Photo Credits: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara
THE LEADER IN THE U.S. FOR THEATER,
SPRINGS INTO THE SUMMER SEASON
Summer 2013 will bring a wealth of new works to Chicago stages, closing out this season with some of the most exciting theater in the country, and holding Chicago’s place as a leader on the national scene. Offerings from the city’s more than 200 producing theaters includes a range of special summer programming, featuring everything from the latest musicals and highly anticipated world premieres to updated classics.
In support, the League of Chicago Theatres has created a comprehensive Summer Theatre Guide that is now available at hotels, theaters, and Hot Tix locations across the Chicago area. An updated list of summer shows with additional details about each production will be available throughout the season at www.chicagoplays.com.
This summer will see a line-up of new theater on Chicago stages - work that is of the caliber and variety that our theater community is known for,” says Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “The standard of productions we saw this fall earned theatres throughout the city great critical and popular success. As we near the close of this theatrical season, we are looking forward to seeing Chicago’s dynamic, creative, and vibrant play offerings, ranging from world premieres to anniversary productions, family-friendly shows to hard-hitting dramas.”
This summer, a number of notable theater artists have chosen to make Chicago their artistic home. Just a few of the notable artists working in Chicago include David Schwimmer, Mary Zimmerman, Rhea Perlman, Keith Huff, Neil LaBute, and Norbert Leo Butz.
The following is a selection of notable work playing in Chicago throughout the summer:
Mary Zimmerman adapts and directs the new musical The Jungle Book based on Rudyard Kipling’s time-honored children’s tales. The show, which features music from the classic Disney film, plays at the Goodman Theatre, June 27 – July 28, 2013.
All aboard for Anything Goes, winner of three 2011 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and Choreography. Anything Goes is currently running through May 5, 2013 at Broadway in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.
**Highly recommended! ChiIL Live Shows caught opening night and adored this old school, Cole Porter classic. This is a great multigenerational show you can bring the kids and grandparents to.**
The musical Barnum by Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart continues at The Mercury Theater through June 16, 2013.
From the creators of South Park comes a new Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical. The Book of Mormon runs through September 08, 2013 at the Bank of America Theatre. Contains explicit language.
**This is one of the funniest shows out there and a true joy to see. I expected IRREVERENT, but I was surprised by just how RELEVANT this show is. ChiIL Live Shows caught opening night and I was blindsided by just how deeply dead on and multilayered this production is. I would not take kids or conservative, religious relatives to this one, but highly recommend it none the less. The Book of Mormon is one of our top picks for the year for sure!**
Black Ensemble Theater’s latest musical written and directed by Jackie Taylor and Rueben Echoles In Memory of Howlin Wolf (Ain’t No Crying the Blues), runs June 01 – August 11, 2013.
**ChiIL Live Shows has been impressed with Black Ensemble Theater and writer/director Jackie Taylor in particular for years.**
Broadway in Chicago presents Buddy¸ the true story of Buddy Holly’s meteoric rise to fame until his tragic death. Buddy runs June 18 – 30, 2013 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.
Emerald City Theatre’s production of Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, adapted from the National Theatre in London, runs June 15 – September 1, 2013 at the Broadway Playhouse.
The hit musical Million Dollar Quartet continues through September 2013 at the Apollo Theater.
**Highly recommended! I took the kids (9 & 11 at the time) and they completely dug it. We even got in on a sweet back stage tour and meet n greet with the cast after. If you plan to bring the family, there are monthly family nights with goody bags, free kids tickets, and more!
**Click here to check out our past Million Dollar Quartet coverage.
The smash hit Broadway tour of West Side Story returns to Chicago’s Oriental Theatre, June 11 – 16, 2013.
**Highly recommended! I took Sage the last time this classic came through town and we had a thoroughly enjoyable Mom & Daughter Date.
**Click here to check out our past West Side Story review & coverage.
New Works and adaptations:
*Chicago Children’s Theatre in association with Redmoon Theater premieres The Elephant and the Whale, conceived by Redmoon's Frank Maugeri, with an original story and songs by Seth Bockley with composer Kevin O’Donnell. The Elephant and the Whale runs through May 26, 2013 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts.
