Michael Kostroff to Star in Itamar Moses Comedy THE WHISTLEBLOWER at Theater Wit

Previews start May 5. Opening is Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m. Performances run through June 17.

By: Mar. 20, 2023
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Michael Kostroff to Star in Itamar Moses Comedy THE WHISTLEBLOWER at Theater Wit

What if you told the whole truth and nothing but the truth?


Offered his life dream, his own TV show, screenwriter Eli wonders why he wanted it in the first place. So begins his personal mission to serve up some hard truths to his coworkers, family and friends. What could possibly go wrong? It turns out, truth is a double edged sword which Eli has to juggle.

Theater Wit will present The Whistleblower, the newest play by Tony Award-winner Itamar Moses, author of The Band's Visit, winner of ten 2018 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

The Whistleblower is the third new play collaboration with Moses, author of Theater Wit's past hits The Four of Us and Completeness.

Previews start May 5. Press opening is Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m. Performances run through June 17. For tickets and information, visit theaterwit.org or call (773) 975-8150.

The Whistleblower is a smart, funny, shockingly honest comedy that asks - are the illusions we maintain about ourselves essential to our core identity? Or impenetrable barriers to self-knowledge?

For the play's Midwest premiere, Theater Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler directs a starry cast including Michael Kostroff, an actor of stage and screen best known for his five seasons as Maury Levy on HBO's legendary series, The Wire. Making his Chicago regional debut at Wit, Kostroff has a long list of TV and film credits. On stage he played Max Bialystock in national tours of The Producers and Thenardier in Les Miserables.

Michael Kostroff

Wit's cast also features Julia Alvarez (an actor, improviser and graduate of the Second City Conservatory), Ben Faigus (a film producer and actor, seen on TV in Workaholics and Jane the Virgin), Rae Gray (Terri on Amazon's A League of Their Own, Theater Wit's Completeness), Andrew Jessop (Wit's Mr. Burns, a post electric play and Completeness), RjW Mays (Comedy Central's South Side) and William Anthony Sebastian Rose II (King in House Theatre's The Tragedy of King Christophe).

The Whistleblower production team is Itamar Moses, playwright; Jeremy Wechsler, director; Brian Redfern, set; Johan Gallardo, costumes; Levi Wilkins, lights; Annamae Durham, props; Jeffrey Levin, sound; and Almanya Narula, violence. Richard Lundy is stage manager. Matthew Chase is production manager.

Previews of The Whistleblower are Friday, May 5 through Sunday, May 14: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Press opening is Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m. Regular performances run through Saturday, June 17: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $18-$55. Run time is 1 hour 25 minutes with no intermission.

Theater Wit is located at 1229 W. Belmont Ave., in the Belmont Theatre District in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. Parking is available in a lot across the street from the theater, behind Kubo restaurant, for $8 (pay at the Theater Wit box office.) Neighborhood street parking is also available. Theater Wit is accessible via the CTA 77 Belmont bus, and is three blocks west of the CTA Belmont Red/Brown/Purple line stop.

Theater Wit follows the community masking guidelines recommended by the Chicago Department of Public Health and CDC. At press time, the community risk level is low, and mask use is optional. For updates, visit theaterwit.org/about/covid.


Itamar Moses

(playwright) is the author of the full-length plays Outrage, Bach at Leipzig, Celebrity Row, The Four of Us, Yellowjackets, Back Back Back, Completeness and The Whistleblower, the musicals The Band's Visit (with David Yazbek, 2018 Tony Award for Best Book), Nobody Loves You (with Gaby Alter), Fortress of Solitude (with Michael Friedman), and the evening of short plays Love/Stories (or But You Will Get Used to It). His work has appeared Off-Broadway and elsewhere in New York, at regional theaters across the country in Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Venezuela, Turkey and Chile, and is published by Faber & Faber and Samuel French. Awards include Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle, and Obie awards in New York, as well as awards from the Portland, San Diego, Dallas, and Bay Area Theatre Critics Circles. He's received new play commissions from The McCarter, Playwrights Horizons, Berkeley Rep, The Wilma Theater, South Coast Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lincoln Center, and Goodman. On television, Itamar has written for HBO's Boardwalk Empire, TNT's Men of a Certain Age, WGN's Outsiders and Showtime's The Affair. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU and has taught playwriting at Yale and NYU. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect. Born in Berkeley, CA, he now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Jeremy Wechsler

(director) is a veteran director with over 50 productions. His work has been nominated for and won multiple awards for design, performance, adaptation and best new play. Most recently, Wechsler directed Wit's 2022 Chicago premiere of Madeleine George's Hurricane Diane, and its 2021 remount of Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns: a post electric play. He also directed that play's 2015 Chicago premiere. Other directing credits include Wit's acclaimed productions of Completeness and The Four of Us by Itamar Moses, Anne Washburn's 10 Out of 12, Joshua Harmon's Admissions and Bad Jews, Will Eno's The Realistic Joneses, Eric John Meyer's The Antelope Party and Mat Smart's Naperville. Additional memorable productions include Wit's election night reading of The Trump Card by Mike Daisey, The New Sincerity by Alena Smith, Madeleine George's The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence and Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, and that show's summer remount at Art Square Theatre in Las Vegas. He also staged Tigers Be Still by Kim Rosenstock, This by Melissa James Gibson, Spin by Penny Penniston, Feydeau-Si-Deau by Georges Feydeau, Men of Steel by Qui Nguyen, Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) by Will Eno, Two for the Show by James Fitzpatrick and Will Clinger and The Santaland Diaries.

About Theater Wit

Theater Wit, Chicago's "smart art" theater, is located at 1229 N. Belmont Ave., in the Belmont Theatre District in Chicago's Lakeview community. Theater Wit is a major hub of Chicago's neighborhood theater scene, where audiences enjoy a smorgasbord of excellent productions in its three, 99-seat spaces, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.

In addition to Theater Wit's production of The Whistleblower, other spring productions at Theater Wit include Galileo's Daughter, presented by Remy Bumppo Theatre, April 5-May 4; Shattered Globe Theatre's U.S. premiere of London Road, April 21-June 3; and Grippo Stage Company's world premiere of Shaw vs. Tunney, May 25-July 8.

To purchase tickets, a Theater Wit Membership or to inquire about Flex Pass options, visit theaterwit.org, send email to info@theaterwit.org, or call the Theater Wit box office, (773) 975-8150.


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