Steppenwolf Announces Summer LookOut Lineup

Steppenwolf Announces Summer LookOut Lineup

Photo: Anne Sheridan Smith, Rob Lindley, and Allison Bazarko Kirk are the vocal trio Foiled Again.

Steppenwolf Theatre has announced the summer lineup for its LookOut series, including 20+ artists and groups performing stand-up, theater, concerts, a live podcast, and more.

Highlights include Asian American comedy troupe Stir Friday Night, Grammy Award-winner Matthew Duvall and beyond this point with guest composer Matthew Burtne, A Red Orchid Theatre ensemble member Mierka Girten’s one-woman show “With or Without Wings,” Big Dipper live in concert, Broken Nose Theatre’s Bechdel Fest, the Race Bait LIVE podcast, Pride month themed events, and more.

LookOut performances take place in Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, an 80-seat cabaret-style space connected to Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 18 at 11am through Audiences Services (1650 N Halsted), 312-335-1650 and

LookOut Summer 2018 Lineup (from the press release):

The MoonSharks Present: “An Improvised Play”
Directed by David Montgomery
Friday, June 8 & Saturday, June 9
This ensemble of nine veteran Chicago performers take to the stage to improvise a full-length play. Using a suggestion from the audience, The MoonSharks create a story with rich characters, complex relationships and powerful themes. Each night is a completely unique performance. Join The MoonSharks and experience some of the best dramatic improv in the city of Chicago.

Beauty School: “Pushover” Album Release Party
With Special Guest: She Speaks in Tongues
Tuesday, June 12
Chicago pop-rock band Beauty School returns to Steppenwolf to celebrate the release of their debut LP “Pushover.” A culmination of material the group has crafted over the past three years, Pushover pays tribute to the bittersweet love song, charting the highs and lows of love amid life’s complexities. The album arrives at the threshold of summer, inviting you to submerge yourself in the sounds of the season.

SHADE: An Actually Diverse Comedy Show
Pride Month Comedy Showcase
Friday, June 15 & Saturday, June 16
Laugh it up with Chicago’s best LGBTQIAP comics during Pride Month!

A reading of excerpts of the work of the playwrights of the Artist Development Workshop
Sunday, June 17
Every year for the last 25 years, writers with and without disabilities have gotten together in the fall, winter and spring to develop their craft in the Artist Development Workshop. Each summer, they showcase their work in an eclectic and often irreverent staged reading called “Sketchtopia.”

Erik and Jessie and Everyone You Know Variety Show: THE RETURN
Hosted by Erik Hellman and Jessie Fisher
Monday, June 18
Local actor/musicians Erik Hellman and Jessie Fisher present an updated variant of the classic variety hour: Original music, special guests, comedy, magic, improv, and ephemera along with the tightest country, soul band in the land. Fast-paced, fun, funky and fresh.

You’re Being Ridiculous: PRIDE
Friday, June 22; Saturday, June 23; Friday, June 29 & Saturday, June 30
At You’re Being Ridiculous, real people tell true stories about their lives. Each performer is linked by our rotating themes, and by the desire to make you laugh—and, once in a while, cry. Our motto: Good stories are better than good times. We laugh at ourselves, and laugh with each other. Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?

Yes to NO: An Evening of Rock + Resistance
A rock benefit for Chicago youth empowerment charities
Featuring: The Cell Phones, and No Men
Friday, July 6
$12 advance, $15 at the door
What would it sound like if three, femme-fronted rock bands came together one evening to say “NO” to its genre’s nihilistic, ‘no future,’ boys-only legacy and instead, made real, positive, and inclusive change with its music? Powerful and empowering for new artists of the future to generate positive change in our city, our country, and our world.

“East’o, West’o!”
Book, Music and Lyrics by Michelle J. Rodriguez
Directed by Sivan Battat
Sunday, July 8 at 8pm
Monday, July 9 at 7pm
Writer-director team Michelle J. Rodriguez and Sivan Battat set a classic folktale in a mythic America with the musical “East o’, West o’!” Told with big, rollicking bluegrass numbers, haunting folk melodies, with lullaby, with work song and violin howl, East o’, West o’! takes us farther than any woman has ever gone in a quest for home and belonging.

