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John Zdrojeski, left, and Sean Hayes in Doug Wright’s “Good Night, Oscar” at the Goodman Theatre. (Credit Liz Lauren)

Chicago theater is in full bloom for the spring season with a number of new productions and a return of some classic favorites. Hedy Weiss, theater critic for WTTW News, joins “Chicago Tonight” to share her must-see recommendations. 

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Chris Perfetti, left, and ensemble member and Artistic Director Glenn Davis in Steppenwolf Theatre’s world premiere production of “King James” by ensemble member Rajiv Joseph. (Credit Michael Brosilow)

The world premiere play “King James” spotlights the work of two Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble members who loved basketball long before they loved theater.

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Ensemble member and Artistic Director Glenn Davis, left, and Chris Perfetti in Steppenwolf Theatre’s world premiere production of “King James” by ensemble member Rajiv Joseph. (Credit Michael Brosilow)

“King James” by Rajiv Joseph receives a terrific world premiere by Steppenwolf Theatre. The play follows a friendship over a decade that began over a shared love for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

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Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s new Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center, designed by architect Gordon Gill FAIA of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. (Credit James Steinkamp Photography.)

The Steppenwolf Theatre reopens after a 20-month shutdown due to the pandemic. The 46-year-old theater celebrated its return with a ribbon cutting Tuesday for a new wing that includes a state-of-the-art stage. 

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(Illustration by Rajiv Joseph)

Any description of Rajiv Joseph’s mini-play — the newest entry in Steppenwolf Theatre’s NOW series of virtual programming that runs about 11 minutes — might make it sound like just a quick virtual doodle. But it is much more than that.

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Pictured (from left): Steppenwolf ensemble members K. Todd Freeman and Jon Michael Hill in Steppenwolf’s virtual production of “What Is Left, Burns” by James Ijames, directed by Whitney White. (Photography and design by Lowell Thomas)

James Ijames’ 20-minute play marks the opening salvo in Steppenwolf Now — a series of six virtual productions designed to serve as placeholders until there is a return to live theater — a return that seems ever more elusive.

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Carrie Coon and Tracy Letts talk “Bug” with WTTW News.

The revival of Tracy Letts’ 1996 play “Bug” stars his wife, Steppenwolf ensemble member Carrie Coon. We spoke to the creative team right before opening night.

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From left: Danielle Wade, Megan Masako Haley, Mariah Rose Faith and Jonalyn Saxer in the National Touring Company of “Mean Girls.” (Credit: © 2019 Joan Marcus)

If you were to consider the dominant feelings expressed by the adolescent girls in these two shows, the obvious conclusion would be that for all the talk, the feminist movement of the past five decades has failed to reach a whole generation or two of girls.

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Nondumiso Tembe in “Lindiwe,” left, Kelvin Roston Jr. in “Oedipus Rex,” center, and Christina Hall in “Always … Patsy Cline.” (Photos by Michael Brosilow)

It would be all but impossible to survey the many great, good and sometimes disappointing productions of the past 12 months. But three recent shows suggest the great variety of work produced in Chicago – and the immense amount of talent here.

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A rehearsal for the Steppenwolf Theatre production of “Lindiwe.” (WTTW News)

From a Chicago blues club to South Africa, a new show at Steppenwolf Theatre explores music and love across cultures. We get a behind-the-scenes look at “Lindiwe.”

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Glenn Obrero in Steppenwolf’s production of “The Great Leap” by Lauren Yee. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Playwright Lauren Yee possesses a special gift for animating and personalizing history, and for penning exceptionally dynamic dialogue. And although not a single basketball is dropped into a hoop during “The Great Leap,” the sport comes to life.

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Jon Michael Hill, left, and Namir Smallwood in Steppenwolf’s production of “True West” by Sam Shepard. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Steppenwolf’s fabled 1982 production of Sam Shepard’s darkly comic tale is a foundational part of Chicago theater history. And now, two of the company’s “next generation” of actors are bringing their own high-octane intensity to the play.

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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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Janet Ulrich Brooks and Yasen Peyankov in Steppenwolf’s Chicago premiere production of “The Children” by Lucy Kirkwood. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Now receiving its Chicago premiere by Steppenwolf Theatre, British playwright Lucy Kirkwood’s quirky tragicomedy tackles aging, sexual competition, parenting and the catastrophic result of certain scientific and engineering “advances.”

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Gary Sinise spoke with Chicago Tonight about his new book, “Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service,” his work advocating for veterans and the history of Steppenwolf Theatre. 

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Sandra Marquez and Yasen Peyankov in Steppenwolf’s Chicago premiere production of “A Doll’s House, Part 2.” (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

This sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s groundbreaking play – now receiving its Chicago debut at Steppenwolf Theatre – arrives at a moment when a whole new tsunami-like wave of feminist rebellion has gathered force.