Dreams of the Penny Gods Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 1 2016

This is the kind of off-Loop theater that put Chicago on the map: low-budget, superbly acted, performed on a tiny but well-designed set (here by Michael Chancellor) in an awkward, cramped space (in this case the third floor of an Albany Park church). The play, by Callie Kimball, about a 13-year old girl trying to break free from an abusive grandmother, her legal guardian, is full of wit and fire, and this Halcyon Theatre ensemble, directed by Jennifer Adams, finds the heart in Kimball’s words. In particular, there's a creepy chemistry between the protagonist (played to the hilt by Caity-Shea Violette) and her sleazy ex-con father (Ted James). The result is an evening of intense, satisfying live drama. —Jack Helbig

Price: $20; limited number of free tickets each performance

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