Saturday, May 21, 2016

OPENING: Commedia dell’arte Comedy One Man, Two Guvnors at Court Theatre

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Court Theatre presents the Midwest Premiere of
One Man, Two Guvnors
by Richard Bean
based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni
with songs by Grant Olding
directed by Artistic Director Charles Newell

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we adore the commedia dell’arte style and are eagerly anticipating this show. We'll be there tonight for the press opening. Check back soon for our full review.

May 12 – June 12, 2016
Court Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Charles Newell and Executive Director Stephen J. Albert, presents the Midwest Premiere of Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors, based on Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters, with songs by Grant Olding and directed by Artistic Director Charles Newell. One Man, Two Guvnors runs May 12 – June 12, 2016 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue in Chicago. 

Regular Run: May 22 – June 12, 2016
Schedule: Wed & Thurs: 7:30 p.m.
Fridays: 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 3:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sundays: 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Location: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.
Tickets: $35-$45 previews
$45-$65 regular run

Box Office: Located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472 or

“This production continues Court’s exploration into works that enable our artists to revive, re-examine, and reconsider previous texts that are enduring,” comments Artistic Director Charles Newell. “Richard Bean’s play is an adaption of The Servant of Two Masters, Carlo Goldoni’s 18th century classic. The original is that rare thing: a wonderfully amusing piece of commedia dell’arte. This adaptation is a glorious comedy with an original mix of satire, songs, and physical comedy.”

Set in 1963 on the coast of Brighton, Francis Henshall is separately employed by two men: local gangster Roscoe Crabbe, and upper-class criminal Stanley Stubbers. Francis tries to keep the two from meeting and discovering his secret, but Roscoe is really Rachel Crabbe in disguise—her twin brother Roscoe was killed by her lover, who happens to be Stanley Stubbers! One man, two jobs. How hard could it be?

An incredible cast of Chicago actors come together for a rollicking jaunt through crooked schemes, cross-dressing twins, and general buffoonery in this riotous summer delight.

One Man, Two Guvnors features Elisa Carlson (Ensemble/Musician), Chaon Cross (Pauline Clench), Allen Gilmore (Lloyd Boateng), Alex Goodrich (Alan Dangle), Francis Guinan (Charlie Clench), Derek Hasenstab (Ensemble/Musician), Erik Hellman (Stanley Stubbers), Timothy Edward Kane (Francis Henshall), Elizabeth Ledo (Rachael Crabbe), Ross Lehman (Harry Dangle) and Hollis Resnik (Dolly).

About the Artists
CHARLES NEWELL (Director/Artistic Director) was awarded the SDCF Zelda Fichandler Award, “which recognizes an outstanding director or choreographer who is transforming the regional arts landscape through singular creativity and artistry in theatre.” Charlie has been Artistic Director of Court Theatre since 1994, where he has directed over 50 productions. He made his Chicago directorial debut in 1993 with The Triumph of Love, which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production. Charlie’s productions of Man of La Mancha and Caroline, or Change have also won Best Production Jeffs. Other directorial highlights at Court include Satchmo at the Waldorf, Agamemnon, The Secret Garden, Iphigenia in Aulis, The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, Proof, Angels in America, An Iliad, Porgy and Bess, Three Tall Women, Titus Andronicus, Arcadia, Uncle Vanya, Raisin, The Glass Menagerie, Travesties, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Invention of Love, and Hamlet. Charlie has also directed at Goodman Theatre (Rock ‘n’ Roll), Guthrie Theater (The History Cycle, Cymbeline), Arena Stage, John Houseman’s The Acting Company (Staff Repertory Director), the California and Alabama Shakespeare Festivals, Juilliard, and New York University. He has served on the Board of TCG, as well as on several panels for the NEA. Opera directing credits include Marc Blitzstein’s Regina (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Rigoletto (Opera Theatre of St. Louis), Don Giovanni and The Jewel Box (Chicago Opera Theater), and Carousel (Glimmerglass Festival). Charlie was the recipient of the 1992 TCG Alan Schneider Director Award, and has been nominated for 16 Joseph Jefferson Director Awards, winning four times. In 2012, Charlie was honored by the League of Chicago Theatres with its Artistic Achievement Award.

ELISA CARLSON (Actor/Musician/US) holds a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance and theater from Indiana University. Elisa is currently a singer and multi-instrumentalist at Howl at the Moon Chicago, entertaining audiences nightly on the piano, violin, drums, and bass. In addition, she is an ensemble member of Barrel of Monkeys, a company member of Innervation Dance Cooperative, and a member of the Chicago-based band, Mechanical Animals. Elisa is also proud to be choreographing Seussical for the Dream Big Performing Arts Workshop this summer, and she is thrilled to be appearing alongside such incredible talent in this production of One Man, Two Guvnors. 

