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Showing posts with label Goodman Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Goodman Theatre. Show all posts

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

TWO-TIME PULITZER PRIZE WINNER LYNN NOTTAGE RETURNS TO GOODMAN THEATRE THIS FALL WITH 

CLYDE’S 

STARRING DE’ADRE AZIZA, KEVIN KENERLY, REZA SALAZAR, NEDRA SNIPES AND GARRETT YOUNG

***KATE WHORISKEY DIRECTS THE CHICAGO PREMIERE OF THE BROADWAY TRIUMPH, SEPTEMBER 10 – OCTOBER 9***

Photo Credit for all: Liz Lauren


REVIEW:

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: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (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 GoodmanTheatre.org/Clydes 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.

THE COMPANY 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.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2022

6PM | RECEPTION IN CLUB MEZZ (THE 2ND FLOOR THEATRE LOBBY) - FOOD INCLUDED!

7:30PM | PERFORMANCE IN THE ALBERT THEATRE

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.* 


ENHANCED AND ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCES

Visit Goodman theatre.org/Access 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 GoodmanTheatre.org/Protocols.


ABOUT THE CO-PRODUCING THEATERS

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. centertheatregroup.org

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.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

PEQUEÑOS TERRITORIOS EN RECONSTRUCCIÓN SEPTEMBER 21 – 25, 2022 IN GOODMAN THEATRE'S OWEN THEATRE

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

GOODMAN THEATRE PRESENTS 

PEQUEÑOS TERRITORIOS EN RECONSTRUCCIÓN 

IN 2022 DESTINOS—5TH CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL LATINO THEATER FESTIVAL AND IN COLLABORATION WITH THE CHICAGO LATINO THEATER ALLIANCE

***HAILING FROM MEXICO CITY’S TEATRO LÍNEA DE SOMBRA, PEQUEÑOS TERRITORIOS EN RECONSTRUCCIÓN APPEARS IN A LIMITED ENGAGEMENT SEPTEMBER 21 – 25 IN THE OWEN THEATRE***

Running time is approximately 60 minutes (no intermission)

Goodman Theatre and the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) presents the Midwest premiere of Pequeños Territorios en Reconstrucción by Teatro Linea de Sombra of Mexico City, appearing in a limited engagement September 21-25 at the Goodman. The production is produced as part of Destinos—the 5th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, a five-week festival of Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America in shows, panels and student performances at venues citywide. Pequeños Territorios en Reconstrucción appears September 21 – September 25 in the 350-seat flexible Owen Theatre. Tickets ($10 –$25, subject to change) are now available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Pequenos or by phone at 312-443-3800.


Photo Credit: Julie Cherki

The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), a transformative cultural engine helping drive the city’s local Latino theater community to a more prominent level, was founded by Myrna Salazar and the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA), the International Latino Cultural Center (ILCC) and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance (PRAA). Chicagoans are still stunned by the recent loss of Ms. Salazar, who passed away suddenly on August 3. “CLATA’s success would not have been possible without a visionary at the helm, a person with the tenacity and passion to bring Chicago’s Latino theater community to a level that had not yet been imagined. Now, in Myrna’s honor, CLATA is charged with the task of making sure her legacy forges ahead with the same unbridled zeal that she brought to her beloved organization, the Destinos Festival, and her everyday life,” wrote the CLATA staff in a program note dedicating this year’s Destinos to her memory.

Pequeños Territorios en Reconstrucción is among the six world premieres, four U.S. premieres and three Midwest premieres featured at 2022 Destinos. The complete festival line-up, with performances presented at marquee venues downtown, neighborhood storefront theaters and cultural institutions throughout Chicago, is now available at DestinosFest.org. Directed by Jorge A. Vargas, the Midwest premiere features Sonya Madrigal, Shanttal Saad, Abril Pinedo and Alicia Laguna in a story about the “City of Women” in Turbaco, Colombias where 15 years ago, a group of women displaced by armed conflict created the “League of Displaced Women” and built 98 houses with their own hands. After a short stay there, Teatro Linea de Sombra created a documentary fable posing a series of ethical questions on the potential destiny of the settlement, of the women who built it and especially of the children who inhabit it.

