In a city with over 200 theater companies, a stockpile of intimate venues, and a penchant for “storefront” productions staged in Laundromats, art galleries, and men’s rooms, sellout shows are rare.
Still, you’ll need to hustle to get seats for hot spring shows like The Sparrow, a wildly choreographed tale about a telekinetic girl questioning her role in a school-bus accident (ends 4/21). More Edward Scissorhands than Carrie, the show broke box-office records at the Steppenwolf during its initial run. For families, there's Once Upon a Time (or the Secret Language of Birds), an anime-inspired puppet show that's winning over kids with its richly detailed sets and adults with its original, ambitious storytelling (ends 4/8).
Also on tap this season: the highly anticipated The Diary of Anne Frank, starring Claire Elizabeth Saxe, one of the city’s freshest young talents (runs 4/5–6/10); and Oedipus Complex, an avant-garde staging of the ancient tale, adapted by Chicago theater legend and two-time Tony winner Frank Galati (runs 4/28–6/3). Book tickets for all of the above at Hottix, Chicago’s answer to TKTS (minus the ridiculously long lines).