Showing posts with label Chicago Debut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago Debut. Show all posts

Friday, January 31, 2020

New production of 42nd Street Makes Its Chicago Premiere at Lyric Opera House May 29 - June 21, 2020

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
Broadway stars Norm Lewis and Faith Prince to lead Lyric Opera of Chicago's 42nd Street

Broadway stars Norm Lewis and Faith Prince will headline Lyric Opera of Chicago’s premiere of Harry Warren and Al Dubin’s song-and-dance spectacular 42nd Street, presented from May 29 – June 21, 2020 at Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago (press opening May 30, 2020).

Norm Lewis and Faith Prince take on the roles of famed Broadway director Julian Marsh and Dorothy Brock, the seasoned diva who sees her star status eclipsed by a rising newcomer. Lewis recently appeared in the NBC television special Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert! alongside John Legend and Sara Bareilles. He received Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle award nominations as Porgy in The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess. In 2014, Lewis made history as the first African American to play the title role in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Other recent credits include the Broadway revival ofOnce on This Island and the title role in Sweeney Todd Off-Broadway, for which he received an AUDELCO Award. He is starring in Spike Lee’s upcoming Netflix film Da 5 Bloods.

Prince is a Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award winner for her performance as Miss Adelaide in the 1992 Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls. She most recently starred on Broadway in Disaster! the musical and as Miss Hannigan in the Broadway revival of Annie. She was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for both A Catered Affair and Bells Are Ringing, and was nominated for Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. Prince recurs on ABC’s Modern Family, and previously reurred on ABC’s Melissa & Joey and Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva. Prince appeared in Chicago in the new musical version of the hit movie First Wives Club in 2015. 

Single tickets for 42nd Street start at $37 and are on sale now at, in person at the Lyric Opera House box office, or by calling 312-827-5600.

Stephen Mear directs and choreographs this high-energy production featuring members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Gareth Valentine. Set and costume designs are by Peter McKintosh, with lighting designed by Chris Davey and sound designed by Mark Grey.

Tony Award-winning song-and-dance spectacular 42nd Street centers on a starry-eyed young dancer named Peggy Sawyer who leaves her home in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to audition for the new Broadway show Pretty Lady, staged by notorious director Julian Marsh. When leading lady Dorothy Brock breaks her ankle, Peggy takes over and rises from chorus girl to star status overnight. 42nd Street is filled with sensational tap numbers and memorable melodies like “Lullaby of Broadway,” “We’re in the Money,” “You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me,” “Sunny Side to Every Situation,” “Young and Healthy,” and the famed title song. With music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer, and a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, the stage musical is based on the novel by Bradford Ropes and Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie.


Norm Lewis has received Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle award nominations as Porgy in The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess. He recently appeared in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert! and in the Broadway revival of Once on This Island. In 2014, Lewis was the first African American to play the title role in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. His nine other Broadway shows range from Les Misérables and Chicago to Miss Saigon and The Who’s Tommy. He has appeared extensively off-Broadway and in many major regional theaters nationwide, including in the title role in Sweeney Todd (AUDELCO Award). On PBS he has been seen in Norm Lewis: Who Am I?, New Year’s Eve: A Gershwin Celebration, Les Misérables: The 25th Anniversary Concert (as Javert, a role he also played in London’s West End), Show Boat, American Voices with Renée Fleming, and First You Dream – The Music of Kander & Ebb. Lewis has a recurring role in the VH1 series Daytime Divas and has previously been featured in television’s Scandal, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Bull, Chicago Med, Gotham, The Blacklist, and Blue Bloods. Lewis stars in Spike Lee’s upcoming Netflix film Da 5 Bloods.

