Donovan Hoffer and the cast of “Rock of Ages.” (Liz Lauren)

“Rock of Ages” is a funky, feverish, hard-driving musical that is now storming across the stage of the Mercury Theater. A large, fearless and very talented cast, along with an exceptional band, capture the tumultuous beat of a decidedly “rocky” decade.

Eric Amundson and Curtis Bannister in “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin.” (Liz Lauren)

The Mercury Theater production of this show, with its tragi-comic book by William Hauptman drawn straight from the Mark Twain classic and a wonderfully varied score by country music master Roger Miller, is ideally realized on every front.

John-Mark McGaha performs in “Signed, Sealed, Delivered: A Stevie Wonder Experience.” (Ryan Bennett Photography)

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered: A Stevie Wonder Experience” is driven by an impressive performance from singer, actor and pianist John-Mark McGaha. The show captures the sound and sensibility of Wonder while interweaving aspects of his personal life.

Alexis J. Roston in the Mercury Theater Chicago production of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” (Credit: Liz Lauren)

The production is set in a South Philadelphia bar in March, 1959 — about five months before Billie Holiday died of drug and alcohol abuse at the age of 44. And the Mercury Theater’s intimate Venus Cabaret space serves as an ideal backdrop.

(WTTW News)

It’s a classic story that has withstood the test of time, now, the Mercury Theater is bringing that story to its stage in a new musical adaptation.

Alexis J. Roston performs in “Sister Act.” (Credit: Brett Beiner Photography)

Reneisha Jenkins’ direction, along with the wonderfully playful, hip-swiveling choreography of Christopher Chase Carter and the impeccable music direction of keyboardist Diana Lawrence, has infused the show with genuine emotional heat as well as laugh-generating irreverence and comic sparkle.

Sam Woods (puppet) and Christopher Kale Jones in “Little Shop of Horrors.” (Photo credit: Brett Beiner)

And: Composer Alan Menken charms Auditorium audience

Alan Menken performs his delightful one-man show to a packed house in the Loop as his first hit musical, “Little Shop of Horrors,” receives a terrific production on the North Side.

Christian Siebert, Jonah D. Winston and Dan Smeriglio in “Avenue Q” at Mercury Theater. (Credit: Brett A. Beiner)

The surprising thing about “Avenue Q” is just how wise, witty, open-minded and openly devoid of by-the-book political correctness it manages to be. 

Left: David Sajewich, Kyrie Courter in “Company.” (Photo by Brett A. Beiner). Right: Renelle Nicole, Jessica Brooke Seals and Kylah Williams in “A New Attitude.” (Photo credit: Alan Davis)

Looking for the best way to spend a sultry pre-summer evening aside from taste-testing the latest flavor of gelato? Easy. Catch a musical.

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.