatre in Waukegan (April 6)

Get ready to tumble into a world of fantastical mayhem! The Genesee Theatre welcomes "Alice: Dreaming of Wonderland," a whirlwind theatrical circus that twists Lewis Carroll's beloved classic into a gravity-defying spectacle for all ages. Forget your dusty tea parties! This "Alice" is brimming with breathtaking acrobatics, dazzling illusions and side-splitting humor, guaranteed to leave you grinning like the Cheshire Cat himself. Be prepared to join the adventure! You might just find yourself cheering on the Mad Hatter's musical mayhem or catching teacups with the March Hare. "Alice: Dreaming of Wonderland" is more than just a show; it's an invitation to tumble headfirst into a world of pure imagination and laughter. Whether you're a child enchanted by the magic or an adult yearning for a touch of whimsy, this spectacle will sweep you away. Grab your curiosity, put on your dancing shoes, and follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole! Tickets are on sale now at [website link]. Get ready to experience the unforgettable magic of "Alice: Dreaming of Wonderland" at the Genesee Theatre! See you there for a tea-riffic, toe-tapping, madcap adventure!

"Baby the Musical" at Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest (April 19-May 19)

Get ready for laughter, tears, and everything in between as "Baby: The Musical" takes over the Citadel Theatre! This heartwarming and hilarious musical explores the universal (and sometimes messy) experience of pregnancy and parenthood through the eyes of three couples at different stages of life.The college sweethearts, navigating the unexpected joys and anxieties of becoming parents fresh out of their teens. The yearning couple, determined to build a family despite the challenges of infertility. The empty nesters, facing the bittersweet emotions of their last child leaving the nest... only to be surprised with a late-life twist.
As their lives intertwine over nine touching and funny months, you'll witness the laughter and tears, the doubts and dreams, the messes and milestones that come with bringing new life into the world. Grab your tissues, your laughter muscles, and maybe a spare bib just in case! "Baby: The Musical" is the perfect reminder that life is messy, beautiful, and always surprising. See you there for a heartwarming, toe-tapping, and unforgettable journey into parenthood!

Meredith Wilson's "The Music Man" at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire

Get ready to tap your toes and sing along, because the infectious melodies of Meredith Willson's six-time, Tony Award-winning "The Music Man" are returning to the Marriott Theatre from April 10th to June 2nd, 2024! This timeless musical comedy is a charming tale for all ages, perfect for sharing with the whole family. Join the fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, as he works his magic on the unsuspecting folks of River City, Iowa. His smooth talk and promises of a boys' band soon have everyone whipping out their wallets for instruments and uniforms – even though Harold wouldn't know a trombone from a teacup! Experience the magic of "The Music Man," a timeless tale that has enchanted audiences for generations. Dust off your dancing shoes, and get ready to march into River City with "The Music Man"! Tickets are on sale now at [website link]. Don't miss this charming, nostalgic adventure at the Marriott Theatre! See you there for a toe-tapping, smile-inducing evening!

"Little Women: The Broadway Musical" at Genesee Theatre (May 4-5)

Genesee Theatre delighted audiences with "Little Women: The Broadway Musical," a timeless tale of sisterhood and resilience. From May 4-5, theater enthusiasts were transported to Civil War-era Concord, Massachusetts, where the March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – navigated the challenges of growing up with their devoted mother, Marmee, while their father served in the war. The production captures the essence of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, weaving together moments of heartbreak, humor and hope. With its buoyant melodies and memorable characters, the musical resonated with audiences of all ages, reminding them that dreams have the power to come true. Enjoy cherished memories of an unforgettable celebration of sisterhood and the enduring bonds of family.

"Cinderella... Really?" at Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest

Get ready for a magical experience with "Cinderella... Really?" at the Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest. This imaginative twist on the classic fairy tale is perfect for all ages. Don't forget to bring your own chair, blanket, and picnic basket for an unforgettable outdoor theatre experience. Written by Mark Adamczek and directed by Gregg Dennhardt, this enchanting production promises an evening of fun and entertainment for the entire family.

Bitter Jester Music Festival (June 7-29)

Experience the Bitter Jester Music Festival, a free, family-friendly concert series in Downtown Highland Park since 2006! From June 7-29, discover emerging artists from nearly a dozen states competing for cash prizes. With performances every Friday and Saturday, culminating in the grand finale at Port Clinton Square on June 29, it's a must-see event for music enthusiasts of all ages. Don't miss your chance to find your next favorite band at Bitter Jester!

"Beehive: The 60's Musical" at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire (June19-August 11)

Grab Your Go-Go Boots and Groove into Summer with "Beehive: The 60's Musical"! The summer sun is calling, and the Marriott Theatre is answering with a blast from the past! Get ready to unleash your inner flower child with "Beehive: The 60's Musical," buzzing onto the stage. This ultimate celebration of female empowerment takes you back to the groovy days of miniskirts, transistor radios and flower power. Sing along to timeless classics like "My Boyfriend's Back," "Be My Baby," "Son of a Preacher Man" and "Me and Bobby McGee," all belted out by a powerhouse cast of talented women. Celebrate the journey of women in music, breaking barriers and leaving their mark on the world.So, call your groovy squad, and get ready to bee-bop on down to the Marriott Theatre for "Beehive: The 60's Musical!" Get ready for a summer of sunshine, sisterhood and unforgettable music!

"Evil Dead: The Musical" at James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts (July 12-21)

Experience the iconic cult films brought to life on stage in one of the wildest, funniest, and bloodiest theatrical experiences ever! When five college students visit an abandoned cabin in the woods, they accidentally unleash an evil force that transforms them into demons. Now, it's up to Ash, a housewares employee turned demon-killing hero, and his trusty chainsaw to save the day. "Evil Dead: The Musical" promises to have audiences laughing until they cry and screaming for more!

"Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus: The Musical" at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire (July 12-August 11)

Hold On Tight! The Pigeon's Taking the Wheel (But Please Don't Let Him!) at Marriott Theatre! Buckle up, Lincolnshire families, because the feathers are about to fly at the Marriott Theatre, with "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus: The Musical!." Based on the best-selling children's book by Mo Willems, this musical adventure is even more fun than "staying up late and having a hot dog party!" It's the tale of a mischievous pigeon who just wants a little control. Tired of being cooped up, he sets his sights on the prize: driving the big yellow bus! Hop on board, buckle up, and prepare for a whirlwind of feathered mayhem! Tickets for "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus: The Musical!" are on sale now. Just remember, whatever you do, don't let the Pigeon take the wheel! See you there for a tweet-rific, tail-feather-wagging good time!

"1776" at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire (August 21-Oct. 13)

Transport yourself back to the summer of 1776 at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. Witness the birth of a nation as iconic figures like John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson grapple with the weighty decision of declaring independence. "1776" puts a human face on history, depicting the struggles, courage, and convictions of those who shaped America's destiny. Winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Book and Best Musical, this insightful and compelling drama brings the seminal events of American history vividly to life. Don't miss the chance to experience the humor, charm, and poignancy of "1776" at the Marriott Theatre this summer.


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

Craving a night of spontaneous laughs and off-the-cuff brilliance? Look no further than the Improv Playhouse! Whether it's quick-witted banter or hilarious sketches born on the spot, our Libertyville stage is a haven for comedic genius and audience interaction. Prepare to be swept away by the magic of improvisation, where every night is a unique and unforgettable experience.



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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