Faith Prince has been dazzling Broadway since winning the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards as Miss Adelaide/Guys and Dolls. She most recently starred on Broadway in Disaster! and as Miss Hannigan in the revival of Annie. She was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for both A Catered Affair and Bells Are Ringing, and was nominated for Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. Other important credits include The Little Mermaid, Nick & Nora, Little Me, The Dead, and Noises Off (Broadway); Billy Elliott (national tour); Terrence McNally’s Unusual Acts of Devotion (world premiere, Philadelphia Theatre Company); and First Wives Club(Chicago’s Oriental Theatre). Prince currently has a recurring role on ABC’s Modern Family. Among her other extensive television credits are Spin City, Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, Faith, House, Monk, and Law and Order. Film appearances include Our Very Own, Picture Perfect, Dave, and My Father the Hero. Prince, who has toured Australia in her original show Moving On and in concert with her Annie co-star Anthony Warlow, works frequently with the Boston Pops, Utah Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, and Philly Pops. Her new album, Total Faith, was recently released by Broadway Records.

About Lyric
Lyric Opera of Chicago is committed to redefining what it means to experience great opera.  The company is driven to deliver consistently excellent artistry through innovative, relevant, celebratory programming that engages and energizes new and traditional audiences.  

Under the leadership of general director, president & CEO Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, music director designate Enrique Mazzola, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric is dedicated to reflecting, and drawing strength from the diversity of Chicago. Lyric offers, through innovation, collaboration and evolving learning opportunities, ever more exciting, accessible, and thought-provoking audience and community experiences.  We also stand committed to training the artists of the future, through The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center and to becoming increasingly diverse across our audiences, staff, programming and artists - magnifying the welcoming pull of our art form, our company, and our city.

Through the timeless power of voice, the splendor of a great orchestra and chorus, theater, dance, design, and truly magnificent stagecraft, Lyric is devoted to immersing audiences in worlds both familiar and unexpected, creating shared experiences that resonate long after the curtain comes down.

Join us @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1920 #LongLivePassion.

42nd Street is a production created by the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.

Lyric presentation of Harry Warren and Al Dubin’s 42nd Street generously made possible by Lead Sponsor The Negaunee Foundation, cosponsors The Davee Foundation and Donna Van Eekeren and Dale Connelly, and Lead Corporate Sponsor Invesco QQQ.

Major in-kind audio support provided by Shure Incorporated.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:


ChiIL Mama will be out for the press opening on March 20th. I can't wait to catch what's sure to be a humorous, feminist look at the absurd ideals women face in media and in life. And in other great news, not only does this show promise to serve up big laughs, it comes with an immediate side of economic justice!

Single tickets to Women Laughing Alone with Salad are $12-$70.

However, tickets for women to all regular performances will be discounted to match the 79% wage gap between men and women in Illinois.

To illustrate, at the $24 ticket level, male-identifying patrons pay full price, while female-identifying patrons pay only $18.95, corrected for the 79% wage gap.

Theater Wit is tossing up a crisp Chicago premiere of Women Laughing Alone with Salad, Sheila Callaghan’s satirical comedy based on the meta-feminist Internet meme of the same name.

Don’t miss this four-person, satirical, subversive tour-de-force about friendship, salad, sex, bodies, yoga, salad, men, envy, women, pharmaceuticals, diets, salad, uppers and salad. 

Previews of Women Laughing Alone with Salad are March 9-18: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m.

Performances run through April 29: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at
3 p.m.

Theater Wit is located at 1229 N. Belmont in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Another great way to secure seats is to sign up for a Theater Wit Membership, an “all the theater you can eat” deal that lets you see as many plays as you want in any of Wit’s three spaces for a low monthly fee of $29/$22 for students, along with many member perks.

To purchase single tickets, a Membership, or to inquire about Flex Passes, visit or call 773.975.8150.

More about Women Laughing Alone with Salad

You’ve seen them a hundred times before. Stock photos of attractive women, sitting alone, enjoying a salad so hilarious they can’t help but explode with laughter and delight.

The proliferation of this absurd cliché caught the attention of the Internet in 2011 after Edith Zimmerman posted the first collection on the feminist blog The Hairpin. Titled “Women Laughing Alone With Salad,” it featured 18 photos illustrating this trend with no accompanying text.

Zimmerman’s post spurred a number of hilarious memes parodying this stereotypical portrayal of women in media, including a tumblr page.

And this play, a fierce, funny, feminist look at the maniacal gauntlet of gender relations and the relentless pursuit of insane ideals. Our heroines are trapped on a treadmill of dysfunctional relationships, warped body image and ludicrous pornography, carving their way through a suffocating, tangled mess. With pointed jabs and razor wit, Women Laughing Alone with Salad disembowels the cosmetic myth of pre-packaged feminine empowerment.

When it debuted at Washington D.C.’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre in 2015, playwright Sheila Callaghan, also a writer/producer on the hit Showtime comedy Shameless, told the Washington Post, “Nobody likes salad that much. And the notion that you’re supposed to feel that way – salad will never be that kind of satisfying. No matter how creative you get with salad, it’s still (expletive) lettuce and vegetables, right?”

DC Theatre Scene subsequently hailed Women Laughing Alone with Salad a “fresh, funny play…the poster child for what feminist theatre should be: a great night out on the town watching a slam bam comedy which is also a serious conversation about the society we oh-so-currently live in.”

Salad Days @ Theater Wit:
Behind the scenes of Women Laughing Alone with Salad

Here in Chicago, Devon de Mayo (pictured above) makes her Theater Wit directorial debut with Women Laughing Alone with Salad, fresh from staging the world premiere of The Burn by Philip Dawkins for Steppenwolf Theatre for Young Audiences. Other recent projects include Harvey at Court Theatre, You On the Moors Now by Jaclyn Backhaus for The Hypocrites, the world premiere of Sycamore at Raven Theatre and Don't Look Back/Must Look Back at Pivot Arts.

Wit’s Women Laughing Alone with Salad stars Echaka Agba, Japhet Balaban, Jennifer Engstrom and Daniella Pereira.

Echaka Agba (Meredith/Bruce) was named to the Chicago Tribune’s “Hot New Faces of Chicago Theater, Class of 2017”), and singled out in the 2017 Time Out Chicago Theater Awards for featured performance and breakout performance in Broken Nose Theatre’s At the Table, which also won her the Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actress. Other credits are Short Shakes! Romeo and Juliet at Chicago Shakespeare, United Flight 232, Jeff Award winner for Best Ensemble at House Theatre, and The Crucible and Between Riverside and Crazy at Steppenwolf.

Japhet Balaban (Guy/Alice) was also named to the Chicago Tribune’s “Hot New Faces of Chicago Theater, Class of 2017”), drawing particular attention for his work in Ideation (Jackalope Theatre). Other credits are You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites), Posh (Steep Theatre), Never The Sinner (Victory Gardens), Balm in Gilead (Griffin Theatre) and Look Back in Anger (Redtwist).

Jennifer Engstrom (Sandy/Guy) is a veteran of regional and Chicago stages and an A Red Orchid Theatre ensemble member, where she performed in The Fastest Clock in The Universe, Eric LaRue, Fatboy, The Hothouse, 3C and The Mutilated (Jeff nomination for Outstanding Actress).

Daniella Pereira (Tori/Joe) was most recently seen in Letters Home (Griffin Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (Oak Park Festival Theatre) and Cymbeline (Strawdog Theatre Company).

Sheila Callaghan's plays have been produced and developed with Soho Rep, Playwright's Horizons, Yale Rep, South Coast Rep, Clubbed Thumb, The LARK, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, The Flea, Woolly Mammoth, Boston Court and Rattlestick Playwright's Theatre. She received the Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, a Jerome Fellowship from Playwright's Center in Minneapolis, a MacDowell Residency, a Cherry Lane Mentorship Fellowship, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award and the Whiting Award. Her plays have been produced internationally in New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Germany, Portugal and the Czech Republic. These include Scab, Crawl Fade to White, Crumble, We Are Not These Hands, Dead City, Lascivious Something, Kate Crackernuts, That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play, Fever/Dream, Everything You Touch, Roadkill Confidential, Elevada and Bed. She is published with and Samuel French, and several of her collections are published with Counterpoint Press. She has taught playwriting at Columbia University, The University of Rochester, The College of New Jersey, Florida State University and Spalding University. She is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb, a member of the Obie winning playwright's organization 13P and an alumni of New Dramatists. In 2010, Callaghan was profiled by Marie Claire as one of "18 Successful Women Who Are Changing the World." She was also named one of Variety’s "10 Screenwriters to Watch" of 2010. Callaghan is a writer/producer on the hit Showtime comedy Shameless and a founder of the feminist activist group The Kilroys. She was nominated for a 2016 Golden Globe for her work on Hulu’s Casual and a 2017 WGA Award for her Shameless episode “I Am A Storm.”

