Wednesday, September 28, 2022

REVIEW: Noël Coward’s masterpiece HAY FEVER Via City Lit Now Playing Through October 9, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar


by Noël Coward

directed by Terry McCabe

Now Playing Through October 9, 2022


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

In the microcosm of Chicago's theatre scene, it's amazing how many synchronicities there are. Just one week after reviewing Hay Fever, I'll be out to see yet another Noël Coward play, Private Lives, opening at Raven Theatre. It's exciting Chicago audiences can do a mini immersive in Coward's period pieces with City Lit's Jeff Recommended Hay Fever from 1924 and Private Lives from 1931. His artsy, eccentric, manipulative characters are delightfully funny. Horrible humans behaving badly are eternally timeless yet timely. 

Prior to Hay Fever, my most memorable Noël Coward experience was a 1985 college production of Blithe Spirit at Anderson University in Indiana, where the not so ethereal ghost was a plus sized actress who fell through the stage staircase mid act! They had to stop the play and help extricate her from the rubble. Thankfully she wasn't injured and the audience was patient and understanding about the whole debacle. 

Conversely, City Lit's Hay Fever went off without a hiccup and was an immensely enjoyable night out. We laughed at much of the dialogue and wacky plot twists and were well entertained. Betsy Pennington Taylor was a standout as narcissistic actress, Judith Bliss, and marssie* Mencotti was an absolute hoot as the housekeeper, Clara. The entire cast did some lovely ensemble work with impeccable comedic timing. Shout out also to Ray Toler for the charmingly hilarious scenic design. I'm still laughing at the boar head with ear tassels! 

* Lower case marssie is intentional

Hay Fever's nothing to sneeze at, though this country escape gone wrong may have you laughing so hard your eyes water. If you're itching for a fun production, the foibles of the Bliss bunch are comedic gold.

Recommended. 3 out of 4 stars ★★★

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theatre critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: (adult) & (family friendly). 

Producer and Artistic Director Terry McCabe will direct Noël Coward’s 1924 comedy HAY FEVER as the final production of City Lit Theater’s 41st season. It replaces the previously announced AZTEC HUMAN SACRIFICE, which has been moved to a slot in spring 2023. Both a comedy of manners and a farce, HAY FEVER has been proven to be exceptionally durable in the nearly 100 years since its first production, enjoying many successful revivals in the US, UK and Canada as well as multiple film and TV productions across the globe. The comedy lampoons the poor manners and deficient hospitality of the four members of an eccentric upper class English family, who each without the other three knowing it have invited a guest to spend the weekend at their country estate. 

McCabe’s cast will include Betsy Pennington Taylor as Judith Bliss, the absent-minded retired actress who is the wife and mother of the bad-mannered hosts; and Stephen Fedo (he/him) as Judith’s novelist husband David Bliss. Their children will be played by Travis Shanahan (he/him) as Simon, and Lizzie Williams (she/her) as Sorel. Appearing as the Bliss’s guests will be Robert Hunter Bry as Judith’s fan Sandy Tyrell, Elizabeth Wigley (she/her) as the vampish Myra Arundel, Melissa Brausch (she/her) as the dim but good-hearted flapper Jackie Coryton, and Gerrit Wilford as diplomat Richard Greatham. marssie* Mencotti will be the housekeeper Clara.

Tickets are on sale now at and by phone at 773-293-3682.

Top row L-R: Melissa Brausch, Robert Hunter Bry, Stephen Fedo

Second row L-R: marssie Mencotti, Travis Shanahan, Betsy Pennington Taylor.

Third row L-R: Elizabeth Wigley, Gerrit Wilford, Lizzie Williams

On the production team are Ray Toler (Scenic Design), Rachel S. Parent (Costume Design), Chris Matteky (Lighting Design), David Yondorf (Violence and Intimacy Design), Carrie Hardin (Dialect Coach), and Hazel Marie Flowers-McCabe (Stage Manager).

Previews August 26 – September 3, 2022

Preview ticket prices $30.00, seniors $25.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)

Regular run September 4 – October 9, 2022

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm. Mondays September 26 and October 3 at 7:30 pm.

Regular run ticket prices $34.00, seniors $29.00, students and military $12 (all plus applicable fees)

Performances at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago 60660 (Inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church)

Info and tickets at and by phone at 773-293-3682.

Noël Coward's masterpiece. The four members of the eccentric Bliss family have each, without the other three knowing it, invited a guest to spend the weekend at their country estate. But the Blisses wouldn't be successful hosts to one visitor; confronted with four, they put their guests through their self-absorbed version of hospitality, utterly oblivious to the train wreck they've engineered. An irresistibly heartless comedy.



Proof of vaccination is required for all attendees of all performances (physical vaccination card or legible image of vaccination card. Refunds will not be issued if admittance is refused due to lack of vaccination documentation.


Noël Coward (Playwright) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor, and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise.”  Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. Many of his works, such as HAY FEVER, PRIVATE LIVES, DESIGN FOR LIVING, PRESENT LAUGHTER, and BLITHE SPIRIT, have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. He composed hundreds of songs, in addition to well over a dozen musical theatre works (including the operetta BITTER SWEET and comic revues), screenplays, poetry, several volumes of short stories, the novel POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE, and a three-volume autobiography. Coward's stage and film acting and directing career spanned six decades, during which he starred in many of his own works, as well as those of others.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Coward volunteered for war work, running the British propaganda office in Paris. He also worked with the Secret Service, seeking to use his influence to persuade the American public and government to help Britain. Coward won an Academy Honorary Award in 1943 for his naval film drama IN WHICH WE SERVE and was knighted in 1969. In the 1950s he achieved fresh success as a cabaret performer, performing his own songs, such as "Mad Dogs and Englishmen", "London Pride", and "I Went to a Marvelous Party."

Terry McCabe (Producer, Artistic Director, Director) has been City Lit’s artistic director since February 2005 and its producer since July 2016. He has directed plays professionally in Chicago since 1981. He was artistic director of Stormfield Theatre for four years, resident director at Wisdom Bridge Theatre for five years, and worked at Body Politic Theatre three separate times in three different capacities over a span of 14 years. His City Lit adaptations of HOLMES AND WATSON, GIDGET (co-adapted with Marissa McKown), THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, SCOUNDREL TIME, and OPUS 1861 (co-adapted with Elizabeth Margolius) were Jeff-nominated. He won two Jeff Citations for directing at Stormfield and has been thrice nominated for the Jeff Award for Best Director, for shows at Court Theatre, Wisdom Bridge, and Victory Gardens. He has directed at many Chicago theatres either long-gone or still with us, as well as off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre and at Vienna’s English Theatre. His book MIS-DIRECTING THE PLAY has been denounced at length in American Theatre magazine and from the podium at the national convention of The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas but has been used in directing courses on three continents and is now available in paperback and Kindle e-book.