Photo Credit: Julie Cherki


ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Jorge A. Vargas (Director) has been the artistic director of Teatro Línea de Sombra (Shadow Line Theatre) since its inception in 1993.  In the mid 1980s he studied at École de Mime Corporel Dramatique of Ettiene Decroux in Paris, which led to his first work, Galería de Moribundos (Gallery of Dying Men), and established Vargas in physical and visual theater in México City.  He subsequently trained with the International Theatre School for Latin America and the Caribbean in Havana, Cuba (1990) and Tlaxcala, Mexico (1994.) Until 2010, he alternated between devising experimental theater and directing plays written by authors such as Roland Schimmelpfenning, Jon Fosse, Anthony Neilson, Neil LaButte and Lars Norén. The Association of Theater Writers and Critics (UCCCT) twice recognized Vargas and Teatro Línea de Sombra (TLS) with Best Theatre Group in the Provinces (1982, 1991), and Vargas with two awards for Best Research Theatre Director (2001, 2005). Their work tours throughout Mexico and has toured to major festivals and theaters in France, Argentina, the U.S., Canada, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Finland, Russia, Korea, Slovenia and Macedonia. Amarillo, the hallmark work by Vargas with TLS, received the Latin ACE Award for the Best Foreign Production in New York, in 2012 and the Audience Award for the Best Performance of the 21st Exponto International Performing Arts Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The Universal Forum of Cultures Monterrey commissioned Vargas to create and direct The Forge of the World, a large-scale performance piece inside Oven 3 of Fundidora Park in Monterrey. More than a million spectators attended its 80 performances. Their most recent international co-production, which Vargas also co-directed, is Artículo 13 (Article 13) with Cie Carabosse in France, an immersive installation regarding migratory movements around the world.  Last pieces of the company are – Baños Roma (2013); Pequeños Territorios en Reconstrucción (2014); Durango66; El Puro Lugar,  a Site Specific piece in Jalapa Veracruz and Theatre Version ( 2016-2017); Filo de Caballo(s) (2018), a commission of the Contermporary Arts Museum in Chicago that opened in fall 2018 at Teatro El Galeón; Danzantes del Alba, a co-production of Internation Cervantino Festival Teatro UNAM and TLS (2020-2021). Their most recent project is Zona Clausurada, a scenic installation presented at Museo Universitario del Chopo, UNAM.  

Sonya Madrigal (Narrator) is thrilled to be making her Goodman Theatre acting debut. Previously Sonya choreographed and was a movement consultant on the Goodmans productions of Zulema and American Mariachi. Sonya is a proud first-generation Mexican-American from Chicago IL, where she received her BFA in Acting from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is currently an MFA acting candidate at the University of Iowa. Favorite Chicago credits include Day of Absence (Congo Square); Hope Part II; A Mexican Trilogy (Teatro Vista); Oedipus Rex and the premiere of David Auburn's The Adventures of Augie March (Court Theater). Recent credits include Henry V (Riverside Theater); Letters From Cuba and Our Lady of 121st. Sonya is proudly represented by Stewart Talent.  

Shanttal Saad is a Mexican-American actress, singer and songwriter with over 10 years of experience in working with performing arts with a focus on vocal proficiency and experimental music. With studies in drama, she has performed for theatrical productions in the U.S., Mexico and Europe as an actress and as a live musician working with international theater companies such as Teatro Línea de Sombra. She has created original soundtracks for theater, movies and radio. Shanttal is also known as Frida Canti in a project where she transforms into the lead performer of her own compositions and explores Latin genres, rock and folk music. 

Abril Pinedo was born in Ciudad Juárez Chihuahua in 198 and graduated from the University Theater Center, UNAM in 2010. With more than 20 years of artistic experience, she has performed in almost all areas of the performing arts. As an actress, she has participated in more than thirty productions, including Desert under lunar scenery by Alberto Villarreal; Words of love in German by Gilberto Guerrero; Bullet music by Hugo Salcedo under the direction of Alfonso Cárcamo; Nothing Always Everything Never with Colectivo Macramé directed by Mariana Gándara and Tales of Boca en Boca with Vereda Teatro, directed by Sofía Sanz. She has collaborated on numerous occasions with T3Y Teatro as director of Tania Mayrén's text, Hedda. She is the artistic director of the Colectivo La Maqueta with whom she has directed two productions, Radiocuento, music noise and sound (2016) and What can be invented, not all stories are for children (2016). She is currently working on her new project La Casa.

Alicia Laguna has trained at the Universidad de Nuevo León in Monterrey, Mexico. She has been the artistic co-director of Teatro Línea de Sombra (TLS) since 1993 and a company actress and a creator of plays addressing the context of Mexico’s socio-political reality for over ten years. She has toured with TLS in Europe, South America, Canada, USA, Korea, China and Russia. As an actress she has participated in movies such as Norteado, directed by Rigoberto Perezcano and has won the prize for best actress at the Abu Dabhi Film Festival. She was, along with film director Maria Berns, a co-creator of the experimental film So Long. 


THE COMPANY OF PEQUEÑOS TERRITORIOS EN RECONSTRUCCIÓN 

Sonya Madrigal

Shanttal Saad

Abril Pinedo

Alicia Laguna



Please note: Masks are currently recommended, but not required, while in the theater. Policies may change based on prevailing medical guidance. Learn more about Goodman’s current Health and Safety Protocols at GoodmanTheatre.org/Protocols.


