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Leah Karpel, left, and Shanesia Davis in Sharyn Rothstein’s “Landladies” at Northlight Theatre. (Photo credit: Michael Brosilow)

This edgy new play by Sharyn Rothstein, making its world premiere at Northlight Theatre, deals with the most primal human needs – for shelter, security, a sense of self-worth and love.

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Ariel Richardson, left, and Sydney Charles in Christina Ham’s play “Nina Simone: Four Women” at Northlight Theatre. (Photo credit: Michael Brosilow)

Christina Ham’s play, “Nina Simone: Four Women,” is the anatomy of a song. And by extension, it is the anatomy of the angry, emotionally wounded singer, songwriter, pianist and civil rights activist who wrote it.

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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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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.