Saturday, September 30, 2017

OPENING: Quixote: On the Conquest of Self at Writers Theatre 9/27-12/17/17

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar: 

Writers Theatre announces first Gillian Theatre production of 2017/18 Season
Quixote: On the Conquest of Self
After Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Written by Mόnica Hoth and Claudio Valdés Kuri
With English translation by Georgina Escobar
Directed by Claudio Valdés Kuri
September 27 – December 17, 2017

Casting revealed for the complete 2017/18 Season

Writers Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma announce the first Gillian Theatre production of the 2017-2018 season – Quixote: On the Conquest of Self, written by Mόnica Hoth and Claudio Valdés Kuri, English Translation by Georgina Escobar, directed by Kuri, and featuring Henry Godinez as Don Quixote, September 27 – December 17, 2017.

Created by acclaimed Mexican director and internationally-recognized artist Claudio Valdés Kuri and featuring a virtuoso performance, this engaging and creative interpretation of the classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes transports audiences between time periods: from the fascinating universes created by Cervantes to the parallel realities of our current world.

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're eagerly anticipating the opening this week of Quixote: On the Conquest of Self, followed by Oscar Wilde’s clever comedy of manners The Importance of Being Earnest directed by Michael Halberstam and featuring Anita Chandwaney, Shannon Cochran, Aaron Todd Douglas, Alex Goodrich, Steve Haggard, Rebecca Hurd, Jennifer Latimore and Ross Lehman.

Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece A Moon for the Misbegotten, directed by William Brown, will feature James DeVita, A.C. Smith and Bethany Thomas, with additional casting still to be announced.

The final production in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre, Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child, directed by Kimberly Senior, will feature, Shannon Cochran, Allen Gilmore, John Hoogenakker, Arti Ishak, Shane Kenyon, Mark Montgomery and Larry Yando. 

The Chicago Premiere of Lydia Diamond’s Smart People, which closes the season in the Gillian Theatre and is directed by Hallie Gordon, will feature Kayla Carter, Erik Hellman and Deanna Myers with additional casting still to be announced.

The 2017-2018 Season marks Writers Theatre’s second full season in the company’s award-winning new home at 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe, designed by Studio Gang Architects. Productions will be presented in two spaces in the theater complex including the 255-seat Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre as well as the Gillian Theatre, a 50 to 99-seat flexible theatre space.

From its very first year, Writers Theatre has brought quality and excellence to the stage while maintaining the company’s hallmark intimacy. The last 25 years have seen unprecedented growth in both the artistic and business arenas as the company has garnered national acclaim and recognition, marked by the celebrated opening of the Theatre’s new facility in February of 2016. With a longstanding reputation for consistent artistic excellence and with strong ties to the community, Writers Theatre has built an award-winning repertoire and serves as a vital and highly regarded company in the Chicagoland theatre community.

“I am so excited to announce our casting for the 2017/2018 season,” said Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. “Furthermore, I couldn’t be happier to welcome Claudio Valdez-Kuri to Writers Theatre, helming his original adaptation of Don Quixote.  I first met Claudio at a National Theatre Conference and was inspired to travel to see his work in Mexico City where he had staged a production of Life’s a Dream by Calderon.  To be able to bring him to Glencoe is the fulfillment of a three-year dialogue and it will definitely have been worth the wait!”

“We have a marvelous line up of actors readying themselves to bring the season to life - a bounty of familiar faces as well as a host of actors new to the company.  2017/2018 promises to be a season like none before - taking full advantage of our new venue while paying homage to the foundations upon which it was built.”

Season Packages are available at the Box Office, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, 847-242-6000 and

Writers Theatre is pleased to welcome back BMO Harris Bank as the distinguished 2017/18 Season Sponsor, marking the Bank’s seventh consecutive year as season sponsor.

The Writers Theatre 2017-2018 Season includes:

Check out our review HERE

World Premiere
Book and Lyrics by Dan Collins
Music by Julianne Wick Davis
Based on the Academy Award-winning film Trevor
Choreography by Josh Prince
Music Direction by Matt Deitchman
Directed by Marc Bruni
August 9 – September 17, 2017 (*Extended Through October 8th)
Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

The cast includes: Ariana Burks (Ensemble), Isabel Kaegi (Ensemble), Eloise Lushina (Mary), Carly Meyer (Ensemble), Jhardon DiShon Milton (Jack), Emma Nelson (Frannie), Reilly Oh (Jason), Salisha Thomas (Diana Ross), Brady Tutton (Pinky), Matthew Uzarraga (Walter), Tori Whaples (Cathy) and Jarrod Zimmerman (Dad/Father Joe/Others). The roles of Trevor, Mom and additional ensemble roles are yet to be announced. 

Meet Trevor, a 13-year-old boy in 1981 whose vibrant imagination drives a turbulent journey of self-discovery. As he deals with adolescence and all that goes with it, Trevor begins to explore what it means to be himself, influenced by his friends, parents . . . and Diana Ross. 

Based on the story that inspired the Academy Award-winning film, the charity and the national movement, TREVOR the musical is a coming-of-age story about identity, emerging sexuality and the struggles of growing up in a world that may not be ready for you.  This world premiere musical is directed by Marc Bruni, who helmed the Tony Award-winning production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway.

The Trevor Project was created as a result of the Academy Award-winning film that also inspired TREVOR the musical. The Trevor Project is the nation’s only accredited crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization focused on saving young LGBTQ lives. 

Henry Godinez as Don Quixote 

US Premiere
After Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Written by Mόnica Hoth and Claudio Valdés Kuri
English Translation by Georgina Escobar
Directed by Claudio Valdés Kuri
September 27 – December 17, 2017
Press Opening: Wednesday, October 4 at 7:30 pm
The Gillian Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

Featuring Henry Godinez as Don Quixote.

This engaging and creative interpretation of the classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes transports audiences between time periods: from the fascinating universes created by Cervantes to the parallel realities of our current world. Along the way, the universally beloved dreamer Don Quixote helps bring new meaning to our triumphs and defeats, reawakening our forgotten desires and celebrating the joys of great literature.

Created by acclaimed Mexican director and internationally recognized artist Claudio Valdés Kuri and featuring a virtuoso performance in WT’s intimate Gillian Theatre, Quixote: On the Conquest of Self will immerse audiences in the story of this eccentric idealist and self-proclaimed knight errant, as they accompany him on a fantastic adventure filled with great humor and poignancy.