For over forty-one years, City Lit Theater has been dedicated to the vitality and accessibility of the literary imagination. City Lit produces theatrical adaptations of literary material, scripted plays by language-oriented playwrights, and original material. City Lit Theater was founded with $210 pooled by Arnold Aprill (at the time the Body Politic Theatre’s box office manager), David Dillon, and Lorell Wyatt on October 9, 1979, and was incorporated on March 25, 1980. There were still so few theatres in Chicago that at City Lit’s launch event, they were able to read a congratulatory letter they had received from Tennessee Williams.

The United States Library of Congress has selected our Civil War Project blog for inclusion in its historic collection of internet materials related to the American Civil War Sesquicentennial. Check it out at

City Lit is in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church building at 1020 West Bryn Mawr Avenue. We are two blocks east of both the Bryn Mawr Red Line stop and the #36 Broadway and the #84 Peterson buses. We are one block west of the #147 Sheridan and #151 Sheridan buses. Divvy bike stations are located at Bryn Mawr & Lakefront Trail, and at Broadway & Ridge at Bryn Mawr. The metered street parking pay boxes on Bryn Mawr have a three-hour maximum duration and are free on Sundays. There are additional details about parking and dining options at 

City Lit is supported by the MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Ivanhoe Theater Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and is sponsored, in part, by A.R.T. League. 

For more information and to donate, visit and by phone at 773-293-3682.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

World Premiere of FRANKENSTREISAND Via Hell in a Handbag Productions September 29 – October 31, 2022 at Redline VR

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

World Premiere!

Hell in a Handbag Productions Presents


By Ensemble Member Tyler Anthony Smith

Directed by Stephanie Shaw

September 29 – October 31, 2022 at Redline VR

The music... the mem’ries... the magic... the dog cloning! This Halloween season, Hell in a Handbag Productions kicks off its 2022-23 season with the world premiere of FRANKENSTREISAND by Tyler Anthony Smith* and directed by Stephanie Shaw, playing September 29 – October 31, 2022 at Redline VR, 4702 N. Ravenswood Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at or I'll be out for the press opening October 1, so check back soon for my full review. 

Take a peek at what’s under Barbra’s underground mall – Babs’ secret laboratory! Witness Dr. Barbra Frankenstreisand’s (Tyler Anthony Smith*) first performance in 27 years, having gone into seclusion after her precious dog Samantha suddenly died. All these years later, The Greatest Star is back, and she’s determined to clone her perished pooch live on stage. She’s brought all of her tools, but because of those fingernails, she’s going to need a little help from her loyal assistant, The Hunchback, and a tired but vampy German stage manager. Don’t be surprised if Barry Gibb, Judy Garland, and other mega-stars stop by for a visit, along with twisted versions of all the signature Barbra songs you expect to hear in a show of this caliber! Don’t sit and putter! Be one of the luckiest people in the world and see... FRANKENSTREISAND!

The production also features ensemble members Elizabeth Lesinski*, Nicky Mendelsohn*, Ryan Oates*, and Robert Williams* with Dakota Hughes and Brian Shaw.

The production team includes Beth Laske-Miller (Costume Design), Keith Ryan* (Wig Design, Dresser), Sydney Genco* (Make-Up Design), Jabberwocky Marionettes (Puppet Design), Dakota Hughes (Music Director) and Jenna Raithel (Stage Manager).

*Denotes Handbag Ensemble Member


Please note: Handbag will continue to adhere to all city, state and federal COVID safety guidelines in place at the time of performance including, but not limited to, proof of full vaccination and masking at all performances.



Playwright: Ensemble member Tyler Anthony Smith*

Director: Stephanie Shaw

Cast (in alphabetical order): Dakota Hughes (The Hunchback), Elizabeth Lesinski* (Judy Garland, Lainie Kazan, James Brolin, Céline Dion) Nicky Mendelsohn* (Barry Gibb), Ryan Oates* (Dog Walker, Chuck, Stefani), Brian Shaw (Frau Fräulein) Tyler Anthony Smith* (Dr. Barbra Frankenstreisand) and Robert Williams* (O).

Location: Red Line VR, 4702 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago

Previews: Thursday, September 29 at 7:30 pm and Friday, September 30 at 9:15 pm

Opening/Press performance: Saturday, October 1 at 9:15 pm

Regular run: Thursday, October 6 – Monday, October 31, 2022

Curtain Times: Thursdays at 7:30 pm; Fridays and Saturdays at 9:15 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Saturday, October 8 at 9:15 pm; there will be an added performance on Monday, October 31 at 7:30 pm (Halloween).

Tickets: $21 previews, $25 advanced general admission, $30 at the door, $40 VIP/reserved seating with drink ticket. Group rates $21 for 10 or more. Tickets are currently available at or Industry Night: Monday, October 10 at 7:30 pm


About the Artists

Tyler Anthony Smith (Playwright) is in show business. He/They is/are a proud Hell in a Handbag ensemble member. To quote Barbra: "I don't like talking about myself and I don't like talking about the work." Instagram: @judithnightlight

Stephanie Shaw (Director) has performed her own work for The Paper Machete, The Encyclopedia Show, Chicago Ideas Week, The Estrogen Fest, 2nd Story, The Poetry Center of Chicago, Fillet of Solo, The Neo-Futurarium, The New York Fringe Fest and the NYC Estrogenius Fest. An alumni member of the Neo-Futurists, she wrote and performed regularly for Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind from 1990-1995, and was a founding member of the Solo Performance Ensemble BoyGirlBoyGirl, with whom she wrote and performed for 10 years. She has directed a number of Solo Shows for Live Bait Theatre, The New York Fringe, and the simple pleasure of Tyler Anthony Smith and his audiences. She has directed for The Neo-Futurists, Oak Park Festival Theatre, and over a dozen plays and musicals for the theatre department of Columbia College Chicago, where she is a Professor of Instruction. Once upon a time, she was a theatre critic for The Chicago Reader. 