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. 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 Susan V. Booth 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.


ABOUT DESTINOS, 5TH CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL LATINO THEATER FESTIVAL

Now entering its fifth year, Destinos is the signature program of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), a transformative cultural engine helping drive the city’s local Latino theater community to a more prominent level.


CLATA, which produces Destinos, was founded in 2016 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization by Myrna Salazar and Chicago’s three most prominent Latino arts organizations: the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA), the International Latino Cultural Center (ILCC), and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance (PRAA). 


“In Spanish, the word ‘destinos’ has multiple meanings: destinies, destinations or fate,” explained CLATA’s late Executive Director Myrna Salazar, who passed away suddenly this past August, and to whom the 2022 festival is dedicated. “Destinos showcases Latino theater artists from Chicago, across the U.S. and Latin America to present engaging and thought-provoking stories that transcend boundaries, amplify Latino voices, and diversify Chicago stages to encourage cross-cultural conversation.” 

The organization’s goal is to create the country’s leading international Latino theater festival with an emphasis on showcasing Chicago Latino theater artists and companies. Additionally, CLATA provides local groups ongoing organizational, marketing and financial support, and works diligently to create a permanent home for Chicago’s Latino theater artists. Ultimately, CLATA strives to underscore Chicago’s reputation as one of the most exciting and culturally diverse theater cities in the world.

CLATA gratefully acknowledges ongoing support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Ford Foundation, Walder Foundation, Driehaus Foundation, Bezos Family Foundation, Creative Reaction Lab, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, Shubert Foundation, a CityArts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Illinois Arts Council Agency, National Endowment for the Arts, Wintrust, Allstate, Choose Chicago, ComEd and Comcast/Xfinity.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Chicago Premiere Of LIFE AFTER At Goodman Theatre on stage now through July 17

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

LIFE AFTER 

BY PLAYWRIGHT/COMPOSER BRITTA JOHNSON

ON STAGE NOW IN ITS CHICAGO PREMIERE AT GOODMAN THEATRE

DIRECTED BY ANNIE TIPPE



***SUMMER’S MUST-SEE NEW MUSICAL APPEARS THROUGH JULY 17***

This production marks the third for Life After in five years—following its American debut at San Diego’s The Old Globe (2019) on the heels of an extended, multiple Dora Award-winning world-premiere with Toronto’s Musical Stage Company and Canadian Stage (2017). Samantha Williams (Broadway’s Caroline, Or Change and Dear Evan Hansen) leads the cast as teenaged Alice—a young woman who, in search of facts, uncovers a more complicated truth as she pieces together events of the fateful night that changed her family forever. Life After is on stage now through July 17. I'll be out for opening night, Wednesday, June 22, so check back soon for my full review. Tickets ($25 - $80, subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/LifeAfter 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).

A Toronto-based playwright/composer/lyricist, Johnson began writing Life After as a teenager, informed by her own experiences as a young person grappling with grief. With big humor and bittersweet wit, this “luminous new musical…lush, poetic and surprisingly funny” (The San Diego Union-Tribune) explores how we move through and live with loss. In addition to Samantha Williams (Alice), the cast of nine includes Ashley Pérez Flanagan (Fury), Lauryn Hobbs (Fury), Paul Alexander Nolan (Frank), Lucy Panush (Hannah), Bryonha Marie Parham (Beth), Jen Sese (Mrs. Hopkins), Skyler Volpe (Kate) and Chelsea Williams. The production features Choreography by Ann Yee and Music Supervision, Arrangements and Orchestrations by Lynne Shankel.

THE COMPANY OF Life After

Fury……………………Ashley Pérez Flanagan
Fury……………………Lauryn Hobbs
Frank…………………..Paul Alexander Nolan
Hannah………………..Lucy Panush
Beth…………………….Bryonha Marie Parham
Ms. Hopkins……….Jen Sese
Kate…………………….Skyler Volpe
Fury……………………Chelsea Williams
Alice………...............Samantha Williams

Understudies for this production include Ariana Burks (Alice/Kate); Alanna Chavez (Furies/Ms. Hopkins); Antoinette Comer (Beth); Ashley Pérez Flanagan (Second Ms. Hopkins); Lauryn Hobbs (Second Kate); Claire Kwon (Furies/Hannah); Stef Tovar (Frank); and Chelsea Williams (Second Hannah).

ENHANCED AND ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCES

Visit Goodmantheatre.org/Access for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.

Touch Tour and Audio-Described Performance: Saturday, July 9, 12:30pm Touch Tour; 2pm performance – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset. NOTE: Touch Tours for the 2021/2022 Season will not have access to the stage due to current health and safety protocols, but will feature alternate pre-show sensory introductions.