Designers for Women Laughing Alone with Salad are Arnel Sancianco (set), Mieka van der Ploeg (costumes), Heather Gilbert (lights), Shain Longbehn (sound), Joe Burke (projections) Jesse Gaffney (props), Rachel Flesher (intimacy) and Clare Cooney (casting).

About Theater Wit
Theater Wit, Chicago’s “smart art” theater, is a major hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene, where audiences enjoy a smorgasbord of excellent productions in three, 99-seat spaces, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.

“A thrilling addition to Chicago’s roster of theaters” (Chicago Tribune) and “a terrific place to see a show” (New City), Theater Wit is now in its eighth season at its home at
1229 N. Belmont Ave., in the heart of the new Belmont Theatre District in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. In 2014, Theater Wit was awarded the National Theatre Award by the American Theatre Wing for strengthening the quality, diversity and dynamism of American theater.

The company’s most recent hits include The Antelope Party by Eric John Meyer, This Way Outta Santaland by Mitchell Fain, 10 Out of 12 and Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, Naperville by Mat Smart, The New Sincerity by Alena Smith, Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence and Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George, and Completeness and The Four of Us by Itamar Moses.

Visit or call the Theater Wit box office, 773.975.8150, to purchase a Membership, inquire about Flex Pass options or to buy single tickets.

To receive an “artisanal selection of consonants and vowels from Theater Wit,” sign up at for exclusive updates, flash deals and behind-the-scenes production scoop every few weeks.

Monday, June 6, 2016

NOW PLAYING: CHIMERICA at Timeline Theatre

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


Chicago premiere of 



directed by nick bowling, through JULY 31, 2016

CHIMERICA, the widely celebrated 2014 Laurence Olivier Award winner for Best New Play, is currently running in Chicago, one of its first U.S. productions! We've been so busy we haven't had a chance to get over to TimeLine Theatre to see this acclaimed geopolitical thriller, but it's high on our wish list and we plan to catch it soon. I have a couple of friends who were at the pro-democracy rally at Tiananmen Square, so I'm particularly eager to see this piece.

TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling directs British playwright Lucy Kirkwood’s thrilling, complex new drama about Tiananmen Square’s mysterious “Tank Man,” a play that has been hailed by The Guardian as “gloriously rich” and “mind-expanding,” and by Time Out London as a “gripping, multi-layered and meticulously researched thriller.” 

The time is June 1989. The Chinese government has instituted a brutal crackdown on a pro-democracy rally at Tiananmen Square, and the iconic image of a lone man standing in front of a military tank has captivated the world. “Tank Man” emerged as a hero and a symbol of defiance in the face of tyranny, only to disappear forever. Twenty years later, a photojournalist searches for the truth about that mysterious man in a riveting story that explores the sharp differences, as well as similarities, between twin superpowers China and America. The result is an epic, global adventure that presents an unflinching look at the nature of censorship, the cost of truth, and what it takes to maintain hope.

CHIMERICA premiered at London’s Almeida Theatre in May 2013, where it became a sold-out phenomenon before transferring for a triumphant run in London’s West End. For its Chicago debut, TimeLine has assembled a stellar 12-person cast, including Christine Bunuan, Coburn Goss, Cheryl Hamada, Wai Yim, Caron Buinis, Tom Hickey, Dan Lin, Eleni Pappageorge, Chris Rickett, Janelle Villas, H.B. Ward and Norman Yap

Winner of seven Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction, TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling is the creative force behind many of TimeLine’s most popular shows, including THE HISTORY BOYS, THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION, FIORELLO! and more, as well as recent hit productions at the Marriott Lincolnshire (THE KING AND I and CITY OF ANGELS), Porchlight Music Theatre (SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM) and Paramount Theatre (A CHRISTMAS STORY).

