Remy Bumppo Announces First All-Comedy Season; Introduces New Ensemble Members

Remy Bumppo Announces First All-Comedy Season; Introduces New Ensemble Members

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company is calling its 18th season "Welcome to the Fun House," and the fun will come in many forms, from political satire to deadly jokes to a world of laughter and revolutions with takes on The Importance of Being Earnest. The three plays look at very different aspects of life and comedy, each through its own fabulous Fun House mirror distortion.

The season will begin in October with Founding Artistic Director James Bohnen directing Maxwell Anderson's Pulitzer prize-winning Both Your Houses, a satirical jab at Congress in 1933 that would be just as applicable to Congress in 2014. It will be Bohnen's first return to Remy Bumppo since directing the Jeff Award-winning The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia? in 2011.

For the holiday season, Remy Bumppo will present Chicago native Sara Ruhl's off-the-wall probe of life, love, loss and the search for the perfect joke. The Clean House has everything from killer jokes in Portuguese to jokes that are fatal in any language, a clean sweep of the comedy spectrum.

The season will wrap up in the spring with Tom Stoppard's incredibly zany Travesties, which somehow ties together Joyce, Lenin, Tristan Tzara, and Earnest in a flood of limericks, language tricks and revolutionary ideas, all of them mangled by the mind of an aged British civil servant. Remy Bumppo Producing Artistic Director Nick Sandys will direct.

All performances will be at the Greenhouse Theater Center at 2257 N. Lincoln.

Remy Bumppo's new season will also include a newly-created Ensemble, which will be an additional category to the six current Artistic Associates. The five original Ensemble members, all of whom have extensive experience at major Chicago theatres, are Kelsey Brennan, who has been in RBTC productions of Mourning Becomes Electra and The Importance of Being Earnest; Peter Davis, who has performed in six Remy Bumppo productions, the latest being You Never Can Tell, and has often served as dramaturg for the company; Emjoy Gavino, who was in Remy's production of Edward Albee's Seascape; Sandra Marquez, who will debut with Remy Bumppo in The Clean House; and Eliza Stoughton, who was in the RBTC presentation of You Never Can Tell.

More details on Remy Bumppo's 2014-15 season, Welcome to the Fun House, follow:

BOTH YOUR HOUSES

By Maxwell Anderson

Directed by James Bohnen

October 1-November 9, 2014

Featuring Artistic Associates David Darlow and Linda Gillum and Ensemble Member Peter Davis and Eliza Stoughton

1933. In Anderson's Pulitzer Prize-winning satire, even a leading member admits Congress is a cauldron of "graft, special privilege, and corruption." Strange expenditures for special interests abound. No surprise there. Enter a crusading young congressman, so straight he opposes a project in his own district, even probing his own campaign donors -long before Mr. Smith went to Washington. Our hero is on the verge of excising the pork when a key vote is suddenly reversed. But fear not - on the verge of defeat, the crusader comes up with a plan so outlandish it's bound to save Congress from itself! Or is it?

THE CLEAN HOUSE

By Sarah Ruhl

December 3, 2014 - January 11, 2015

Featuring Artistic Associates Annabel Armour and Shawn Douglass and Ensemble Member Sandra Marquez

The Clean House is full of searches for perfection, be they for the best-tasting apple, a cancer-fighting tree, one's bashert, a pesky speck of dirt, or the perfect joke. The searchers include a female doctor who wants a clean house, but doesn't want to work at it; her maid, who hates to clean; her sister, who is obsessed with cleaning; and her husband, who comes clean about falling in love with an inspiring patient. Chicagoan Sarah Ruhl's off-the-wall, poignant comedy may well have the characters and the audience dying of laughter, but, amidst it all, there's romance, longing, coping... and a lot of dusting.

TRAVESTIES

By Tom Stoppard

Directed by Nick Sandys

March 25-May 3, 2015

Featuring Artistic Associate Greg Matthew Anderson and Ensemble Member Kelsey Brennan

Toss together James Joyce, Vladimir Lenin, and Dadaist poet Tristan Tzara in Zurich in 1917 (where they really were), throw in limericks and lyrics and The Importance of Being Earnest, then shred the whole mélange through the mixed-up mind of an aging British civil servant (who has a big grudge against Joyce concerning a pair of trousers), and you've entered the Wilde-ly witty world of Travesties. Call it a madcap meditation on revolutions in art and politics, or call it The Importance of Being in The Importance of Being Earnest,Travesties is a romp that will leave your brain whirling as only Stoppard's brilliance can.

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