Kenny Leon
Kenny Leon
Director Kenny Leon will helm the Chicago premiere of the opera Margaret Garnier and the Broadway stage version of the Oscar-winning film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, both in the fall of 2008.

Margaret Garner, which will be co-presented by the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and Michigan Opera Theatre, will run November 1-9. Based on the true-life story of a fugitive slave in the Civil War who sacrificed her own children in her quest for freedom, the opera features a libretto by Pullitzer Prize winner Toni Morrison and music by Grammy Award winner Richard Danielpour.

Opera star Denyce Graves, for whom the role was written, will headline three performances of the production. It will feature more than 150 artists, including soloists, two choruses, and the Chicago Sinfionetta. Stefan Lano will be the musical director.

As reported earlier this week, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, to be produced by Jeffrey Finn, will feature a script by Todd Kreidler adapted from the Oscar-winning screenplay by William Rose. The plot focuses on Joey Drayton, a Caucasian woman who brings her African-American fiancé, Dr. John Prentice, home to San Francisco to meet her seemingly liberal, affluent parents. The 1967 film, directed by Stanley Kramer, starred Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy as the Draytons, Katharine Houghton (Hepburn's real-iife niece) as Joey, and Sidney Poitier as John.

Leon has directed the Broadway productions of Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf, as well as the Tony Award-winning revival of A Raisin in the Sun and its upcoming ABC television film. He is also the artistic director of the True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia.