One of the most visually oriented companies in town, Lookingglass produces original shows and unusual literary adaptations in a highly physical, imaginative style. These shows emphasize the look of a show as much as the acting, whether it's having performers wade through a giant shallow pool or take to the air on trapeze. The company, founded by graduates of Northwestern University (including Friend David Schwimmer), stages several shows each year, many of which are world premieres. The intimate theater seats a max of 240, and there’s not a bad seat in the house (the balcony seats are especially good). It’s located within an architectural landmark, the Water Tower Pumping Station, which withstood the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Ensemble member Mary Zimmerman -- who won a Tony Award for best director for Metamorphoses -- has built a national reputation for her creative interpretations of literature, so if she's directing a show while you're in town, don't miss it. Schwimmer also appears here occasionally, as either an actor or a director. Another plus for visitors is the theater's North Michigan Avenue location, which is a short walk from many downtown hotels.