On Thursday, I made my third trek in three weeks to the Timber Lake Playhouse – this time to see Jersey Boys, which is about Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons' fascinating rise to fame. The show, boasting music by these early rock-and-roll legends, ran on Broadway from 2005 to 2017, winning four Tonys. I haven't seen the 2014 movie, but even if you have, see this. Seriously.

Steve Martin got famous as a stand-up comic, but in truth, he's a Renaissance man.

I can't believe it's the end of July already. Part of the proof is Genesius Guild's production of The Wasps, now invading Lincoln Park, so prepare to be stung – by laughter! (Yes, I'm ashamed now.) The Wasps is one of the rewritten-for-modern-audiences Greek comedies that traditionally cap the Guild's summer schedule. And this year, as in last, the season-ender was adapted and directed by Calvin Vo and T Green, otherwise known as Haus of Ruckus.

Are you in need of refreshment? The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse offers us an Escape to Margaritaville – just the sunny, tropical-fruit-garnished tonic for those of us who'd love a Caribbean getaway, but can't get away.

Directors Noah Hill and Rebecca Casad, and music directors Ryan J. Hurdle and Katie Griswold, make this smooth production – which boasts ample vulgar language – more delightful and engaging than my already-high hopes anticipated.

Director Dee Canfield and assistant director Mischa Hooker are accomplished actors, and know this stage, the material, and this mythos very well. They've assembled a fine production – one absorbing and enjoyable for everyone, whether you're a Greek geek or not.

I'd been wanting to see author Diana Son's Stop Kiss, which made its off-Broadway debut in 1998, ever since I missed it locally (twice!) – at St. Ambrose University in 2008, and Augustana College in 2017. Therefore, I took my seat on Saturday at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre with anticipation, and director Erika Seabloom, an Ambrose graduate, has assembled many talents to create a polished, satisfying production.

Can you call yourself a theatre buff if you haven't seen a play by Václav Havel?

Prolific theatre pioneer Charles Ludlum wrote some 30 plays; taught; founded an acclaimed theatre company; and acted on stage, film, and TV. His most popular work was 1984's penny dreadful The Mystery of Irma Vep, in which he and his partner Everett Quinton played all the characters, with full costume changes for each entrance. Ludlum's life was cut short by AIDS in 1987. Quinton, who revived the show off-Broadway in 1998, died this past January. And the Black Box Theatre's current production may be seen as a fond tribute to these inspired men.

With its brisk pace, lean hour-and-10-minute duration, lack of intermission, and lively, accomplished cast, this show is so tasty you won't even think about food.

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