About Hell in a Handbag Productions

Hell in a Handbag is dedicated to the preservation, exploration, and celebration of works ingrained in the realm of popular culture via theatrical productions through parody, music and homage. Handbag is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit. For additional information, visit

Friday, September 23, 2022

REVIEW: Southern Gothic In Open Run at Windy City Playhouse South at Petterinos' Beginning Sept 15th, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

By Catherine Hellmann, Guest Critic 

I now have bragging rights that I have seen Southern Gothic in all three of its manifestations and locations. Each time, I appreciate the piece even more. It’s rare to witness the “same” show three different times and feel like you saw a new show each performance. I described the play to my sister, a first time viewer, as a “choose-your-own-adventure” concept. I explained how the audience can move around the staged “house” to select a new vantage point. My sis liked her window seat in the living room and chose to watch the shenanigans in their entirety from the exterior wall. I moved to the outside area near the kitchen to eavesdrop on the conversation there. It’s a hoot to be such a “voyeur” in other people’s private dramas. 

    All Production Photos by Michael Brosilow

In case you are unfamiliar, the setting is June 30, 1961 at the home of Beau Coutier (Max Stewart) and his perky wife Ellie (Sarah Grant, reprising her original role). It’s the 40th birthday for Beau’s sister Suzanne, and all of their old crowd are invited to celebrate. We see the hosts frantically preparing for their guests, and we are in their house with them as “flies on the wall.”  The set is truly remarkable and one of my favorite parts of this clever show, as the designer, Scott Davis, has created a “home” with open walls and added details so we feel transported to Beau and Ellie’s actual residence. The audience is free to move about, as long as we remain “invisible”: don’t speak, sit on the main furniture, or interact with the cast. You can even eat the snacks, popcorn and crackers with cheese and spam (!) on the dining room, kitchen, or back patio tables. Drinks are even served to all as part of the show. 

The first time I saw Southern Gothic, I watched the majority from the dining room. I was a bit shy about moving locations. I overheard some financial travails affecting a few of the male characters. The second time, I focused on being in the kitchen and had a couple passionately kissing only like a foot away from me! Omg. There was heat in the kitchen! It was a bit shocking; I wasn’t expecting that! This third viewing, I wandered out back. Each time, I have caught a different aspect of the intertwining plots. It’s delightful. There is a LOT going on and a bunch of backstory with these “old friends.” My sis caught a detail about two characters that I hadn’t connected before.    

I spotted co-creator Amy Rubenstein in the crowd just before curtain, and blurted,”I fucking love this show! This is my third time seeing it.” She was as gracious as the Southern Hospitality on display in the Coutier Home in Ashford, Georgia. The large glass of wine I had pre-show may have been partly responsible for my outburst, but my appreciation of this spectacle is sincere. It’s a blast, and I recommend that everyone see it just because it is so fascinating and unique. 

New to the cast is Windy City Playhouse favorite Carley Cornelius as Lauren Lyon, who is the daughter of a politician and now married to one who is equally ambitious as her powerful father. She is a wonderful addition to the show, and I marveled at how she was sitting forlornly on the patio while chaos stormed nearby. Reese Parish is lovely as Cassie Smith, an unexpected surprise at the party. 

The costumes by Sydney Moore are to die for, especially the gorgeous women’s dresses. My sis, a shoe fanatic, nudged me to point out the fabulous shoes on the party guests.  

Windy City Playhouse South is right next to Petterino’s and the Goodman Theatre. You can catch dinner, then meander over to Georgia to witness some Southern hospitality and mayhem. You’ll be so glad you did. And order a whiskey sour to go with the bedlam. Cheers! 

Highly recommended. 4 out of 4 stars ★★★★

Catherine Hellmann is usually at a theater production, exploring Chicago, or in school trying to mold young teenage minds. She has three awesome kids and thinks being an empty nester is simply astounding.  

Windy City Playhouse Announces Cast for the Downtown Debut of Immersive Smash Hit "Southern Gothic" Produced in Association with Goodman Theatre and Greg Schaffert 

Multiple Jeff Award-Winning Creative Team Including Director David H. Bell and Scenic Designer Scott Davis to Return for New Production, Set to Open Sept. 15 at New Playhouse at Petterino's Location, Adjacent to the Goodman

Windy City Playhouse Artistic Director Amy Rubenstein, together with Goodman Theatre and Greg Schaffert, announced the cast and creative team for the downtown debut of the hit immersive production “Southern Gothic,” created by Rubenstein and Windy City Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Carl Menninger. “Southern Gothic,” written by Leslie Liautaud and once again directed by David H. Bell, will transport audiences to a cocktail party in 1960s Ashford, Georgia where four couples gather to celebrate a birthday. The Chicago production will welcome 45 audience members per performance to the Playhouse at Petterino’s (150 N. Dearborn, next to the Goodman Theatre) beginning Sept. 15.  

Cast of SOUTHERN GOTHIC, from left to right: (row one) Joe Edward Metcalfe, Carley Cornelius, Max Bowdren, Sarah Grant, (row two) Reese Parish, Max Stewart, Anne Sheridan Smith, Miles Borchard.

The cast of “Southern Gothic” includes returning artists Sarah Grant as Ellie Coutier and Anne Sheridan Smith as Suzanne Wellington, in addition to new cast members Miles Borchard as Tucker Alsworth, Matt Bowdren as Charlie Lyon, Carley Cornelius as Lauren Lyon, Joe Metcalfe as Jackson Wellington, Reese Parish as Cassie Smith and Max Stewart as Beau Coutier. 

Anchored by several members of the original production’s multiple Jeff Award-winning team, the creative team for this production includes David H. Bell who won a Jeff Award for his previous direction of Windy City Playhouse’s two-year, 606-performance run of “Southern Gothic,” playwright Leslie Liautaud, co-creator Amy Rubenstein, co-creator and dramaturg Carl Menninger and scenic designer Scott Davis, who also received a Jeff Award for the original production. In addition, the production includes Sydney Moore (Costume Designer), Aaron Lichamer (Lighting Designer), Lindsay Jones (Sound Designer), Eleanor Kahn (Properties and Details Designer), Max Fabian (Fight Choreographer), Donica Lynn (Assistant Director), Lauren Nigri (Associate Scenic Designer), Andres Mota (Assistant Costume Designer/Costume Coordinator), Rebecca Lister (Production Stage Manager), Hannah Weiss (Assistant Stage Manager), Danny Halminiak, (Technical Director), Hannah Bolstad (Lead Electrician) and Joe Johnson (Assistant Technical Director).

