Chicago Spotlight: November 2010
Point of Departure
Bailiwick Chicago presents the US premiere of the UK musical Departure Lounge (Royal George Theatre, through December 12), featuring book, music & lyrics by Dougal Irvine, and about four less-than-innocent 18-year olds caught between adolescence and adulthood. Next, six male professors from Northern Kentucky University are performing 20-plus female characters in their original musical Church Girls, Umatilla USA, The Musical at Stage 773 (November 4-21). We're not making this up, you know. Then, the Marriott Theatre rolls out The Music Man -- which hasn't been seen locally in quite a few years -- directed by Gary Griffin and staring Bernie Yvon (November 3-January 9).
The musical month continues with the classic Cole Porter show Kiss Me Kate, presented by Circle Theatre in their new space in Oak Park (November 12-January 30), and then the American premiere of an Australian musical about Lewis Carroll, Boojum! Nonsense, Truth and Lewis Carroll, in a Caffeine Theatre co-production with Chicago Opera Vanguard at the Storefront Theater (November 18-December 19). Finally, Cats comes creeping over the fence at the No Exit Cafe, presented by Theo Ubique Theatre (November 18-January 2).
November also features three singular events. First, Broadway In Chicago opens its newest venue, the 500-seat Broadway Playhouse, with Traces, a physical theater work by French Canadian troupe Seven Fingers (through December 19). Then, Signal Ensemble offers a brief re-run of Aftermath (November 6-December 12), its hit show about the life and death of original Rolling Stone Brian Jones, featuring cover performances of early Stones hits. Finally, Chicago Muse presents the two-man musical The Story of My Life, directed by Tony winner Richard Maltby, Jr. at Stage 773 (November 7-January 2). Authors Neil Bartram and Brian Hill are in residence in Chicago re-working the show, which had a brief Broadway run in early 2009.
As far as plays go, Martin McDonagh's visceral The Lonesome West, kicks off November at the almost-too-intimate Gift Theatre (November 4-December 19), directed by legendary veteran Sheldon Patinkin. Next, playwright Will "Hellcab" Kern offers a new work, Kid Sister, at Profiles Theatre (November 4-December 19) about a 19-year-old mother and her ex-con big bro'. Then, Next Theatre opens its 2010-2011 season with Julia Cho's drama The Piano Teacher (November 4-December 5).
The serious stuff continues with Jose Rivera's Brainpeople produced by the UrbanTheater Company at a club venue, Batey Urbano (November 12-December 12), and Jonathan Lichtenstein's Memory, which juxtaposes Holocaust-era Berlin with present-day Israel and Palestine, presented by BackStage Theatre Company at The Viaduct (November 12-December 18). Then, A Red Orchid offers Craig Wright's version of The Iliad, the Homeric Trojan War epic, as adapted for an all-female cast (November 12-December 19). Soon after, Court Theatre presents Samm-Art Williams' 1981 drama Home (November 11-December 12), directed by Ron O. J. Parsons, and Hubris Productions stages Terrence McNally's two-hander Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune at the Greenhouse (November 18-December 31). Also, Writers' Theatre presents Giles Havergal's stage adaptation of Graham Greene's Travels with My Aunt at the troupe's Books-on-Vernon venue (November 9-March 27).