Showing posts with label The National Theatre of Great Britain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The National Theatre of Great Britain. Show all posts

Sunday, February 17, 2019

OPENING: The National Theatre of Great Britain’s An Inspector Calls To Play Chicago Shakespeare Theater's The Yard Through March 10, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents 
the National Theatre of Great Britain’s landmark production
of JB Priestley’s classic thriller
Staged by Stephen Daldry (The Crown, Billy Elliot)
Limited engagement in The Yard

February 19–March 10, 2019

I'll be out February 20th for the press opening, so check back soon for my full review.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents the National Theatre of Great Britain’s award-winning production of JB Priestley’s classic thriller An Inspector Calls, hailed by the Evening Standard as “an epic for our epoch, a thrillingly physical piece of theatre—with the power to stir the heart as much as the mind.” The production is staged by Stephen Daldry, whose extraordinary career spans genres from the hit Netflix series The Crown; to films, with Oscar-nominated pictures like The Reader, The Hours, Billy Elliot, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; to the stage, where his Billy Elliot the Musical was honored with ten Tony Awards, and his current production of The Inheritance is enjoying an acclaimed run in London’s West End.

An Inspector Calls is featured in a special limited engagement in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, February 19–March 10, 2019.

Winner of 19 major accolades, including multiple Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, and Critics Circle Awards, this international touring production of An Inspector Calls is the longest running revival of a play in history—now seen by more than 4 million theatregoers worldwide. This suspenseful masterpiece begins when the mysterious Inspector Goole calls unexpectedly on the prosperous Birling home, shattering their peaceful family dinner party with his investigation into the death of a young woman. Revelations shake the foundations of the family’s lives, prompting an examination of their consciences.

The Washington Post called it, “elegant…an evening of many dark and twisting delights.” The Guardian hailed it, “spine-tingling. Lushly operatic, yet hard as steel—grabs you by the throat and won't let you go” and The Telegraph raved, “there’ll never be a better production… always speaks to the changing political moment.”

Artistic Director Barbara Gaines shared, “We’re elated to share Stephen Daldry’s award-winning production with Chicago. The larger-than-life scale of this thriller will have audiences on the edges of their seats—and you’ll see why they call it the ‘theatrical event of a generation’ in the UK. Simply no one does this work better than Stephen Daldry.”

The company features Liam Brennan (Inspector Goole), Christine Kavanagh (Sybil Birling), Jeff Harmer (Arthur Birling), Lianne Harvey (Sheila Birling), Hamish Riddle (Eric Birling), Andrew Macklin (Gerald Croft), and Diana Payne-Myers (Edna). Rounding out the ensemble are Chris Barritt, Adam Collier, Chloe Orrock, and Beth Tuckey.

The creative team for An Inspector Calls creative team includes Associate Director Julian Webber, Tony Award-winning Scenic and Costume Designer Ian MacNeill, two-time Olivier and Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Rick Fisher, and Composer Stephen Warbeck—who notably garnered an Academy Award for his original score for Shakespeare in Love.

For more information, visit

An Inspector Calls will be presented in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, February 19–March 10, 2019. Single tickets ($46–$88) are on sale now. Special discounts will be available for groups of 10 or more. For more information, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at

Stephen Daldry (Director), lauded for his work as director and producer of film, theater, and television, is Executive Producer and Director on the highly acclaimed Netflix series The Crown. He directed The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez to critical acclaim and a sell-out run at the Young Vic Theatre; it transferred to the Noel Coward Theatre this fall and will premiere next year on Broadway. Currently, Daldry’s coproduction, with director Justin Martin, of The Jungle by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson is playing to huge acclaim at the Playhouse Theatre after its highly successful run at the Young Vic Theatre and will have its American premiere this month at St Ann’s Warehouse in New York. He was Creative Executive Producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He has also directed at the National Theatre, the Public Theatre in New York and transferred many productions both to Broadway and the West End, including his award-winning 1992 National Theatre production of An Inspector Calls. Billy Elliot the Musical opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005 where it ran for 11 years. It has also played on Broadway, in Holland, Seoul, Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto, Tokyo and across the US. In 2009, the production won ten Tony awards, including Best Musical, more than any other British show in Broadway history. It recently completed an 18 month tour of the UK and Ireland, finishing its highly successful run in Hamburg. Daldry directed The Audience and Skylight to critical acclaim both in London and on Broadway with Skylight winning a Tony award for Best Revival. His first four films, Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, together received 19 Academy Award® nominations and two wins. His film, Trash, set in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, was nominated for Best Film Not in the English Language at the 2015 BAFTAs. He also directed for BBC Radio and Television. He is Co-Director of Pier 55 in New York and also on the Board of The Perelman Arts Center at the World Trade Center, Ground Zero, New York. Daldry started his career at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre and directed extensively in Britain’s regional theaters. In London he was Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre where he headed the £26 million redevelopment.