Hailed by critics during its inaugural run, “Southern Gothic” received four stars from Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones, who called the set “astonishing;” the Chicago Sun-Times said, “Immersive ‘Southern Gothic’ makes you feel right at home;” the Chicago Reader called “Southern Gothic” a “memorable and unique theater experience;” and PerformInk declared the show is “superb and fascinating... the kind of play that could easily develop a cult following.”

During the intimate, immersive show, audiences will be free to roam throughout the Jeff award-nominated house set, exploring various spaces and eavesdropping on clandestine conversations. Each visitor will create their own unique perspective on the evening’s proceedings. The cast of “Southern Gothic” does not interact with the audience, leaving patrons free to watch the scenes happening around them like an invisible guest, traveling from room to room and sampling period-appropriate cocktails and snacks throughout the performance. 

“Southern Gothic” is presented in partnership with producer Greg Schaffert and Southern Gothic Nash LLC. Schaffert, a producer best known for the Tony Award-winning “Peter and the Starcatcher,” looks to open a commercial run of the show in Nashville later this year.   

Tickets to “Southern Gothic” are on sale now and will range from $65 to $105. Press performances are slated for September 15 through 18. The production will run Wednesdays through Sundays at the Playhouse at Petterino’s, located at 150 N. Dearborn. For more information and ticketing, please visit

About the Production 

Leslie Liautaud (Playwright) has worked for over 30 years in professional theatre as actor, director, choreographer and playwright. Leslie is the author of “Midnight Waltzes” (2006), “He Is Us” (2008), “The Wreck” (2009), “Saligia” (2011) and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Millennial Edition” (2012). Her screenplays/webisodes include “Taj Mahal” (2006), “Web” (2010) and Jimmy John’s/Whateverhollywood (2010) parody web series. Leslie directed her one-act play, “The Mansion” (2010) and directed Tennessee Williams’ play “The Chalky White Substance” (2011) for the “Tennessee at 100” series both at ParklandCollege in Champaign, IL. She wrote “Spectacle Lunatique” for Redmoon Theatre in Chicago, IL (2012). Leslie’s plays have been produced throughout the Midwest United States and her plays “Midnight Waltzes” and “The Wreck” both received translations for the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent where they are used as classroom curriculum. Both are archived at the Opendoek Library in Antwerp.

Leslie has performed and choreographed for various Midwest theatres and organizations such as Ibsen Theatre, Exposure Inc., Liberty Symphony Orchestra, Worlds of Fun and Westport Ballet Company. Leslie co-founded the “People in Motion” high school youth performance program (1995) in Kansas City, MO. She is the author of the coming-of-age novel, “Black Bear Lake” and the psychological thriller, “Butterfly Pinned.”  

David H. Bell (Director) returns to Windy City Playhouse after directing last season’s Jeff Award-nominated “The Explorers Club.” He is a professor and Director of the Music Theatre Certificate program and Artistic Director of the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University. David has worked all over the world as a director, choreographer, and author. 

His work has received 44 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations, for which he has won 11; the Dramalogue Award (L.A.); the Helen Hayes Award (Washington, D.C.); five Carbonall Award nominations (Florida); a Laurence Olivier Award Nomination (London); seven Atlanta Journal and Constitution Awards; the Atlanta Circle of Dramatic Critics Award; and three National Endowment writing grants. 

He has served as Artistic Director for the historic Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., and as Associate Artistic Director for Atlanta’s Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre. He has had more than 40 new plays and musicals produced internationally, including the Laurence Olivier-nominated Musical “Hot Mikado.” Recently, he collaborated withNorthwestern University and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in presenting “Atlantic,” a pair of new musicals at the Edinburgh Festival last summer. He has collaborated on world premiere musicals with Craig Carnelia, Cy Coleman, Russell Baker, Jimmy Buffett, Herman Wouk, David Crane and Marta Kauffman, Bob Gaudio, Henry Marsh, Barry Mason, Jim Stafford, Eddie Seago, and Mike Leander, among many others. He directed and coauthored “Knute Rockne: All-American” at The Theatre at the Center, and his adaptation of “The Boys from Syracuse,” for which he was nominated for 3 Jefferson Awards, played at the Drury Lane Oakbrook. He directed his musical “The Bowery Boys” at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire and directed and choreographed “Once on This Island” at Marriott and “Hot Mikado” at Drury Lane. In summer 2011, David directed his own “Fanny Brice” musical at Florida’s Asolo Rep Theatre; wrote a program of musicals to accompany the AIDS Memorial Quilt to Washington D.C.; directed “Hamlet” at Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival and a World Premiere of HERO at the Marriott Theatre and Asolo Repertory Theatre; and wrote “The Rules Of Love” in Istanbul with Turkish rock stars Sertab Erener and Demir Demirkan. David opened “Shakin’ the Rafters” for Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre in Atlanta; directed “South Pacific,” “9 to 5,” “Cabaret” and “On The Town” for the Marriott Lincolnshire; and directed “The Comedy Of Errors,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Pericles” for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. For Northwestern University’s Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, David has directed “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” and six Waa-Mu Shows: “Another Way West,” “Beyond Belief,” “What’s Next?” “Off The Map,” “Flying Home” and “Gold.” David is currently writing and directing “The Museum Of Broken Relationships” with composer Daniel Green. 

Carl Menninger (Co-Creator/Dramaturg) lived and worked in Chicago for many years. He won the 2020 Joseph Jefferson Award for his direction of “The Boys in The Band.” He also directed the 2016 production of THIS at Windy City Playhouse. Carl was one of the writers of “A Recipe for Disaster!” as well as the co-writer of our recent production of “Sons Of Hollywood.” He is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at American University, in Washington, D.C., where he ran the Theatre and Musical Theatre program for eight years. While in Chicago, Carl worked with Victory Gardens and Chicago Dramatists. In addition to working with D.C.’s Ford’s Theatre, Studio Theatre and Adventure Theatre, his play “Everything But You: A Modern Romance” received a staged reading at Keegan Theatre in D.C. Carl is the co-author of “Minding the Edge: Strategies for a Fulfilling, Successful Career as an Actor.” 

Amy Rubenstein (Co-Creator) is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Windy City Playhouse. Since the theater’s premiere in March 2015, she has overseen 17 mainstage productions, including the recent world premieres “Southern Gothic” and “A Recipe for Disaster!” of which she was also a co-creator and writer. During her tenure, the Playhouse has been lauded for its uniquely contemporary approach that focuses on audience experience and has received numerous industry accolades, including 23 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations, 11 Chicago Theater Awards including the 2018 Trailblazer Award, and 3 International Centre for Women Playwrights’ 50/50 Awards. Prior to her current role at the Playhouse, Ms. Rubenstein’s credits include performing with Long Beach Playhouse, Human Race Theatre, and Center Stage Theater, among others. She is a proud graduate of Brandeis University. She is also a partner at Windy City RE and Clear Investment Group, two leading Chicago real estate investment firms. 