“Powerful Women”
A Cabaret Performed by Anna Palermo
Friday, July 13
What makes a woman feel powerful? Do we find power through adversity and vulnerability? Find out through stories and songs touching on Tina Turner and Barbra Streisand (just to name a few).

Dark Café Days: Foiled Again Sings Joni Mitchell
Allison Bazarko Kirk, Rob Lindley, and Anne Sheridan Smith with Doug Peck & Gavin Kirk
Saturday, July 14 & Sunday, July 15
Vocal trio Foiled Again brings their trademark close-knit harmonies to music of Joni Mitchell, with classics like “A Case of You,” “Woodstock,” and “The Circle Game” as well as some deep cuts from Mitchell’s extensive and eclectic catalogue.

Race Bait: LIVE
With Tania Richard and Paul Traynor
Monday, July 16
A black woman. A white man. They talk about racism… so you don’t have to! Raw, awkward, crucial conversations approached with humor and generosity of spirit. LookOut presents a special live recording of this podcast now in its second season. Special guests, music, audience interaction and more!

“The Jump”
Created and encouraged by Steppenwolf ensemble member Cliff Chamberlain
Wednesday, July 18
“The Jump” is a theatrical event that encourages being brave and taking risks in an environment that promises a soft landing. Songs you’ve never sung, stories you’ve never told, things you’ve never done, with people you’ve never met. We jump, you jump; we all make The Jump together.

Stir Friday Night Presents
“We Are Asian. We Do Comedy.”
Thursday, July 19 & Friday, July 20
The 23-year old Asian American comedy troupe presents this show, an amalgamation of music, sketch, and improv, telling the theatrical tale of what it is to be a “model” minority.

Broken Nose Theatre Presents:
Bechdel Fest 6: Revolution
Sunday, July 29 at 7pm
Monday, July 30 at 7pm
Tuesday, July 31 at 8pm
Pay What You Can, Suggested Price $25
Bechdel Fest is an evening of new, female centric short plays featuring an all female-identifying cast talking about things other than men.

A Reading of
“With or Without Wings”
Written and Performed by A Red Orchid Theatre ensemble member Mierka Girten
Adapted by Michael Thomas
Tuesday, August 7
A one-woman tour-de-force of a young performer’s humbling first encounters and shocking diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. A hilarious and heartbreaking personal account that explores the myths of MS while providing a message of enduring hope.

nature | human: Reflections
Matthew Duvall & beyond this point, with featured composer Matthew Burtner
Friday, August 10 & Saturday, August 11 7:30pm
An interaction (performance, if you insist) featuring six reflections on our relationship with the natural world. Water, wood, sand, air, metal, and skin. Percussion as poetry. Exploring the environment we inhabit. For your consideration.

Big Dipper: Live in Concert!
Thursday, August 16
Plus-size gay rapper Big Dipper defies homophobes and celebrates sexuality with his unapologetically graphic lyrics, infectious beats and a body-positive image. You’ll find the hirsute emcee busting moves on stage in skin-tight outfits at this live show; a mix of original viral hits, stupid parodies, and tons of sweaty jiggling. Leave your inhibitions at home tonight.

Dear Finch: CD Release Party
By Jess Godwin
Friday, August 17 & Saturday, August 18
1 piano. 9 voices. A billion stories. With original music by Jess Godwin and stories inspired by handwritten letters from all over the world, Dear Finch reminds us that we all have a story worth telling.

Walkabout Theatre Presents
“The Brink! Or Nobody’s Ever Kissed Me Like That…”
Directed by Thom Pasculli
Co-created by the Walkabout Ensemble in Collaboration with Fides Krucker
Preview: Thursday, August 23
Regular Run: Friday, August 24 & Saturday, August 25
Preview, $25 General Admission Regular Run, $15 Student / Industry
In a cafe at the edge of the world, a group of wayward performers present “The Brink!,” an avant garde cabaret about longing and music, growing up and falling apart; about the ground beneath us shifting too quickly, and the world becoming unrecognizable. Drawing from American pop songs and jazz standards, the poetry of Gertrude Stein, and Ann Carson’s “The Gender of Sound,” the ensemble slides past the edge of reason in this unfettered encounter with the stranger inside.


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