A past season of Shakespeare in the Parks. (Courtesy Chicago Shakespeare Theater)

Chicago Shakespeare has canceled its Friday and Saturday shows following a shooting during its Thursday night performance.

John Putnam (Christopher Kale Jones) and Ellen Fields (Jaye Ladymore) look to the stars in Chicago Shakespeare's world premiere production of It Came From Outer Space, in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, June 22–July 24, 2022. (Credit: Liz Lauren).

The recent Broadway smash “Six” is perhaps their most notable success. Now, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater is bringing aliens to center stage with a musical-comedy adaptation of the 1950s sci-fi film “It Came From Outer Space.”

David Strathairn as real-life World War II hero Jan Karski in “Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski,” presented by Chicago Shakespeare Theater November 3-14, 2021. (Teresa Castracane Photography)

Actor David Strathairn will be on stage through Nov. 11 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater portraying Jan Karski, a Polish resistance fighter and diplomat during World War II. 

The Forest Lords of Arden (left to right: Austin Eckert, Jeff Kurysz, Adam Wesley Brown, Michael Daniel Dashefsky, Kurt Schweitz) jam to the hit song of The Beatles in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “As You Like It,” adapted and directed by Daryl Cloran, in the Courtyard Theater, Oct. 6–Nov. 21. (Photo by Liz Lauren)

The show is not some crazy remake of the musical “Hair,” but rather a raucous, playful and exceedingly clever reimagined take on Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” 

Illusionist, mentalist and performance artist Scott Silven in “The Journey,” streaming live at Chicago Shakespeare Theater through Jan. 24, 2021. (Photo: David Wilkinson, Empirical Photography)

Created and performed by Scott Silven, a young actor, writer, illusionist, mentalist and masterful storyteller, “The Journey” is a mesmerizing riff on time, space, memory, human connection, and the tricks that our very own existence can play on us.

Lora Lee Gayer and Brad Standley in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Emma.” (Photo by Liz Lauren)

The flaws and fancies, and triumphs and comeuppances of Jane Austen’s characters continue to ring true two centuries after the publication of her books. The latest proof can be found in this utterly charming production at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. 

Josué Maychi (from left), Lupe de la Cruz, and Alexis Orozco (who was unable to join the Chicago production and has been replaced by Domingo Mijangos) perform in “Andares.” (Photo by Raúl Kigra)

The show’s three exceptionally graceful, expressive actors – each of them powerful solo players – form a seamless bond that is beautiful to behold. They are at once passionate artists and fierce cultural warriors.

We go backstage as an actor prepares “The King’s Speech” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater – and remembers his role on “Downton Abbey.”

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents Isango Ensemble’s “A Man of Good Hope,” based on the book by Jonny Steinberg and adapted and directed by Mark Dornford-May, in the Courtyard Theater, Oct. 4–13, 2019. (Photo by Keith Pattinson)

Based on the book by Jonny Steinberg, “A Good Man of Hope,” is a heart-wrenching, fiercely honest, staggeringly beautiful production by South Africa’s extraordinary Isango Ensemble now on stage at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

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.

From left: Tom Brandon, John Sheehy, Connor Going (at piano), Andrew Carter, Denis Grinden (seated) and Mark Loveday in “The Choir of Man.” (Credit: Brian Wright)

Lift a glass and make a toast to the musical and verbal talents of some Emerald Islanders who have arrived on the shores of Lake Michigan for brief stays.

“L’Apres-Midi d’un Foehn, Version I,” left, and “Us/Them” are currently on stage at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

The work of two theater companies – one from Belgium and the other from France – are paying all-too-brief visits to Chicago Shakespeare Theater stages at the moment. 

Led in revels by the First Fairy (Adrienne Storrs) and Puck (Sam Kebede), the fairy ensemble gather to “Rock the Ground” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” (Photo by Liz Lauren)

Despite a number of fine performances and a gorgeous “flower power” set, the whole thing ends up feeling more clunky and exhausting than beguiling. Subtle it is not, and often the poetry and emotion get lost.

From left: Aurelie Lannoy, Angelo Tijssens and Charlotte De Bruyne in Ontroerend Goed’s “Fight Night.” (Photo by Yvon Poncelet)

Audience members engage in a process similar to a television “elimination” contest to choose one of five contenders for an unspecified office. It is great fun, but also offers food for thought – and a healthy dose of cynicism.

Valentijn Dhaenens in “BigMouth,” on stage at Chicago Shakespeare Theater through Sept. 22, 2018. (Photo by Maya Wilsens)

However you describe “BigMouth,” the virtuosic, one-of-a-kind, one-man show created and performed by Valentijn Dhaenens – its impact is undeniable.

Peter Pan (Johnny Shea) in “Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure,” directed and choreographed by Amber Mak. (Photo by Liz Lauren)

The elaborately produced 75-minute show has all the energy and magic necessary to keep young audiences engaged. At the same time, the adult aspects of the story emerge with particular force and clarity.