Written by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam
November 8 – December 23, 2017
Press Opening: Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30 pm
Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

The cast includes: Anita Chandwaney (Miss Prism), Shannon Cochran (Lady Bracknell), Aaron Todd Douglas (Rev. Canon Chasuble), Alex Goodrich (Jack Worthing), Steve Haggard (Algernon Moncreif), Rebecca Hurd (Cecily Cardew), Jennifer Latimore (Gwendolyn Fairfax) and Ross Lehman (Lane/Merriman).

One of the cleverest comedies by one of the greatest writers in the English language, The Importance of Being Earnest introduces us to Jack and Algernon, two charming bachelors who are each living a double life, aided by a fictional alter ego called “Ernest.” But when they fall truly in love with a pair of proper young women, will they be able to bring an end to the charade and convince the formidable Lady Bracknell that they are suitable candidates for marriage? After all, “the one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.”

Artistic Director Michael Halberstam brings his talent for refreshing the classics to this effervescent comedy of manners. Filled with Wilde’s sparkling wit, piercing social satire and trademark wordplay, this well-loved classic is certain to delight this holiday season!

Written by Eugene O’Neill
Directed by William Brown
February 7 – March 18, 2018
Press Opening: Wednesday, February 14 at 7:30 pm
Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

The cast includes: James DeVita (Jim), A.C. Smith (Phil) and Bethany Thomas (Josie). The roles of Mike Hogan and Stedman Harder are yet to be announced.

In 1920s rural Connecticut, Phil Hogan cobbles together a living on rented farmland that he hopes to someday own outright, when his landlord Jim Tyrone comes into his inheritance. Hogan has driven away his three sons, but his towering daughter Josie understands her father and can hold her own. When the two learn that the land may be sold out from under them, they concoct a plan to save it that ultimately reveals the secret desires that two lonely souls have kept hidden for years.

This bittersweet elegy from four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Nobel laureate Eugene O’Neill offers a moving and powerful exploration of humanity at its basest and most beautiful.  Directed by WT Resident Director William Brown (Company, Doubt: A Parable, The Liar, A Little Night Music and many more), this soaring powerhouse of a play is simultaneously intimate and epic, touching on themes of desire, family and the things we sacrifice for those we love.

Written by Lydia Diamond
Directed by Hallie Gordon
March 21 – June 10, 2018
Press Opening: Wednesday, March 28 at 7:30 pm
The Gillian Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

The cast includes Kayla Carter (Valerie Johnston), Erik Hellman (Brian White) and Deanna Myers (Ginny Yang) with the role of Jackson Moore still to be announced.

Four intelligent, attractive and opinionated young urban professionals—a doctor, an actress, a psychologist, and a neurobiologist studying the human brain’s response to race—search for love, success, and identity while also attempting to navigate the intricacies of racial and sexual politics. This whip-smart new play taps into current cultural conversation in an enthralling and provocative way, taking on deep questions of the nature of prejudice with razor sharp wit.

Staged in WT’s intimate Gillian Theatre, this sexy, serious and fiercely funny new play explores the inescapable nature of racism and other tricky topics with rapid fire dialogue, shattering assumptions about our culture’s ingrained attitudes of racism, sexism and classism. You’re sure to be captivated by one of the smartest new plays of its time!

Written by Sam Shepard
Directed by Kimberly Senior
May 9 – June 17, 2018 
Press Opening: Wednesday, May 16 at 7:30 pm
Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

The cast of Buried Child includes: Shannon Cochran (Haley), Allen Gilmore (Father Dewis), John Hoogenakker (Bradley), Arti Ishak (Shelly), Shane Kenyon (Vince), Mark Montgomery (Tilden) and Larry Yando (Dodge). 

On a cross-country trip from New York to the west coast, Vince and his girlfriend Shelly decide to make a stop at his grandparents’ rural Illinois home. But when they arrive, neither his grandparents, Dodge and Halie, nor his father Tilden and uncle Bradley seem to recognize or remember him. As Vince searches for answers, truths begin to emerge that reveal a deep corrosion of this fragmented family living in a forgotten America.

This Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece will be newly invigorated for the WT stage by Resident Director Kimberly Senior (Hedda Gabler, The Diary Of Anne Frank, Marjorie Prime, The Scene), drawing audiences deeply into the story of a family fighting to come to grips with an America that may have left them behind.

Writers Theatre season ticket packages provide a convenient theatergoing experience and guarantee access to all of WT’s highly anticipated productions throughout the season. Six-play subscription packages are available, ranging in price from $249 to $389.

Three-play “Pick Your Own” Flex packages that include two productions in the Nichols Theatre and one production in the Gillian Theatre start at $199.

Season package subscribers receive exclusive benefits including complimentary ticket exchanges by phone and mail (upgrade fees may apply), a one-year subscription to The Brief Chronicle newsmagazine and more. For a complete list of benefits visit

Season Packages are available at the Box Office, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, 847-242-6000 and

For additional information about the WT Audience Enrichment programs listed below, visit

Pre-Show Conversation: Up Close
Join us at 6:45pm before every Thursday evening performance (excluding previews and extension dates) of Trevor the musical, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Buried Child for a 15-minute primer on the context and content of the play facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Post Show Conversation: The Word
Join us after every Tuesday evening performance (excluding previews and extension dates) for a 15-minute discussion of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Post Show Conversation: The Artist
Join us after every Wednesday evening performance (excluding previews and extension dates) for a 15-minute talk-back featuring actors from the production, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Sunday Spotlight
This one-hour event extends the conversation on our stages by featuring an expert in a field related to the themes or setting of each play, moderated by a member of the WT Artistic Team. Seating is limited. RSVP is required.

The Making of… Series
Writers Theatre will once again host its popular The Making of… Series, providing insight into a different aspect of creating the productions seen on our stages. This one-hour event will feature WT Literary Manager Bobby Kennedy in conversation with an artist associated with each production, discussing their part in bringing the play to life. The Making of… events are FREE and open to the public. Seating is limited. RSVP is required.

From Page to Stage Series
Writers Theatre and select North Shore libraries present the 13th annual From Page to Stage Series. This comprehensive series of special events, lectures, readings and film viewings are designed to enhance and enrich the audience experience of WT productions each season.  All events are FREE of charge and open to the public. For more information about the From Page to Stage Series, visit From Page to Stage is generously sponsored by Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin, who have been supporting the program since its inception 13 years ago.

Writers Theatre also offers Access Performances, including ASL-interpretation and Open Captioning on select dates for each production.  Please visit for more information.

For more than 25 years, Writers Theatre has captivated Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to contemporary theatre and a dedication to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called the top regional theatre in the nation by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry—providing the finest interpretations of both classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues. 