The production team for CHIMERICA includes John Culbert (Scenic Design), Brian Sidney Bembridge (Lighting Design), Sally Dolembo (Costume Design), André J. Pluess (Sound Design), Mike Tutaj (Projections Design), Emily Guthrie (Properties Design), Megan Geigner (Dramaturgy), Eva Breneman (Dialect Coach), Chris Rickett (Fight Choreography) and Nora Mally (Stage Management).
Performances of CHIMERICA will take place at TimeLine Theatre’s home, located at 615 W. Wellington Ave. in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood. Tickets to CHIMERICA are $22 - $51. For tickets and information, visit or call (773) 281-TIME (8463). 

TimeLine’s Chicago premiere of CHIMERICA is supported in part by The Pauls Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.


REGULAR RUN: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m., through July 31, 2016. EXCEPTIONS: No show on Sunday, June 26. Additional performance on Tuesday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Post-Show Discussions: A brief, informal post-show discussion hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and featuring the production dramaturg and members of the cast on Wednesday, 
  • Wednesday, June 8; Sunday, June 12 and Tuesday, June 21.
  • Pre-Show Discussions: Starting one hour before these performances, a 30-minute introductory conversation hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and the production dramaturg with members of the production team on Thursday, June 16 and Sunday, July 3. 
  • Company Member Discussion: A post-show discussion with the collaborative team of artists who choose TimeLine’s programming and guide the company’s mission on Sunday, July 10.
All discussions are free and open to the public. For further details about all planned discussions and events, visit

Regular run tickets are $38 (Wednesday through Friday), $46 (Saturday) and $51 (Sunday). Student discount is $10 off regular price with valid ID. Military Service Discount is $5 off regular price with valid military/veteran ID. Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available.

Ticket buyers age 18-35 may join TimeLine’s free MyLine program to obtain access to discounted tickets, special events and more. Visit for details.

Advance purchase is recommended as performances may sell out. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (773) 281-TIME (8463) or visit

CHIMERICA is at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. TimeLine Theatre is located near the corner of Wellington and Broadway, inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building, in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood. The location is served by multiple CTA trains and buses. TimeLine offers discounted parking at the Standard Parking garages at Broadway Center ($8 with validation; 2846 N. Broadway, at Surf) or the Century Mall ($9 with validation; 2836 N. Clark). There are several other paid parking options nearby. There is also limited free and metered street parking.

TimeLine Theatre is accessible to people with disabilities. Two wheelchair lifts provide access from street level to the theatre space and to lower-level restrooms. Audience members using wheelchairs or who need to avoid stairs, and others with special seating or accessibility needs should contact the TimeLine Theatre Box Office in advance to confirm arrangements.

Lucy Kirkwood (Playwright) graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, where she wrote her first full-length stage play, GRADY HOT POTATO. Her next play, GUNS OR BUTTER, was produced at the Terror 2007 Festival at London’s Union Theatre and was subsequently broadcast by BBC Radio. In 2008 Kirkwood’s play TINDERBOX was produced by the Bush Theatre, and in the same year HEDDA, her adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s HEDDA GABLER, was produced by London’s Gate Theatre to wide critical acclaim. Her play PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY was produced as part of the Terror 2009 Festival, and that same year her play IT FELT EMPTY WHEN THE HEART WENT AT FIRST BUT IT IS ALRIGHT NOW was produced by Clean Break Theatre Co. That play was nominated for an Evening Standard Award for Best Newcomer and made Kirkwood a joint winner of the John Whiting Award in 2010. Her stage adaptation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, co-devised and directed by Katie Mitchell, was performed at the National Theatre as its Christmas show in 2011. In the same year her play THE SMALL HOURS (co-written with Ed Hime) opened at the Hampstead, and her play HOUSEKEEPING was performed as part of Theatre Uncut season at Southwark Playhouse. NSFW premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, starring Janie Dee and Julian Barrett. CHIMERICA, premiered at the Almeida Theatre in 2013 and subsequently transferred to the West End, earning Kirkwood the 2014 Laurence Olivier and Evening Standard awards for Best New Play. Kirkwood collaborated with Lost Dog on a Brighton Festival co-commissioned dance project LIKE RABBITS, adapted from Virginia Woolf’s short story Lappin and Lapinova. Kirkwood also writes for television, including for SKINS, and she created and wrote the new series THE SMOKE. She is currently under commission to the Royal Court Theatre, the National Theatre and New York’s Manhattan Theatre Club. She is also developing a new screenplay for Film4/Ruby Films.

