Fancy a little ballyhoo after your hullabaloo—or vice versa? Apparently Steppenwolf Theatre Company doesn’t like to see an evening’s entertainment come to an end either. Hence the After Party: a late-night addendum to Garage Rep, Steppenwolf’s annual showcase of productions by small Chicago theaters. You’re not obliged to attend one, however, in order to see the other.
First on TAP is an expanded edition of Salonathon (3/7), the artists’ gathering that typically runs on Mondays at Beauty Bar in Noble Square. Paper Mice and Spektral Quartet (3/14) match experimental chops in a duel that pits the former’s “spastic, freakish postpunk” against the latter’s classical-contemporary juxtapositions. A runner-up in the Reader readers’ poll for best actress of 2012, Shannon Matesky solos in She Think She Grown (3/21), her autobiographical play about coming of age. Next, Route 66 Theatre presents Next Stop: A New Chicago Musical (3/28 and 4/11), a collection of scenes by eight local playwrights, united by Diana Lawrence’s original music and a CTA-el-station theme.
Kicking things off in April is the City Life Supplement (4/4), offering a Prairie Home Companion-inspired variety show that includes segments like “Lost in the City” and “A Helluva Month in Raven’s Park.” And Windy City Soul Club (4/18) wraps TAP up with a blowout featuring Chicago DJs who play soul, Motown, and dance hits on the original vinyl.