Liam Brennan (Inspector Goole) THEATRE: Richard III, Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe/The Apollo Theatre/Belasco Theatre, New York); Measure for Measure, Edward II, Richard II, Twelfth Night, Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe); Union, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, A View From The Bridge, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, The Winter’s Tale, The Merchant Of Venice, Othello, Anna Karenina, Montrose, The Gowk Storm, The Taming Of The Shrew, Hobson’s Choice, Mary Rose, Mr. Bolfry, Trivial Pursuits, Loot (all Royal Lyceum Edinburgh); Macbeth (Royal Lyceum/Nottingham Playhouse); Tom Fool (Glasgow Citizens Theatre/Bush Theatre); Stranger Babies, The Found Man, Men in White Suits, Things We Do for Love, The Speculator, Family, King Lear, Knives in Hens, Wormwood (Traverse Theatre); Babycakes (Clyde Unity/Drill Hall); The Merchant of Venice (Sheffield Crucible); Rumplestiltskin (Cumbernauld Theatre), Twelfth Night (Salisbury Playhouse/China Tour). TELEVISION: Shetland, Swine Fever, High Road, Machair, Bad Boys, Taggart and Strathblair II. FILM: No Man’s Land, Feet Steps and Gas Attack. Radio Includes: Cloud Howe, Take Me to Necropolis, Red and Blue, The True Story of Bonnie Parker, Sullom Voe, Down and Out in Auchnakinnan, Piper Alpha, Much Ado About Nothing, La Princesse De Cleves, Of Mice and Men, Macbeth, Rob Roy and Master Of Ballantrae. Liam won the 2006 CATS Award for Best Actor for his performance in Tales From Hollywood (Perth Theatre).

Jeff Harmer (Arthur Birling) THEATRE: Berrard in the National tour of Bird Song Fox on The Fairway, Out Of Order, Donkey’s Years, Romeo & Juliet, As You Like It, Funny Money (Vienna’s English Theatre), Made in Dagenham (Hornchurch), Sweet Charity (New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich), I Dreamed A Dream (National Tour), The Witches of Eastwick (Watermill Theatre), Aladdin (Alhambra Theatre), Buddy (Channel Islands), Othello, Richard III (Ludlow Festival), Privates on Parade (West Yorkshire Playhouse & Birmingham Rep), Mamma Mia! (International Tour), The Hot Mikado (Watermill Theatre Newbury and National Tour), Dick Whittington, The Comedy of Errors (Northcott Theatre, Exeter), The Rivals, The Blue, A Christmas Carol (Swan Theatre Worcester) The Roy Orbison Story (Bill Kenwright National Tour), Return to the Forbidden Planet, Chicago (Frankfurt), Vanity Fair (Sherman Theatre), The Comedy of Errors (National Tour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dracula, The Wind in the Willows (Liverpool Playhouse) Stagestruck (Grand Swansea), Du lac Eurydice (Whitehall Theatre), The Forsyte Saga (National Tour).TELEVISION AND FILM: Diana Her True Story (NBC), A Life (CH4), Poirot, The Bill, Family Affairs (CH5), Westbeach (BBC), Kidnap & Ransom (ITV), The Runaway (SKYTV), The Italian Consul (Film Italia), Saplings (BBC Radio 4), Gilbert Without Sullivan (BBC Radio 4). TRAINING: The Webber Douglas Academy.