**Highly recommended! We're giving away 2 family 4 packs of tickets at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows. Check back soon for our exclusive video interview with 3 of the creative masterminds behind this amazing production including, Frank Maugeri, Leslie Buxbaum Danzig and David Catlin.**
Steppenwolf presents ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney’s world-premiere drama Head of Passes, directed by Tina Landau, through June 9, 2013.
**ChiIL Live Shows caught opening night and we highly recommend it. The set design is stunning and the acting and production values are world class.
Bruce Graham’s new play Stella & Lou premieres at Northlight Theatre in a production directed by BJ Jones and starring Rhea Perlman, May 3 – June 9, 2013.
Silk Road Rising presents the world premiere of The Lake Effect by playwright Rajiv Joseph, directed by Timothy Douglas, through May 26, 2013.
Halena Kays directs the world premiere of Jay Torrence’s Chicago story Ivywild at The Hypocrites, April 30 – June 16, 2013.
**ChiIL Live Shows is very much looking forward to this one. Worlds Collide Alert: a friend of ours and former teacher at @CircEsteem, the uber talented @Anthony Courser is in this one! If that's not enough we've got two words for theatre fanatics out there... @Halena Kays. Need we say more?!
Christine Mary Dunford adapts and directs the New York Times Best-Selling novel Still Alice by Lisa Genova at Lookingglass Theatre through May 25, 2013.
**Of course we always have high expectations for Lookingglass. This time they've taken on a different Alice than their playful namesake heroine, although this Alice is nonetheless heroic indeed. Explore the insidious amnesia that early onset Alzheimer brings, with this poignant and powerful production. The set design is simple, but the use of projection adds immensely. The duality of the main character being played by two is also a highly effective narrative device. ChiIL Live Shows caught opening night and we highly recommend it.
Steep Theatre presents the US Premiere of The Knowledge by John Donnelly and directed by Jonathan Berr, through May 25, 2013.
TimeLine Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of JT Rogers acclaimed Blood and Gifts, directed by Nick Bowling, May 9 – July 28, 2013. Lookingglass Theatre Company presents Big Lake Big City by Keith Huff and directed by Ensemble Member David Schwimmer. Big Lake Big City runs June 19 – July 28, 2013.
InFusion Theatre Company presents the new work, Fight Girl Battle World by Qui Nguyen and directed by Mitch Golob. Fight Girl Battle World will be presented at Theater Wit, May 14 – June 16, 2013.
The Strange Tree Group premieres Elizabeth Bagby’s The Half-Brothers Mendelssohn at Signal Ensemble Theatre from June 18 – July 20, 2013.
Bailiwick Chicago premieres Mahal, written by Danny Bernardo and directed by Erica Weiss at Stage 773, June 26 – August 04, 2013.
Profiles Theatre premieres the revised stage version of Neil LaBute’s In the Company of Men, May 10 – June 30, 2013.
Shakespeare’s Henry VIII receives its first production at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, directed by Barbara Gaines. Runs April 30 – June 16, 2013.
Mary Arrchie There Company remounts their re-imagined hit production of Tennessee Williams’ classic play The Glass Menagerie at Theater Wit. Runs May 22 – June 30, 2013.
Shakespeare is spun out and lyrically rewritten over with original beats by the Q Brothers in Othello: The Remix at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Runs through June 15, 2013.
**ChiIL Live Shows caught opening night and we dug this updated, high energy twist. Highly recommended for tweens and up.**
Charles Newell directs The Misanthrope and Tartuffe at Court Theatre The Misanthrope runs May 09 – June 16, 2013. Tartuffe runs June 20 – July 14, 2013.
About Chicago theater
Chicago theater is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theaters throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theaters in the country, including 5 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theaters serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In 2009-10 alone Chicago theater companies produced more than 130 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year Chicago theaters send new work to resident theaters across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.
The League of Chicago Theatres’ Mission Statement
The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theaters which leverages its collective strength to promote, support and advocate for Chicago's theater industry locally, nationally and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theater in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theaters and theater professionals.
For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago website, www.chicagoplays.com . Discounted tickets are available at www.hottix.com.
Fun for the whole family.... ChiIL out and see a show!