Miles Borchard (Tucker Alsworth) most recently appeared in “A Recipe For Disaster!” with Windy City Playhouse and is returning for another exciting immersive piece. Prior to the pandemic, Borchard was featured as the Teenage Boy in “Dead Man Walking” at the Lyric Opera and as Paul Morel in “Sons and Lovers” at the Greenhouse Theatre. He has appeared on film in leading roles for DePaul Productions, Philhouse Productions, and SHOED! Productions. He is also a professional circus performer, working in cabarets and street performing across the city. Borchard graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. 

Matt Bowdren (Charlie Lyon) is thrilled to make his Windy City Playhouse debut. In Chicago, Matt was most recently seen in “Rutherford and Son” (TimeLine Theatre).  Matt is a founding member of The Story Theatre where directed the inaugural production of “Leave Me Alone!” Regionally, Matt is an Artistic Associate for The Rogue Theatre where he has performed in over 30 productions including “Hamlet,”“The Crucible,” and“Waiting for Godot.” Other regional credits include Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Repertory Theatre, Hudson Shakespeare Company, and Southwest Shakespeare. Recent film credits include, “The Lot,” “The Coming” and “Happily Never After” (Lifetime). Matt is represented by DDO Chicago and holds an MFA in Performance from The University of Georgia. 

Carley Cornelius (Lauren Lyon) Carley Cornelius returns to WCP where she previously appeared in “A Recipe for Disaster!” and “Becky Shaw.” In Chicago she has had the pleasure to collaborate with Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Writers Theatre, Chicago Sketchfest, The House Theater of Chicago, and is an ensemble member of Definition Theatre  (“White, An Octoroon,” “The Dutchman”). Some regional credits include work with Colorado Theatreworks (“Venus In Fur,” “Constellations,” “Detroit”), Urbanite Theatre (“The Drowning Girls”), Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (“Shakespeare In Love”) TheatreSquared (“At The Wedding”), as well as productions with Montana, Texas, Door and Great River Shakespeare Festivals. You may have seen her telling you to “read a f*^#ing book” on The Onion, searching for multiple children on NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” drinking Maker’s Mark on Hulu or trying to find a home on HGTV’s “House Hunters.” Carley holds degrees from Ball State University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and is represented by Big Mouth Talent. #stayinit 

Sarah Grant (Ellie Coutier) is thrilled to be returning to “Southern Gothic” as Ellie. Other Chicago Credits include: “Mr. Dickens’ Hat” (Northlight Theatre, u/s); “Upstairs Concierge” (Goodman Theatre, u/s); “A Very Merry Madrigal” (Theo Ubique); “Sleeping Beauty” and “Godspell” (Provision); “Hamlet Is Dead. No Gravity.” and “A Hedda Gabler” (Red Tape); “Death and Harry Houdini” (House Theatre). Regional credits include: “The Dos and Don’ts of Time Travel” (Phoenix Theatre, IN). She teaches at the Chicago Academy for the Arts and holds a master's degree in the humanities from the University of Chicago. Sarah is represented by Lily’s Talent and thanks her family, friends, and partner Anthony who plays all the parts. 

Joe Metcalfe (Jackson Wellington) Is beyond grateful to be returning to Windy City Playhouse! He was last seen at Windy City understudying in “A Recipe for Disaster!” where he went on a handful of times. CHICAGO: “Romeo And Juliet” (Kane Repertory Theatre), “Keely & Du” (Redtwist Theatre), “Bent” (Muse Theatre Co.) and “Grant In Othello” (Theatre Witt) – “Regional: Re-Entry” (Montana Rep), “Other Desert Cities” (Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol, FL), “Two Conversations”…  (WP - Humana) by Sarah Ruhl, “Dreamerwake” (WP - Humana) by Anne Washburn, “Dracula” (Actors Theatre of Louisville). TV/FILM: “Soundtrack” (Netflix), “NeXt” (FOX). TRAINING: Actors Theatre of Louisville PT Company, MFA – Northern Illinois University. He is represented by Big Mouth Talent. - - For Cyndi, always. 

Reese Parish (Cassie Smith) Reese, current DePaul Junior, is elated to be making her Windy City Playhouse debut! As a Milwaukee native, she’s worked extensively with The Milwaukee Repertory Theater most recently seen in “West Side Story,” Love in “Everybody,” and also appearing as Wendy Darling in the world premiere production of “Lost Girl.” Other theater credits include Annie in “Annie Jump And The Library Of Heaven,” Cassandra in “Bliss Or Emily Post Is Dead” (Renaissance Theaterworks) and Dorothy in THE WIZ (First Stage).

This past year Reese has had the privilege of working on web-series “APT” (Everything Bagel Productions) and was seen as Anna in “Ferdinand Avenue” and Christina in “Afterword” (Paper Crown Productions). Reese is represented by Paonessa Talent and is thrilled to be back on stage doing what she loves! Special thanks to her village who is with her at every step and bow.   

Anne Sheridan Smith (Suzanne Wellington) is happily returning to the role of Suzanne Wellington and working with Windy City Playhouse again. Born and brought up in Chicago, Anne is rooted in its theatre community. Her Chicago theatre production highlights include “The Drowning Girls” (Jeff Nomination, Best Ensemble - Play, Signal Ensemble Theatre), “Once Upon A Mattress” as Queen Aggravain (Theo Ubique), “Fun Home” as Helen (Victory Gardens Theatre), “Bat Boy,” “The MusicAL” as Meredith (Jeff Nomination, Best Supporting, Griffin Theatre), “The Good Soul Of SZECHUAN” (Strawdog Theatre), 1776 as Abigail (Jeff Award, Best Musical, Signal Ensemble), “9 To 5, The Musical” as Violet (Firebrand), “Juno” as Maisie (TimeLine Theatre), “Mother Courage And Her Children” as Yvette Pottier (Vitalist Theatre). She received her B.A. in Theatre and Acting from Western Illinois University. Anne is represented by Shirley Hamilton Talent. 

