Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:
Route 66 Theatre Company Presents
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE
GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT MEMORIAL SLOAN-KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY
By Halley Feiffer
Directed by Keira Fromm
August 24 – September 23, 2017 at The Den Theatre
Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're looking forward to catching what's arguably the longest titled show currently running in the entire city of Chicago. This Sunday we'll be ChiILin' at Chi, IL's Den Theatre for Route 66 Theatre's Chicago premiere of the dark comedy we'll nickname "A Funny Thing". In case you're not familiar, The Den is a multilevel, multi theatre, multi bar marvel in Wicker Park that we adore. In case you DO know The Den and you're thinking of hiring a Sherpa for the narrow, steep, stair climb to the upper theatres, The Den's Bookspan space is only up a few steps and is more or less on the first floor. Check back soon for our full review.
Route 66 Theatre Company is pleased to conclude its ninth season with the Chicago premiere of Halley Feiffer’s dark comedy A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT MEMORIAL SLOAN-KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY, directed by Keira Fromm, playing August 24 – September 23, 2017 at The Den Theatre’s new Bookspan Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago.
A FUNNY THING… features Judy Lea Steele, Meg Thalken, Stef Tovar and
A foul-mouthed twenty-something comedienne and a middle-aged man embroiled in a nasty divorce are brought together unexpectedly when their cancer-stricken mothers become roommates in the hospital. Together, this unlikely duo must negotiate some of life’s biggest challenges... while making some of the world’s most inappropriate jokes. Can these two very lost people learn to laugh through their pain and lean on each other when all they really want to do is run away?
The Den Theatre’s Bookspan Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Regular run: Thursday, August 31 – Saturday, September 23, 2017
Curtain Times: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm & 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets: $35 adults; $20 students. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are currently available at route66theatre.org.
Director Keira Fromm comments, "A Funny Thing… is a play about the ways we use humor as both a balm and a barrier to protect us from the litany of life's discomforts. I'm drawn to plays about the ways in which we cope with life. When those plays involve surviving spiky family relationships, I'm all in. Halley Feiffer is no-holds-barred when it comes to showing extremely flawed individuals at their messiest. She's also completely fearless when it comes to exposing the raw spots that result from the friction of our most fragile family relationships. This play is unbelievably funny one moment and moving in the most throat-grabbing of ways the next. I can't wait to dig in."
Artistic Director Stef Tovar adds, “This play was a hit in New York last summer at MCC and the Geffen Playhouse in LA is producing it right after we open with Halley Feiffer playing the role of Karla... so for a theater company our size to secure the Chicago premiere is huge for us. We're so grateful to Halley for trusting us with her incredible script and this dynamite group of ladies are going to kill it. I can't wait to get started."
The production team team for FUNNY THING… includes: Courtney O’Neill (scenic design), Mieka Van der Ploeg (costume design), Claire Margaret Chrzan (lighting design), Christopher Kriz (sound design), Amanda Hermann (properties design), Sasha Smith (intimacy choreographer), Catherine Allen (production manager), Helen Lattyak (stage manager) and Matthew Bonaccorso (asst. stage manager)
Creative Team Bios
Halley Feiffer (Playwright) is a writer and actress. Full-length plays include I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic Theater Company, dir. Trip Cullman; OCC Nom. John Gassner Playwriting Award) A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City (MCC Theater, dir. Trip Cullman) and How To Make Friends And Then Kill Them (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, dir. Kip Fagan). Her plays have been developed by Second Stage, New York Theatre Workshop, the O’Neill and elsewhere; they are published by Dramatists Play Service and Overlook Press. Her work has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theater Festival and three times by Manhattan Theater Club. She teaches Playwriting at NYU.
Ms. Feiffer’s acting credits include the Broadway revival of The Front Page (dir. Jack O’Brien) and
The House of Blue Leaves (dir. David Cromer; Theater World Award), Tigers Be Still (Roundabout, dir. Sam Gold; Drama League Nom.), HBO’s Bored to Death and the films The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding (dir. Noah Baumbach) and He’s Way More Famous than You (dir. Michael Urie), which she also co-wrote. She currently writes for the upcoming Starz series The One Percent (co-created by Alejandro Iñárritu), the upcoming Showtime series Purity (based on the novel by Jonathan Franzen) and is developing two original television projects with Scott Rudin Productions.
Keira Fromm (Director) is a Jeff Award-nominated director, a casting director and a teacher based out of Chicago. Favorite recent directing credits include: the Chicago premiere of Bright Half Life (About Face) Theatre), the Chicago premiere of The Columnist (with American Blues Theatre); How the World Began (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble,) A Kid Like Jake (About Face Theatre,) Luce (Next Theatre,) Charles Ives Take Me Home (Strawdog,) The How and the Why (TimeLine Theatre,) Broadsword (Gift Theatre) and Fallow (Steep Theatre). Keira is an Artistic Associate with About Face Theatre. She received her MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University and is a proud member of SDC. She is a frequent guest director at DePaul as well as the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
Route 66 Theatre Company
Route 66 Theatre Company develops, produces and exports plays, musicals and concerts for the stage that embrace the American spirit of exploration and risk.
The Road Begins when our Chicago Premieres head west and are given an advocate for further regional productions along the road less traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles. Since the company’s founding, Route 66 has produced eight Equity full productions in both Chicago and LA, including an Off-Broadway premiere, has been nominated for five Jeff Awards and won two. The company is also the recipient of the 2017 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theatre Award. Route 66 is a resident company at The Den Theatre. For additional information, visit route66theatre.org.
Route 66 is Stef Tovar, Founder and Artistic Director; Rachel Wendte, Managing Director; Matthew Bonaccorso, Company Manager and Kelly Parker, Casting Director
Route 66 Theatre Company Artistic Associates: Brian Sidney-Bembridge, Audrey Billings, Johnny Clark, Brandon Dahlquist, Raymond Fox, Damon Kiely, Ron Klier, Jenni Lamb, Tyler Meredith, John Mohrlein, Kelly Parker, Geoff Rice, Emily Rohm, Tricia Small, Jeremy Sonkin, Alex Stage, Nancy Staiger, Erica Stephan, Bethany Thomas, Rita Vreeland, Steven Wilson, Rachel Wendte and Emily Woods.
Route 66 Theatre Company Board of Directors: Jennifer Baumann, President; Deborah Haimes, Vice-President of Communications; Nicholas Stone, Treasurer; Molly Crabtree, Secretary; Elizabeth Derrico, David and Monica Byrd, Lee Dickson, Laurie Hamilton, Tammy Rosenzweig, Pat Turnbull and Robert Veasey.
Route 66 Theatre Company’s 9th Season is presented by generous grants from MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency and DCASE CityArts.