Sensory-Friendly/Relaxed Performance: Tuesday, July 12 at 7:30pm

ASL-Interpreted: Friday, July 15 at 8pm – An American Sign Language interpreter signs the action/text as played.

Spanish Subtitles: Saturday July 16 at 8pm.

Open-Captioned: Sunday, July 17 at 2pm – An LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance.


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.

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 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.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

WORLD PREMIERE OF DOUG WRIGHT’S GOOD NIGHT, OSCAR AT GOODMAN THEATRE MARCH 12 – APRIL 17, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar  

EMMY AWARD-WINNER SEAN HAYES IS OSCAR LEVANT, WITH EMILY BERGL, PETER GROSZ, BEN RAPPAPORT, ETHAN SLATER, TRAMELL TILLMAN AND JOHN ZDROJESKI


***LISA PETERSON DIRECTS THE NEWEST PLAY BY THE PULITZER-PRIZE WINNING AUTHOR OF I AM MY OWN WIFE AND WAR PAINT IN THE ALBERT THEATRE MARCH 12 – APRIL 17, 2022***

This spring, the nostalgia of 1950s late-night talk-shows takes the stage in the world premiere of Good Night, Oscar—Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright’s exploration of the nexus of humor and heartbreak, the ever-dwindling distinction between exploitation and entertainment, and the high cost of baring one’s soul for public consumption. 

Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated actor Sean Hayes leads the cast of seven as Oscar Levant—character actor, pianist and wild card. Director Lisa Peterson’s production also features Emily Bergl (June Levant), Ben Rappaport (Jack Paar), Peter Grosz (Bob Sarnoff), Ethan Slater (Max Weinbaum), Tramell Tillman (Alvin Finney) and John Zdrojeski (George Gershwin). Good Night, Oscar appears March 12 – April 17; opening night is Monday, March 21. Tickets ($25 - $98, subject to change) are now available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Oscar 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); in addition, Good Night, Oscar is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

“We are thrilled to produce the world premiere of this incredible new play by Doug Wright—an author I’ve long admired for illuminating his characters’ personal truths while infusing their stories with humor and wit. And we welcome director Lisa Peterson, who tackles classics and new works with equal vivacity and skill; her versatility makes her a perfect fit for Doug’s psychologically rich and highly theatrical new play,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “And we warmly welcome this stellar cast—led by Emmy Award-winning actor Sean Hayes, best known for his masterful portrayal of Jack McFarland on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace. Sean has stepped elegantly between the screen and stage for many years, receiving a Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his role in Promises, Promises, and appearing in films such as The Bucket List, The Three Stooges and Pixar’s Monster’s University. I am delighted that Sean, who grew up in Glen Ellyn, makes his Goodman debut playing the brilliant and achingly human Oscar Levant.”

Halfway into the 20th century finds Americans glued to their TVs as Jack Paar’s amusing and always unpredictable banter echoes across living rooms. One night, he is joined by the equally unbridled pianist and character actor Oscar Levant. During an evening of witty one-liners—“there’s a fine line between genius and insanity; I have erased this line”—Oscar lays bare the necessity of insanity in the making of brilliant work and the cost he is willing to pay to entertain the masses in an episode that Paar’s audience, and the rest of America, won’t soon forget. 

“I’m very excited to be back at the Goodman for a third time, with another play about a character plucked from history,” said playwright Doug Wright, whose previous work at the Goodman includes the musical War Paint (2016) and I Am My Own Wife (2005), for which he earned the Pulitzer Prize. “I hope Chicago audiences find Oscar Levant as irascible, lovable, infuriating and unexpectedly moving as I have during the process of writing about him.”

THE COMPANY OF GOOD NIGHT, OSCAR

Oscar Levant…….Sean Hayes 

June Levant…….. Emily Bergl 

Jack Paar………….Ben Rappaport 

Bob Sarnoff………Peter Grosz 

Max Weinbaum.. Ethan Slater 

Alvin Finney………Tramell Tillman 

George Gershwin…John Zdrojeski

Understudies for this production include Sam Bell-Gurwitz—Max Weinbaum/George Gershwin; Daniel Cantor—Bob Sarnoff/Jack Paar; Chiké Johnson—Alvin Finney; Tiffany Scott–June Levant; and David Turner—Oscar Levant.

Set Design by Rachel Hauck

Costume Design by Emilio Sosa

Lighting Design by Ben Stanton and Carolina Ortiz Herrera 

Sound Design by Andre Pluess

Wig, Hair & Makeup by J. Jarad Janas

Casting is by Stephen Kopel. Dramaturgy is by Jacqueline Lawton. Kimberly McCann is the Production Stage Manager and Mario Wolf is the Stage Manager.


ENHANCED AND ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCES

Visit  Goodmantheatre.org/Access  for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.

