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BWW TV: Watch Highlights from Lookingglass Theatre Company's Acrobatic HARD TIMES

Lookingglass Theatre Company opens its 30th Anniversary Season with the return of the award-winning, circus-infused Hard Times, adapted and directed by Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman from the book by Charles Dickens and in association with The Actors Gymnasium. Hard Times runs now through January 14, 2018 at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N Michigan Ave at Pearson. BroadwayWorld has highlights from the show below!

A Dickensian carnival of characters inhabits the streets of smoke-choked Coketown: grim Mr. Gradgrind's school churns out joyless students; poor Stephen Blackpool toils in the nearby mines; and mill-owner Mr. Bounderby, full of bluster and bombast, presides over it all. Only when a traveling circus alights nearby, and young orphan Sissy Jupe enters their world, does a ray of hope shine through. Artistic Director Heidi Stillman adapts and directs this timeless love-letter to the power of beauty, hope, and imagination.

Returning to Hard Times are Ensemble Members David Catlin (returning to the role of Stephen and Sleary), Raymond Fox (returning to the role of Mr. Gradgrind, Sissy's Father and Slackbridge), Louise Lamson (in the role of Rachael, Mrs. Gradgrind and Scherezade through 12/17) and Artistic Associate Troy West (returning to the role of Mr. Bounderby). The cast also includes Artistic Associate Atra Asdou (Rachael, Mrs. Gradgrind and Scherezade beginning 12/19), with Audrey Anderson (Sissy), Amy J. Carle (Mrs. Sparsit, Drunk Woman and Pufflerumpus), Raphael Cruz (Bitzer and Le Papillon), Cordelia Dewdney (Louisa), Marilyn Dodds Frank (returning to the role of Mrs. Pegler), Nathan Hosner (Mr. Harthouse, Mr. M'Choakumchild and Kidderminster) and JJ Phillips (Tom).

The creative team for Hard Times includes Ensemble Members Daniel Ostling (returning scenic designer) and Mara Blumenfeld (returning costume designer), Artistic Associates Brian Sidney Bembridge (returning lighting designer), Andre Pluess (returning sound designer and original composition) and Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (returning circus choreography) with Amanda Herrmann (props design), Isaac Schoepp (rigging) and Eva Breneman (dialect coach). The stage manager is Jeri Frederickson.

For tickets and more information, call the Lookingglass Theatre box office at (312) 337-0665 or visit

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