Performances run September 5-29.

By: May. 20, 2024
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Toughest Man Productions and producers Lecy Goranson and Beth Kligerman have announced the world premiere of Royko: The Toughest Man In Chicago at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. in Chicago. Tickets for the limited run, September 5-29, 2024, are now on sale at The press opening is scheduled for September 6, 2024.

Royko: The Toughest Man In Chicago tells the story of cantankerous Chicago columnist Mike Royko, a 34-year newspaper veteran who wrote 7,500 columns in his career. Love him or hate him, he was a fixture amongst Chicago newspapers. Royko wrote about the city the way people like to think of themselves: cynical, humorous, and with compassion for the little guy.

In this multimedia solo show, writer/performer Mitchell Bisschop takes us back in time on a nostalgic journey told through the eyes of Royko as he is pitted against “The Daley Machine,” corruption, and the changing face of the newspaper business.

Helmed by veteran Chicago director Steve Scott, this blending of video with live action completes the portrait of a man who was tough, but also understood what the working class was up against. Royko: The Toughest Man In Chicago shows you that through Mike Royko’s Chicago, we will learn something about today’s America.

Mitchell Bisschop is a theatre artist living in Los Angeles. His past solo work has garnered him two Encore Awards and two Fringe Award nominations for best solo show, as well as successful runs in Los Angeles theaters. He is a seasoned theatre artist and playwright with over 20 years of experience with a background in sketch and improv (Second City, Annoyance, UCB, and The PIT). He is known for his previous solo works "I Can Hear You Now" and "Pit of Goblins." His career spans stages in Chicago (Over the Tavern, Mercury Theater Chicago), New York and Los Angeles.

Steve Scott (director) was the producer for more than 30 years at Goodman Theatre, where he oversaw more than 200 productions; he is now a member of Goodman’s Artistic Collective. His Goodman directing credits include Ah, Wilderness!; Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; Horton Foote’s Blind Date; Rabbit Hole; Binky Rudich and the Two-Speed Clock and No One Will Be Immune for the David Mamet Festival; Dinner With Friends; Wit; the world premiere of Tom Mula’s Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (co-directed with Michael Maggio) and the 2011 and 2012 editions of A Christmas Carol. Other directing credits include productions at Northlight Theatre, Silk Road Rising, American Blues Theater, A Red Orchid Theatre, Redtwist Theatre (where he is a company member), Shattered Globe Theatre, Eclipse Theatre Company (where he is an ensemble member) and many others. He is a member of the Jeff Committee’s Artist and Technical Team, a board member of Season of Concern and an advisory board member at Congo Square Theatre; he also teaches on the faculty of the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University. His recent projects include a stages reading of August Wilson’s Radio Golf at Alley Theatre, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night at Skokie Theatre and The Outgoing Tide at Buffalo Theatre Ensemble.

Beth Kligerman (producer) has more than 26 years of experience as a producer and casting director at Chicago’s famed The Second City comedy. She is a consulting producer for multi-award winning HMS Media, a Casting Director for Norwegian Cruise Line, and a producing consultant for Just for Laughs in Montreal. Since January 2024 Beth has been the Road Producer for Tim Meadows, Matt Walsh, Joe Canale and Brad Morris performing improv shows as Meadows, Walsh & Friends. Beth has been part of countless national and international artistic partnerships, including the U.S.O., Vienna’s English Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.

Lecy Goranson (producer) is a Chicago-area native best known for her role of Becky on Roseanne and The Conners. She has guest starred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unity, Sex and the City, Damages and Fringe.


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