A consortium of six North Shore theaters took a cue from Chicago playhouses and launched its inaugural theater week earlier this month.
The Skokie-based North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau played a supporting role in the formation of the North Shore Theater Week, which began on February 7 and ends February 17. It’s an opportunity for local theater lovers to get special deals on tickets to shows.
“Chicago has had a successful theater week,” North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Gina Speckman says. “We thought, Hey, it’d be a good idea for us to promote our theaters.”
Here’s how it works: visit northshoretheaterweek.com, view the list of theaters and corresponding offers, call the box office, and provide the code from the website.
“February is a great time to go out and see a show at a theater,” Speckman says. “There’s not that much else to do, so why not take advantage of a special offer?”
The Actors Gymnasium in Evanston is one of the participating theaters. The venue’s marketing and operations manager, John MacGaffey, is excited to offer $15 tickets to All the Time in the World, a circus show for the entire family.
“We’re trying to take advantage of the opportunity,” he says. “We’ve done Chicago Theater Week for many years. So it seems like a natural extension for us. It’s an affordable way to get to know some of the theaters in the area.
“There’s a collaborative spirit to the community,” MacGaffey adds. The offerings at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie include Piff the Magic Dragon—the star of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and Penn & Teller: Fool Us; and the Grammy Award-winning Okee Dokee Brothers, a musical act for kids and families. Glenview’s Oil Lamp Theater hosts the play Don’t Dress for Dinner, a comedy of errors about an unfaithful couple’s
romantic weekend. The Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts in Evanston offers two plays: The Cherry Orchard, a Chekhov piece about a financially struggling family, and Guys and Dolls, a romantic comedy about gamblers and their love interests. And Glencoe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom runs at Writers Theatre in Glencoe.
Speckman insists it’s not necessary to go to Chicago to experience quality theater.
“We have great professional theater here on the North Shore,” she says. “You don’t have to go downtown to see great professional equity theater.”