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6 Shows to See in Chicago This March

Political plays, new musicals, and riffs on classics top the list of upcoming Chicago productions.

The month of March allegedly brings the end of the long Chicago winter, so what better time to pull the scarf down from your face and take a look at the theater world around you? This month, Chicago openings offer audiences shows with different points of view.

Maria Dizzia (left) stars in What the Constitution Means to Me at Broadway in Chicago and Jocelyn Bioh's School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play opens at the Goodman Theatre this month.
(© Tess Mayer / Allison Stock)

1. My Dear Hussein
Silk Road Rising (at Chicago Temple)
March 17-April 19

Nahal Navidar's newest play makes its world premiere at Chicago Temple. A co-production by Momentary Theatre and Silk Road Rising, My Dear Hussein is the story of Parvaneh, a precocious 4-year-old Iranian girl who uses her imagination to turn the brutal reality of the Iraq-Iran war into a fanciful game. Directed by Tlaloc Rivas and starring Shadee Vossoughi as Parvaneh, Navidar's surrealistic childhood fantasy is sure to be a transportive piece of theater.

2. What the Constitution Means to Me
Broadway in Chicago (at Broadway Playhouse)
March 4-April 12

As a teenager, playwright Heidi Schreck competed in Constitutional Oratory conventions across the country to earn college tuition money. In 2019, Schreck brought her gusto and incisive wit to Broadway, in a play examining the modern role of the US Constitution. In the national tour of What the Constitution Means to Me, arriving at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place on March 4, Tony nominee Maria Dizzia steps into Schreck's shoes, accompanied by original cast members Mike Iveson and Rosdely Ciprian. Shreck's personal, political play may be just what you need to reinvigorate your civic passion in this long, fatiguing election season.

3. Hundred Days
Kokandy Productions (at Chopin Theater)
March 14-April 12

This indie-folk musical memoir recounts the courtship and whirlwind romance of real-life husband-and-wife songwriting team Abigail and Stuart Bengson. Emilie Modaff and Royen Kent star as the Bengsons, accompanied by a backing band of musicians who occasionally play supporting roles. Kokandy Productions brings this intimate cabaret musical to the Chopin Theater for its Chicago premiere, which promises to be a heartfelt romantic experience.

4. School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play
Goodman Theatre
March 7-April 12

Jocelyn Bioh's biting high school comedy makes its Chicago premiere, following two acclaimed sold-out off-Broadway runs. At an exclusive all-girl's boarding school in Ghana, queen bees, wannabes, and schemers run the show — until a transfer student from the United States arrives to shake up the status quo. Directed by Lili-Anne Brown, who returns to the Goodman Theatre after directing last season's acclaimed world premiere of Ike Holter's Lottery Day, School Girls explores themes of colonialism, colorism, and feminism with razor-sharp humor.

5. Legends the Musical
Black Ensemble Theater
March 5-April 12

The Black Ensemble Theater presents a new musical examining the civil rights movement and the current impact of racism in the United States. Though it features classic songs like "What's Going On" and "Time to Make That Change," Legends is far from the average jukebox revue. Ensemble founder Jackie Taylor, who writes and directs the production, intends it to be an educational piece of theater, infused with history and honesty.

6. Teenage Dick
Theater Wit
March 6-April 19

Shakespeare's most devious monarch is given a contemporary spin at Theater Wit in Mike Lew's Teenage Dick. This Richard III is a high school junior, bullied for his cerebral palsy and his tendency to monologue. Macgregor Arney plays the titular Dick, whose plans to become class president assume a Machiavellian bent. Directed by Brian Balcom, Teenage Dick promises to be a fast-paced comedic view of disability, perception, and ambition, told with care by authentic voices.

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