Touch Tour and Audio-Described Performance: Saturday, April 9, 12:30pm Touch Tour; 2pm performance – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset. NOTE: Touch Tours for the 2021/2022 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, April 15 at 8pm – An American Sign Language interpreter signs the action/text as played.

Open-Captioned: Saturday, April 16 at 2pm – An LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance.

Spanish Subtitles: Saturday April 16 at 8pm. 


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.

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 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. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Celebrate Black History Month With Chicago Theatre Week February 17 – 27, 2022

 Chicago Theatre Week marks its 10th year,

February 17 – 27, 2022

Among offerings are productions to celebrate Black History Month



 

There's a black renaissance happening on stages across Chicago and here at ChiIL Live Shows we've seen some amazing openings featuring black narratives, actors, directors, and more that coincide with both Black History Month and great ticket discounts through Chicago Theatre Week. Check out some stellar storytelling from Chicago's impressive black talent pool without breaking the bank. Want more of a deep dive into shows? Check out our original reviews, theatre news, giveaways and more at ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) and ChiILMama.com (family friendly). We've highlighted shows we've seen and recommend in red below.

Chicago Theatre Week (#CTW22), an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago during which visitors and residents can access value-priced tickets, returns for its 10th year and will take place February 17-27, 2022. Tickets, value-priced at $30, $15, or less, are on sale at ChicagoTheatreWeek.com. Book NOW for the best selection. Top shows do sell out fast.

Chicago Theatre Week is back in-person after a quieter and mostly online 2021 theatre scene during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chicago Theatre Week, spanning a week and two full weekends, is heading into its 10th year. As a program of the League of Chicago Theatres, in partnership with Choose Chicago, theatres in neighborhoods throughout the city and suburbs are expected to participate.

Chicago Theatre Week occurs in February each year, coinciding with Black History Month. Several productions honoring the Black experience featuring Black theatres and theatre-makers are participating in Chicago Theatre Week, including:

 

Gem of the Ocean

Goodman Theatre

January 22- February 27, 2022

**Highly recommended--ChiIL Live Shows**

Goodman revives the play that begins August Wilson’s epic 10-play American Century Cycle—on the stage where it premiered in 2003. Tensions flare into riots across Pittsburgh’s Hill District as chaos threatens a city desperate for freedom. It’s 1904, the dawn of the new century—yet slavery’s shadow looms large. There is solace to be found at the home of 285-year-old Ester Tyler, keeper and transmitter of African American history and cleanser of souls. When a suspicious traveler appears at her door in search of a new life, Aunt Ester guides him on a journey of spiritual awakening.


Trial in the Delta

Collaboraction

February 26, 2022

Collaboraction presents a theatrical staged reading of Trial in the Delta: The Murder of Emmett Till, an adaptation of the trial transcript of the State of Mississippi vs. Milam and Bryant, the men who were found not guilty of murdering Emmett Till. The script was adapted by company members G. Riley Mills and Willie "Prince Roc" Round and produced by Collaboraction and The DuSable Museum of African American History.

 

Ruined

Invictus Theatre Company

February 17- March 20, 2022

This winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize is set in a small mining town in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ruined follows Mama Nadi, a shrewd businesswoman in a land torn apart by civil war. But is she protecting or profiting by the women she shelters? How far will she go to survive? Can a price be placed on a human life?

Relentless

TimeLine Theatre Company

January 21 - February 26, 2022

**Highly recommended--ChiIL Live Shows**

Set in the Black Victorian era, Relentless looks at the deep personal secrets we keep to protect the ones we love most. The year is 1919. After the death of their mother, two sisters come home to Philadelphia to settle her estate. Annelle is a happy socialite desperate to return to the safe illusion of a perfect life with her husband in Boston. Janet is a single, professional nurse, determined to change history and propel Black women to a place of prominence and respect. After discovering diaries left by their late mother, they find themselves confronted with a woman they never really knew, exposing buried truths from the past that are chillingly, explosively Relentless.


Blues In the Night

Porchlight Music Theatre

February 9 - March 13, 2022

The Blues is one of America’s original art forms and Chicago was the home to some of the greatest Blues performers ever. Set in a history-filled hotel on Chicago’s south side one fateful night in the late 1930s, this Tony Award-nominated celebration interweaves the stories of three women who share their highs and lows of romance through the iconic songs of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Alberta Hunter, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and others.


The SuperAfroWavyDrippyExtraBrilliantDope Show

The Second City

February 1 - March 9, 2022

Black on Black shines as The Second City celebrates the comedy contributions of our BIPOC alumni, including Sam Richardson, Keegan-Michael Key, Amber Ruffin, Tim Meadows, and more. Performed by an all-Black cast who will soon be household names themselves, The SuperAfroWavyDrippyExtraBrilliantDope Show proves the Blacker the berry, the funnier–and doper–the show.


