BROADWAY’S KRISTINE NIELSEN AND CHICAGO FAVORITE ALLEN GILMORE LEAD
THE MATCHMAKER, THORNTON WILDER’S RARELY-REVIVED UPROARIOUS ROMP AT
***DIRECTED BY HENRY WISHCAMPER WITH A SET BY NEIL PATEL AND COSTUMES BY JENNY MANNIS,
THE MATCHMAKER APPEARS MARCH 5 – APRIL 10
IN THE ALBERT THEATRE; TICKETS ON SALE NOW***
Casting is complete for Henry Wishcamper’s contemporary take on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker—the inspiration for the musical Hello, Dolly!, praised as “one of the sweetest and smartest romantic farces ever written” (The Wall Street Journal)—revealing social truths through mistaken identity, outrageous misbehavior and spontaneous romance.
Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen is Dolly Gallagher Levi, the vivacious matchmaker who is recruited to find a wife for the wealthy yet prickly widower, Horace Vandergelder, portrayed by Chicago favorite Allen Gilmore. Little does Horace know that Dolly is plotting to become the next Mrs. Vandergelder herself!
Joining Nielsen and Gilmore are a cast of acclaimed talents and rising stars, including Theo Allyn (Ermengarde), Behzad Dabu (Barnaby Tucker), Larry DiStasi (Cabman/Rudolph), Marilyn Dodds Frank (Flora Van Huysen), Sydney Germaine (Minnie Fay), Marc Grapey (Malachi Stack), Anita Hollander (Cook/Gertrude), Ronobir Lahiri (Ambrose Kemper), Elizabeth Ledo (Mrs. Malloy), Postell Pringle (Cornelius Hackl) and Ron Rains (Joe Scanlon). The creative team includes: Neil Patel (sets), Jenny Mannis (costumes), David Lander (lights) and Richard Woodbury (sound). Alden Vasquez is the Production Stage Manager.
The Matchmaker appears in the Goodman’s 856-seat Albert Theatre, March 5 – April 10, 2016. Tickets ($25-$82, as well as a special $10 ticket price for students) go on sale Friday, January 22; visit GoodmanTheatre.org, call 312.443.3800 or purchase in person at the Box Office at 170 N. Dearborn. For images and bio information for the company, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/PressRoom. Ernst & Young LLP and Interactive Health are the Corporate Sponsor Partners.
“I’m thrilled to collaborate with this diverse group of extraordinary artists on the play Thornton Wilder called ‘a farce with social implications’—and what I believe is his most unappreciated major play,” said Director Henry Wishcamper, who has earned critical acclaim for his productions of classic plays, including Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes, among others. “Effortlessly charming, funny and romantic, The Matchmaker also touches on many issues—economic inequity, diversity and the search for the authentic self—that feel relevant to our current cultural moment. Like the play, I hope our production will capture both levity and emotional depth.”
Broadway star Kristine Nielsen makes her Goodman debut.
“This will be my first time back in Chicago since I graduated from Northwestern University 30-odd years ago, and I can't wait to unleash ‘Dolly Gallagher Levi’—crossing fingers for hijinks and hilarity results,” said Nielsen, who previously appeared as ‘Sonia’ in the Broadway sensation Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, earning her the 2013 Tony Award Nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Play.
On the heels of his appearance in Wishcamper’s production of A Christmas Carol, Allen Gilmore joins Nielsen to lead the 13-member cast.
“I'm happy to return to the Goodman for this exciting reimagining of Thornton Wilder’s iconic play and am likewise overjoyed to reunite with Henry, Theo Allyn and Ron Rains, my buddies from A Christmas Carol,” said Gilmore, the 2015 recipient of the 3Arts Award, whose past Thornton Wilder credits include Our Town at Seattle’s Intiman Theater.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Monday, May 4, 2015
LILLIAN HELLMAN’S FEROCIOUS, FUNNY AND ENDURINGLY RELEVANT
THE LITTLE FOXES
REVIVED AT THE GOODMAN MAY 2 – JUNE 7 DIRECTED BY HENRY WISHCAMPER
**ALL-STAR CHIGAGO CAST INCLUDES MICHAEL CANAVAN, SHANNON COCHRAN, MARY BETH FISHER, RAE GRAY, JOHN JUDD, STEVE PICKERING, CHERENE SNOW, DAN WALLER, LARRY YANDO AND DEXTER ZOLLICOFFER**
***SPECIAL READING OF ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST, HELLMAN’S PREQUEL, SET FOR MAY 16***
Greed and familial betrayal is at the darkly comic heart of The Little Foxes by Tony Award-winning playwright Lillian Hellman—“an expertly constructed, grippingly paced plot machine that pits good against evil and lets evil win” (The New York Times). Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper directs the classic 1939 play about wealth’s corrupting power—one of Hellman’s most notable works, which was adapted into a 1941 film starring Bette Davis—centering on the Hubbard family’s ruthless pursuit in the South’s post-bellum economic slump. The Little Foxes appears May 2 – June 7 in the Albert Theatre (opening night is Monday, May 11). Tickets ($25-$81; subject to change) are on sale now at GoodmanTheatre.org/LittleFoxes, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). The Goodman Theatre Women’s Board is the Major Production Sponsor, Ernst & Young LLP and Interactive Health are the Corporate Sponsor Partners and Towers Watson is the Opening Night Sponsor for The Little Foxes.