In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home—a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. The new facility, which was recently recognized with LEED Gold Certification for sustainability initiatives, has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy, resonating with and complementing the Theatre’s neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.

Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at or follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter. For more information, visit

SAVE THE DATES: Garry Marshall’s PRETTY WOMAN Pre-Broadway World Premiere at Chicago Oriental Theatre Spring of 2018






Broadway In Chicago and Producer Paula Wagner are thrilled to announce a new musical based on one of the most beloved romantic comedies of all time, Garry Marshall’s PRETTY WOMAN, will have its pre-Broadway World Premiere stage production in Chicago in the spring of 2018 at Broadway In Chicago’s Oriental Theatre (24 W. Randolph) for a strictly limited 5-week engagement beginning March 13 through April 15, 2018.

**PRETTY WOMAN reinvented and redefined the romantic comedy genre by making the world believe in happily-ever-after.**

“With a book by the legendary Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton, PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL will have the heart, humor, warmth and joy of the film, with a stunning original score by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance,” said producer Paula Wagner. “Our director Jerry Mitchell has expanded the narrative and storytelling of this acclaimed romantic comedy.  He brings his unique perspective to the story which illuminates the characters and provides a new and satisfying emotional resonance.  And finally we found our ‘Vivian’ and ‘Edward’ in the gorgeous, triple-threat, Samantha Barks, and one of Broadway’s most dashing and talented leading men, Tony and Grammy Award winner Steve Kazee.  ‘Vivian’ and ‘Edward’ meet under unlikely circumstances and go on a journey that allows them to discover their own self-worth.  Self-empowerment is integral to the reason why these two lost souls are able to fall in love and we now have two amazing, charismatic actors with incredible chemistry to take audiences on that journey.” 

“From the first time I saw this magical movie I felt it cried out to be a musical.  PRETTY WOMAN is a classic story with a very contemporary message. I think we all want to fall deeply in love with someone - it is something you never stop hoping for,” said director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell. “I got to work with Garry for over a year on this musical adaptation and experienced firsthand his sense of humor, his joy, his uplifting attitude in life, and mostly his love for these characters…I want that to infuse what I am doing with PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL as he is the true heart of this story.”

“PRETTY WOMAN is an iconic title, and after attending an early workshop, I was passionate for the Nederlander Organization to host this new musical, not only in Chicago but also on Broadway,” said theatre producer and operator James L Nederlander. “This adaptation has all the heart of the film wrapped in a big, musical comedy.”

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL is produced by Paula Wagner, Nice Productions, LPO, New Regency Productions, Roy Furman, James L. Nederlander, Caiola Productions, Hunter Arnold, Stage Entertainment and The John Gore Organization.

For more information visit:

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL will be part of the next Broadway In Chicago Season Subscription Series which will go on sale to the public on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.  Group tickets for 10 or more for PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL at the Oriental Theatre are on sale now by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710.  Individual tickets will go on sale at a later date to be announced.  For more information, visit

Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 17 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country.  A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining well up to 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, Oriental Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

For more information, visit
 Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ● Instagram @broadwayinchicago ● #broadwayinchicago

Samantha Barks (Vivian) garnered rave reviews and acclaim for her performance as Éponine in Universal’s film adaptation of Les Misérables, directed by Tom Hooper starring alongside Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, and Anne Hathaway.  She received the Breakout Award at Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year Awards, Best Female Newcomer by the Empire Awards, the Spotlight Award from the Hollywood Film Festival, and was nominated for Young British Performer of the Year by the London Critics Circle.  In 2008, Barks competed in the UK television program “I'd Do Anything” in which she was one of the finalists in a search for a new, unknown lead to play Nancy in a West End revival of Oliver!, Barks’ career on the West End includes starring in The Donmar Warehouse’s production of City of Angels, Honeymoon in Vegas, Oliver!, The Last Five Years and Les Misérables.  Other theater credits include Velma in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s production of Chicago at The Hollywood Bowl, and  her critically acclaimed performance of the title role in the world premiere of Amelie at Berkley Rep.  Barks’ film credits include The Christmas Candle, Bitter Harvest, The Revenger and Interlude in Prague. 

**PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL will star rising stage, television and film actress Samantha Barks as ‘Vivian’ opposite Tony Award winner and Grammy Award winner Steve Kazee as ‘Edward’.**

Steve Kazee (Edward) won the 2012 Tony Award for “Best Actor in a Musical” and the 2013 Grammy for Musical Theater Album, for his role in Once as Guy. Other Broadway credits include Monty Python’s Spamalot as Sir Lancelot, Starbuck opposite Audra McDonald in the Roundabout’s 110 in the Shade, To Be or Not to Be at MTC, and Edward Albee’s Seascape. Regional theater credits include The Subject Was Roses (Kennedy Center, Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Actor alongside Bill Pullman and Judith Ivey), and Off-Broadway credits include As You Like It (NYSF). Television work includes “Legends” (TNT), “Nashville,” “Shameless” (Showtime), “Working Class” opposite Melissa Peterman, “100 Questions” (NBC), “CSI” (CBS), “NCIS” (CBS), “Numb3rs” (CBS), “Medium” (NBC), and “Conviction” (NBC). MFA in acting from NYU’s Tisch Graduate Acting Program.

Jerry Mitchell (Director and Choreographer) is currently represented on Broadway with the 2013 Tony-Award winning Best Musical, Kinky Boots for which he received the Tony Award in recognition of his choreography, and a Best Director nomination. Recently his work was seen on Broadway as director of the Gloria Estefan bio-musical, On Your Feet, as choreographer of NBC television’s production of “Hairspray, Live,” and was nominated for an Olivier Award for his choreography in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which he also directed and co-produced in the West End. In the 35 preceding years, Jerry has been involved with over 50 Broadway, Off-Broadway, West End and touring productions, starting as a dancer for Agnes De Mille in Brigadoon and thereafter assisting Michael Bennett and Jerome Robbins. His Broadway debut as Choreographer, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, was followed by The Full Monty (Tony nomination), The Rocky Horror Show, Hairspray (Tony nomination) Gypsy, Never Gonna Dance (Tony nomination), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony nomination), La Cage Aux Folles (Tony Award), Imaginary Friends, Legally Blonde (Tony nomination), which he also directed, Catch Me If You Can and Kinky Boots (also currently running in London, Australia, and on a U.S. tour, with Japan and Korea up next.) He also choreographed both the Off-Broadway productions and films of Hedwig & The Angry Inch and Jeffrey. Most recently, Jerry received the Drama League’s Founders’ Award for Excellence in Directing and the George Abbott Lifetime Achievement Award from his peers, the latter being especially meaningful to him in that he was directed by the 96 year old Mr. Abbott in the Broadway revival of On Your Toes. Twenty-five years ago, Jerry conceived and created Broadway Bares, a comedy burlesque show performed annually for the charity Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He continues to serve as Executive Producer of Broadway Bares, with a book, website and satellite productions in Fire Island Pines, Las Vegas (Peepshow, which recently concluded its five-year run of continuous performances) and London (West End Bares).

**PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL has scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner & Philip S. Rosenberg, sound design by John Shivers, hair design by Josh Marquette, music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Will Van Dyke, and casting by Telsey + Company.  101 Productions, Ltd will be the Executive Producer and General Manager.**

Garry Marshall (Book) was a veteran producer, director and writer of film, television and theatre. His five-decade long career in Hollywood was paralleled only by his passion for softball. After graduating from Northwestern University, he created some of television’s most beloved situation comedies, including “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “Mork & Mindy,” and “The Odd Couple.” He also served as an executive consultant on CBS’s 2015 reincarnation of “The Odd Couple,” starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon, and consulted on Fox’s “Grandfathered,” with John Stamos. Mr. Marshall was passionate about live theatre.  His play, Shelves, was performed at the Pheasant Run Playhouse in St. Charles, Illinois.  A renamed revival of the show, Everybody Say Cheese had a successful run at the Falcon Theatre. The Roast, a play he co-wrote with Jerry Belson, ran at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York. In addition, he co-wrote Wrong Turn at Lungfish with Lowell Ganz, which he then went on to direct in Los Angeles with Hector Elizondo, in Chicago, and off-Broadway with George C. Scott. At the request of Placido Domingo, he made his operatic directing debut at Los Angeles Opera in 2005, with his own adaptation of Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess, starring Frederica von Stade. In 2007, he joined the San Antonio Opera to direct Elixir of Love, which received rave reviews. Mr. Marshall directed 18 movies.  Among them are Pretty Woman, Beaches, Overboard, The Princess Diaries 1 & 2, Runaway Bride, Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, starring Robert DeNiro, Hilary Swank and Halle Berry.  His last film, 2016’s Mother’s Day, starred Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, and Julia Roberts.  As an actor, Garry played many memorable roles, including the devil in Hocus Pocus, Mr. Harvey in his sister Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own, and Irwin in his son Scott Marshall’s debut feature, Keeping Up with the Steins. He did voice-over work in the Disney film Chicken Little, and made numerous guest appearances on television shows including Louis CK’s show “Louie,” and TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland.”  Mr. Marshall wrote two autobiographies with his daughter, Lori Marshall, “Wake Me When It’s Funny” and “My Happy Days in Hollywood.”  And in 1997, Mr. Marshall built a theatre in Burbank, California with his daughter, Kathleen Marshall LaGambina, called the Falcon Theatre, where he oversaw the subscription series of plays and developed his movies with his long-time co-producer Heather Hall.  After Mr. Marshall’s passing in 2016, his wife of 53 years Barbara and family renamed his theatre the Garry Marshall Theatre, a new non-profit organization, which will promote art and artists as Garry did all his life.

J.F. Lawton (Book) is a writer/director/producer of over a dozen feature films. He has written screenplays for every major Hollywood studio in genres from comedy and romance to action and drama. His credits include the iconic film Pretty Woman, starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, which began as a prestigious Sundance Institute Lab project. Developed by Touchstone Pictures, a division of The Walt Disney Studios, the movie became one the most successful romantic comedies of all times. His next big hit was based on his original screenplay Under Siege starring Steven Seagal and Tommy Lee Jones. Produced by Arnon Milchan and developed by then Warner Bros. executive Lorenzo di Bonaventure, the movie broke box-office records and spawned a successful sequel. His other films include: the independent drama Mistress with Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and Martin Landau; Universal Studios’ action film The Hunted (starring Christopher Lambert, Joan Chen and John Lone); 20th Century Fox’s action thriller Chain Reaction with Morgan Freeman and Keanu Reeves; the superhero comedy Blankman co-written with Damon Wayans for Columbia Pictures and DOA: Dead or Alive, based on the video game of the same name, for The Weinstein Company. He created the #1 rated syndicated television series “V.I.P.” for Sony Pictures, writing and directing the pilot and numerous episodes over its four-season run. He has been nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award, a British Academy Award, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

**PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL has original music and lyrics by Grammy Award winner Bryan Adams and his longtime songwriting partner Jim Vallance, book by Garry Marshall and the film’s screenwriter J.F. Lawton, is directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell.**

Bryan Adams (Music and Lyrics) has been touring the world as a musician for four decades. In 2016, the acclaimed singer/songwriter toured for his 13th album "GET UP,” co-written with longtime collaborator Jim Vallance. Less than a month after release, “GET UP” achieved Top 10 in 9 countries. All this shortly after celebrating the 30th anniversary tour of his iconic album “Reckless" in 2014. Over the years, his music has achieved #1 status in over 40 countries. He has 3 Academy Award and 5 Golden Globe nominations, a Grammy Award, American Music Awards, BMI / ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, not to mention he’s a Companion of the Order of Canada, and has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Adams does 100+ concerts a year playing music to audiences on six continents.

Jim Vallance (Music and Lyrics) has been involved in various aspects of the music industry since the late 1960s, working first as a studio musician, producer and arranger before pursuing a career in songwriting.  Initially collaborating with Canadian singer Bryan Adams he's also worked with a variety of other artists including Aerosmith, Heart, Rick Springfield, Ozzy Osbourne, Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, Alice Cooper and Michael Bublé, to name a few. He's been awarded numerous ASCAP, BMI and SOCAN certificates acknowledging significant international radio airplay and dozens of Gold and Platinum album awards representing more than 100-million units sold world-wide.  He's a recipient of the Order of Canada, that country's highest civilian honor.

Paula Wagner (Producer) is a film and theatre producer who has worked in the top ranks of the entertainment industry, first as a talent agent at CAA.  Wagner’s Broadway producing credits include The Heiress starring Jessica Chastain, David Strathairn and Dan Stevens, Grace starring Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon, and Terrence McNally’s Tony nominated play Mothers and Sons.  Through the production company Cruise/Wagner that she launched with her former CAA client Tom Cruise, Wagner produced many critically acclaimed and financially successful films including Mission: Impossible 1, 2, 3, Without Limits, Shattered Glass, Narc, The Others, Vanilla Sky and The Last Samurai. She has made films all over the world and her production company C/W, was based at Paramount for 12 years.  After 2 years as co-owner and CEO of United Artists Entertainment, LLC from 2006 to 2008, Wagner established her own production company Chestnut Ridge Productions. Most recently she produced the film Marshall, starring Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad and Kate Hudson. Wagner is a member of the Broadway League, AMPAS and served on the boards of the PGA and Film Forum, and is a Carnegie Mellon alumna and trustee.

**PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL will begin performances on Broadway in the fall of 2018 at a Nederlander Theater to be announced.**

OPENING: World Premiere of TWO MILE HOLLOW Via First Floor Theater at The Den 10/8-11/4/17

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

World Premiere!
First Floor Theater Presents 
By Leah Nanako Winkler
Directed by Artistic Director Hutch Pimentel
October 8 - November 4, 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: (left to right) Deanna L. Myers, Kai Ealy, Jazmín Corona and Jose Nateras in a publicity image for First Floor Theater’s world premiere of TWO MILE HOLLOW. 
Photo by Sam Doyle. 

First Floor Theater open its sixth season with the world premiere of Leah Nanako Winkler’s explosive satire of the classic white American family drama, TWO MILE HOLLOW, directed by Artistic Director Hutch Pimentel. TWO MILE HOLLOW will play October 8 – November 4, 2017 at The Den Theatre, 1333 N Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are on sale now at 

The cast includes First Floor company member Aurora Adachi-Winter with Jazmín Corona, Kai Ealy, Deanna L. Myers and Jose Nateras.

When the Donnellys gather to divide their belongings after the sale of their oceanfront mansion, both metaphorical and literal storms are brewing. As this famous, longing-to-be-famous and completely messy Caucasian family comes together with their POC personal assistant, Charlotte, some really really complicated and totally unique secrets are revealed over white wine. A satirical takedown coupled with moments of disorienting sincerity, TWO MILE HOLLOW explores the age old genre of plays about affluent white families retreating to their waterfront homes to battle it out with brutality, awe and compassion. Only this time, none of the white characters are played by white actors. 

The production team for TWO MILE HOLLOW includes Arnel Sancianco (scenic design), Virginia Varland (costume design), Dan Friedman (lighting design), Sarah D. Espinoza (sound design), Claire Stone (props design), Carol Ann Tan (dramaturg), Cole von Glahn (production manager) and Julie Leghorn (stage manager).

Location: The Den Theatre, 1333 N Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago
Dates: Previews: Sunday, October 8 at 8 pm and Tuesday, October 10 at 8 pm
Press Performance: Wednesday, October 11 at 8 pm
Regular Run: Thursday, October 12 - Saturday, November 4, 2017
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm.
Tickets: Previews: Pay What You Can. Regular Run: $10 - $20. Tickets are on sale now at

About the Creative Team
Leah Nanako Winkler (Playwright) is a playwright whose plays  include Kentucky (2015 Kilroys List, World Premiere with EST & Page 73, Radio Drama Network, West Coast Premiere with East West Players), Death For Sydney Black (TerraNova Collective and Kilroys honorable mention), The Internet (Incubator Arts Project), Happy Dance Dance Princess Show (The Brick), Double Suicide At Ueno Park!!!,  Linus and Murray (Ensemble Studio Theatre) and more. Next season, her play Two Mile Hollow will be seen at First Floor Theater in Chicago, Ferocious Lotus in San Francisco, Artists at Play in Los Angeles and Mixed Blood Theatre/Mu Performing Arts in Minneapolis. She is an alumni of Youngblood, Terra Nova Collective’s Groundbreakers Playwright Group, a member of the Dorothy Streslin New American Playwrights Group at Primary Stages, Ma Yi and an affiliated artist at New Georges. Her collections of short plays, Nagoriyuki & Other Short Plays and The Lowest Form of Writing are available on Amazon. She is an MFA candidate at  Brooklyn College.

Hutch Pimentel (Director) is a director and producer in Chicago. He is the Artistic Director of First Floor Theater where he’s directed Polaroid Stories, Edith Can Shoot Things & Hit Them and Animals Commit Suicide, peerless and produced numerous other shows. During his time in Chicago, he’s had the pleasure of working at About Face Theatre, American Theater Company, Polarity Ensemble, Redmoon, The Gift Theatre, The Goodman and Victory Gardens. He’s worked outside of Chicago at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The Vineyard Theatre. He is an Associate Member of SDC and graduated from Kalamazoo College in Michigan.

About First Floor Theater
First Floor Theater stages stories of individuals facing moments of radical change. Through a process of collaborative dramaturgy, FFT expands these stories to ask urgent social questions. FFT was named the "Best New Theater Company" in the Chicago Reader's Best of 2013 Reader's Pick edition. First Floor Theater is a Resident Company at The Den Theatre.

For more information on First Floor Theater, visit

FEST ALERT: Chicago International Latino Theater Festival: DESTINOS 9/29-10/29

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

1st Chicago International Latino Theater Festival! 


 Chicago International Latino Theater Festival:

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're excited to see all the stellar companies bringing productions to Chicago's first Latino Theater Festival. We'll be out to review Amarillo at Chicago Shakespeare Theater's new space, The Yard. And we hope to catch many of the following offerings at Steppenwolf's 1700 space and Victory Gardens as well. Check out the full festival schedule HERE. 

By Iraida Tapias │ Directed by Juan José Martín
Performed by Water People Theater
Presented at the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St.

By Marian Pabón │ Directed by Julio Ramos
Performed by Arte Boricua (Puerto Rico)
A LookOut Visiting Company
Presented at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, 700 N. Halsted St.

Created by Teatro Luna │ Directed by Alexandra Meda
Performed by Teatro Luna
Presented at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.

By Ariel Dorfman │ Directed by Sándor Menéndez
Performed by Aguijón Theater
A LookOut Visiting Company
Presented at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, 700 N. Halsted St.

By Felix Rojas │ Directed by Felix Rojas
Performed by Andres "Chulisi" Rodriguez
Presented at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.

Created by Teatro Línea de Sombra’s ensemble │ Directed by Jorge A. Vargas
Co-presented by CLATA and Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Performed by Teatro Línea de Sombra (Mexico)
Presented at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, 800 E. Grand Ave.

By Marco Antonio Rodriguez │ Directed by Miranda Gonzalez
Performed by Urban Theater Company
Presented at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.

By Abelardo Estorino │Directed by María de Los Ángeles Montero Tamayo
Performed by Ludi Teatro (Cuba)
A LookOut Visiting Company
Presented at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, 700 N. Halsted St.

Adapted by J.Ed Araiza │ Directed by Lorenzo Montanini
Performed by Vueltas Bravas Producciones (Colombia)
A LookOut Visiting Company
Presented at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, 700 N. Halsted St.