Max Stewart (Beau Coutier) Max is a graduate of The Theatre School at Depaul University and has studied at the British American Dramatic Academy in Oxford.  He is a NFAA Young Arts Award Winner in Spoken Theatre and won a William Faulkner Literary Award for his play “Antarctica” which premiered at Curious Theatre Company in Denver.  Recent theatre credits include: “Walk on The Wild Side” (Pale Horse Playhouse), “Sons Of Hollywood” (Windy City Playhouse) and Romeo in “Romeo And Juliet” (Kane Repertory Theatre Company). Selected TV/Film Credits include: Chicago Fire (NBC), Soundtrack (Netflix) Dir. Joe Swanberg, Worth Dir. Austin Lewis, (Best Supporting Actor Winner Nashville 48 Hour Film Festival) and Never the Bride Dir. Alex Heller.  Max is represented by Gray Talent Group. Instagram: @maxflash4 CN Mason (Cassie Smith U/S) Candice (CN) is a proud native of the California Bay Area who is excited to be joining the “Southern Gothic” team. She was last seen onstage as an understudy in the 2022 production of “Middle Passage” at Lifeline Theatre where she made her Chicago debut. Recently signed to 10 MGMT, she hopes to use her platform to continue cultivating community and give life to stories of the global-majority on stage and film. When not acting you can find her being an educator.  

About Windy City Playhouse 

Windy City Playhouse is a professional theater and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, located on Chicago's northwest side. Premiering in March of 2015 with a mission to present contemporary, relevant, and approach art, the Playhouse has quickly become a mainstay of the Chicago theater scene. In 2018, its runaway hit, the immersive

“Southern Gothic” solidified the Playhouse as the first choice in Chicago theater for one-of-a-kind audience experience. "Experience driven. Audience first." 

For more information, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 


About Goodman Theatre 

Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community

organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play

development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earner two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fifth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters. As a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community, Goodman Theatre is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. Goodman Theatre’s Action Plan for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Access (IDEAA) was born out of the belief that progress means action, which includes building on the decades-long commitment to using art, assets and resources to contribute to a more just, equitable and anti-racist society. 


Thursday, September 22, 2022

REVIEW: World Premiere of The HOA At The Factory Theater September 9 - October 20, 2022

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar





Guest Review 
by Catherine Hellmann

“We have to devolve to evolve,” proclaims Syd, the President of the HOA and guru of health, therapy, and mindfulness. Syd seems the local expert on all matters in this odd close-knit community that is not what it seems. If a neighbor needs a handyman, Syd “knows a guy.” Yardwork? Syd has someone he can recommend. Need happy pills to get through daily living?? Syd is certainly your connection for that…  and apparently he’s providing for everyone. 

Cassie and Steve are a happily married couple who move to this strange new town after Steve lands an incredible promotion. Cassie loved her job developing pharmaceuticals, but she has stepped back on her own career momentarily while Steve settles in at his new position. He assures her that she doesn’t have to find employment if she doesn’t want to, they can afford their lifestyle without her job. But Cassie finds fulfillment through work. Strangely, all the other women in their subdivision are full-time homemakers, all of them having left successful careers behind, including Daphne who’d been a neurosurgeon. Huh?? Who walks away from being a neurosurgeon?? Things don’t make sense in this eerily Stepford-Wives World. 

The women are introduced as “belonging” to their husbands. “She belongs to Brent.” Hmmm… Every couple is in counseling. The women assume that Cassie’s big news is that she’s pregnant when she is about to announce she has found a new job; their enthusiasm is dimmed with the career advancement over the possibility of motherhood. It feels very retro, but not in a good way. Things are just…really “off.”   

Jennifer Betancourt as Cassie and Andrew Cawley as Steve really shine in their roles. I felt for Cassie as she begins to seriously question her marriage and her sanity. The large cast for this tiny space does a wonderful job. Even the scene changes got laughs as the fairy-like silly music prompted the actresses to wisk away furniture and props in an animated fashion.

Eric Frederickson as Syd has a great presence domineering all of the residents. He has to be larger than life for all of the influence he controls over his neighborhood association.

The set is awesome, and I love this theater. It’s impressive how such a big cast navigates the allotted room. The night I attended, I think the audience was comprised of the actors’ friends and family. While it is lovely to be supportive, the woman next to me acted like it was an interactive show. A character asked a question onstage, and she answered a response out loud.What the hell. It took all my self-control to not tell this woman to shut up…and I really credit the actress for not being thrown off in her performance. 

This is a great show in a truly Chicago-style storefront. Go support them. And---Be sure to wear your black spandex bike shorts. You’ll fit right in. 

Catherine Hellmann is a self-proclaimed “theater whore,” who teaches at a charter school where she can look at the Chagall mosaic during lunch. She loves that. She lives in Rogers Park, and the 49B bus driver is her new best friend.   

The Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard St., is proud to announce the cast and creative team for the first production in its 28th season, the world premiere of The HOA, September 9 - October 20, written by Angelina Martinez and directed by Christy Arington. The new season begins with an The HOA Launch Party, Thursday, Aug. 11 from 7 - 10 p.m. Previews for The HOA are Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. We'll be out for the Press Opening Sept. 16th so check back shortly for our full review. The performance schedule is Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets for HOA are $25 and may be purchased through the Box Office by calling 866-811-4111 or by visiting

The HOA tells the story of two successful professionals, Cassie and Steve, moving to a new city after Steve receives a promotion. Their new neighbors seem nice, but it becomes clear to Cassie that something is really out of the ordinary. See what happens when a local couple finds their dream home in a neighborhood that’s not quite right.

The HOA cast includes Jennifer Betancourt~ (Cassie), Andrew Cawley (Steve), Moira Begale (Stephanie), Eric Frederickson✝ (Syd), Erin Stewart (Colleen), Ben Veatch (Brent), Devri Chism (Barb), Chase Wheaton-Werle~ (Max), Brittany Ellis (Maddie), Reginald Hemphill (Patrick), Ashley Yates~ (Daphne), TBD (Shawn), Sydney Back (Cassie U/S), Cooper Bohn (Steve U/S), Hilary Sanzel (Stephanie U/S), Daniel Vaughn (Syd U/S), Erika Rose (Colleen/Maddie U/S), Colin Jackson (Brent/Patrick U/S), April Lowery (Barb/Daphne U/S) and Ryan Blanchard (Max/Shawn U/S).

The HOA production team includes Angelina Martinez** (playwright), Christy Arington (director), Melissa Golden (associate director), Lindsey Chidester (stage manager), Rose Hamill (production manager), AJ Morely (set design and props), C.W. van Baale~  (master electrician), Pete Dully (lighting and projections design) and Jessica Van Winkle (costume design).

