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Crosses are placed for the victims of a mass shooting Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

An initial background check failed to detect a felony conviction that should have barred the man who killed five co-workers and wounded six other people at a suburban Chicago manufacturing plant from buying the gun.

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Law enforcement personnel gather near the scene of a shooting at an industrial park in Aurora, Illinois, on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (Bev Horne / Daily Herald via AP)

Police have identified the gunman who killed five people at a suburban Chicago business and shot and wounded five police officers.

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Blake Hammond, left, and Jake Morrissy in “The Producers” at Paramount Theatre. (Photo credit: Liz Lauren)

For all its retrograde tropes, Jim Corti’s envelope-pushing (yet entirely faithful) take on Mel Brooks’ 2001 musical feels more contemporary, necessary and dangerously funny than ever before.

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From left: Paul-Jordan Jansen, Carl Draper, Elizabeth Stenholt, Kyle Adams and Nessa (as Toto) in Paramount Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz.” (Photo credit: Liz Lauren)

At Paramount Theatre, director-choreographer Amber Mak and her sensational team of actors and designers magically pay homage to the emotional richness of the 1939 film while incorporating some of the newest tricks of technology.

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From left: “Sweet Charity,” “Legally Blonde” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” (Photo credit, from left: Justin Barbin, Liz Lauren, Brett Beiner)

They are set in different eras, and come with notably different sounds and story lines, but the three musicals now being produced on local stages share one major theme. Here’s a closer look.

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(Courtesy of Amdur Productions)

Witty women, global fare, sweet treats and art fairs usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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(Courtesy Wicker Park Fest)

Street fests, sudsy beverages, acrobatic acts and printmaking usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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Barry DeBois and Tiffany Topol in “Once” at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. (Photo credit: Liz Lauren)

The stunning performers now gathered on the stage of the Paramount Theatre bring this unconventional piece of musical theater to life with a beguiling mix of emotional depth and comic zest.

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Marianne Crebassa, Ana María Martínez in “Cosi fan tutte.” (Credit: Cory Weaver)

The production of “Cosi fan tutte” now at Lyric Opera of Chicago is a beauty. And in its playful but unquestionably bittersweet exploration of love, fidelity, betrayal and the unreliable nature of both men and women, it could easily have been written yesterday.

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Jackson Evans as Alan Zweibel and Dana Tretta as Gilda Radner in “Bunny Bunny” (Photo: Brett A. Beiner)

You will catch only a brief glimpse of the big explosion of hair, but in “Bunny Bunny” at Mercury Theater Chicago you will fully feel the manic energy and rapid-fire comic responses of Gilda Radner.

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English National Ballet. Alina Cojocaru in Akram Kham’s “Giselle.” (© Laurent Liotardo)

Chicago is dancing up a storm this season, and plans for an exceptionally strong 2018-2019 season are already being announced. A preview of what’s to come.

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Kelly Felthous plays Sally Bowles in Paramount Theatre’s “Cabaret.” (Credit: Liz Lauren)

In Paramount’s revival of the 1966 musical, director-choreographer Katie Spelman not only finds a perfect balance between the personal and political, but fully captures the flamboyant decadence of 1930s Weimar Germany without exploiting the pure shock value of its sexual antics. 

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AnJi White and Kelvin Roston, Jr. perform in 'Sunset Baby.' (Courtesy of TimeLine Theater)

The Chicago Sun-Times theater critic gives us her take on highly recommended shows from Court Theatre, Griffin Theatre, TimeLine, Shattered Globe, Drury Lane and Paramount Theatre.

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