* in the Wake of Racial Violence, a Chicago Songwriter's Music Goes from Mellow
* In the wake of racial violence, a Chicago songwriter's music goes from mellow to militant in "Doo Lister's Blues," Terry Abrahamson's examination of a turbulent era as seen through the eyes of a barber turned musician. National Pastime Theater presents the Chicago-area premiere of Abrahamson's revised version of the play which was workshopped in 1999 at the DuSable Museum of African American History. The show opens Friday, Oct. 1, at 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago. (773) 327-7077 or npt2.com.
* Previews begin Friday, Oct. 1, for Victory Gardens Theater's production of Edward Albee's "At Home At the Zoo," which pairs his 1959 play "The Zoo Story" -- about an encounter between uptight book editor Peter and desperate outcast Jerry -- with a new prequel titled, "Homelife," examining the marriage between Peter and his wife, Ann. Dennis Zacek, former Victory Gardens artistic director, helms the production starring Tom Amandes, Annabel Armour and Marc Grapey. It opens Monday, Oct. 11, at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.
* "The Merchants of Bollywood," a dance show chronicling the rise of the world's largest film industry, comes to the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago, as part of its North American premiere. The performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, and Saturday,
Oct. 2. (800) 982-2787 or
* Redtwist theatre salutes the season with its world premiere "Dracula: A Tragedy," adapted by Mark Mason from Bram Stoker's novel. The late-night, adults-only show opens at 11:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, and runs daily except Thursdays through Oct. 31, at 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago. (773) 728-7529 or redtwist.org.
* Salsation Theatre Company presents "It Takes a Village, People!" its first gay-themed show examining love and family within the Latino community. It opens Saturday, Oct. 2, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919
N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.
* The European collaborative Supermamas brings their performance piece "Empire (Art & Politics)" -- an examination of how economics, money and entertainment impact history -- to the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3. (312) 397-4010 or mcachicago.org.
* The Annoyance Theatre remounts its 2009 hit "Salem! The Musical" just in time for Halloween. The show opens Saturday, Oct. 2, and runs through Nov. 13, at 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago. (773) 561-4665 or theannoyance.com.
* Expect some bits from The Capitol Steps' latest release "Liberal Shop of Horrors" and their holiday CD "Barackin' Around the Christmas Tree," when the long-running comedy troupe returns to the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.
* The Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, hosts a women's only fundraiser featuring wine, hors d'oeuvres, shopping and a performance of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3. Tickets are $50 and are available at metropolisarts.com or (847) 577-2121.
* Previews begin Sunday, Oct. 3, for Light Opera Works' production of "I Do! I Do!" the Harvey Schmidt-Tom Jones musical chronicling a couple's relationship. Rudy Hogenmiller directs Catherine Lord and Larry Adams in the two-person show that opens Friday, Oct. 8, at LOW's second stage at 1420 Maple Ave., Evanston. (847) 869-6300 or lightoperaworks.com.
* The all Latina theater company Teatro Luna continues its 10th anniversary season with Diane Herrera's new play "Lullaby," a fantastical examination of motherhood that incorporates Big Foot, werewolves, aliens and mermaids. Previews begin Monday, Oct. 4, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 878-5862 or teatroluna. …