The Playgoer: Create Your Own Subscription Series

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Create Your Own Subscription Series

By Suzy Evans

There are so many great shows coming up in the 2009-2010 season in Chicago, but if you could only pick five, what would you choose? Steppenwolf Artistic Director Martha Lavey posed this question on the theater’s blog this week, and I thought I’d give her an answer. I tried to look under the radar, but the big guys are putting up some great stuff next season so I’ll save the little guys for a later post. (I did successfully avoid the Arthur Miller saturation happening over at Raven, Eclipse, TimeLine, and Commonwealth, though.) Here’s my dream subscription series for 2009-2010:

Animal Crackers at the Goodman – The Marx Brothers musical opens the season for this Chicago staple, and I’m just as excited as everyone else. The musical actually came before the 1930 film, which immortalized the line, “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know." Here’s The New York Times review for the original Broadway production in 1928. (Sept. 18, 2009 - Oct. 25, 2009)

Man of La Mancha at Theo Ubique – Out of all five, I’m most excited for this show. Theo Ubique stages some of the best cabaret theater around, and this season’s Evita took the stage (and the Jeff Awards) by storm. Maggie Portman, who played Evita and was named a rising star by the Chicago Tribune, will be choreographing the show. (Oct. 18, 2009 – Nov. 22, 2009)

American Buffalo at Steppenwolf – Okay, I admit I really just want to see Tracy Letts on stage, but I’ve also never seen the play and feel like it’s a must-see. The show actually premiered at the Goodman in the 70's and is set in Chicago. Ensemble member and another August star, Amy Morton, will direct this production. (Dec 3, 2009 - Feb 7, 2010)

Trust at Lookingglass – David Schwimmer co-writes and directs this show, which explores the modern family in a digital age. According to the theater’s website, it will be “cutting-edge theatrical experience, combining project, video, photos, texting and live chat.” I’m interested to see how they incorporate tech elements and tell a topical story. (Starts March 10, 2010)

Girls vs. Boys at The House Theatre – I saw a workshop production of this rock musical at Northwestern University this summer as a part of the American Musical Theatre Project, and I was very impressed. The book and some of the lyrics need reworking, but the concept and the orchestration blew me away. It’s a show about teenagers and love except instead of going through emotional pain, the kids experience it physically. Kind of a modern day Spring Awakening with weapons. (April 8, 2010 - May 29, 2010)

1 comment:

M. Cantrell Roberson said...

I used to volunteer at Steppenwolf when I lived in Chicago. There was something so amazing about knowing that while NY had more theatre, only Chicago had Steppenwolf. One night, after an their amazing "Betrayal", I was hanging out front when Tracy Letts came out. I met him, chatted for just a moment, and walked home feeling like I had just eaten dinner with Phillip Seymore Hoffman. Nothing like a real local hero! I'm loving your updates!!!!!