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Curtains rising

A sold-out hit last summer, "Is There Life After Fifty?" is being brought back by popular demand to Conklin's Barn II Dinner Theatre in Goodfield, starting Jan. 15.

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.

Community Players

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.

Eureka College

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.

ISU Theatre

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.

IWU Theatre

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.

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