“The Little Foxes is a vivacious, bitingly funny American drama whose central idea—that greed can rot community, family and human beings—transcends the decades that separate us from Hellman’s characters,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “Henry has demonstrated an affinity and dexterity with previous classic stage works, including Charles Dickens and August Strindberg, and I’m excited for him to sink his teeth into this juicy masterwork.”
A 10-member all-star Chicago cast brings the rapacious Hubbard clan to life. Shannon Cochran, Larry Yando and Steve Pickering portray the well-to-do siblings Regina, Ben and Oscar Hubbard, who aim to compound their family fortune by opening an industrialized cotton mill in their small southern town. The venture, however, will prove impossible without the financial support of Horace (John Judd), Regina’s dying husband. In an attempt to secure the money, Oscar initially suggests Leo (Dan Waller), his son with his troubled wife Birdie (Mary Beth Fisher), marry Regina’s and Horace’s daughter Alexandra (Rae Gray). When Horace refuses to endorse the marriage, an explosive series of betrayals shatters the Hubbard clan’s genteel façade and exposes their merciless intentions. Rounding out the cast is Michael Canavan as William Marshall; Cherene Snow as Addie; and Dexter Zollicoffer as Cal. The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (set), Jenny Mannis (costumes), David Lander (lighting) and Richard Woodbury (sound). Joseph Drummond is the production stage manager and Neena Arndt is the dramaturg.
As a complement to the production, the Goodman presents a reading of Another Part of the Forest—the play Hellman wrote as a prequel to The Little Foxes and a work the theater previously produced in its 1956/1957 season. This one-time special event takes place on Saturday, May 16 at 2pm at the Goodman. Tickets are free but reservations are required via the Goodman box office (contact information above).
Though a work of fiction, the environs The Little Foxes depicts were part of Tony Award-winning playwright Lillian Hellman’s (1905 – 1984) formative years. Born into a successful southern family in New Orleans, Hellman spent her childhood shuttling between the South and New York City and later attended New York University and Columbia University. Blacklisted after refusing to sign a loyalty clause with Columbia Pictures, she was summoned to testify in front of the House of Un-American Activities Committee in 1951, but refused to plead the fifth amendment or deny her brief involvement with the Communist party. She memorably delivered a statement in which she wrote, “I was raised in an old-fashioned American tradition…to try to tell the truth, not to bear false witness, not to harm my neighbor, to be loyal to my country… I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.”
Hellman’s celebrated works include The Children’s Hour, Watch on the Rhine, Another Part of the Forest, The Autumn Garden, Toys in the Attic (Tony Award), My Mother, My Father and Me, Montserrat, The Searching Wind and Days to Come. She also won a Tony Award for the book of the musical Candide. Her many accolades include the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Gold Medal for Drama from the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the National Book Award for her memoir, An Unfinished Woman. She also subsequently wrote two more volumes of her memoirs, Pentimento: A Book of Portraits and Scoundrel Time.
EVENTS AND SPECIAL PERFORMANCES (Contact the Goodman Theatre Box Office for tickets/reservations)
May 10, Artist Encounter with Director Henry Wishcamper, 5pm discussion ($5; FREE for Subs/Donors/students)
May 13, College Night – 6pm pre-show pizza party, 7:30pm show ($10 promo COLLEGE w/valid student ID)
May 13, Sign Interpreted performance, 7:30pm; a professional ASL interpreter signs the action/text as performed
May 16, Reading of Another Part of the Forest, 2pm; Lillian Hellman’s prequel play to The Little Foxes
May 14 and 19, Student Matinee Performances, 11am (free for students in the Student Subscription Series)
May 20, Audio Described Performance, 7:30pm; the action/text is audibly enhanced via a special headset
June 6, Open-Captioned Performance, 2pm; an LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance
May 15, 22 and 29, June 5, PlayTalks – Pre-show discussions with members of the Goodman’s Artistic Staff
Every Wednesday and Thursday evening, PlayBacks – Discussions with actors immediately following the show