~ denotes Factory Ensemble

✝ denotes Factory Artistic Associate

**Denotes Factory Theater Ensemble Emeritus

Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs). = (any with respect)


Angelina Martinez is a proud Factory emeritus member. In addition to playwriting, she has been an actor, director and set designer (not all at the same time) for several productions during her tenure with the company. She has also done these types of activities for other theater companies as well. She might possibly do any of these things again in the future. 


For more than 25 years, the Factory has created its shows from scratch, doing exactly the kind of theater they wanted to do. From writing workshops to the closing night bash, Factory shows are a unique experience that fits its exacting standards: original, bold, and full-tilt. Its shameless ensemble are ambassadors of a good time, making certain that Chicago remains heartily entertained.

The Factory Theater,1623 W. Howard St., begins its 28th season with the world premiere of The HOA, September 9 - October 20, written by Angelina Martinez and directed by Christy Arington. Previews are Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. The Press Opening is Friday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. and the performance schedule is Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets for The HOA  are $25 and may be purchased through the Box Office by calling 866-811-4111 or by visiting

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

REVIEW: Pulitzer Winning Playwright Lynn Nottage's Clyde's at Goodman Theatre Through October 9, 2022

In food and in life, we truly are all stronger together 

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar





Photo Credit for all: Liz Lauren


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

A battered, old-school diner sign hangs by a small window. As the lights dim, the window expands into a stage-wide trapezoid, rimmed in a pop of color, reminiscent of neon. The audience is treated to a fly on the wall view of a kitchen crew, made up of the formerly incarcerated. It's intriguing peering through the window into their fast paced workspace, as they reassemble their post prison lives, while assembling sandwiches at a truck stop dive. The boss woman, Clyde, is fierce and borderline abusive, with her own past history and sketchy overlords she's beholden to. She reigns over her queendom of the desperate with an iron fist, yet gives her workers a fair chance at a living wage and a second chance. Despite the odds stacked against these sandwich stackers, their tale is told with empathy, humor, and a full plate of the universal struggles of being human.

Much like this intrepid band of former inmates, two potted herbs flourish and grow in a beam of sun, despite the dismal surroundings. As the coworkers' hostility and defenses are broken down, friendships and even romance blooms. Preconceptions are blown apart as the kitchen staff slowly grows to trust one another and share glimpses into their current life situations, struggles, and backstories. It's heartbreaking to hear that prison came as a result of an innocent brother's altruistic gesture, the desperation of an uninsured mother with a sick child, and an all too human backlash at scabs taking away factory jobs during a strike. First impressions of racist tattoos and other surface looks are dispelled, as this motley band of humans bond and learn to trust again. 

I particularly loved the mouthwatering games of dream sandwich invention, showing creativity, intelligence, collective input, and a longing to improve on the present. In life lessons through lunch, the kitchen crew moves through trying too hard, taking risks, speaking up, trusting themselves, and finally collaboration. Ultimately, though each creates decent solo efforts, it's one final, collective sandwich that makes the magic happen. In food and in life, we truly are all stronger together. 

Shout out to Takeshi Kata for the playful set design with an oasis of a walk-in fridge that looks like a vacation destination, dynamic and appealing. I also love the brilliant pops of fire bookending the production's beginning and end. 

It's rare to see an understudy on opening night, but boss bitch, Danielle Davis nailed it as Clyde. De'Adre Aziza is currently out with a non-Covid-related illness. Davis has been standing in as Ms. Aziza’s understudy for the last five performances, and will continue playing Clyde until the principal fully recovers. Director Kate Whoriskey states “While we were met with the challenge of having to make the show without our principal actor, we want to celebrate the work of our understudy.”

Playwright and screenwriter, Lynn Nottage has long been one of our favorites. She is the first woman in history to win two well deserved Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her way with words and gritty, unwavering look at the working class wronged is always a treat to see on stage! Kudos to Goodman Theatre for holding space for these life experiences, and bringing together that unique amalgamation of talent and tech to make this storytelling shine! Highly recommended. Four out of four stars. ★★★★

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theatre critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist, and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: (adult) & (family friendly). 

About Clyde’s 

A “flavor-bomb of a new comedy about survival, second chances and digesting whatever life serves up” (Variety), Clyde’s earned five Tony Award nominations in its Broadway run, directed by Ms. Nottage’s longtime creative collaborator, Kate Whoriskey. Creating the perfect sandwich is the shared quest of the formerly incarcerated kitchen staff of Clyde’s, a truck stop cafe. Even as the shop’s mischievous owner tries to keep them under her thumb, the staffers are given purpose and permission to dream—finding that “sometimes a hero is more than a sandwich” (New York Times). This stirring, masterful play kicks off Goodman Theatre’s new 2022/2023 Season.

Celebrated creative collaborators over two decades, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage and director Kate Whoriskey return to Goodman Theatre with their latest Broadway production, Clyde’s, launching the Goodman’s 2022/2023 Season. The cast of the Chicago premiere features Tony Award-nominated actress De’Adre Aziza as the hot-tempered Clyde, whose eponymous truck stop café’s kitchen staff of formerly incarcerated people—Kevin Kenerly (Montrellous), Reza Salazar (Rafael), Nedra Snipes (Letitia) and Garrett Young (Jason)—dreams of creating the perfect sandwich. Clyde’s appears September 10 – October 9 in the 856-seat Albert Theatre.

Tickets ($25 –$80, subject to change) are now available at or by phone at 312-443-3800. 

The Goodman is grateful for the support of JP Morgan Chase & Co. (Lead Corporate Sponsor) and Winston & Strawn LLP (Corporate Sponsor Partner). Clyde’s is a co-production with Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, where it will appear November 15 – December 18, 2022.

“I am beyond thrilled to be returning to the Goodman Theatre, which has been so instrumental in nurturing me a theater artist,” said playwright Lynn Nottage, whose works at the Goodman include Sweat (2019), By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (2013), Ruined (her Pulitzer Prize-winning world-premiere Goodman commission and co-production with Manhattan Theatre Club, 2008) and Crumbs from the Table of Joy (2006). “I can’t wait to share Clyde’s with the Chicago community, and with audiences in Los Angeles at Center Theatre Group later this fall.”

Director Kate Whoriskey, whose world-premiere collaborations with Ms. Nottage include Sweat (2015), Ruined (at the Goodman, 2008), Fabulation or The Re-Education of Undine (2004) and Intimate Apparel (2003) said, “I’m thrilled to work with Tony Award nominee De’Adre Aziza, Nedra Snipes and Garrett Young—as well as to continue developing this play with our original collaborators Reza Salazar and Kevin Kenerly.”