By Ricardo Gamboa │Directed by Ricardo Gamboa and Ana Velazquez
Performed by Back of The Yards Theater in a special collaboration with Ricardo Gamboa
Presented at the Back of The Yards Storyfront, 4346 S. Ashland Ave.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

2017-2018 SEASON WITH

September 29 – November 19, 2017

Cast of Evening at the Talk House. Photo by Mike Hari

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we've long been fans of Wallace Shawn's acting, and we're eagerly anticipating seeing his writing performed in the capable hands of another favorite of ours, A Red Orchid. We can't wait to catch the press opening of what's described as an ultra-dark comedy. Check back soon for our full review. 

A Red Orchid Theatre opens its 2017-2018 Season with Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House, directed by Ensemble Member Shade Murray. The production runs September 29 – November 19 2017, at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells. 

Remember when you felt you could do anything, when there was still nothing to fear? Evening at the Talk House is a reunion at your favorite club, where old friends cozy up, raise a glass and remember gentler times when culture had value and terror wasn't the every day. This ultra-dark comedy invites us all to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening night of Robert's under-appreciated masterpiece, Midnight in a Clearing with Moon and Stars.  

Director and Ensemble Member Shade Murray notes, “set in the gossipy world of theatre folk, Evening at the Talk House suggests that in our jittery and uneasy time, words just might speak louder than action. It’s a smart and juicy play filled with accusations, innuendo, alternative facts and guilt by association. It's like the Algonquin Round Table meets The Crucible."

The cast of Evening at the Talk House includes Ensemble Members Lance Baker (Robert), Kirsten Fitzgerald (Annette), Doug Vickers (Ted), and Natalie West (Nellie), with Miguel Nunez (Tom), Sadieh Rifai (Jane), Noah Simon (Bill), and HB Ward (Dick).

The creative team includes Claire Chrzan (Lighting Director), Mary O’Dowd (Props Designer), Brando Triantafillou (Sound Designer), and Myron Elliott (Costume Designer). The stage manager is S.G. Heller.

Previews: September 29 – October 7, 2017
Red Night: Friday, October 13, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Regular Run: October 12 – November 19, 2017          

Thursdays: 8:00 p.m.
Fridays: 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sundays: 3:00 p.m.

Location: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells Ave.

Tickets: $15-$25 previews, $30-$35 regular run.  ($30 Thurs, $35 Fri, Sat, Sun)Box Office: Located at 1531 N. Wells Ave, Chicago, (312) 943-8722; or online

About the Artists
Wallace Shawn (Playwright) is an actor, voice actor, playwright, essayist and comedian. Recognizable to most of the world as a character actor: he made a memorable debut in Woody Allen’s Manhattan (1979) and, since then, has appeared in movies as diverse as The Bostonians and The Princess Bride and on the popular television series Gossip Girl. He has also starred in two films made with his longtime collaborator, André Gregory: My Dinner with André and Vanya on 42nd Street, which were directed by Louis Malle. Shawn’s first play, Four Meals in May, was written when he was still at Oxford. Following a trio of early works—The Family Play, The Hotel Play, The Hospital Play—Shawn’s first professional production came in 1975 with Our Late Night, directed by Gregory. Since then, he has written several other plays: A Thought in Three Parts, Marie and Bruce, Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Fever, The Designated Mourner, Grasses of a Thousand Colors and Evening At the Talk House. He has also adapted Machiavelli’s The Mandrake and Brecht’s Threepenny Opera.

Shade Murray (Director) is an ensemble member and Associate Artistic Director of A Red Orchid Theatre, where he has directed the world premieres of Brett Neveu’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Ike Holter’s Sender, as well as productions of David Adjmi’s 3C, Marisa Wegrzyn’s Mud Blue Sky and The Butcher of Baraboo, Annie Baker’s The Aliens, Nick Jones’ Trevor, Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party and Kimberly Akimbo by David Lindsay-Abaire.  He also performed in the A Red Orchid production of The Mutilated.  Other directing credits include Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The House Theater, Steep Theater, Second City, Writers’ Theater and elsewhere.  Shade is a lecturer at University of Chicago and teaches at DePaul University and Acting Studio Chicago.
Lance Baker (Robert) has been an official ensemble member of A Red Orchid for around five thousand days, but before that he first appeared in The Grey Zone, directed by Dado in 2001. Since then, he's played the lead in Michael Shannon's directorial debut, Ionesco's Hunger and Thirst. Further AROT acting credits: The Mandrake, Becky Shaw, and The Mutilated. As a director at AROT: the world premiere of Brett Neveu's The Earl, the Chicago premiere of The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, and co-directed A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant.

Kirsten Fitzgerald (Annette) has been a member of the Artistic Ensemble at A Red Orchid since 2001. Her performances here at home include three world premieres by Brett Neveu; Pilgrim’s Progress, Weapon of Mass Impact and Four Murders. Other AROT performances include The Room, Mud Blue Sky, The Butcher of Baraboo, The New Electric Ballroom, Abigail's Party, The Sea Horse [Jeff Award], Pumpgirl, Mr. Bundy, The Killer and more. Other Chicago credits include Mary Page Marlowe, The Qualms, Clybourne Park, The Elephant Man, and A Streetcar Named Desire (Steppenwolf Theatre); Appropriate (Victory Gardens), and work with Defiant Theatre, Circle Theatre, Next, Remy Bumppo, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Goodman, Shattered Globe, Famous Door, Plasticene and the Utah Shakespeare Festival among others. You can see her on the small screen now in The Exorcist (FOX) and other TV credits include Sirens (USA), Chicago Fire (NBC), ER (NBC) and Underemployed (MTV).

Miguel Nunez (Tom) makes his A Red Orchid Theatre debut. He was last seen in the rolling world premiere of Into The Beautiful North (16th Street Theatre) which he also Co-directed. Other selected Chicago credits include What Of The Night? (Cor/Stage Left); Bobby Clearly (Steep Theatre); The Play About my Dad (Raven Theatre); El Pasado Nunca Se Termina (Lyric Opera of Chicago/National Tour); Romulus (Oracle Theatre); Death and the Maiden, Oedipus El Rey (U/S Victory Gardens); PINKOLANDIA, Yasmina's Necklace (16th Street Theatre); The Three Musketeers, The Blue Shadow (Lifeline Theatre); I Put the Fear of Mexico In ‘em (Teatro Vista); The Ghost is Here (Vitalist Theatre). He is an artistic associate at 16th Street Theatre. Miguel has trained at Black Box in Chicago and at the National Theater University in Caracas, Venezuela. 