Lianne Harvey (Sheila Birling) THEATRE: Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (U.K. and International tour), Relatively Speaking (Oldham Coliseum, Harrogate Theatre), The Railway Children and Trials of Mary (Eastern Angles), Heartbreak House (Union Theatre), Enveloped in Velvet (Arts Theatre), The Daughter in Law, Mercury Fur, The Witch of Edmonton (Whilst at RADA).TELEVISION: Not Safe for Work (Channel 4). FILM: The female lead in 2017 feature film Bikini Blue (for multi Academy Award-nominated Studio Filmowe Zebra, Warsaw). TRAINING: The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Christine Kavanagh (Sybil Birling) THEATRE: Hedda Gabler (National Theatre U.K. tour), Man and Superman (National Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (Harold Pinter Theatre), Albert Speer (National Theatre), The Liar (Old Vic), The Rehearsal (Almeida and Garrick), Basket Case (Northampton Royal Derngate), A Doll’s House (Lyric, Belfast), Macbeth (RSC), Hamlet (Nottingham Playhouse), All My Sons (Redgrave Theatre), The Revengers Comedies (Scarborough), Last Easter (Birmingham Rep), Much Ado About Nothing (RSC), She Stoops to Conquer (Oxford Playhouse), Travesties (Oxford Playhouse), The Rivals (York Theatre Royal).TELEVISION: Vera (ITV), Titanic (ITV), Room with a View (ITV), A Very British Coup (Skreba Films), The Blackheath Poisonings (Central Films), Catherine Cookson/The Glass Virgin (Festival film and ITV), Chimera (Zenith Films), Drop the Dead Donkey (Hat Trick/Channel 4), Frank Stubbs (Noel Gay TV), In His Life the John Lennon Story (NBC), Inspector Lynley (BBC), Inspector Morse (Channel 4), Island Gardens (BBC), Doctors (BBC), Jonathan Creek (BBC), Manchild (BBC), Minder (Thames TV), Ruth Rendell Mysteries – May and June, Ruth Rendell Mysteries – No crying he makes (TVS), Seaforth (BBC), Sleeper (BBC), The Bretts (Central TV), Return of Sherlock Holmes (Tiger Aspect), Agony Too (BBC), Material Girl (Carnival Films), The Saint (D L Taffner), Doctor Who (BBC), The Sleeper, Underbelly (BBC Initial films). FILM: Man and Superman NT Live (National Theatre). RADIO: Home Front, I Claudius, and Charles Paris for BBC radio four, member of the BBC radio drama company, and she narrates audio books.

Andrew Macklin (Gerald Croft) THEATRE: The Baleful Lie (Tristan Bates Theatre), Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern (Out of Joint/Watford Palace/Arcola Theatre/Tour), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Curve Theatre), Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Chipping Norton Theatre), The Mercy Seat (York Theatre Royal), King Lear, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Three Sisters (Abbey Theatre), The Only True History of Lizzie Finn (Southwark Playhouse), Brighton (Garter Lane Arts Centre), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Watford Palace), I’ll be the Devil (RSC/Tricycle), All Over Town, The Irish Curse (Project Theatre, Dublin), 24 Hour Plays: Lucy’s Brief Guide to Being Human (Old Vic), Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk (Salisbury Playhouse), The Cure at Troy (Floodtide Theatre Company), Much Ado About Nothing (Bath Theatre Royal), Don’t Look Back (dreamthinkspeak), Markings (Attic Theatre Company), A Passionate Woman (Mill at Sonning). TV: Jubilee Nurse, Mr. Selfridge, Fair City.

Diana Payne-Myers (Edna) was a dancer at Ballet Rambert at the Mercury Theatre, Notting Hill Gate, 1948. She has most recently worked in Scotland with Barrowland Ballet (Natasha Gilmore’s Glasgow based company) in A Conversation with Carmel 2013 (co-produced by Scottish Arts & Stratford East) at the Tramway Theatre, Glasgow; Stratford East, London & 2 Scotland tours concluding the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011. Other recent credits include: Further work with Matthew Hawkins at Edinburgh Festival (2007), Red Ladies (2014) at the Southbank Centre, Malvern & Margate, God’s Garden with Arthur Pita – created and presented in Ipswich followed by performances in Birmingham & later with a company at the Royal Opera House, London. Diana has also performed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics Arts Festival with DV8 Physical Theatre company piece Can we afford this? The cost of living (Everest Theatre, Sydney). It later toured to London and Hong Kong. Other work with DV8 includes Strange Fish (European tour) and Bound to Please which toured Europe 1999-2000. Diana returns to the role of Edna having performed in An Inspector Calls at the Garrick Theatre, the Aldwich Theatre, two UK tours & the Australia tour.

