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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in “The Loss of Place” by Brian Brooks. (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

The titles of the four pieces provide a telling suggestion of the psychologically probing works being performed with the company’s trademark blend of uncanny fluidity, plasticity, control and ensemble perfection.

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Krystal Ortiz and Matt Fletcher in Griffin Theatre Company’s production of “For Services Rendered.” (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

In some ways, “For Services Rendered” is an old-fashioned play, but it is a beauty. And coming at a moment when Britain is undergoing a different sort of social and economic upheaval, it seems ideally timed for a revival.

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Tarell Alvin McCraney in Steppenwolf’s world premiere production of “Ms. Blakk for President,” co-written by ensemble members Tina Landau and McCraney. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

This unabashedly flamboyant fantasia by Tina Landau and Tarell Alvin McCraney spins the true story of Joan Jett Blakk, who helped found the Chicago branch of the Queer Nation Party and ran for Chicago mayor in 1991.

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Barbara E. Robertson, center, with, from left, Max J. Cervantes, Neala Barron, Liz Chidester, Hannah Starr, Liz Bollar and Maryam Abdi in Firebrand Theatre’s Chicago premiere of “Queen of the Mist.” (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

“There Is Greatness In Me” is the defining song in this riveting musical that releases the full “greatness” in its lead character by way of an electrifying performance by veteran Chicago actress Barbara E. Robertson. 

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Lookingglass Theatre Company Artistic Associate Walter Briggs, left, and Keith Gallagher in “Frankenstein.” (Photo by Liz Lauren)

The 200th anniversary of “Frankenstein” was celebrated by a slew of Chicago theaters last year. Lookingglass’ new production has arrived a bit late in the game, but with its raw beauty and feverish emotion, it turns out to be well worth the wait.

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From left: Abby Mueller, Samantha Pauly, Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Brittney Mack and Anna Uzele in “Six” at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. (Photo by Liz Lauren)

Forget about spending your last dime for tickets to The Rolling Stones’ concerts at Soldier Field next month. Instead, check out the fire-breathing female royalty of this sensational musical at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

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Bryce Gangel in “Bloomsday,” presented by Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. (Photo by Michael Courier)

Steven Dietz’s hauntingly beautiful play is inspired by James Joyce’s groundbreaking novel “Ulysses,” but it is no stage adaptation. Rather, it’s a gorgeous, exquisitely imagined contemporary riff on Joyce’s essential themes.

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The cast of “The Adventures of Augie March.” (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Labeling a work of art a “masterpiece” is a dangerous business, but on rare occasions there can be no doubt that such a tag is unavoidable. This is one such case.

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Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg in “The Pygmalion Effect.” (Photo by Michael Khoury)

Watching the company as it performed Boris Eifman’s latest work, the feeling that his dancers are not well served by his relentlessly madhouse style of movement – manic, extreme, repetitive – could not be denied.

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Hilary Hahn is soloist in Sibelius’s Violin Concerto with conductor Marin Alsop and the CSO. (© Todd Rosenberg)

Hilary Hahn’s bravura handling of a fire-breathing passage in Sibelius’ “Violin Concerto in D Minor” brings forth a “Wow!” from what was certainly an adult man in the audience at Symphony Center.

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David Schlumpf and Keely Vasquez in “Next to Normal” at Writers Theatre. (Photo credit: Michael Brosilow)

This 2008 musical is unsettling, irritating, frustrating, relentless and more. But director David Cromer and his actors have tapped into the dark charm and moments of humor in the show with great skill.

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Margaret Trudeau and Adam Strauss (Credit: Kirsten Miccoli, left, Michael Courier)

In what is clearly a case of pure happenstance, two autobiographical solo shows about mental illness recently arrived on Chicago stages. A look at “Certain Woman of an Age” and “The Mushroom Cure.”

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Evgeny Kissin (Courtesy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

A number of extraordinary pianists have played on the Symphony Center stage during the past season or two. Sunday’s concert brought four encores, extended standing ovations and volcanic applause.

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Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti on the podium during the CSO’s May 9 program of works by Mozart and Stravinsky. (Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg)

A concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra featuring the transcendent Mitsuko Uchida. A visit by Maestro Riccardo Muti and several master musicians to a juvenile detention center. And a virtuosic chamber concert.

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Dylis Croman in “Chicago, The Musical,” left, and George Abud and Sydney Shepherd in “August Rush: The Musical.” (Credit: Jeremy Daniel, left, Liz Lauren)

“Chicago, The Musical” holds the record as the longest-running American musical in Broadway history – and it’s a keeper. “August Rush: The Musical” is a New York-bred “tryout” production, and it just doesn’t work.

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Mikaela Bennett “West Side Story” at Lyric Opera of Chicago. (Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg)

This electrifying revival demonstrates how, without straining to “modernize” or rework the 1957 Broadway musical – but by maintaining total respect for its vintage truth and beauty – its enduring power can be fully released.

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