Sadieh Rifai (Jane) is new to A Red Orchid, but not to Chicago. Her credits include the world premiere of The Humans(Jeff Award nomination for Best Ensemble) at American Theater Company along with The Amish Project,Hedwig and the Angry Inch (co-production with About Face Theatre),The Original Grease, Columbinus, Doubt, Agnes of God and Speech and Debate(After Dark Award for Outstanding Performance). Other Chicago credits include Ski Dubai (Steppenwolf First Look), The Piano Teacher (Next Theatre) and Merchant of Venice (Silk Road Rising). Film credits include The Wise Kids, Nate and Margaret and Olympia. Television credits include Chicago Med and Amazon's Patriot in which she plays the recurring role of Mahtma El-Mashad. She is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf and received the Princess Grace Award in 2011.

Noah Simon (Bill) has previously been seen on A Red Orchid’s stage in The Earl and Trevor. As a veteran of Chicago’s storefront theatre community, he’s worked with such companies as Goodman Theatre, ATC, Shattered Globe, Raven, Factory, Strawdog, Remy Bumppo, Red Twist, and appeared last winter in 16th Street Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Blizzard ’67 by Jon Steinhagen. Noah and his three Blizzard castmates have been nominated for the 2017 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Ensemble. Regionally, Noah has worked with Peninsula Players and Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre where he most recently played the role of Shylock in their production of The Merchant of Venice. Noah is a voiceover artist and is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA. He teaches acting and improvisation at Aurora University and Voiceover at Vagabond School of the Arts. He has a BA in Theatre from Butler University and an MFA in Acting from the Theatre School at Depaul University.

Doug Vickers (Ted) is an ensemble member at A Red Orchid Theatre, where he most recently appeared in The Nether. Some of his other favorite appearances at Red Orchid have been in Accidentally Like a Martyr, Simpatico, Four Murders, The Grey Zone, and Hunger and Thirst. Over the years at Red Orchid, he has also worked in administrative capacities in the areas of grant writing and production. Doug was the recipient of the Joseph Jefferson Award for The Best Man at Remy Bumppo Theatre (Best Cameo Performance). He has appeared at many other theatres around town including Chicago Shakespeare (Comedy of Errors), Next Theatre (R.I.P.) (U.N. Inspector, Turcaret the Financier) ,Court Theatre, Famous Door Theatre, Trap Door Theatre, and Hell in a Handbag. Regional: Illinois Shakespeare Festival  TV: Underemployed (MTV) He is from Evanston IL and he holds a Bachelors Degree in English from Northwestern University-School of Continuing Studies and has done graduate level work in English at NU as well.

HB Ward (Dick) has acted with many Chicago companies including Curious Theatre Branch, Prop Thtr, Collaboraction, DOG – a Theater Company, The Magpies, Teatro Vista, WNEP, Theater Oobleck, Tympanic Theatre, 16th Street Theater, Wildclaw Theatre, Trap Door Theatre, Next Theatre, Rivendell Theatre, The Side Project, Jackalope Theatre, American Blues Theater, Haven Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater, Timeline Theater, A Red Orchid Theater and Shattered Globe Theatre.  He has also acted in television, commercials, and films, including Stephen Cone’s In Memoriam.  He has understudied at Victory Gardens Theater and Goodman Theatre. He is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.

Natalie West (Nellie) is an ensemble member at A Red Orchid Theatre where she last appeared in The Mutilated. Other AROT productions include Strandline, Mud Blue Sky, The Butcher of Baraboo and Abigail's Party. Over the years she has appeared in shows at The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Northlight and others. She is a former ensemble member of Remains Theatre. Natalie was a regular on the television show Roseanne as Crystal. Natalie is a recipient of three Jeff Awards for supporting actress for The Butcher of Baraboo, Abigail's Party at A Red Orchid and Life and Limb at Wisdom Bridge. She holds a MSW from Loyola University Chicago, a BA in Theatre at Indiana University and she attended Webber Douglas Academy in London.
Ticket Information
A Red Orchid continues the FLASHPASS. As always, FLASHPASS holders get reserved seats, ticket and date flexibility, no-fee ticket exchanges, discounts for friends & family tickets, and early access to events such as readings, panel discussions, and more. The Three-show FLASHPASS is $80 and includes one ticket to each of the 3 shows in our 25th Season, excluding Press Opening and Red Nights. The Three-show Red Night FLASHPASS is $150 and includes a ticket to each of the 3 show's Red Night Opening and post-show reception with the cast and creative team. The Preview Saver FLASHPASS is $50 and includes one ticket to a preview performance of each of the 3 shows in our 25th season. Add a ticket for the Summer Bonus, Victims of Duty, to any FLASHPASS at the time of purchase.  

Flashpasses may be purchased from the Box Office at 1531 N. Wells Street, Monday through Friday from 12 pm to 5 pm, by telephone during office hours by dialing (312) 943-8722, or online at Individual tickets will go on sale at a later date.

With our 25th season of ambitious and powerful storytelling, we are thrilled to announce the launch of A Red Orchid Theatre’s Red League.  At $1k or more, The Red League represents a donor community of our most committed and impactful cultural investors. Every profound and shocking moment on our stage is made possible through their critical annual contributions. Their philanthropic leadership fosters the development of raw and relevant work, creates a platform for our talented ensemble to reach new audiences, and ensures that A Red Orchid Theatre remains a source for honest, compassionate, and aesthetically rigorous theatre.

About A Red Orchid
A Red Orchid Theatre has served as an artistic focal point in the heart of the Old Town community of Chicago since 1993 and was honored this year with a 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Over the past 24 years, its Resident Ensemble has welcomed into its fold an impressive array of award-winning actors, playwrights and theatre artists with the firm belief that live theatre is the greatest sustenance for the human spirit. A Red Orchid is well known and highly acclaimed for its fearless approach to performance and design in the service of unflinchingly intimate stories. In addition to its professional season, the company is also committed to an OrKids (youth) project and hosts The Incubator (providing artists with space and time to explore new work, new forms and new artistic collaborations).

A Red Orchid Theatre is: Lance Baker, Kamal Angelo Bolden, Dado, Mike Durst, Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joseph Fosco, Steve Haggard, Mierka Girten, Larry Grimm, Karen Kawa, Karen Kessler, Danny McCarthy, Shade Murray, Brett Neveu, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers and Natalie West.

HELP OUT: CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY LIVE To Benefit Hope Not Hate at Greenhouse Theater Center 9/29/17

One Night Only!
Returns To Greenhouse Theater Center
Friday, September 29 at 10 pm

CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY LIVE at Greenhouse Theater Center. Photos by Stephen Voss.

