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THE OUTSIDERS Musical, Sean Hayes and More Make Up Goodman Theatre 2021 Season

Will & Grace star Sean Hayes is set to star as humorist Oscar Levant in the play Good Night, Oscar.

THE OUTSIDERS Musical, Sean Hayes and More Make Up Goodman Theatre 2021 Season

Chicago's Goodman Theatre has announced its "Our Next Act" 2021 Season of eight plays on its two stages scheduled to begin when it is deemed safe for audiences, artists and staff.

"We can't wait to welcome back our audiences for our dynamic 2021 Season that exemplifies the very best of our art form," said Artistic Director Robert Falls. "As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our artists and audiences, we remain flexible in our planning and will share production dates when the time is right."

"We're proud to announce four exciting world premieres, including a Goodman commission-Cheryl L. West's Fannie, directed by Henry Godinez, a passionate rallying cry inspired by the life of famed civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, featuring E. Faye Butler in the title role. the ripple, the wave that carried me home by Christina Anderson, a world-premiere co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, is a stunning meditation on protest, legacy and reconciliation; and we're delighted to welcome back Christina, whose bold, imaginative How to Catch Creation was a memorable favorite last year. In addition, Good Night, Oscar by Doug Wright, directed by Leigh Silverman stars Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) as Oscar Levant-the larger-than-life American humorist with a dangerous edge. Finally, we'll produce the highly anticipated new musical we postponed due to COVID-19-The Outsiders, based on the novel by S.E. Hinton and Francis Ford Coppola's film, with a book by Adam Rapp, music and lyrics by Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance) and Justin Levine, choreography by Lorin Latarro and directed by Liesl Tommy. A beloved story of 'haves' and 'have-nots' that defined a generation is told anew."

Continued Falls, "At the same time, classic revivals are a signature of Goodman programming, and I'm delighted to announce a major new production of The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, adapted and directed by Manilow Resident Director Mary Zimmerman. The 1993 premiere of this production signaled a pivotal moment for Mary in her career, and it will be a joy to revisit her beautiful, sensual piece nearly three decades after its premiere."

"We're thrilled to produce our three postponed Chicago premieres-including the off-Broadway sensation, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh, directed by Lili-Anne Brown that was halted just a few days shy of its opening. We'll also produce American Mariachi by José Cruz González, directed by Henry Godinez-the funny, heart-warming story of an all-female mariachi band in an era when this defied social norms-in a co-production with Dallas Theater Center. And celebrated pianist, actor and playwright Hershey Felder in A Paris Love Story, directed by Trevor Hay, makes his Goodman debut in a tour de force tribute to the life and music of Impressionist composer Claude Debussy," concluded Falls.

Memberships to the upcoming season are now available, including the "Whenever Membership" flexible package. A five-play Membership package starts at $100. Call 312.443.3800 or visit to become a Member and find answers to frequently asked questions. Single tickets will be available at a later date.


the ripple, the wave that carried me home

By Christina Anderson
Directed by TBA
Co-Production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre
In the Owen Theatre | A WORLD PREMIERE

Janice's parents are prominent activists fighting for the integration of public swimming pools in 1960s Kansas. As injustice penetrates the warm bubble of her childhood, Janice grows apart from her family and starts a new life far away. When she receives a call asking her to speak at a ceremony honoring her father, she must decide whether she's ready to reckon with her political inheritance and a past she has tried to forget. A deeply moving story about justice, legacy, memory and the ultimate challenge of forgiveness.

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play

By Jocelyn Bioh
Directed by Lili-Anne Brown
In the Albert Theatre | A CHICAGO PREMIERE

This biting and buoyant comedy was playing in the Albert Theatre when our stages went dark. Streamed by more than 4,000 people from over 25 countries during our "intermission," School Girls will have a triumphant return you won't want to miss. As the reigning queen bee at Ghana's most exclusive boarding school sets her sights on the Miss Universe pageant, a new student unexpectedly changes the game. This "nasty-teen comedy, wonderfully refreshed and deepened" (The New York Times) spotlights the universal similarities-and glaring differences-of teenage girls around the globe.