Hamish Riddle (Eric Birling). Prior to training he was a member of the National Youth Theatre Rep Company. THEATRE: Manning (The Arches/Encounter Festival/Brno), Tory Boyz, Prince Of Denmark, Romeo And Juliet, Pope Joan, Black And White, As You Like It (N.Y.T.) and Prince Of Denmark (National Theatre). Theatre whilst training includes: 13, The Country Wife, Merchant of Venice and The Seagull (all for R.C.S.) Hamish also took part in the London 2012 Olympics Welcoming Ceremony as part of the N.Y.T. TRAINING: The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Tony-Award winning Set and Costume Designer Ian MacNeil’s work includes Billy Elliot the Musical in the West End, Australia on Broadway (Tony Award - Best Designer); Albert Speer, Machinal (Critic’s Circle Award-winner) and An Inspector Calls (also West End and International; Olivier and Critic’s Circle Awards-winner) at the National; Far Away, Via Dolorosa (also on Broadway and the West End), This is a Chair, Death and the Maiden (also West End), Plasticine (Evening Standard Award-winner Best Designer) and A Number for the Royal Court; Afore Night Come (the Young Vic); The Ingolstadt Plays, Figaro Gets Divorced and Jerker at the Gate; Enter Achilles and Bound to Please for DV8; and Festen (The Almeida – also West End and Broadway; Evening Standard Award- winner, Best Designer). Recent designs include Vernon God Little and A Doll’s House at the Young Vic and Brooklyn Academy of Music; In Basildon at the Royal Court; Desire Under the Elms at the Lyric Hammersmith; The Amen Corner at the National Theatre; Betrayal on Broadway; Birdland at the Royal Court, and Everyman at the National.

Lighting Designer Rick Fisher is the winner of two Olivier Awards for Best Lighting Design and two Tony and Drama Desk Awards for An Inspector Calls and Billy Elliot the Musical (Broadway). He first lit this production of An Inspector Calls in York in 1990 and then again at the National Theatre in 1992. THEATRE: Peter Pan (Regent’s Park); The Audience (with Helen Mirren in London and Broadway, and subsequently with Kristin Scott Thomas in London); The Merchant of Venice (Almeida Theatre / RSC); Sunny Afternoon (Hampstead / West End); Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park); Billy Elliot (West End / Australia / Broadway / US Tour / Holland); Brigit & Bailegangaire (Druid Theatre, Galway); The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Twelfth Night (Singapore); Judas Kiss (Duke of York’s); Chariots of Fire (Gielgud), Richard III (RSC); Tribes (Royal Court); An Inspector Calls (West End/Broadway); Betrayal, Old Times (Donmar); Jerry Springer the Opera, Blue/Orange (National Theatre/West End). MUSICAL AND OPERA: Daughter of the Regiment, Rigoletto, Salome (Santa Fe Opera); Sweeney Todd (Houston Grand Opera); Oscar (Philadelphia); Falstaff (Japan & Los Angeles); The King and I, Sweeney Todd (Chatelet, Paris); The Sound of Music (Buenos Aires); The Tsarina’s Slippers (Royal Opera House); Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail , Maometto II (Garsington); La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (Santa Fe). DANCE: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake (London / Los Angeles / Broadway / World Tour).

Academy Award-winning Composer Stephen Warbeck began studying piano and composing at the age of four. After eight years of working as a composer and performer for the stage Stephen began writing music for film and television and has since built up considerable filmography credits. He has written music for more than 40 television projects and has received five BAFTA nominations and in 2013 a BAFTA Award for his work on Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2. Other recent television projects include Indian Summers and first two series of A Young Doctor’s Notebook. Stephen has scored many feature films including: Mon Roi, Seve, Polisse, Proof, Mrs. Brown, Mystery Men, Quills, Billy Elliot, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Birthday Girl and Shakespeare in Love, for which he won an Academy Award. His other notable stage productions include: the Globe’s Richard II, the Donmar’s Temple, the RSC’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies; the Royal Court’s The River and Jerusalem (both West End and Broadway transfers) and The Seagull; The National Theatre’s The Red Lion, The Silver Tassie, This House, The Veil; John Madden’s Proof, Sam Mendes’ To The Green Fields Beyond; Old Times and Betrayal at the Harold Pinter Theatre and many productions for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, The Almeida and West End theatres. In addition to composing for film and television, Stephen has written music for numerous radio plays and written several concert pieces. Peter Pan is his first ballet score.

