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Citadel Theatre To Return In Fall With A Four-Show 2021-22 Season

Friends, lovers, relatives, and relativity are the themes of the funny and life-affirming shows planned for the company's first post-pandemic season.

Citadel Theatre To Return In Fall With A Four-Show 2021-22 Season

Citadel Theatre Company will return to live, in-person, indoor performances in September with a season of four productions - three plays plus the company's traditional holiday musical - according to Artistic Director Scott Phelps.

Prior to that, the company will perform a virtual preview performance of the play JUST CAUSE: THE EXPERIENCE by Todd Logan, on May 27; and an outdoor production of a new adaptation of ALICE IN WONDERLAND at the Melody Farm Nature Preserve in Lake Forest from July 9 - 17.

The regular season will open in September with BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, one of Neil Simon's best-loved plays among his many hits. That production was in rehearsal when the pandemic shut down all live theatre in March 2020 and will be staged with most of the same cast that was announced for the spring 2020 run. YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN, also originally planned for Citadel's 2020-21 season, will be the company's holiday show, and will open the week before Thanksgiving. The season will continue in 2022 with John Patrick Shanley's OUTSIDE MULLINGAR. This romantic comedy set in Ireland will open on February 11 just before Valentine's Day and run until March 13 - just a few days before St. Patrick's Day. The season will close with Steve Martin's comedy about an imagined meeting in 1904 of the young Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE. Martin's hilarious and philosophical comedy will open on April 22 and close on May 22.

BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, the first of an autobiographical trilogy that includes BILOXI BLUES and BROADWAY BOUND, BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS is a portrait of the writer as a young teen in 1937 living with his family in a crowded, lower middle-class Brooklyn walk-up. Eugene Jerome, standing in for the author, is the narrator and central character. Dreaming of baseball and girls, Eugene must cope with the mundane existence of his family life in Brooklyn: his formidable mother, overworked father, and worldly older brother Stanley; as well as extended family members that include his widowed Aunt Blanche and her two young (but rapidly aging) daughters. The warm and funny BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS will open on Saturday, September 18 and run through Sunday, October 17, 2020. Citadel Founding Artistic Director Scott Phelps will direct.

YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN, based on Charles Schultz's "Peanuts" comic strip characters was one of off-Broadway's greatest hits, running for nearly four years from 1967 to 1971. Popular with regional theaters thereafter, a new version directed by the Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (SPRING AWAKENING, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE) and featuring additional songs by Andrew Lippa (THE ADDAMS FAMILY) ran on Broadway in 1999. Citadel will perform this revised version, which will play from November 19 through December 23, 2021.

In OUTSIDE MULLINGAR, by the Oscar and Tony Award winner John Patrick Shanley (for MOONSTRUCK and DOUBT, respectively), farmers Anthony and Rosemary have next-door neighbors their whole lives. Rosemary has been romantically interested in Anthony her entire life but afraid to tell him and the shy Anthony has been unaware of Rosemary's feelings. When Anthony's father threatens to sell the farm to a nephew since Anthony dislikes farming, Rosemary realizes she may not be able to carry her torch for much longer. As THE LOS ANGELES TIMES said of OUTSIDE MULLINGAR in 2015, "romance never goes out of style, and if ever there were a time when we could use a laugh and a happy cry it's right now." Shanley's comedy will be a fitting leadup to St. Patrick's Day, playing from February 11 through March 13, 2022.

The season will close with PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE, Steve Martin's comedy that imagines a meeting between a 23-year-old Pablo Picasso and a 25-year-old Albert Einstein at a small bar in Paris at the dawn of the 20th Century. It's 1904 and the two geniuses are about to complete their most significant accomplishments - Einstein's theory of relativity and Picasso's painting "The Young Ladies of Avignon." They have a lengthy debate about the value of genius and talent, which is often interrupted by the colorful patrons of the bar. PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE will be directed by Founding Artistic Director Scott Phelps and will play from April 22 to May 22.

State COVID restrictions in effect at the time will be enforced at Citadel's 144-seat performing space at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest.

The first of two pre-season summer productions, JUST CAUSE: THE EXPERIENCE, brings the audience into the courtroom for a legal drama about an artistic director who is suing her former employer-a prestigious Chicago Theater-for breach of contract after firing her for racial insensitivity. The performance will be followed by the "jury's" deliberation and a facilitated discussion. Racial insensitivity, George Floyd protests, anti-racism training, workplace diversity, sexism, and the role of theater in American life come under scrutiny in JUST CAUSE: THE EXPERIENCE, co-written by Todd Logan, the creator of THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE, and award-winning playwright, Lisa Dillman. JUST CAUSE: THE EXPERIENCE will be streamed on Thursday, May 27 at 7 pm.

An original adaptation of Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND will be performed outdoors at the Melody Farms Nature Preserve in Lake Forest in July. The ever-popular story of a young girl's trip in the fantastical world ruled by the Queen of Hearts will be played in natural lighting for five performances over two weekends, from July 9-17.

Season subscriptions are available for the full four-show season at $120.00 or as flex passes that can be used for the patron's choice of three shows for $100.00 or two shows for $70.00. Subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale at www.citadeltheatre.org.


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