Falls & Dennehy Teamed HUGHIE, ANIMAL CRACKERS, 'LONG RED ROAD' Among Goodman's 2009/2010 Season Offerings

 Artistic Director Robert Falls proudly announces a diverse line-up-from musical hilarity and classic yarns, to memory pieces and family dramas, to stories with ethnic roots that reflect today's world-in Goodman Theatre's new 2009/2010 season.

The madcap Marx Brothers musical Animal Crackers, book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, music and lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, directed by Henry Wishcamper, launches the season in the Albert Theatre (September 2009). Next, Falls and Brian Dennehy team up again for a Broadway-bound double-bill of Eugene O'Neill's Hughie directed by Falls, and Samuel Beckett's one-man-show Krapp's Last Tape (January 2010) helmed by Canadian director Jennifer Tarver. In March 2010, Rebecca Gilman's Goodman commission, A True History of the Johnstown Flood makes its world premiere production. Finishing the season in June 2010-and launching the fifth biennial international Latino Theatre Festival-is Karen Zacharías' The Sins of Sor Juana, directed by Henry Godinez, following one of the legendary figures of Mexican arts and literature. Still to be announced is one Spring 2010 production directed by Chuck Smith in the Albert Theatre.

Three provocative world premiere productions debut in the Owen Theatre, beginning with

Joan D'Arc, a co-production with Austria's prestigious Linz Festival; acclaimed Bosnian artist Aida Karic and Tanya Palmer put a contemporary spin on Friedrich Schiller's great romantic tragedy The Maiden of Orleans (September 2009). Also appearing in the Owen are High Holidays, Alan Gross' boisterous, darkly comic look at coming of age in suburban Chicago in the early 1960s (October 2009) and Brett C. Leonard's searing The Long Red Road, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman in his Goodman Theatre directorial debut (February 2010).

The season also includes the 32nd annual production of the perennial holiday favorite, A Christmas Carol (November 2009) in the Albert Theatre.

"Our new season is a broad shouldered line-up of plays ranging from a first look at brand new works, to a new spin on celebrated favorites," said Artistic Director Robert Falls. "I am thrilled to present this remarkable range of projects, many of which have been years in the making, with some of my favorite artistic collaborators who are special to Goodman audiences-Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Wishcamper, Karen Zacharías and Henry Godinez. And I warmly welcome to Chicago the bold voices of Aida Karic, Jennifer Tarver, Alan Gross, Brett C. Leonard and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It's an honor to bring together these people and their high-profile, dynamic plays in a single season."

Subscriptions for the 2009/2010 season are now on sale (subscriptions do not include A Christmas Carol). Visit www.GoodmanTheatre.org/Subscribe or call 312.443.3800.

 

IN THE ALBERT

Animal Crackers

Book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind
Music and Lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby
Directed by Henry Wishcamper

Begins September 2009

 

When a celebrated sculpture goes missing from Mrs. Rittenhouse's fancy house party in honor of African explorer Captain Spaulding, her guests set out to find the thief in a series of madcap antics and exploits. Based on the original Marx Brothers Broadway hit and film classic, this contemporary adaptation of Animal Crackers is an outrageous, rollicking, laugh-out-loud musical comedy.

 

A Broadway-Bound Double-Bill


Hughie

By Eugene O'Neill

Directed by Robert Falls

 

Krapp's Last Tape

By Samuel Beckett

Directed by Jennifer Tarver

 

Begins January 2010

 

Robert Falls and Brian Dennehy reprise their 2004 hit production of Eugene O'Neill's one-act play Hughie. High-rolling gambler Erie and Hughie, the credulous night clerk at his apartment building, were confidants. Hughie admired Erie for his bold lifestyle and Erie considered Hughie his good luck charm. When Hughie dies unexpectedly, Erie's luck changes for the worse and he finds himself in dire straights. Then Erie meets the new night clerk, who reminds him enough of Hughie that he takes the gamble that his luck is about to change.

 

Brian Dennehy stars in Samuel Beckett's classic one-act, one-man show, Krapp's Last Tape. Every year on his birthday, self-absorbed Krapp records the important-and the banal-moments of the last year. As he prepares to record a new tape on his 69th birthday, he begins to listen to his archives and stumbles upon a tender memory that he recorded half a lifetime ago. This immersion in his own history leads Krapp to question with growing regret whether his present lives up to his past.

 

These conjoined productions were first performed to universal acclaim at Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Summer 2008.