Associate Director Julian Webber adapted and directed The Three Musketeers at the Young Vic Theatre, which was nominated for a Barclay’s Theatre Award in 2002; more recently, the West End revival of The Shape of Things by Neil Labute, and The Barber of Seville at the Bristol Old Vic in a new adaptation by Lee Hall. For eight years Julian was Artistic Director of Soho Rep, New York and is currently Associate Director for Billy Elliot the Musical, for which he won a Helpmann Award for the production in Sydney, Australia, and last year, mounted in Holland.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, Chicago Shakespeare has redefined what a great American Shakespeare theater can be—a company that defies theatrical category. This Regional Tony Award-winning theater’s year-round season features as many as twenty productions and 650 performances—including plays, musicals, world premieres, family programming, and presentations from around the globe. Chicago Shakespeare is the city’s leading presenter of international work, and has toured its own productions across five continents. The Theater’s nationally acclaimed arts in literacy programs support the work of teachers, and bring Shakespeare to life on stage for tens of thousands of students annually. Each summer, the company tours a free professional production to neighborhood parks across Chicago. In 2017 the Theater unveiled The Yard, which, together with the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the Thoma Theater Upstairs, positions Chicago Shakespeare as Chicago’s most versatile performing arts center.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

OPENING: World Premiere of Downstate at Steppenwolf Through November 11th, 2018

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Steppenwolf Kicks Off 2018/19 Season with World Premiere of Provocative New Play
By Pulitzer Prize-Winning Ensemble Member Bruce Norris Directed by Pam MacKinnon

Now Playing Through November 11 in the Upstairs Theatre
A Co-Commission and Co-Production with the National Theatre of Great Britain

I'll be out for the press opening October 2nd, so check back shortly after for my full review at We're eager to catch what's sure to be a controversial and thought provoking addition to the slew of fall openings on the Chicago scene. Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a long time favorite of ours for unflinching choices, and stellar world premieres.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company opens its 43rd season with a gripping and provocative new work from Pulitzer Prize-winning ensemble member Bruce Norris, directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon. Downstate is a co-commission and co-production with the National Theatre of Great Britain. This exciting collaboration premieres at Steppenwolf and transfers to the National Theatre in spring 2019 featuring an American and British cast and creative team. 

Previews began September 20, 2018, opening is September 30 at 6pm and the production runs through November 11, 2018 in the Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St. Single tickets ($20-$99) are now on sale through Audience Services at 312- 335-1650 or

Downstate features Steppenwolf ensemble members Glenn Davis (Gio); K. Todd Freeman (Dee); Tim Hopper (Andy); and Francis Guinan (Fred) along with Cecilia Noble (Ivy), Eddie Torres (Felix), Aimee Lou Wood (Effie) and Matilda Ziegler (Em). Elyakeem Avraham, Maura Kidwell and Nate Whelden round out the cast (Cops).

In downstate Illinois, four men convicted of sex crimes against minors share a group home where they live out their lives in the shadow of the crimes they committed. A man shows up to confront his childhood abuser—but does he want closure or retribution? This gripping, provocative new play by Pulitzer Prize-winning ensemble member Bruce Norris zeroes in on the limits of our compassion as it questions what happens when society deems anyone beyond forgiveness.

Known for his darkly comic takes on contemporary issues, Bruce Norris asks to whom we are willing to give compassion. Norris shares, “In the case of this group of people who’ve committed crimes and served their time, we’re not trying to take the easy out and say, ‘These are monsters. We’re done with them. We can dispose of them.’ They are humans, and they are alive. And they’re in a bad situation from the mistakes they’ve made. Now what do we do?’”

Director Pam MacKinnon on what drew her to the production: “I was very taken by the play, I read it and felt vastly for every character. I feel as though it’s Bruce project to demand big empathy from the audience. The characters are so specifically drawn it lends itself to very lively, and actually very funny moments.”

Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro comments, “Bruce’s contract with the audience never changes: he has always wanted to make us uncomfortable and he has always gone right for the jugular. We support the work because it also continues to be written in the spirit of trying to understand the ugliness of our world so that we have a real chance of changing it.”