Chicago audiences are first to experience Clyde’s following its Broadway run, where it earned five Tony Award nominations and was critically hailed as a “delightful new play” (New York Times) with “feisty comedy on the menu” (Washington Post), a “winning recipe” (Deadline) with “brilliant writing” (Daily Beast), and a “flavor-bomb of a new comedy about survival, second chances and digesting whatever life serves up” (Variety).

“It’s enormously exciting to welcome audiences to our new season with a sensational new work from one of the Goodman’s most-produced playwrights,” said Robert Falls. “We’re also thrilled to welcome back Lynn’s longtime artistic partner, director Kate Whoriskey, and to collaborate with our friends at Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group to extend the life of this wonderful production.”

Added Center Theatre Group Managing Director / CEO Meghan Pressman, “Clyde’s was a highlight of last year's Broadway season, and our partnership with Goodman Theatre allows us to bring this outstanding production to Los Angeles. Clyde's will be the second time we have produced Lynn's work in Los Angeles, and we are thrilled to bring this bold, engaging, and entertaining play to our audiences for its West Coast premiere.”

Understudies for this production include Danielle Davis (Clyde), Lewon Johns (Montrellous), Maya Vinice Prentiss (Letitia), Arik Vega (Rafael) and Gage Wallace (Jason). The creative team includes Takeshi Kata (Set Design); Jennifer Moeller (Costume Design); Christopher Akerlind (Lighting Design); Justin Ellington (Sound Design); and Justin Hicks (Composition). Casting is by Lauren Port, CSA and Rachael Jimenez, CSA, and Nikki Blue is the Production Stage Manager.

A playwright and a screenwriter, Lynn Nottage is the first woman in history to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. Chicago credits include Ruined (Goodman Theatre); Sweat (Goodman Theatre); By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Goodman Theatre); Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Goodman Theatre; Steppenwolf) and Intimate Apparel (Steppenwolf). Broadway credits include her plays Clyde’s (2ST) and Sweat, and the libretto for the musical MJ. Other work includes the libretto for the opera Intimate Apparel (Lincoln Center Theater); co-curating the performance installation The Watering Hole (Signature Theater); the libretto for the musical adaptation of The Secret Life of Bees; as well as her plays Mlima's Tale; Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine; Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’knockers and POOF!. She has also developed This is Reading, a performance installation in Reading, Pennsylvania. Ms. Nottage is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, among other awards, is an associate professor at Columbia University School of the Arts and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Kate Whoriskey is a New York-based theater and opera director. On Broadway, she has directed Clyde’s, Sweat and The Miracle Worker. Off-Broadway credits include All the Natalie Portmans at MCC; Sweat, Manhatta and Ping Pong at The Public; Aubergine, Inked Baby and Fabulation at Playwrights Horizons; Her Requiem at Lincoln Center; How I Learned to Drive and Cardinal at Second Stage; Oroonoko at Theatre for a New Audience; and Ruined and Tales from Red Vienna at Manhattan Theatre Club. Regionally, she has worked at the Goodman, A.R.T, the Guthrie, the Huntington, the Geffen, South Coast Rep, Sundance Theatre Lab, New York Stage and Film among others. Internationally, her work has been seen at the Chatelet in Paris and Theatro Municipal Opera in Rio de Janeiro and Carriage Works in Sydney. She also directed Turn of the Screw at Mannis. Teaching experience includes Princeton, NYU and UC Davis. She was recently awarded Best Director from the Drama League for her production of Clyde’s.


Clyde………...............De’Adre Aziza 

Montrellous…………Kevin Kenerly 

Rafael…………………Reza Salazar

Letitia……………….. Nedra Snipes

Jason………………..Garrett Young

Understudies for this production include Danielle Davis (Clyde), Lewon Johns (Montrellous), Maya Vinice Prentiss (Letitia), Arik Vega (Rafael) and Gage Wallace (Jason).

Set Design by Takeshi Kata

Costume Design by Jennifer Moeller

Lighting Design by Christopher Akerlind

Sound Design by Justin Ellington

Composition by Justin Hicks

Casting is by Lauren Port, CSA and Rachael Jimenez, CSA. Nikki Blue is the Production Stage Manager.




Join your fellow theater-loving college students for pizza and a play! A $10 ticket for Clyde’s college night includes a pre-show reception with all-you-can-eat pizza, soda, and a discussion with a featured cast member.

Use code COLLEGE to unlock $10 tickets for this event.* 


Visit Goodman for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.

Touch Tour and Audio-Described Performance: Saturday, October 8, 12:30pm Touch Tour; 2pm performance – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset. NOTE: Touch Tours for the 2022/2023 Season will not have access to the stage due to current health and safety protocols, but will feature alternate pre-show sensory introductions.

ASL-Interpreted: Friday, October 7 at 8pm – An American Sign Language interpreter signs the action/text as played.

Spanish Subtitles: Saturday October 8 at 8pm.

Open-Captioned: Sunday, October 9 at 2pm – An LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance.

Please note: Our current Health and Safety Protocols require masks while in the theater. These protocols are subject to change and patrons will be notified in advance of their performance of any shift in our policies. Review our current policy at


Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under the leadership of Managing Director / CEO Meghan Pressman and Producing Director Douglas C. Baker, and in collaboration with the five Associate Artistic Directors, Luis Alfaro, Lindsay Allbaugh, Tyrone Davis, Neel Keller, Kelley Kirkpatrick, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1,600 to 2,100-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics, and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement. The theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earner two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fifth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters.

Using the tools of the theatrical profession, the Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs aim to develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and stories of diverse voices. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of these programs, which are offered free of charge for Chicago youth—85% of whom come from underserved communities—schools and life-long learners.

As a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community, Goodman Theatre is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. Goodman Theatre’s Action Plan for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Access (IDEAA) was born out of the belief that progress means action, which includes building on the decades-long commitment to using art, assets and resources to contribute to a more just, equitable and anti-racist society.

Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation on the new Goodman center in 2000.

Today, Goodman Theatre is led by Artistic Director Robert Falls (Susan Booth will assume that role this fall) and Executive Director Roche Schulfer. Theater leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Rebecca Gilman, Dael Orlandersmith, Henry Godinez, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor and Mary Zimmerman. Jeff Hesse is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Fran Del Boca is Women’s Board President and Craig McCaw is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.

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