OK, I have some good options for this weekend’s $20 play. And I don’t know of any conflicts I have that will make me a biased critic. That’s nice for a change, eh? Do you have a better suggestion for me? Tell me in the comments.

XIII Pocket at Steppenwolf Garage Rep, Adore, by Stephen Louis Grush: Steppenwolf’s website is having some kind of problem at the moment, which is a bummer. Sucks to lose a ticket sale because of a broken website. The play is apparently based on the true story of a German cannibal who finds a lover-slash-willing-victim, and it closes soon. Full price for a Garage Rep show is $20.

New Leaf Theatre, Curse of the Starving Class, by Sam Shepard: New Leaf wowed me with this eloquent articulation of their new, and clearly well though-out, business plan. If more Chicago storefront theaters could engage in this level of self-awareness and analysis, they’d be in better shape. Full price is $18.

The Hypocrites, Cabaret, music and lyrics by Kander & Ebb and book by Joe Masteroff: I’m not a huge fan of musicals, having worked on too many in high school, college and summerstock. but The Hypocrites have a reputation for remaking overdone theatrical work into something new and exciting (e.g., Our Town, now in open run in NYC). This production is at the DCA Theater. Full price is $25, but with my student ID, $15.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare, with new introductory scenes by Neil LaBute: This only falls into the $20 range due to a special promo for those of us privileged to be under 35 years of age (use the UNDER35 promo code when ordering online). I know this will probably be beautiful to look at, because it’s Chicago Shakes. The Neil LaBute intro scenes are actually the most interesting thing to me about this–that and the fact that I won’t be under 35 forever…  WAIT… nevermind. The UNDER35 promo is not available on Saturday night (which I understand), and I’m busy on Sunday. Maybe I’ll save this one for another week. If you are interested, the promo is currently available for tonight and both Sunday performances.

And speaking of theater this weekend, here is a shameless plug for BackStage Theatre Company. BackStage is celebrating its 10th Anniversary Season with a 10th Birthday Party on Sunday night! We’ve got food, drinks, a raffle with great prizes, song, laughs, a raffle with great prizes, a chance to subscribe early to Season 11, and a raffle with great prizes… I’ll be there, and I hope to see you, too. Reserve your spot here. If you don’t live in Chicagoland, and still want to help a great company make great art, there will be a special raffle drawing for you extra-regionals for a Visa giftcard. $10 bucks and great odds!