Director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris shares, “We are delighted to once again be collaborating with Steppenwolf in co-producing Bruce Norris’ compelling, provocative play. It’s terrific that both UK and US audiences will get to experience this production, which is in the extraordinary hands of Pam MacKinnon and a brilliant transatlantic cast.”

Bruce Norris is a Steppenwolf ensemble member and this is the tenth play the company has produced and the fifth world premiere. Norris’s The Low Road was recently produced at The Public. He is the author of Clybourne Park, which premiered in 2010 at Playwrights Horizons and received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as the Olivier, Evening Standard, and Tony Awards for productions at the Royal Court, West End and Broadway. His play A Parallelogram was seen at Second Stage Theater in 2017 and Domesticated played at Lincoln Center Theatre and Steppenwolf in 2015. Additional plays include The Qualms, The Unmentionables, The Pain and the Itch, Purple Heart and others.

Pam MacKinnon was recently named next artistic director of American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco. She is a Tony and Drama Desk Award winning director for Steppenwolf’s revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (also Broadway, Arena Stage). She garnered Tony and Lucille Lortel nominations along with an Obie Award for excellence in direction for Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park (Broadway, Mark Taper, Playwrights Horizons). She also directed Norris’s The Qualms at Steppenwolf and Playwrights Horizons. Broadway credits include her production of Beau Willimon’s The Parisian Woman with Uma Thurman; David Mamet’s China Doll; Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles; Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance; and Amelie, a New Musical (Berkeley Rep and Broadway) in addition to Itamar Moses’ Completeness (SCR and Playwrights Horizons); Sarah Treem’s When We Were Young and Unafraid (MTC), and more. MacKinnon is the President of the Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and Board Chair of Clubbed Thumb.

Downstate production team 
Todd Rosenthal (Scenic Design); Clint Ramos (Costume Design); Adam Silverman (Lighting Design); Carolyn Downing (Sound Design); Gigi Buffington (Company Vocal Coach); Laura Glenn (Stage Manager); Christine D. Freeburg (Asst. Stage Manager); JC Clementz (Casting Director and Artistic Producer) and Patrick Zakem (Artistic Producer).

Tickets & Membership Info
Single tickets are available through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or Previews: $20 – $76 and Regular Run: $20 – $99. Prices subject to change.

20 for $20: Twenty $20 tickets are available on the day of the performance by phone only at 312-335-1650. Limit 2 per person.

Rush Tickets: Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show.

Student Discounts: A limited number of $15 student tickets are available online. Limit 2 tickets per student; must present a valid student ID for each ticket;

Group Tickets: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season;
Performance schedule included at end of release
Visitor Information
Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation, bike racks and Divvy bike stands. The parking facility ($12 or $14, cash or card) is located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ($14 cash) is available directly in front of the main entrance starting at 5pm on weeknights, 1pm on weekends and at 12noon before Wednesday matinees. Limited street and lot parking are also available. For last minute questions and concerns, patrons can call the Steppenwolf Parking Hotline at 312-335-1774.

Committed to making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language Interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance, and the Downstairs and 1700 Theatres are each equipped with an induction hearing loop. All theaters feature wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, and Front Bar features a push-button entrance, all-gender restrooms and accessible counter and table spaces.

Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks
Connected to the main lobby is Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, offering a warm, creative space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night. Open Tuesdays – Sundays from 8am to midnight, Front Bar serves artisanal coffee and espresso provided by La Colombe and food prepared by Goddess and Grocer. The menu focuses on fresh, accessible fare, featuring grab-and-go salads and sandwiches for lunch and adding shareable small plates and desserts for evening and post show service.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company 
is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards— have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programming includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi- genre performances series. Steppenwolf Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs for arts administration training. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. 

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Monday, January 14, 2013

What We're Watching-National Theatre Live-The Magistrate

National Theatre Live’s 2013 season continues at Music Box with
Victorian farce The Magistrate starring John Lithgow
shown Wednesday, January 23 with encore matinee Sunday, February 10

The Music Box Theatre continues its partnership with the UK’s National Theatre Liveproduced by Northwestern University alum David Sabel – to exhibit live stage performances beamed to Chicago from the prestigious National Theatre in London.  Academy Award nominee and Tony Award-winner John Lithgow (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Shrek, This is 40) takes the title role in Arthur Wing Pinero’s uproarious Victorian farce, The Magistrate, directed by Olivier Award-winner Timothy Sheader (Crazy for You and Into the Woods). The Chicago performances take place Wednesday, January 23, 7 p.m. and Sunday, February 10, 2 p.m. at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport Avenue.  Tickets to National Theatre Live events are $15 in advance at the Music Box Theatre box office and online at; $18 at the door. 

