Photo Flash: First Look at Hell In A Handbag's THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE
This fall, Hell in a Handbag Productions is thrilled to explore THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE, the final play by the legendary master of camp, Charles Ludlam. Who better to direct this criminal tale of lust and murder than Hell in a Handbag's longtime partner in crime, Shade Murray of A Red Orchid Theatre. The Handbag production marks the first time in over 25 years this campy classic has been performed in Chicago.
THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE will play September 20 - October 28, 2018 at Stage 773's Black Box Theater (1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago), where Handbag staged its recent revival of L'Imitation of Life and 2017's hit musical Bewildered. Tickets are currently available at www.stage773.com or by calling (773) 327-5252. The press opening is Sunday, September 23 at 7:30 pm.
Things at The Artificial Jungle, the dilapidated pet store owned by mild-mannered Chester Nurdiger (Ed Jones*), are pretty routine. The devoted Mother Nurdiger (David Cerda*) does her best to give her son everything he needs, but there are some things a mother just can't provide. Chester's wife, the sultry and stifled Roxanne Nurdiger (Sydney Genco*), is as restless as one of the hamsters in a cage, and when Zachary Slade, a mysterious drifter (David Lipschutz*) enters the picture, passions run wild. Roxanne and Zachary have the perfect plan to get rid of Chester and live the life Roxanne craves.
Combining elements of Thérése Raquin, Double Indemnity and even Little Shop of Horrors - THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE is a masterful mélange of styles that leave no doubt as to why Mr. Ludlam is considered one of the creators of the Theatre of the Ridiculous. It's also the perfect fit for Hell in a Handbag Productions - Chicago's leading theater dedicated to ridiculousness, camp and parody.
The production team for THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE includes: Samantha Gribben (scenic design), Kate Setzer Kamphausen (costume design), Rachel Lake (lighting design), Brando Triantafillou (sound design and original music), Keith Ryan* (wig design), Adrian Hadlock* (props design), Mark Blashford (puppet design), Lana Whittington (violence coordinator), A.Kay Wyatt (production manager) and Alexandra Hazen (stage manager).
*Denotes Handbag ensemble member.
Photo Credit: Rick Aguilar Studios