Nick Bowling (Director) was the founding Artistic Director and is now Associate Artistic Director and a Company Member of TimeLine Theatre. He is the recipient of seven Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction (THE HISTORY BOYS, THE NORMAL HEART, FIORELLO!, THIS HAPPY BREED and THE CRUCIBLE at TimeLine, SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM at Porchlight Music Theatre, and ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST at Eclipse Theatre) and also received Jeff Award nominations for BLOOD AND GIFTS, THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION, HAUPTMANN and THE LION IN WINTER at TimeLine; CLOSER THAN EVER at Porchlight Music Theatre; and CITY OF ANGELS and THE KING AND I at Marriott Theatre. Other recent credits at TimeLine include DANNY CASOLARO DIED FOR YOU, JUNO, 33 VARIATIONS and MY KIND OF TOWN. Other Chicago credits include Paramount's A CHRISTMAS STORY, Northwestern University’s CABARET, Porchlight’s A CATERED AFFAIR, Writers Theatre's BACH AT LEIPZIG and Shattered Globe Theatre's TIME OF THE CUCKOO and FROZEN ASSETS.

TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. To date over 19 seasons, TimeLine has presented 66 productions, including nine world premieres and 26 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, now in its ninth year of bringing the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 52 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times. 

TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President John M. Sirek. Company Members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Benjamin Thiem.
Major corporate, government and foundation supporters of TimeLine Theatre include Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Crown Family, Forum Fund, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Laughing Acres Family Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, The Pauls Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation and The Shubert Foundation. This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

TimeLine is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce and Chicago’s Belmont Theater District.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


APRIL 24 - JUNE 7, 2015

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're looking forward to Theater Wit's Chicago premiere of Joshua Harmon's Bad Jews, a smart, savage comedy about the holy and holier-than-thou, which closes Wit's 2014-15 season April 24-June 7, 2015. 

Hailed by Charles Isherwood of The New York Times in 2013 as "the best comedy of the season," Harmon's critically acclaimed play asks questions about what you choose to believe, when you're chosen.

Bad Jews tells the story of Daphna Feygenbaum, a "Real Jew" with an Israeli boyfriend. When Daphna's cousin Liam brings home his shiksa girlfriend Melody and declares ownership of their grandfather's Chai necklace, a vicious and hilarious brawl over family, faith and legacy ensues. Stir in the identity curation of the Facebook generation and Theater Wit's Chicago premiere of Bad Jews, directed by artistic director Jeremy Wechsler, promises to be one of the funniest, wisest, most excruciating comedies on a Chicago stage this year.

Wechsler's cast for Bad Jews features Erica Bittner as Melody (credits include The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe for First Folio, Peer Gynt at DCA Storefront Theatre, and seven productions for Redmoon), Ian Paul Custer as Liam (national tour of Peter Pan; Annie Bosch is Missing at Steppenwolf; High Holidays at the Goodman; To Master the Art and 33 Variations for TimeLine; Fiddler on the Roof at Paramount), Cory Kahane as Josh (The Romans: Episode Quartus for Lincoln Square Theatre; A Midsummer Night's Dream at The James Dowling Theatre) and Laura Lapidus as Daphna (Women Beware Women for Two Pence Theatre at The Den Theatre; Griffin Theatre's Golden Boy and Balm in Gilead; Pavement Group's breaks & bikes; Pains of Youth for Odradeck Theater w/Oracle Theatre).

The Bad Jews design team includes Adam Veness (set), Kristof Janezic (lights), Janice Pytel (costumes), Cassy Schillo (props) and Michael Stanfill (lighting). Sarah Luse is stage manager.

