Mike Nussbaum leads Seanachai’s fundraiser Sept. 11


Theatre legend Mike Nussbaum

THE FALL THEATER SEASON is in full swing, and with it comes an array of autumnal soirees. Tuesday, Sept. 11, Seanachai Theatre Company – the company steeped in Irish storytelling tradition — brings in theatre legend Mike Nussbaum and Steppenwolf Theatre actress Ora Jones for its fundraiser, “An Evening of Entertainment,” readings, music, and comestibles. It runs 7-10 p.m. at the Den Theater, 1333 N. Milwaukee. 

The Den will also host Seanachai’s season opener, the world premiere of Honor Molloy’s In Pigeon House, beginning in October. The play celebrates the “fit-ups,” or traveling shows that toured Ireland in the early 20th century, juxtaposing them against the contemporary Dublin club scene.

Focal Point Theatre Company second annual “Against Type Project” as a benefit Oct. 1-3. Built around the notion that a great performer can tackle any role, the line-up of pieces includes a reverse-gender take on Shakespeare’s Henry V; a cast of improv actors performing Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive; and a selection from Clare Booth Luce’s The Women, performed by an all-male cast. The latter was also a mainstay of the now-defunct Cloud 42 theater company back in the 1990s.

Proceeds will benefit the company’s upcoming devised full-length piece, You Make Me, inspired by a painting of the same title by Christopher Wool.

NORTHLIGHT THEATRE COMPANY opens Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie, on Sept. 14. But they go from Dustbowl folkie to pop romantic classics with “My Baby Just Cares for Me,” a benefit Oct. 1 and 2. 

It stars Michael Ingersoll, a vet of Jersey Boys and the PBS crooner collective Under the Streetlamp, and his wife, Angela, a vet of Second City Hollywood and recipient of two past Jeff Award nominations for her performances in local musicals.

COMEDYSPORTZ flips the script and celebrates “25yearz” by supporting four local charities this month through regular performances at their home space, 929 W. Belmont (which some of us remember as the old Ann Sather restaurant).

They’ve already benefited the Night Ministry, but the remaining groups are: Funny Bones Improv (which entertains hospitalized kids), Sept. 13-15; the Lymphoma Research Foundation, Sept. 20-22 (these shows honor the memory of longtime ComedySportz performer Mike Enriquez, who passed away from the disease last January); and the Sam Thompson Foundation, named in honor of the brother of a ComedySportz ensemble member who died of cystic fibrosis, leaving his family with large medical bills.

GOTTA GAY PLAY OR MUSICAL? Then Pride Films and Plays would like to hear from you. The Great Gay Play and Musical Contest is open for submissions from now until Oct. 22.

Dramatists Guild members can submit for free until Sept. 15. Otherwise, there is a submission fee of $30 until Sept. 15 for non-Guild members, and $45 after for everyone. Complete guidelines are available at the website.

A LONG-RUNNING CHICAGO TRADITION returns at the end of the month. Coyote 2012, affectionately known as “Coyote Fest,” returns to Wicker Park Sept. 28-30, courtesy of the Flat Iron Artists’ Association.

Gallery walks, performances, poetry, and music combine to celebrate what was once known as “Around the Coyote” in honor of the Northwest Tower, or Coyote Building, located at the intersection of North, Milwaukee, and Damen Avenues. Most of the action, however, is now at the Flat Iron Arts Building at 1579 N. Milwaukee.

Howl at me at kerryreid@comcast.net.

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