PORTAGE PARK — The ninth season of shows at the Filament Theatre at Six Corners will include a performance on two wheels, a show at Community Tavern and a folk-musical retelling of the classic fairy tale "Pinocchio," officials said.
The season begins Jan. 22 with the ensemble's reimagination of "Pinocchio" as a "folk musical" designed to appeal to the whole family.
The formerly itinerant ensemble moved to Portage Park in 2013 and transformed the former furniture warehouse at 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. into a performance venue.
The group hopes the theater will become a community hub in the Six Corners Shopping District, a desire shared by Ald. John Arena (45th), who has been working to turn the long-struggling area around Milwaukee Avenue, Cicero Avenue and Irving Park Boulevard into an arts and entertainment district.
Arena said the theater has become "a point of pride" in Six Corners.
Kelli Weffenstette, the executive director of the Six Corners Association, credits the theater with adding to the "vitality, visibility and excitement" of the shopping district, where nearly two dozen new businesses have opened in recent years.
Filament Theatre Artistic Director Julie Ritchey said the ensemble has been inspired by Portage Park and Six Corners.
"In our ninth season, we are particularly looking forward to a season comprised entirely of world premieres and new works, all homegrown in Chicago," Ritchey said in a statement.
In May, a new version of the "Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Portage Park," will be performed.
The interactive performance will send audience members through the streets of Portage Park to solve a whodunit via bicycles or on foot.
Described as a "geographically sprawling, unapologetically silly, mystery and adventure," the play was written by Jessica Wright Buha.
In September, the Filament Theatre will perform Andy Lampl's adaptation of Cynthia Rylant's "The Van Gogh Cafe," at Community Tavern, 4038 N. Milwaukee Ave., across the street from the theater.
A tasting menu designed by Community Chef Joey Beato will accompany the theatrical vignettes, theater officials said.
The season will conclude in November with a new production of "Crossing Six Corners," the fifth in a series of performances based on the lives and memories of residents of the Far Northwest Side.
The performances of "Crossing Six Corners" will be free, theater officials said.
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