Saturday, April 18, 2015


APRIL 24 - JUNE 7, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gone But Not Forgotten:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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