Marquette Theatre announces 2021-22 season, including return to in-person performances

Marquette Theatre has announced the schedule for its 47th annual season, “Together Again.” Performances will return to live theatre in the Evan and Marion P. Helfaer Theatre located at 1304 W. Clybourn St.  

The season begins with a classic comedy pairing of Neil Simon’s “California Suite” alongside Shakespeare’s comical battle of the sexes, “The Taming of the Shrew.” It continues with “Melancholy Play,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Pinkalicious the Musical.” 

“The theme for our new season is ‘Together Again.’ We really wanted to come up with a theme that highlights the fact that our characters are reunited on stage and with their audience,” said Jamie Cheatham, associate professor in theatre arts and artistic director. “I believe this theme is particularly relevant now. Life is slowly switching back to normal and people can finally replace their desktops with the theatre stage and be, as our theme says, ‘Together Again.’ 

“We are more than excited to have our audience back in the Helfaer Theatre, and we believe that they will enjoy the program that we created for them. We focused on preparing a program that is a mix of musicals and comedies, and that will evoke happiness and bring smiles to their faces. In the middle of a global pandemic, that is something that we in the theatre believe our audiences need.” 

For more information about performances, please contact the Helfaer Box Office at (414) 288-7504 or 

California Suite (Oct. 1-2, 9-10, 15-16) 

By Neil Simon 

A classic Neil Simon comedy set in the Beverly Hills Hotel, this full-length farce features four playlets all set in the same suite and featuring various middle-aged couples wrestling humorously with a range of issues—from infidelity to the Academy Awards. A divorced couple must learn to cope for the sake of their daughter and best friends turn to enemies. Five couples in all are played by four very talented actors. This production introduces Marquette’s Second Stage Series, using limited scenery and costumes and placing the focus on the acting. It will play in rotation with The Taming of the Shrew. 

“California Suite” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.  

The Taming of the Shrew (Oct. 2-3, 8-9, 16-17) 

By William Shakespeare 

Shakespeare’s comical battle of the sexes brings Kate and Petruchio head-to-head on the Helfaer stage. Petruchio has come to Padua to find a wealthy wife. In finding Kate, the daughter of a local merchant, he discovers more than he bargained for. Not only is Kate a match for his fiery temper and agile wit, but she also proves to be his perfect partner. Comical subplots and sidekicks abound. “The Taming of the Shrew” plays in rotation with “California Suite” in a new acting-focused Second Stage Series. 

Melancholy Play (Nov. 12-14, 17-21) 

By Sarah Ruhl 

What do you do when your friends begin to turn into almonds? Sarah Ruhl’s farce addresses this dilemma and more. “Melancholy Play” is a charming story of a young woman named Tilly who is prone to melancholy. Yet her sorrow is so strangely appealing that no one can resist falling in love with her. A circle of friends comes together in this delightful comedy about the sadness that will leave you smiling. 

“Melancholy Play” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.  

Mamma Mia! (April 1-3, 6-10) 

Music and Lyrics by: Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and some songs with Stig Anderson
Book by: Catherine Johnson
Originally conceived by Judy Craymer 

This charming musical is based on the music of ABBA, one of the most popular international pop groups of all time. Sophie is about to be married, and she’d like her father to give her away. There’s just one problem – she just doesn’t know who he is. Secretly, she invites her mother’s three past lovers in order to solve the mystery. Romance and comedy fill this musical story set on a Greek Island. This show will be guest-directed by Tony Clements, who appeared in the Broadway and National Tour productions of Mamma Mia! 

“Mamma Mia!” is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.  

Pinkalicious the Musical (May 14-15, 21) 

Book by: Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann
Music by: John Gregor
Lyrics by: John Gregor
Based on the book Pinkalicious by Elizabeth Kann and Elizabeth Kann 

Based on the original book by Victoria and Elizabeth Kahn, this fun musical is about a young girl’s misadventures when she eats too many pink cupcakes and turns pink. Pinkalicious and the whole Pinkerton family learn lessons about moderation and acceptance – as well as the virtues of eating their greens! 

“Pinkalicious, the Musical” is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide,1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036.