That unmistakable scent in Chicago’s air—no, not the food trucks—signals the beginning of the season of green and goodness and growth! With it, spring heralds a fresh, new crop of shows, all determined to help you shake off the winter blahs and bring on the warmer weather beams.
Sometimes there’s nowhere left to go but up! In the case of Chicago Children’s Theatre’s “Epic Tale of Scale,” that’s an incredibly good thing. This two-story immersive event comes from the minds of some wonderfully fun Chicago theater artists (Henry Wishcamper, Jo Cattell and Frank Maugieri to name three), known for their innovative work from Broadway to the West Coast. The show is described as “The Magic School Bus meets Sleep No More,” and audience members (in small, timed-entry groups) can expect everything from original music to science experiments. Kids (6 and up!) and adults alike will marvel at this world premiere that promises to change how you think—and feel—about scale.
Through April 8; The Station, 100 S. Racine, Chicago
The hills are alive … with the promise of a staying-put springtime, friends. (Can you feel it?) Help Mother Nature along with a family jaunt to one of the most buoyant musicals of all time. The Tony, Grammy and Academy Award-winning powerhouse by Rodgers and Hammerstein is gracing Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre for just under a week this April—which should be plenty of time to get your fill of Maria and every last Von Trapp, plus ensure that “Do-re-mi” and “Edelweiss” will remain firmly in your head until the leaves begin to fall.
April 10-15; Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago
Everyone knows that the path back home can take unexpected routes. In the world premiere production of Lucas Baisch’s “Roots in the Alley,” twin sisters Blanca and Honey are having trouble finding their feet in Chicago until they stumble upon the online world of the Ceiba Network, a virtual reality with real-world consequences. Created through ASC’s new play development program, Baisch and ASC playwright-in-residence Carlos Murillo worked with schools and communities through Northwestern Settlement to weave personal tales into the show. (A large part of Northwestern Settlement’s mission statement, by the by, is to work alongside the community to break the pattern of generational poverty.) As the heroic sisters continue to level up in their game, they also dig down and find parallels with their lives—and with the Mayan creation myths that are part of their heritage. After all, it’s hard to get where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re coming from.
April 14-May 5; Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., Chicago