Fireflies

Northlight Theatre

January 20 - February 20, 2022

**Recommended--ChiIL Live Shows**

The Civil Rights Movement has ignited the South, and the charismatic Rev. Charles Grace needs a new speech to galvanize the people. But it is Olivia, his pregnant wife, who writes those fiery speeches, and her tolerance for playing the supporting role to her husband is wearing thin. As the growing weight of secrets threatens her marriage, and a nation’s hatred threatens her child’s future, Olivia must rediscover the place that love has in her world.

 

Queen of the Night

Victory Gardens Theater

January 29 - March 13, 2022

**Recommended--ChiIL Live Shows**

A divorced father and his queer son head to the woods of southeastern Texas to relive the camping trips of earlier, easier days. But even without cell service, certain things are inescapable. Playwright travis tate explores masculinity and queerness through the lens of multi-generational Blackness, offering a hilarious, heart-rending family portrait about reckoning with the wilderness of a shared past, while facing an uncertain future. Staged by Victory Gardens Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin, Queen of the Night kicks off the 2021/22 Season.

 

Women of Soul

Mercury Theater Chicago

January 28 - March 6, 2022

**Recommended--ChiIL Live Shows**

A celebration of the most powerful women of soul to ever grace the stage. You’ll jump to your feet as we honor incredible women including Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Janis Joplin, and of course, you’ll get a little of Gladys, Dionne, and Patti. Featuring powerhouse voices singing memorable music including “I Say a Little Prayer”, “I Will Survive” and “Respect.” This review recognizes the struggles and triumphs these women went through to reach the pinnacle of their success. This is a once-in-a-lifetime musical masterpiece that you will want to experience over and over again! 




Chicago Theatre Week is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. Subscribe to the Theatre Week email newsletter or follow @ChicagoPlays on Twitter for updates and announcements.

The official hashtag for Chicago Theatre Week 2022 is #CTW22. Follow along on social media and tag your own experiences too!

There are limited ticket quantities available for some shows, so it is recommended that you purchase tickets in advance. Most theatres are requiring proof of vaccination and masks in order to attend a performance. Venue-specific COVID-19 policies are listed on Theatre Week show offer pages; however, we recommend checking with the theatre for updates before attending.


About Chicago theatre 

Chicago theatre is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theatres to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theatres serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. Each year Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world. For more information, visit www.chicagoplays.com. #ChiTheatre

 

The League of Chicago Theatres’ Mission Statement

Theatre is essential to the life of a great city and to its citizens. The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres, which leverages its collective strength to support, promote and advocate for Chicago’s theatre industry. Through our work, we ensure that theatre continues to thrive in our city.

 

About Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor and meetings destination, leveraging the city’s unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. Follow @ChooseChicago on Twitter and on Instagram @choosechicago. Like us on Facebook. For more information, visit www.choosechicago.com. #CaptureChicagoExcitement | #ChicagoHome | #Only1Chicago

 


Monday, October 25, 2021

Goodman Theatre's Fannie Extended Through November 21, 2021 Due to Popular Demand

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

FIVE PERFORMANCES JUST ADDED FOR FANNIE (THE MUSIC AND LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER), OPENING TONIGHT AND STARRING E. FAYE BUTLER IN THE TITLE ROLE 

 ***THIS EXTENSION BY POPULAR DEMAND IS ANNOUNCED ON THE HEELS OF DIRECTOR HENRY GODINEZ’S SMASH HIT AMERICAN MARIACHI, WHICH CLOSED YESTERDAY AFTER A WEEKEND OF SOLD-OUT PERFORMANCES***


Yesterday, the Goodman closed one production (American Mariachi by Jose Cruz González, which “went clean”/sold-out its final weekend) and tonight opens and extends another (Fannie, The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer)—both directed by Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez—and tomorrow, begins rehearsals for the 44th annual A Christmas Carol, directed by Jessica Thebus. I'll be out for the opening night of Fannie tonight and can't wait to catch the incomparable E. Faye Butler on stage once again. It's always a treat to hear her sing, and I'm eager to see her take on the character of the legendary Fannie Lou Hamer. Check back soon for my full review. 

Five performances have been added to the schedule of the powerful and electric Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer) by Cheryl L. West, now through November 21—new performance dates appear below. This immersive call-to-action is West’s original play from which she adapted the abridged version—Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!, which toured Chicago parks in September/October 2020. Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer) appears through November 21 (opening night is tonight at 7pm); tickets (starting at $15) are now on sale at GoodmanTheatre.org/Fannie or by calling 312.443.3800. This Goodman co-commission with Seattle Repertory Theatre previously appeared as part of the 2019 New Stages Festival.  The Goodman is grateful for the support of PNC, Arts in Community Sponsor; Abbott Fund, Corporate Sponsor Partner; and Allstate, Youth Arts Sponsor.