CHAON CROSS (Pauline Clench) Chicago credits include: The Wheel, The Cherry Orchard (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Proof (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination), Uncle Vanya, The Glass Menagerie, Scapin, The Romance Cycle, Phèdre (Court Theatre), Cyrano (Court Theatre and Redmoon Theater), As You Like It, Private Lives, Cymbeline, Troilus and Cressida, The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Macbeth (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Brothers Karamazov (Lookingglass Theatre Company) and Grace (Northlight Theatre). Regional credits include: Lady Windermere's Fan (Milwaukee Repertory Theater) and Pride & Prejudice (Cleveland Play House). TV credits: Chicago Fire (NBC), Boss (Starz) and Detroit 187 (ABC). Film credits: My Dog Skip (Warner Bros).

ALLEN GILMORE (Lloyd Boateng) returns to Court Theatre. He has previously been seen here in Scapin (M. Geronte; BTA nom), Cyrano (Cyrano De Bergerac), Endgame (Hamm), Sizwe Banzi  Is Dead (Sizwe Banzi; Jeff, BTA, Black Excellence noms), Jitney (Turnbo), The Misanthrope (Mlle Arsinoe), Tartuffe (Mme Pernelle), Seven Guitars (King Hedley), Waiting for Godot (Vladimir; Jeff, BTA, Black Excellence noms), and The Good Book (St. Paul and others). In 2014, he became the first black actor to perform the role of Scrooge in Goodman Theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. Other favorite Chicago performances include Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Bynum; Jeff, BTA noms) and The African Company Presents Richard the Third (Papa Shakespeare), both with Congo Square Theatre Company; Argonautika (Typhius) and Arabian Nights (Ishaak of Mosul), both with Lookingglass Theatre; and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (The Player; BroadwayWorld nom) with Writers Theatre. He is a 2015 3Arts prize awardee, a 2015 Lunt-Fontanne fellow, and a proud ensemble member of Congo Square.

ALEX GOODRICH (Alan Dangle) returns to Court Theatre where his credits include The Comedy of Errors. Other Chicago credits include Elf The Musical, On The Town, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, HERO (Jeff Award), For the Boys, How Can You Run With A Shell On Your Back? (Marriott Theatre); Seussical, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Taming of the Shrew, Aladdin, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and How Can You Run..? (Chicago Shakespeare); The Explorers Club (Windy City Playhouse); Shining Lives, A Civil War Christmas, She Stoops to Conquer (Northlight); as well as shows at Next Theater, Timeline, Chicago Children’s Theater, and Provision Theater. 

FRANCIS GUINAN (Charlie Clench) is a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble. With Steppenwolf he has appeared in over 30 productions, including East of Eden, The Night Alive, The Seafarer, The Birthday Party, Time Stands Still, American Buffalo, August: Osage County, Balm in Gilead, and Say Goodnight, Gracie. He has also appeared in productions at Northlight Theatre (White Guy on the Bus, Stella and Lou, Season’s Greetings, and Inherit the Wind), Victory Gardens Theatre (A Guide for the Perplexed), Goodman Theatre (Seagull, Pullman Porter Blues) and American Blues Theatre (Rantoul and Die), Route 66 Theatre (Goldfish). Television appearances include Boss in the role of Gov. Cullen; Eerie, Indiana; ER; Frasier; and several Star Trek franchise episodes. Film roles include appearances in Abundant Acreage Available, The Last Airbender, Typing, Low Tide, and Constantine. 

DEREK HASENSTAB (Actor/Musician) National Tour: Zazu in The Lion King. Regional: Doc in Come Back, Little Sheba (Huntington Theatre), Hermes in Metamorphoses (Arena Stage and Mark Taper Forum), and Tom in The Glass Menagerie (Kansas City Repertory). Chicago: Never The Sinner (Victory Gardens); October Sky (Marriott Lincolnshire); Road Show, Sunday In The Park With George (Chicago Shakespeare); Animals Out of Paper, Disappeared (Steppenwolf); Eastland (Lookingglass); The Game’s Afoot, The Foreigner (Drury Lane Oakbrook); Cloud Nine (After Dark Award), and A Home At The End Of The World (About Face Theatre).

ERIK HELLMAN (Stanley Stubbers) returns to Court Theatre after appearing in The Good Book, Tartuffe, The Misanthrope, Proof (Jeff Award Nomination - Supporting Actor), The Comedy of Errors, The Mystery of Irma Vep (Jeff Award Nomination - Lead Actor), Titus Andronicus, and Arcadia. Chicago credits include Luna Gale (Goodman); Marjorie Prime, Hesperia, and The Frog Prince (Writers’ Theatre); Shining Lives, The Commons of Pensacola, and Lost in Yonkers (Northlight); The Madness of  King George III, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, and Edward II (Chicago Shakespeare); Honest, The Elephant Man, and Huck Finn (Steppenwolf);  Eastland (Lookingglass);  All My Sons (TimeLine); as well as shows at Next, Chicago Dramatists, Remy Bumppo, The House Theatre of Chicago, and as a company member of Strawdog. Outside of Chicago, Erik has appeared at Milwaukee Repertory, Geva, Syracuse Stage, Indianapolis Repertory, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Houston’s Stages Repertory, and Off-Broadway at The Mirror Repertory.  Film/TV work includes The Dark Knight, The Chicago Code, Boss, Betrayal, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD.

