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“The Full Monty” at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre. Front: Nick Druzbanski, left, and Matt Frye. Background, from left: Jonathan Schwart, Neil Stratman, Joe Giovannetti and Marc Prince. (Photo by Austin D. Oie)

The theater company’s new home in Evanston marks a grand, and grandly deserved step upward. Its opening production looks at what happens when men lose their well-paying factory jobs and self-respect.

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Siobhan Stagg in “Cendrillon” at Lyric Opera of Chicago. (Credit: Todd Rosenberg)

Alternately farcical and romantic, this very French rendering of the Cinderella story has arrived on the Lyric Opera stage for the very first time in an altogether enchanting production.

A review of Chris Jones’ new book

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In his new book, Chris Jones – my colleague-on-the-aisle in Chicago since the 1990s – has chronicled the American theater in a singularly creative way.

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Lanise Antoine Shelley and Erik Hellman in Steppenwolf’s Chicago premiere production of “Familiar” by Danai Gurira. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

With great bursts of raucous humor, as well as zany rom-com moments and deep anguish, playwright Danai Gurira infuses her exuberantly boisterous play with issues of family contention that go well beyond the usual disputes.

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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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(Photo by Matthew Murphy)

The new touring production of the epic show could not be more elaborate, but it trades more in shock value than pathos, and loses something in the process.

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The cast of “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” at Lookingglass Theatre. (Photo by Liz Lauren)

From monsters and novelists to a depressed construction foreman in Belarus, the Chicago theater scene is as varied as ever. Hedy Weiss joins us with reviews and recommendations.

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Alex Stein and Kasey Foster in “The Steadfast Tin Soldier.” (Photo by Liz Lauren)

To bring Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” to vivid life, director Mary Zimmerman looks to the English pantomime tradition, and draws on her ingenious, visually stunning storytelling tricks.

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From “Angels in America” to “Hamilton,” a new book from Chicago Tribune critic Chris Jones looks at the last quarter century of American theater.

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Kayla Carter in “Mansfield Park.” (Photo credit: Michael Brosilow)

Watching Northlight Theatre’s luminous world premiere stage version of Jane Austen’s third published novel, it was impossible not to wonder what the writer might make of her enduring cult status among 21st century audiences.

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Will Burton and Kimberly Immanuel in “Holiday Inn” at the Marriott Theatre. (Courtesy of Liz Lauren)

The recent Broadway musical based on the hit 1942 film is an old-fashioned charmer on every level, with just enough of a sardonic bite to make it feel fresh, and just enough nostalgia to pierce your heart.

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From left: “Miss Saigon” stars Christine Bunuan, Anthony Festa and Emily Bautista appear on “Chicago Tonight.”

Decades after it premiered in London, the mega-musical “Miss Saigon” is still captivating audiences around the world. Meet three of the stars from the new touring production.

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Sarah Fornace in “Frankenstein” by Manual Cinema at Court Theatre. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

This wildly imaginative version of Mary Shelley’s classic is at once handmade and high-tech, and as you take your seat at Court Theatre, you immediately sense that something completely out of the ordinary is about to unfold.

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Ashley Neal and Glenn Obrero in the world premiere of “Scientific Method.” (Photo credit: Michael Brosilow)

If you think this country’s political culture is the quintessential hornet’s nest, you probably haven’t been exposed to life in the world of scientific research. Jenny Connell Davis puts it under a powerful magnifying microscope in this world premiere work.

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Linda Gehringer as Helene in the world premiere production of “Lady in Denmark” at Goodman Theatre. (Credit: Liz Lauren)

As it happens, there are two “ladies” in Dael Orlandersmith’s play, “Lady in Denmark,” now in its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre. But only one is fully seen or heard on stage.

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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.