Health and safety note: Proof of full vaccination with an FDA-authorized vaccine is required for all guests 12+ and a recent negative test must be presented for children under 12. Patrons must wear face coverings at all times while inside Goodman Theatre. Visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Protocols for more information.


NEWLY ADDED PERFORMANCES

Thursday, November 18 (7:30pm)

Friday, November 19 (8pm)

Saturday, November 20 (2pm & 8pm)

Sunday, November 21 (2pm)

The “utterly unstoppable” (Chicago Tribune) E. Faye Butler expands her performance as American civil rights freedom fighter Fannie Lou Hamer, hailed in theaters across the country as “magnetic” (Washington Post), “powerhouse” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune), “moving and memorable” (Oregon’s Times-Standard). Three musicians—Deonté Brantley, Morgan E. and Felton Offard (during performances between October 25-31) and Michael Ross (during performances between November 3-21)—join Butler on stage to breathe new life into more than 10 iconic spirituals, including “We Shall Not Be Moved,” “I’m on My Way to Freedom” and “I Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round.”

Fannie Lou Hamer, who would become known for her political activism and continuous efforts for civil rights, was 44 years old before she discovered that she had the right to vote. It took her three attempts to pass Mississippi’s voter registration test, which was designed to disenfranchise people of color and those with few educational opportunities. Ms. Hamer spent the rest of her life as a fierce advocate of civil and voting rights, surviving extreme violence to help found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the National Women’s Political Caucus.

For tickets and more information check out Goodman Theatre's Page here.

ABOUT FANNIE

Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer)

By Cheryl L. West

Directed by Henry Godinez

Originally co-commissioned and developed by Goodman Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre, with additional development by Oregon Shakespeare Festival.


Cast

Fannie Lou Hamer…………..E. Faye Butler

Fannie Lou Hamer Understudy….Melody A. Betts


Musicians

Drumset/Percussion/Vocals….Deonté Brantley

Piano/Organ/Auxiliary Keyboards/Vocals…..Morgan E.

Acoustic/Guitar/Electric Guitar/Harmonica/Vocals Alternate…..Buddy Fambro

Acoustic/Guitar/Electric Guitar/Harmonica/Vocals (during performances between October 15-31)…..Felton Offard

Acoustic Guitar/Electric Guitar/Harmonica/Vocals (during performances between November 3-21)…..Michael Ross

Piano/Organ/Auxiliary Keyboards/Vocals Alternate…..Dominique Johnson

Drumset/Percussion/Vocals Alternate…..Linard Stroud

The creative team includes Colette Pollard (Set Design), Michael Alan Stein (Costume Design), Jason Lynch (Lighting Design), Victoria Deiorio (Sound Design), Rasean Davonte Johnson (Projection Design) and Mr. Bernard (Wig Design). Music Direction and Arrangements are by Felton Offard, dramaturgy is by Christine Sumption and casting is by Lauren Port, CSA. Kaitlin Kitzmiller is the Production Stage Manager.


ACCESSIBILITY AT GOODMAN THEATRE

Touch Tour* and Audio-Described Performance: Saturday, November 7 | 12:30pm Touch Tour and 2pm performance – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset.

*Touch tours for the 2012/2022 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 Performance: Saturday, November 13 at 2pm – Professional ASL interpreter signs the action/text as played.

Open-Captioned Performance: Sunday, November 14 at 2pm – An LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance.

Visit Goodman theatre.org/Access for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts. 


ABOUT THE GOODMAN

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 earned 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.” It’s 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 to 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 of the new Goodman center in 2000.

Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Rebecca Gilman, Dael Orlandersmith, Henry Godinez, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Jeff Hesse is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Fran Del Boca is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

REVIEW: Voice of Good Hope at City Lit Now Playing Through February 23, 2020

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
VOICE OF GOOD HOPE
by City Lit’s resident playwright Kristine Thatcher
Directed by Terry McCabe
January 10 – February 23, 2020



FINAL 2 WEEKS! Don't miss this Chicago Reader Recommended and 4-Star 
Sun-Times show!

"FOUR STARS...captures the sense and sensibility of a bonafide powerhouse."
-Chicago Sun-Times

"Recommended...Voice of Good Hope comes just in time"
-Chicago Reader


Andrea Conway-Diaz as Barbara Jordan
Photo credit for all, Steve Graue


Review:
by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

As the senate impeachment hearings wrap up, caucus votes roll in, and the 2020 campaigns amp up, political plays are filling the stages of Chicago as well. I was finally able to catch City Lit's excellent production, Voice of Good Hope last night. It was great to learn so much about Barbara Jordan, the first African American congresswoman from the Deep South, that I was unaware of before. This production is a gem of wit and wisdom. Women like Barbara Jordan give me hope for our democracy and our country's future. If you're tired of the lies and lunacy that have infiltrated Washington DC, come spend a few hours at City Lit and recharge. Recommended. 