In a similar vein to the National Theatre’s smash-hit classic comedies, She Stoops to Conquer and London Assurance, The Magistrate is sure to have audiences doubled up with laughter. When amiable magistrate Posket (John Lithgow) marries Agatha (Olivier Award-winner Nancy Carroll, After the Dance), little does he realize she’s dropped five years from her age – and her son’s. When her deception looks set to be revealed, it sparks a series of hilarious indignities and outrageous mishaps.

Now in its fourth season, the international phenomenon National Theatre Live is the brainchild of Northwestern University alumnus David Sabel, National Theatre’s Head of Digital. Sabel explains, “When you think of filmed theatre it's the exact opposite of what it's supposed to be: there in the space, seeing the sweat and feeling the emotion and heat of the room. How is that going to work? People are surprised at how connected they feel. A huge part of that is the shared experience; if you were watching it on TV, even if it was live, you'd go and make a cup of tea, but here you are buying a ticket and reacting and applauding together.

“It's like filming a sports match; you take the audience's eye to where the ball goes. If we've done our job, you should feel you saw a piece of theatre, not a film, even though there were probably lots of close ups where the director was choosing what you see.” Since its debut in 2009, National Theatre Live has expanded from 40 theatres in the UK to nearly 300 screens worldwide.

The 2013 NTLive season at Music Box continues in March with People, the acclaimed new play by Alan Bennett (The History Boys) and concludes in May with This House, a biting and energetic new play about the ruthless world of 1970s British politics.   Visit for additional details.

About the Music Box Theatre: For nearly 30 years the Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films, festivals and some of the greatest cinematic events in Chicago. It currently has the largest cinema space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD and television markets throughout the United States. For additional information please .  Download the entire Music Box Theatre Winter Calendar here:

National Theatre Live is an initiative by the UK’s National Theatre to broadcast live performances onto cinema screens around the world. Since its first season, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Helen Mirren, more than 750,000 people have now experienced the National’s work on movie screens worldwide. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Tis the season for fabulous films and music and Music Box Theatre makes our ChiILpicks List as one of the city's best.   We adore the vintage decor, and their excellent lineup.   The Music Box is brimming with fam friendly sing alongs, Oscar winning classics, and new release international, indie and art films.  

Music Box & The Stage
In 2012 we caught a number of The National Theatre of Great Britain's excellent live theatre productions, filmed and shown around the world, like Frankenstein staring dual Sherlocks (Benedict Cumberbatch from the BBC revival and Jonny Lee Miller from Elementary).   Check out our review here.  And more of our past coverage here.

Live theatre on film is an acquired taste, and many film critics dislike the genre, but theatre people are flocking to the shows.   Folks dress up for the films, more like a night out at a Broadway in Chicago show, and applaud like a live performance.   We think they're a hoot, and relish the opportunity to see world renowned stars on stage without a pricy flight across the ocean!   We hit up press previews of most of Music Box's National Theatre offerings.   The Last of The Haussmans, and Timon of Athens which we had just seen live at Chicago Shakespeare, were some of our favs pf 2012.   Keep an eye out for more in 2013.   Highly recommended.


Presented by National Theatre Live

Julie Walters plays Judy Haussman with Rory Kinnear and Helen McCrory as her children in this eagerly-anticipated new play: a funny, touching and sometimes savage portrait of a family that’s losing its grip.
Anarchic, feisty but growing old, high society drop-out Judy Haussman remains in spirit with the Ashrams of the 1960s while holding court in her dilapidated Art Deco house on the Devon coast. After an operation, she’s joined by wayward offspring Nick and Libby, sharp-eyed granddaughter Summer, local doctor Peter, and Daniel, a troubled teenager who makes use of the family’s crumbling swimming pool. Together they share a few sweltering months in this chaotic world of all-day drinking, infatuations, long-held resentments, free love and failure.
One of Britain’s best-loved and most versatile actors, Julie Walters has wonBAFTA, Golden Globe and Olivier Awards for her work. Her screen credits range from Educating Rita to celebrated work with Victoria Wood, from lead roles in the movies of Mamma Mia! and Harry Potter to portraying Mo Mowlam for Channel 4.
Rory Kinnear recently won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor for his performance as Hamlet at the National Theatre. Helen McCrory’s acclaimed work includes the films The Queen and, recently, Hugo.


