Fall ushers in the start of the new theatre season. The big houses have some pretty exciting productions this season. Broadway in Chicago brings us the pre-Broadway run of "Kinky Boots" (written by Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein) and the hit musical "Book of Mormon." The Goodman brings us David Cromer's production of Tennessee Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth" and Steppenwolf brings us David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize winning play "Good People."
While I look forward to those productions, the heart of Chicago theatre is in the storefront scene. Here are the productions I am most excited to see this fall:
BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON – Bailiwick Chicago
In "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," we follow the story of America's first political maverick. An exhilarating and white-knuckled look at one of our nation's founding rock stars, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson recreates and reinvents the life of "Old Hickory," from his humble beginnings to his days as our seventh Commander-in-Chief. It also asks the question, is wanting to have a beer with someone reason enough to elect him? What if he's really, really hot?
Featuring Matthew Holzfiend, Samantha Dubina, Harter Clingman, Hannah Corneau, Matt Deitchman, Luke Emano, Kyle Gibson, Varris Holmes, Dylan Lainez, Mark LeBeau, Patrick Rooney, Jill Sesso, Tanner Smale, Judy Lea Steele and Brittany Townsley.
Book by Alex Timbers, Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman; Directed by Scott Ferguson, Music Direction by James Morehead.
"Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" begins previews October 4, opens October 8, and runs Thursday through Sunday until November 11. Performances are at the National Pastime Theater, 941 W. Lawrence Ave. in Chicago. For tickets, click here and for more info, click here
MAKE NOISE QUIETLY – Steep Theatre Company
This powerful, poetic triptych of plays portrays the subtle and far-reaching consequences of war and the comfort and strength that we can find in the least expected places. Steep's production of "Making Noise Quietly" will be the first production of the work in Chicago since it made its Midwest debut in 1989
Featuring Patricia Donegan, Peter Moore, Craig Cunnigham, Nick Goodman, Lorraine Freund, Josh Salt and Théo Tougne
Written by Robert Holman; Directed by Erica Weiss
"Make Noise Quietly" opens October 4 and runs Thursday through Saturday until November 10. Performances are at the Steep Theatre, 1115 W. Berwyn Ave in Chicago. For tickets, click here and for more info about the company, click here
THE ALTRUISTS – Two Lights Theatre Company
The Altruists in America, 2012: Who are the youth of this country? Are they the noble and selfless beautiful rebels, making love like Olympians, or are they just drunk on insanity, rioting and self-absorption? Are they a destructive power in a pretty package, or are they simply addicted to consumption and dysfunction, conducting bacchanalian orgies of cheap wine and non-ideas? Whoever they are, they're the nucleus of a band of pseudo-left-wing hooligans and so-called radicals, and they're in over their heads with sex, drugs, and guns... they're the five young radicals of "The Altruists" and they're wild in the streets of an Occupied America, where love is a political act and where an "accidental" death has nightmarish ramifications for the reckless, the damned, and the stoned. In Nicky Silver's verbose, violent, terrifying, and hilarious play, love dies and hope rots... but firebombs don't grow on trees.
Featuring Aaron Kirby, Daniel McEvilly, Annie Prichard, Bridget Schreiber, Will Von Vogt
Written by Nicky Silver; Directed by Matt Olson and Ellen Chambers.
"The Altruists" begins performances October 6, with a press opening on October 8. It will run Thursday through Sunday until November 4 at The Chopin Theatre
1543 West Division Street in Chicago. Click here for tickets and here for more info about the company.
ASSASSINS – produced and directed by Billy Pachoski
By examining and bringing together (in a dream-like way) the narratives of the assassinations and attempted assassinations of the US presidents during our national history, Composer Stephen Sondheim weaves together the pain that lies just beneath the surface of American consciousness – the pain of alienation, regret, and failure to achieve the "American Dream". But in the end, who is responsible for that failure? Ourselves? Our Parents? Our Society? Our President? Mixing dark humor with unforgettable musical numbers, and strong showcase roles for our talented cast of character actors, this show will be a wonderful way to get in the mood for the 2012 election season, no matter what your politics are!
Featuring Sam Button-Harrison, Kevin Webb, Edward Fraim, Aram Monisoff, Kris Hyland, Nicholas Druzbanski, Ed Rutherford, Kiley Moore, Libby Lane, Michael Swisher, Parker Guidry, Natalie June, Morgan Glynn Briggs, Jameson Wentworth, and Joey Eovaldi.
Book by John Weidman; Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Produced and Directed by Billy Pacholski; Music Direction by Robert Ollis
"Assassins" begins performances on October 10 and runs until November 10 at The Viaduct, 3111 N. Western Ave in Chicago. For tickets, click here, for more info click here.
TRAINSPOTTING USA – Produced by Jeffrey Brunstein, Laura St. James, Tom Mullen and Tom Chiola in association with Keaton Wooden and Book & Lyrics Theatricals
In "Trainspotting USA" Tom Mullen adapts Irvine Welsh's classic story of Scottish heroin hooligans for the American landscape. In this world premiere adaption that tells the dark tale of a group of Heroin addicts living in the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri. It's a wild mix of rebellious action and wicked humor powerfully told by a group of friends trying to make it in the world on their own terms.
Based on the novel "Trainspotting" by Irvine Walsh, Adapted for the stage by Harry Gibson, Directed and readapted onto the American landscape by Tom Mullen.
Featuring Thad Anzur, Jay W. Cullen, Shane Kenyon, Cameron Johnson, Rian Jairell, and Jenny Lamb
"Trainspotting USA" begins previews October 12 and opens October 18. "Trainspotting USA" runs Thursday through Sunday until December 2 at Theatre Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave in Chicago. For tickets, click here, for more info click here
DOWN & DERBY – The New Colony
A young roller derby team, the Larkin City Misfit Mavericks, skate for glory in their small home town –– until rival ambitions begin to tear the team apart. IT'S WAR ON WHEELS and THESE SKATES ARE REAL.
Featuring Hannah Alcorn, Joel Kim Booster, Lucy Gossett, Jaclyn Keough, Evan Linder, Aileen May, Morgan McNaught, Kitty Mortland, Kristi Parker-Barnhart, Rania Salem Manganaro, Carol Saller, Lauren Sivak, Sasha Smith, Sara Stern, Mary Williamson, and John Wilson
Written by Aaron Weissman; Directed by Thrisa Hodits
"Down & Derby" begins previews October 27, with a press opening on October 30. "Down & Derby" will run Thursday though Saturday until December 8 at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont in Chicago. For tickets, click here, for more info, click here