What better way to weather a frigid winter’s night than to tuck yourself inside a theater with live, warm bodies in the audience and live, warm actors up on the stage?
Following is a preview of what’s in store behind the curtains and under prosceniums at Pantagraph-area venues, from now through spring thaw.
Barn II Dinner Theatre
Jan. 15-March 1: Is There Life After Fifty?, the back-by-popular-demand farce by Cynthia Haynes DiSavino that was a sold-out 2014 summer hit and is being brought back for seconds.
March 5-April 19: Maid to Order, Tom Taggart's marital farce set against a backdrop of college football, with plenty of passes completed.
April 23-June 7: Smoke on the Mountain, another Barn II encore, this one the popular bluegrass-gospel songfest.
Box office number for the venue north of Goodfield is 309-965-2545.
Jan. 15-25: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck's classic drama, adapted by himself for the stage.
March 12-29: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, musical version of the hit 1988 movie comedy about a pair of con men working the French Riviera.
May 7-17: Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Neil Simon’s autobiographical comedy about his early career experience as a junior writer for TV's "Your Show of Shows."
Box office number for the venue at 201 Robinhood Lane, Bloomington, is 309-663-2121.
Feb. 25-28: Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's romantic tragedy, relocated and updated to modern day America.
April 14-18: August: Osage County, Tracy Letts' drama following an Oklahoma family during the summer when the patriarch disappears.
Performances are in Pritchard Theatre on campus, with ticket information at 309-467-6363.
Heartland Theatre Company
Feb. 12-March 1: Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, Frank McGuinness' drama about three men kidnapped and held hostage in a small cell in Lebanon.
April 9-26: The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams' classic drama set in the home of a faded Southern belle whose life has left her marooned with two children she despairs of understanding.
Box office number for the venue at One Normal Plaza in Normal is 309-452-8709.
Feb. 12-21: Cabaret, the classic Fred Ebb-John Kander musical, which unfolds in and around Germany's decadent Kit Kat Club, circa 1929; Center for the Performing Arts.
Feb. 26-March 6: School for Wives, Moliere's farce about a middle-aged man's hapless attempts to protect his young ward from other men so she can become his wife; Westhoff Theatre.
March 26-April 4: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's comedy of manners, as adapted by Joseph Hanreddy and J.R. Sullivan.
April 16-25: Selkie: Between Land and Sea, Laurie Brooks' coming of age story set on the Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland; Westhoff Theatre
April 23-25: ISU Dance Theatre Spring Concert, featuring works by faculty and guest artists; Center for the Performing Arts.
The box office number for both ISU performance spaces (Westhoff, Center for the Performing Arts) is 309-438-2535.
Feb. 17-22: Where in the World is Frank Sparrow?, Angel Betzien's "modern dark fairy tale," replete with puppets and set in the dangerous streets of one Stab City; McPherson Theatre.
March 19-21: Float, by Patricia King, the spring semester's Laboratory Theatre production.
April 7-11: Losing It, the spring dance theater concert, centered on the idea of "losing it" to dance; McPherson Theatre.
The box office number for both IWU performance spaces (McPherson, Lab Theatre) is 309-556-3232.