Following three sell-out performances this year, CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY LIVE returns once again for one night only on Friday, September 29, 2017 at 10 pm at The Greenhouse Theater Center (Downstairs Mainstage), 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.  

The irreverent night of improv comedy is inspired by the popular and politically incorrect party game “Cards Against Humanity.” After audience members pitch their ideas, the best suggestions are acted out by the Cards Against Humanity writers and a team of improvisers. The worst suggestions will be mercilessly ridiculed. Recommended for ages 18+.

Tickets, priced at $10 are currently available at, in person at the box office or by calling (773) 404-7336. All proceeds will benefit the anti-racist watchdog group Hope Not Hate. The group recently made national headlines after revealing one of its members went undercover in the alt-right movement for over a year. For additional information, visit

About the Greenhouse Theater Center
The Greenhouse Theater Center is a producing theater company, performance venue and theatre bookstore located at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Our mission is first and foremost to grow local theatre.

The Greenhouse Theater began its producing life in 2014 with the smash hit Churchill, after which came 2016’s much-lauded Solo Celebration!, an 8 month, 16 event series highlighting the breadth and depth of the solo play form. This year, the Greenhouse announced a full subscription season, with a mix of multi-character and solo plays. With a focus on our community, the Greenhouse is also launching the Trellis playwriting residency, an initiative designed to cultivate the next generation of Chicago theatre creators and a two-tiered education program for college and high school students.

As a performance venue, our complex offers two newly remodeled 190-seat main stage spaces, two 60-seat studio theaters, two high-capacity lobbies, and an in-house rehearsal room. We strive to cultivate a fertile environment for local artists, from individual renters to our bevy of resident companies, and to develop and produce their work. In 2016, the Greenhouse announced a new residency program, which offers a reduced rate to local storefront companies while giving the Greenhouse a stake in the resident’s success. We house Chicago’s only dedicated used theatre bookstore, located on the second floor of our complex. 

With new ideas always incubating, the Greenhouse is flourishing. Come grow with us!

OPENING: The Hypocrites' Dracula at Mercury Theater Chicago 10/7-11/5/17

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Mercury Theater Chicago Presents
A world-premiere play adapted and directed by Sean Graney.
October 7 – November 5, 2017

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we love it when our friends play well together. We're excited to see The Hypocrites emerge from The Den, their usual haunt, and present their world premiere take on Dracula at one of our favorite venues, Mercury Theatre. We'll be out for the press opening on Friday the 13th, so check back soon for our full review. We can't wait!

I would love to be a fly on the wall of the home of adapter/directors Sean Graney (Dracula) and Vanessa Stalling (United Flight 232), who are both currently working on intense Chicago productions. I sat in front of them for the United Flight 232 press opening, and can't rave enough about this award winning must see. Stalling's heartfelt and harrowing United Flight 232 is currently on stage as a critically acclaimed remount at The House Theatre. 

Award-winning director, Sean Graney's current project is directing The Hypocrites' Dracula, a script he adapted from an original script by Timothy F. Griffin for this world-premiere production. 

Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Avenue – is thrilled to present The Hypocrites’ production of DRACULA, from October 7th through November 5th, 2017. Led by Jeff Award Winner Breon Arzell as Dracula, a multi-talented cast of accomplished Hypocrites company members will take audiences on a thrilling adventure of passion, yearning, cruelty and sacrifice.

The performance schedule for DRACULA is Wednesdays at 8pm, Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm and Sundays at 3pm.

Individual tickets range from $30-$55, and are available online at, over the phone at 773.325.1700, or in person at 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago.

Director Sean Graney promises “exciting horror, at least a gallon of stage blood every night, moments of humor and a depth of character not often explored in this fantastical story.” Dracula just might stake its claim as this Halloween's most thrilling adventure.

“The characters in Dracula occupy a world on a threshold between repression and liberty,” commented director Sean Graney. “Women are beginning to live autonomous lives separate from the typical yolks of oppressive tradition. The men, though they will never admit it, fear the women and want them to return to their domestic posts. Dracula, to me, asks the question, ‘How do you deal with a society that claims to promote equality, yet everyday actions and attitudes prove that the gatekeepers are afraid of losing their advantage?’ To me, that is the world we occupy now.”

DRACULA features a strong ensemble of Hypocrites company members. 

Jeff Award Winning actor/director/choreographer Breon Arzell (The Wiz, Harry Ape) will be featured in this bloody mystery as Dracula. 

Janelle Villas (Chimerica, The King and I) will portray Lucy Seward, under the care of Rob McLean (Pirates of Penzance, Love’s Labor Lost, The Shakespeare Project of Chicago) as Dr. Van Helsing. 

Insane asylum administrator Jack Seward will be played by John Taflan (All Our Tragic, Adding Machine). Aurora Real de Asusa (You on the Moors Now) will be in the role of coveted young school mistress Mina. Erin Barlow (All Our Tragic, Men on Boats) will portray insane asylum inmate Renfield. Maurice Demus (You on the Moors Now, Sucker Punch) will be Jonathan. The scenic design is by John Musial with costume design by Samantha Jones, lighting design by Mike Durst, sound design by Joe Griffin with Jon Beal as the violence and gore designer. The production stage manager is Richard Lundy.

Sean Graney is a Chicago-based theater artist who has concentrated on adapting and directing stories to create relevant theatrical pieces for our contemporary society for the last 20 years. He currently serves as the Artistic Director of The Hypocrites, a company he founded in 1997.  In 2013, he was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University where he completed writing All Our Tragic, a twelve-hour adaptation combining all thirty-two surviving Greek Tragedies. It garnered six Joseph Jefferson Awards, including Best Director and Best Adaptation. As a director, Sean has helmed over 75 productions. He was a participant in the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors in 2004. He has received four other Joseph Jefferson Awards for directing and adaptation. He is also the director and co-adaptor three Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, which have been playing at many great theaters across the country.

The Hypocrites is one of Chicago's premier off-Loop theater companies specializing in mounting bold productions that challenge preconceptions and redefining the role of the audience. Under the direction of Sean Graney, the company has a reputation in Chicago for creating exciting, surprising and deeply engaging theater as it reinterprets classics and tackles ambitious new works.

The beautifully renovated Mercury Theater Chicago is an intimate jewel box of a theater in the heart of the Southport Corridor, a sophisticated neighborhood of restaurants and boutiques just steps from Wrigley Field. A delightful theater destination, Mercury Theater Chicago takes care of its guests from the moment they arrive with valet service and dining at its adjoining restaurant, Grassroots.

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