click to enlarge Fall theater
Escape to Margaritaville at UIS Performing Arts Center on Sept. 28.

The cicadas are singing their late summer serenade and that means things are just starting to heat up again on the theater scene. This season's stage offerings range from new and classic tales, personal stories and dance to comedy.

The UIS Performing Arts Center gets the season underway on Sept. 24 with actor, comedian and screenwriter Rob Schneider and his I Have Issues Tour. On Sept. 28, check out Escape to Margaritaville, a musical comedy featuring both original songs and your most-loved Jimmy Buffett classics – you don't want to miss that party. Then, Tater Salad himself, Ron White, takes the stage on Oct. 14. If you enjoy improv with a little audience participation, check out Whose Live Anyway? on Oct. 16, for 90 minutes of comedy and song. Oct. 21 will bring #IMOMSOHARD: The Getaway Tour, which began as a popular web series by real-life best friends, comedians and moms, Kristin and Jen. The stage shifts gears on Oct. 23 with MasterChef Live, a high-energy, interactive stage production that brings the culinary hit TV shows "MasterChef" and "MasterChef Junior" directly to fans and foodies alike. On Nov. 13, some southern charm will sashay onto the stage with Leanne Morgan and her Big Pantry Tour – a hilarious storytelling about her own life, which seems to resemble everyone else's. On Nov. 18, be sure to catch the musical drama, Rent. This 25th Anniversary Farewell Season of Love is your final chance to experience this celebrated touring production, so don't miss it. The center's final show of the season is Summer - The Donna Summer Musical, about that girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva.

On Sept. 18, The BoS Center will host Theresa Caputo. The star of the hit TLC show, "Long Island Medium," will share personal stories about her life and explain how her gift works. On Nov. 21, not to be left behind on the comedy trail, the center is bringing Jim Gaffigan: The Fun Tour to its stage where Gaffigan will probably make some hilarious observations about fatherhood, laziness and food.

With a clever combination of the farcical and the macabre, the classic Arsenic and Old Lace hits the stage at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, courtesy of Springfield Theatre Centre, on Oct. 8-10 and Oct. 15-17. In November, the theater will present the two-time Tony Award-winning musical, American Idiot, based on Green Day's Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album. The theater will lead us into the holiday season with Elf: The Musical, which is based on the hit motion picture.

The Hoogland Center for the Arts is warming up again, and on Oct. 1-3 and Oct. 8-10 it's opening with a Spencer Theatre Company production, The Audience, the play that inspired the television series, "The Crown." On Oct. 15-16, the center will present The Weir, set in a rural Irish pub with a barman, three men, a woman and their evocative tales.

The Springfield Masonic Center is presenting the local audience with a rare treat on Sept. 24. Give 'Em Hell, Harry! is the Academy Award-nominated play performed by President Harry S. Truman's grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel.

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