TIMOTHY EDWARD KANE (Francis Henshall) returns to Court Theatre having previously appeared in An Iliad (2013 & 2011), The Illusion, Wild Duck, Titus Andronicus, Uncle Vanya, The Romance Cycle, and Hamlet. Chicago credits include: Blood and Gifts (Timeline Theatre Company); Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Arms and the Man (Writers Theatre); The North Plan (Steppenwolf Garage); Lost in Yonkers, The Miser, She Stoops to Conquer (Northlight Theatre); and fourteen productions at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre including: The Comedy Of Errors, A Flea In Her Ear, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 (CST and at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-Upon-Avon), and the upcomingTug of War: Civil Strife. Regional credits: The Mark Taper Forum, Notre Dame Shakespeare, Peninsula Players, and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. TV: Chicago Fire. Education: BS, Ball State University; MFA, Northern Illinois University. He is the recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Awards and an After Dark Award. Kane is married to actress Kate Fry with whom he has two sons.

ELIZABETH LEDO (Rachel Crabbe) returns to Court Theatre where she previously appeared in The Secret Garden, Tartuffe (Jeff award), The Misanthrope, The Illusion, The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus, Uncle Vanya, and The Real Thing. Chicago credits include: The Matchmaker, Boleros for the Disenchanted, and three seasons of A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre); Charm, and The Chalk Garden (Norhtlight Theatre); Le Switch, The Homosexuals, and Say you Love Satan (About Face Theatre); Issac’s Eye and Arms and the Man (Writers Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Amadeus, and Funk it Up About Nothin’ (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); The How and The Why (Timeline Theatre); Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple (Drury Lane Oakbrook); The Old Curiosity Shop (Lookingglass Theatre); Homebody/Kabul and Morningstar (Steppenwolf Theatre). Regional credits include: Richard III, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, The Comedy of Errors, and Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare at Notre Dame); Arcadia (Indiana Repertory Theatre); and over 25 productions with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, including Almost Maine, Anna Karenina, Wit, The Lonesome West, and The Clean House. Ms. Ledo is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago.

ROSS LEHMAN (Harry Dangle) makes his Court Theatre debut. Ross Lehman’s Broadway credits include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Tempest, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Most recently, Ross was seen as Vanya in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the Goodman Theatre, where he also appeared in Waiting for Godot, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Jeff Award), The Rover, A Christmas Carol, and Stage Kiss. Ross last appeared at the The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire as Moonface Martin in Anything Goes. Earlier at the Marriott, he appeared in Hot Mikado, Hairspray, The Producers, and Fiddler on the Roof. At Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, he has been seen most recently as The Fool in King Lear. Among his other CST roles have been Jacques/As You Like It, Feste/Twelfth Night, Dudley Marsh and Dromio of Syracuse/The Comedy of Errors, Thersites/Troilus and Cressida, and Peto, Rumour, and Lord Hastings/Henry IV (at CST and on tour to the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon). Steppenwolf Theatre Company credits: The Man Who Came to Dinner and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. At Apple Tree Theatre: A Man of No Importance (Jeff Award), The Dresser (After Dark Award), and Where's Charlie (Jeff Award). Writer’s Theatre credits: As You Like It and Bach at Leipzig. His reprise of his role as Koko in Hot Mikado in London’s West End production earned him a Laurence Olivier Award nomination. Ross just completed a year as an Artist in Residence at Loyola University.

HOLLIS RESNIK (Dolly) Court theatre productions include: Angels in America, Man of La Mancha, The Good Book, Little Foxes, Learned Ladies, The Cherry Orchard, The Chairs, Carousel, Travesties, An Ideal Husband, and many more. Hollis has also been seen at Goodman Theatre, The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Apollo Theater, Arena Stage, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Long Wharf Theatre. National tours include: Sister Act, Les Miserables, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Awards include the Helen Hayes Award, several Jeff Awards, and two Sarah Siddon Awards. Hollis is the recipient of the 2012 Lunt/Fontaine fellowship and a proud member of Actors Equity.

Now in its 61st season, Court Theatre is guided by its mission to discover the power of classic theatre. Court endeavors to make a lasting contribution to American theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. Court revives lost masterpieces, illuminates familiar texts, and distinguishes fresh, modern classics. Court engages and inspires its audience by providing artistically distinguished productions, audience enrichment activities, and student educational experiences.

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