There are numerous strong shows on stage right now in Chicago, if you prefer your political figures to be articulate, intelligent and female. We recommend catching Voice of Good Hope at City Lit (Barbara Jordan), The Adult in the Room (Nancy Pelosi) at Victory Gardens, and A So-Called Qualified Woman (Sandra Day O’Connor), part of Valiant Theatre's New Works Festival. We also highly recommend Roe at The Goodman, for the back story on the Roe V. Wade ruling.


Voice of Good Hope
left to right: McKennzie Boyd, Jamie Black

The storyline of Voice of Good Hope is delightfully nonlinear and I enjoyed meeting her first as a politician, before delving into her childhood to meet the Texas child she was. Heart (Barbara as a child) was deftly played by McKennzie Boyd the day I caught the production, alternating with her sister, MiKayla. It was stellar storytelling to see the seeds of Barbara Jordan's determination, intelligence, perception and personality already in play as she interacts with her relative (Jamie Black) and discovers early lessons on racism, religion, and character. 

Her fierce determination, despite physical limitations is an inspiration. Although she ultimately died young, before age 60, of pneumonia and complications of leukemia and multiple sclerosis, her words and example live on. Now that we have another impeached president currently in the white house, Barbara's legendary history with Nixon's impeachment is all too timely. It was fascinating to me, how she protected her integrity and principles even after retirement, and wouldn't endorse or clear a fellow politician just because they were both black women, if she wasn't on board with her views. Conversely, it was a joy to see her navigating the good old boys network of cigarette smoking, whisky swilling Washington power brokers, and winning at it. She was truly an inspiration and a trailblazer today's women in politics might do well to emulate. 


Andrea Conway-Diaz (left) as Barbara Jordan and Susie Griffith as Nancy Earl 

Don't miss this. We're nearing the end of the run for Voice of Good Hope, so catch it while you can. City Lit does an excellent job of keeping her legacy alive and inspiring audiences. Do leave extra time to search out parking. It can be a challenge around Edgewater.

Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a Chicago based writer-theater critic-photographer-videographer-actress-artist-general creatrix and Mama to two terrific teens. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly). 



Kristine Thatcher’s VOICE OF GOOD HOPE is a bio-drama of Barbara Jordan, the first African American congresswoman from the Deep South. Jordan earned national stature in the 1970’s as a member of the House Judiciary Committee that considered articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon and as the keynote speaker of the 1976 Democratic National Convention. Kristine Thatcher, who is City Lit’s playwright-in-residence, was nominated for Best New Work in the 2019 Jeff Awards for her play, THE SAFE HOUSE, which premiered at City Lit last fall. VOICE OF GOOD HOPE premiered at Victory Gardens Theater in 2000 and has been produced across the US since then. 

The play follows Jordan from her childhood in Houston’s Fifth Ward through her receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton, and deals with her pivotal role on the House Judiciary Committee during its hearings concerning the possible impeachment of President Richard Nixon, her complex political relationship with Texas power broker Robert Strauss, her struggle with MS, and her twenty-year relationship with Nancy Earl, her companion and occasional speechwriter, and ultimately her caregiver. The play premiered at Victory Gardens Theater in 2000 and has been produced from New York to San Francisco in the years since then.



left to right: Paul Chakrin and Andrea Conway-Diaz

The role of Barbara Jordan is played by Andrea Conway-Diaz. Also in the cast are Susie Griffith (Nancy Earl), Sahara Glasener-Boles (Karen Woodruff), Jamie Black (John Ed Patten), Paul Chakrin (Robert Strauss), Noelle Klyce (Julie Dunn); and McKennzie Boyd and MiKayla Boyd, who will alternate as “Heart” – Barbara Jordan as a child. The design team includes Ray Toler (set design), Katy Vest (costume design) and Daniel Salazar (lighting design).


left to right: Andrea Conway-Diaz, Sahara Glasener-Boles

Regular run Sunday, January 19 - Sunday, February 23, 2020
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm. Mondays February 10 and 17 at 7:30 pm

Regular run ticket prices $32.00, seniors $27.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees).

Performances at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago 60660 (Inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church)
773-293-3682
www.citylit.org



ABOUT CITY LIT
For forty 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.

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. $10 valet service is available at Francesca's Bryn Mawr at 1039 W Bryn Mawr diagonally across the street from us on the SW corner of Kenmore and Bryn Mawr and is available whether you are dining at the restaurant or not. There are additional details about parking and dining options at www.citylit.org.

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

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