Bad Jews:  Dates, Times and Ticket Prices
Tickets to Bad Jews are on sale now. Previews are April 24-May 3: Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. Previews are $12-$18. Press opening is Monday, May 4 at 7 p.m. Regular performances run through June 7: Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. No shows Thursday, May 7 or 14. Regular run tickets are $20-$36. 

Theater Wit is located at 1229 W. Belmont Ave., in the heart of the new Belmont Theatre District. For tickets and information, visit or call 773.975.8150.
Bad Jews:  Behind the scenes
Joshua Harmon's play Bad Jews received its world premiere at Roundabout Underground and was the first production there to transfer to the Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre (Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Award nominations, Best Play). Bad Jews opened in London at the St. James Theatre in January 2015 following an acclaimed run at Theatre Royal Bath. Harmon wrote the book for Radio City Music Hall's upcoming original show, the "New York Spring Spectacular." His work has been produced and developed by Manhattan Theatre Club, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Hangar Theatre, Ars Nova, and Actor's Express, where he was the 2010-2011 National New Play Network Playwright-in-Residence. He has received fellowships from MacDowell, Atlantic Center for the Arts, SPACE at Ryder Farm, and the Eudora Welty Foundation.  Harmon is currently in the Playwrights Program at Juilliard and is under commission from Roundabout Theatre Company and Lincoln Center Theater.

Jeremy Wechsler, artistic director of Theater Wit, most recently staged Theater Wit's current smash hit, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, the hit Midwest premiere of Madeline George's Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, and that show's subsequent summer remount at Art Square Theatre in Las Vegas. Wechsler also staged Wit's acclaimed productions of Completeness and The Four of Us (Itamar Moses), Tigers Be Still (Kim Rosenstock), This (Melissa James Gibson), Spin (Penny Penniston), Feydeau-Si-Deau (Georges Feydeau), Men of Steel (Qui Nguyen), Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) (Will Eno), Two for the Show (James Fitzpatrick and Will Clinger) and The Santaland Diaries. Wechsler's productions have been nominated for and won multiple awards for design, performance, adaptation and best new work. He has taught at several universities, is an artistic associate at Collaboraction and currently serves on the board of the League of Chicago Theatres.

About Theater Wit
"A thrilling addition to Chicago's roster of theaters" (Chicago Tribune) and "a terrific place to see a show" (New City), Theater Wit is in its fourth season in its home at 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago.

Gone But Not Forgotten:

Here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows, we adored Theater Wit's smash hit, Chicago debut of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play. We're already chomping at the bit for a remount! It was one of our favorites of the season for sure! The Simpsons is already such a fabulous amalgam of pop culture references, psychology, and the best and worst of humanity, encased in the hilarious that we can't think of a better mythology for a post plague and nuclear meltdown society to follow. Mr. Burnsa post-electric play is wickedly witty and scary insightful. And Theater Wit's casting was stellar! 

Anne Washburn's meta-apocalyptic comedy/drama/musical about America rebuilding itself from the ashes of an apocalypse, and the enduring power of Bart Simpson, was rewarded a 3.5 star review from the Chicago Tribune, which called it "an intellectual rush" and "very funny." Time Out Chicago agreed Mr. Burns is "wonderfully weird... brilliant...trippy...4 out of 5 stars." 

Founded in 2004, Theater Wit's mission is to explore contemporary issues with wit and wisdom through new works and Chicago premieres. As a production company, Theater Wit is Chicago's premier smart art theater, producing humorous, challenging and intelligent plays that speak with a vibrant and contemporary theatrical voice.  As an institution, Wit seeks to be the hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene. 

In its three spaces, Theater Wit brings together Chicago's best storefront companies. Here audiences find a smorgasbord of excellent productions, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago. 

In 2014, Theater Wit was awarded the National Theatre Award by the American Theatre Wing for strengthening the quality, diversity and dynamism of American theater.

Theater Wit also offers a Flex Pass: 10 admissions for $215 to literally anything presented in the building, a savings of up to 40%. 

To purchase tickets to Bad Jews, Mr. Burns, any resident production, a Membership Program, Flex Pass, single tickets or for information about any production at Theater Wit, call 773.975.8150 or visit

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