A Paris Love Story

Featuring the Music of Claude Debussy
Written and Performed by Hershey Felder
Directed by Trevor Hay
In the Owen Theatre | A CHICAGO PREMIERE

Virtuoso Hershey Felder takes us on a personal journey as he explores the life and music of Impressionist composer Claude Debussy. From the sweeping "La Mer" to the evocative "Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune" and the mystical "Clair de lune," you won't want to miss this soaring tribute to a visionary.

American Mariachi

By José Cruz González
Directed by Henry Godinez
Co-Production with Dallas Theater Center
In the Albert Theatre | A CHICAGO PREMIERE

Familia, amor and tradiciόn are at the heart of this hilarious and heartwarming new comedy about the freedom to dream big. Lucha spends her days caring for her ailing mother, but longs to shake up her 1970s home life. When a forgotten record album sparks her mother's memory, Lucha and her cousin strike upon a radical idea: to create an all-female mariachi band. Infused with live mariachi music, this "big-hearted, musical tug at the heartstrings" (Denver Post) reveals how music and love can make just about anything possible.

The Outsiders

Based on the Novel by S.E. Hinton and Francis Ford Coppola's Motion Picture
Book by Adam Rapp
Music and Lyrics by Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance) and Justin Levine
Music Supervision, Arrangements and Orchestrations by Justin Levine
Choreography by Lorin Latarro
Directed by Liesl Tommy
In the Albert Theatre | A WORLD PREMIERE

The story that defined a generation is reimagined in a groundbreaking musical for a new generation. In 1967 Tulsa, Oklahoma, the hardened hearts, aching souls and romantic dreams of Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade and their band of greasers take center stage in a fight for purpose and a quest for survival. Based on S.E. Hinton's seminal novel and Francis Ford Coppola's iconic film, and directed by Tony nominee Liesl Tommy with a book by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp, The Outsiders features a score by acclaimed Austin-based rock duo Jamestown Revival and Justin Levine.


By Cheryl L. West
Directed by Henry Godinez
In the Owen Theatre | A WORLD PREMIERE

How 'woke to the vote' are we in 2020? This electrifying, immersive call to action is inspired by the life of famed civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer-whose courage, humor and grit reminds us there's courage in the face of fire, hope in tomorrow and that we all have a stake in our country. Performed and sung by Chicago's own E. Faye Butler, this passionate rally cry-part spiritual revival, part political call to action-defines what it means to be a true revolutionary. A world premiere commissioned by the Goodman and Seattle Repertory Theatre, Fannie appeared in the Goodman's 2019 New Stages Festival.

Good Night, Oscar

By Doug Wright
Directed by Leigh Silverman
In the Albert Theatre | A WORLD PREMIERE

It's 1958, and Jack Paar hosts the hottest late-night talk-show on television. His favorite guest? Character actor, pianist and wild card Oscar Levant. Famous for his witty one-liners, Oscar has a favorite: "There's a fine line between genius and insanity; I have erased this line." Tonight, Oscar will prove just that when he appears live on national TV in an episode Paar's audience-and the rest of America-won't soon forget. Good Night, Oscar explores the nexus of humor and heartbreak, the ever-dwindling distinction between exploitation and entertainment, and the high cost of baring one's soul for public consumption. Emmy Award winner Sean Hayes (Broadway's Promises, Promises, NBC-TV's Will & Grace) stars in the title role.

The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci

Adapted and Directed by Mary Zimmerman
In the Owen Theatre

Leonardo da Vinci strove to know the world equally through artistic and scientific means. There was no limit to his curiosity, nor to his tenacity in seeking answers. This poetic portrayal of one of history's most imaginative minds returns to the Goodman nearly three decades after it burst onto the stage in a career-catapulting production for adaptor/director Mary Zimmerman. In a production composed entirely of words from his notebooks and treatises, da Vinci's ideas on topics from mathematics, anatomy and engineering, to philosophy, love and the human spirit come to vivid life.

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