 

A True History of the Johnstown Flood

By Rebecca Gilman

Begins March 2010

A world premiere Goodman Theatre commission

 

The legendarily devastating Johnstown Flood of 1889 serves as the backdrop for this provocative world premiere by Rebecca Gilman. The Baxter Theatre Troupe-namely, siblings James, Richard, and Fanny-has been summoned to perform at a tony resort next to a beautiful man-made lake in the Pennsylvania mountains. Although the troupe's repertoire consists of the romantic trifles typical of the era, brother James envisions a different kind of play, exposing the true struggles of common people. When a violent rainstorm compromises the shoddily constructed dam, the resulting disaster lays bare the tragic inequities of the rigid class system-and paves the way for a seismic change in both theatre and society.

 

The Sins of Sor Juana

By Karen Zacharías

Directed by Henry Godinez

Begins June 2010

 

Legendary Mexican poet Juana Inés de la Cruz writes expressive, sensual verse at the Viceroy's court in the 1600s, a time when it was unfashionable-and sinful-for women to exercise their intellect. The Viceroy is jealous of Juana's influence on his beautiful wife, the Vicereine, who has arranged a profitable marriage to ensure that Juana will always have a place at court. Believing his own marriage is threatened by Juana's engagement, the Viceroy hires a charming, educated rogue to seduce Juana and destroy her reputation. When Juana refuses to compromise her poetry for what the church ordains appropriate, she stands to lose everything she loves.

 

IN THE OWEN

 

Joan D'Arc

Created by Tanya Palmer and Aida Karic

Directed by Aida Karic

Adapted from Friedrich Schiller's Die Jungfrau von Orleans (The Maiden of Orleans)

A world premiere co-production with Linz 2009 European Capital of Culture

Begins September 2009

 

Adapted from Schiller's great romantic tragedy, this riveting world premiere-set to breathtaking live gospel music-places a contemporary spin on the classic story of Joan of Arc. In the midst of a nightmarish war, a young woman rejects her femininity to become a ruthless warrior for her country. Driven by religious faith, Joan murders her enemies in cold blood until she is stopped short and ultimately destroyed when her emotions betray her in a way that she never expected. A compelling story of one woman's fierce struggle to forge her own identity in the heat of battle, Joan D'Arc features a cast of 15 American performers, including seven musicians and Gospel singers-several of whom she discovered while in residence at the Goodman and touring Chicago's neighborhoods and churches to create this piece.

 

High Holidays

By Alan Gross

Directed by Steve Robman

Begins October 2009

A world premiere

 

This darkly comic and boisterous look at growing up in the Chicago suburbs during the early sixties is the story of 13-year old Billy Roman and the rollicking, anxiety-riddled preparations for his Bar Mitzvah. When Billy's rebellious older brother returns from college during the Jewish high holidays, his family-the little Roman Empire-begins to wobble and crack as it is forced to examine some hard truths about coming of age in America.

 

 

The Long Red Road

World Premiere

By Brett C. Leonard

Directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman

Begins February 2010

A world premiere

In this raw, provocative world premiere, Sam drinks away his life on an Indian reservation in South Dakota, where he has been trying to forget his role in a tragic accident involving his family. When a visitor from his past arrives on the reservation, Sam is forced to face his guilt and to take a harrowing look at the man he has become. The Long Red Road is a searing play about the way one person's demons can tear a family apart.

Still ahead in Goodman Theatre's 2008/2009 season is Magnolia by ReGina Taylor, directed by Anna D. Shapiro (March 14 - April 19 in the Albert); Ghostwritten by Naomi Iizuka, directed by Lisa Portes (April 4 - May 3 in the Owen); Rock ' N Roll by Tom Stoppard, directed by Charles Newell (May 2 - June 7 in the Albert); The Crowd You're In With by Rebecca Gilman, directed by Wendy C. Goldberg (May 23 - June 21 in the Owen); and Boleros for the Disenchanted by José Rivera, directed by Henry Godinez (June 20 - July 26 in the Albert).

Named the country's "Best Regional Theatre" by Time magazine (2003), Goodman Theatre is a leader in the American theater, internationally recognized for its artists, productions and educational programs since its founding in 1925. Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer's forward-thinking leadership has earned the Goodman unparalleled artistic distinction, garnered hundreds of awards-including the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre (1992)-and moved dozens of plays from Chicago to stages in New York and abroad. Central to its commitment to the reinvestigation of classics and development of new plays and artists is the Goodman's Artistic Collective, including Brian Dennehy, Frank Galati, Henry Godinez, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, ReGina Taylor and Mary Zimmerman. The largest not-for-profit theater in Chicago, the Goodman moved in 2000 into a brand new state-of-the-art complex which houses two principal theaters: the 856-seat Albert Ivar Goodman Theatre and the 400-seat flexible Owen Bruner Goodman Theatre. Board Chairman is Shawn M. Donnelley and Karen Pigott is President of the Women's Board. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. Kraft Foods

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