"Rock of Ages" is coming to the Broadway Playhouse.

"Rock of Ages" is coming to the Broadway Playhouse. (May 24, 2012)

School is winding down and the days are stretching out, which is the perfect time for fun at the old ballpark, beach, street fair, and all the other seasonal frolics that Chicagoans dream about during the dreary winter months. But don't forget that theater is a round-the-calendar enterprise. Whether you're looking for musicals, family shows, outdoor classics, or storefront gems, the list below should get you started.


"Immediate Family"

Chicago-bred actor and playwright Paul Oakley Stovall brings it home with this comedic Hyde Park family reunion, in which — of course — startling secrets are revealed. Phylicia Rashad of "The Cosby Show" and many Broadway outings directs this independent production, presented in association with About Face Theatre. Goodman Theatre; June 2-July 8

"Three Sisters"

No, it's not the return of the Weston girls from "August: Osage County." Tracy Letts tackles Chekhov's trio of unhappy siblings in this new adaptation, directed by Anna Shapiro. Steppenwolf Theatre; June 28-Aug. 26


For its 10th anniversary, Regina Taylor remounts her popular musical (based on the documentary photography book "Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats"), in which a grieving Brooklyn-born girl finds solace in her family of southern "church ladies." The cast includes longtime powerhouse favorites E. Faye Butler and Felicia Fields. Goodman Theatre; June 30-Aug. 5

"Blue Man Group"

They've been around so long that they're easy to overlook, but the Men in Blue (which now sometimes includes women underneath the indigo latex) offer up a fun, loud, and — if you're in one of the front rows, messy — show that is one of those rare events perfect for families, tourists, and date nights. Briar Street Theatre; open run

"Million Dollar Quartet"

A jukebox musical with an intimate edge, this portrait of the night that Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley all tore it up at Sam Phillips' seminal Sun Records studio in Memphis continues to pack them in. Apollo Theater; open run

"Rock of Ages"

Jumping forward in time from the Sun Records heyday (and arguably backward in taste), this touring production of the show that celebrates All Things Hair-Metal settles in for a summer sojourn off Boul Mich, rather than Sunset Strip. Broadway Playhouse; June 5-Aug. 5

"A Steady Rain"

Keith Huff's break-out hit about the disintegrating lives of two Chicago cops, first produced by Chicago Dramatists, went to Broadway, where plucky regular-guy unknowns named Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman did the honors. It returns with original director Russ Tutterow and original actors Randy Steinmeyer and Peter DeFaria as the first production for the new Chicago Commercial Collective. Chicago Dramatists; July 7-Sept. 2

"Death and Harry Houdini"

House Theatre of Chicago's smash hit returns from a short run in Florida to once again mesmerize audiences, up close. Chopin Theatre; July 7-Aug. 17

"La Soiree"

The brand-new Riverfront Theater at the Chicago Tribune Freedom Center opens May 30 with the 12 Tenors and offers a wide array of spectacles all summer, but this adults-only concoction, blended from equal parts cabaret, burlesque, circus, and other variety flavorings, promises something out of the ordinary under the new Big Top. Riverfront Theater; July 18-Aug. 5