Stage Door Chicago VidCast with Ana Gasteyer & Gary Griffin
Returning to Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) after directing The Color Purple on Broadway, Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin stages the Tony Award-winning musical Passion, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by James Lapine. For Sondheim's hymn to romantic obsession, Griffin has assembled a stellar cast led by Ana Gasteyer as Fosca, Adam Brazier as Giorgio, and Kathy Voytko as Clara.
CST Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin has established himself as one of America's leading directors of musical theater and of Sondheim in Chicago, New York and London. He has gained nationwide recognition for his inspired staging of the Sondheim canon at Chicago Shakespeare, including Sunday in the Park, A Little Night Music, and Pacific Overtures- honored with five Joseph Jefferson Awards for its Chicago run and three prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards for the London run with Donmar Warehouse.
Regarding his return to Chicago Shakespeare, Griffin enthused, "Nothing says 'home' to me more powerfully than Sondheim-in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. I have been looking for the perfect Sondheim show to explore in our intimate theater- and Passion is it. For this powerful meditation on discovering love in the most unlikely connections, we are assembling an ensemble of celebrated artists."
Based on the 1981 French film Passione d'Amore directed by Ettore Scola, and the nineteenth century novel Fosca, the original 1994 Broadway production of Passion directed by James Lapine garnered Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. Sondheim's rhapsodic musical about the yearnings and redemptive power of love is set in nineteenth century Italy and follows Giorgio, a young soldier torn between his relationship with his mistress, the beautiful-and married-Clara, and the sickly cousin of his commanding officer, Fosca, who persistently demands his love. While separated, Giorgio and Clara sing letters of love, devotion- and jealousy. Giorgio discovers that love is not easy, nor easily confined to a safe distance.
Bringing to life the role of the ill and desperate Fosca is Ana Gasteyer, renowned for her recent work on the Chicago stage as Elphaba in Wicked, and on Broadway in Wicked, The Threepenny Opera, and The Rocky Horror Show. She has also starred in six seasons on Saturday Night Live and blockbuster hit films such as Mean Girls and What Women Want with Mel Gibson. She has performed her acclaimed one-women show Let It Rip at venues around the country, including Joe's Pub in New York City and Cinegrill in Los Angeles. Adam Brazier, whose Broadway credits include The Women in White and the Tony Award-winning revival of Sondheim's Into The Woods, will play the young soldier Giorgio. Giorgio's beautiful mistress will be played by Kathy Voytko, who appeared as the original Ariadne in Lincoln Center's production of Sondheim's The Frogs opposite Nathan Lane, as well as on Broadway in the 2002 revival of Oklahoma! Directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Susan Stroman, and the Tony Award-winning revival of Nine with Antonio Banderas and Chita Rivera. Chicago audiences will know her from the Joseph Jefferson Award-nominated performance in Circle Theatre's Putting It Together directed by Gary Griffin.
Performances through November 11, 2007, Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Tickets can be purchased by calling Chicago Shakespeare Theatre's Box Office at 312-595-5600 or by visiting the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.