Simon Russell Beale takes the title role in Shakespeare’s strange fable of consumption, debt and ruin, written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton.
“A perfect parable for our times in Nicholas Hytner’s exhilarating production featuring a compelling central performance by Simon Russell Beale.”

The Guardian
The National Theatre’s acclaimed contemporary staging of Shakespeare’s strange fable, set against a backdrop of modern-day London where money is power, has enjoyed a sell-out run at the theatre.
Wealthy friend to the rich and powerful, patron of the arts and ostentatious host, Timon of Athens suddenly finds his coffers empty. When he calls for upon his friends for help, they hang him out to dry. So begins Shakespeare’s strange fable of conspicuous consumption, debt and ruin.
Simon Russell Beale, who has been described by the Independent as ‘the greatest stage actor of his generation,’ takes the title role in Nicholas Hytner’s (HamletOne Man, Two Guvnors) bold production, which makes Timon of Athens more relevant and compelling than ever before.

One showing, Thursday, December 27, 7:30pm at Music Box Theatre

We had the great pleasure of catching a press preview and were blown away by Christopher Plummer's Barrymore.   We've been giving you the heads up on this one on our FB and Twitter feeds since the first week of December.   Check back January 10th to see if rumors of Oscar nominations for this film come true and absolutely catch it if you can.

BARRYMORE, a captured-live stage production, stars Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer as American acting legend John Barrymore. In a career defining performance, Plummer (as Barrymore) reckons with the ravages of his life of excess while rehearsing a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph in Richard III

Music Box is pleased to offer BARRYMORE, plus "making of" documentary BACKSTAGE WITH BARRYMORE featuring Helen Mirren, Julie Andrews and Zoe Caldwell, on Thursday, December 27, 7:30 p.m. at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave.

BARRYMORE, based on the 1997 Broadway production, is set in 1942, and follows acclaimed American actor John Barrymore, a member of one of Hollywood’s most well-known theatrical dynasties, as he rehearses the Shakespearean triumph that made him a household name, Richard III. The film finds Barrymore in his faded glory reckoning with the ravages of his life of excess, only months before his premature death. The film is directed and written by Érik Canuel, based on the play by William Luce.

Barrymore is played by Academy Award winner and master thespian Christopher Plummer, reprising his 1997 Tony Award-winning role. His nuanced performance has earned him rave reviews and, for a film that didn’t find a distributor after its World Premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, talk of a third Academy Award nomination, and more importantly, a nomination for Best Actor after three nominations and one win for Best Supporting Actor. Could this staged one-man play, where Plummer chews the scenery for the entirety of its running time, get him that nomination? 

“I’m all but convinced he has the Oscar in the bag,” Hollywood Elsewhere critic Jeff Wells exclaimed after seeing it. 

David Edelstein of New York Magazine says, “God, I love Plummer’s performance — the twiddling fingers, the tipsy sway of the head, the reverberating roar, as well as the pathos of a man who can’t stop acting long enough to hear the cry of his own soul.”

There is a precedent for plays on film getting Academy love.  A 1965 filmed version of Britain’s National Theatre presentation of Othello earned acting nominations for its cast. In 1975, James Whitmore was nominated in the Best Actor category for the production of his one-man show Give ’Em Hell, Harry!

The December 27 showing includes a ”making of” documentary, Backstage with Barrymore, featuring Helen MirrenJulie Andrews, and Zoe Caldwell.  Total running time of the film (84m) plus the documentary (45m) is 129 minutes.

Starring Christopher Plummer, directed and written by Érik Canuel, based on the play by William Luce. In English, 129 minutes.

About the Music Box Theatre: 
For nearly 30 years the Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films, festivals and some of the greatest cinematic events in Chicago. It currently has the largest cinema space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD and television markets throughout the United States. For additional information please visit 

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