Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community, the book is edited by Tracy Baim and features the contributions of more than 20 prominent historians and journalists. It is published by Surrey Books, an Agate imprint, and is hard cover, 224 pages, 4-color, with nearly 400 photos.
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Blood and Gifts, TimeLine Theatre, through July 28. We got into the Afghani hell of Islamic politics and blood revenge by doing to the USSR in the 1980s what they did to us in Vietnam: backing their enemy, who became the Taliban. It's a sad story written and acted with passion. JA

By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, Goodman Theatre, through June 2. You might think that you're watching an actual bio-drama documenting the career of a long-ignored African-American actress in the early days of the Hollywood film industry, instead of Lynn Nottage's pinpoint-wicked parody satirizing fashions in prejudices. MSB

In the Company of Men, Profiles Theatre at The Main Stage, through June 30. Provocateur playwright and filmmaker Neil LaBute transforms the controversial 1997 film that launched his career back into a juicy stage drama. This fine production shows the underhanded lengths two men go to manipulate an unwitting woman's affections in a morally corrupt game. SCM

Othello: the Remix, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, through June 15. Hip-hop Shakespearians, the Q Brothers, tackle their first tragedy and come up with a four-actor precision version that's clever, joyful, musical, extremely funny and yet respects the original. Their best work yet. JA

—By Abarbanel, Barnidge

and Morgan

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