Theater Wit Extends 'MR. BURNS' Through 3/22
Theater Wit announced today a three-week extension of the company's smash hit production of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Anne Washburn's comedy/drama/musical about a post-apocalyptic world comforted by memories of "The Simpsons."
Originally scheduled to close March 1, Theater Wit's Midwest premiere of Mr. Burns will now run through March 22: Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., plus two Wednesday performances, March 4 and March 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20-$38. Theater Wit is located at 1229 W. Belmont Ave, Chicago. For tickets and information, visit TheaterWit.org or call 773.975.8150.
A thrilling paean to the power of live theater and the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, Mr. Burns took Chicago's theater scene by storm when it opened in January. The Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones gave it 3.5 stars calling Mr. Burns "a significant emotional achievement" and "the best work of director Jeremy Wechsler's career." New City's Alex Huntsberger concurred "simply electrifying. The cast is stellar, and the play is unlike anything else." Elee Schrock, Broadway World Chicago, hailed Wit's production "a true work of art. Top-notch, brilliantly creative. Really damn entertaining. A joy to watch."
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play begins after life as we know it has ended. Small bands of survivors have banded together to keep the pilot light of civilization burning, and their path to redemption is as unexpected as it is inevitable. Ultimately, Mr. Burns is an animated, incisive exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another, and a dazzling, panoramic vista on the power of storytelling.
Mr. Burns is consistently playing to sold-out houses. The production stars Kelly Abell, Daniel Desmarais, Hannah Gomez, Christina Hall, Andrew Jessop, Leslie Ann Sheppard, Jeff Trainor and Leah Urzendowski.
The production team is Andra Velis Simon (musical director/band leader), Brigitte Ditmars (choreography), Joe Schermoly (set), Mike Durst (lights), Mara Blumenfeld and Mieka van der Ploeg (costumes), Jesse Gaffney (props), Geoff Coates (violence), Majel Cuza (production manager) and Katie Klemme (stage manager). Music is by Michael Friedman.
Mr. Burns had a hugely successful New York premiere in fall 2013 at Playwrights Horizons. The New York Times raved "Downright brilliant. When was the last time you met a new play that was so smart it made your head spin?"
Playwright Anne Washburn's other plays include The Internationalist, A Devil at Noon, Apparition, The Communist Dracula Pageant, I Have Loved Strangers, The Ladies, The Small and a transadaptation of Euripides' Orestes. Her work has been produced by 13P, Actors Theater of Louisville, American Repertory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, Dixon Place, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Folger, London's Gate Theatre, NYC's Soho Rep, DC's Studio Theater, Two River Theater Company, NYC's Vineyard and Woolly Mammoth. Awards include a Guggenheim, a NYFA Fellowship, a Time Warner Fellowship, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo, and an Artslink travel grant to Hungary to work with the playwright Peter Karpati. She is an associated artist with The Civilians, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, and is an alumna of New Dramatists and 13P.
Jeremy Wechsler (director), artistic director of Theater Wit, most recently staged the hit Midwest premiere of Madeline George's Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, and its summer remount at Art Square Theatre in Las Vegas. Wechsler also staged Wit's acclaimed productions of Completeness and The Four of Us (Itamar Moses), Tigers Be Still (Kim Rosenstock), This (Melissa James Gibson), Spin (Penny Penniston), Feydeau-Si-Deau (Georges Feydeau), Men of Steel (Qui Nguyen), Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) (Will Eno), Two for the Show (James Fitzpatrick and Will Clinger) and The Santaland Diaries (David Sedaris and Joe Mantello). Wechsler's productions have been nominated for and won multiple awards for design, performance, adaptation and best new work.
On Deck at Wit: Midwest premiere of Joshua Harmon's Bad Jews opens in April 2015
Following Mr. Burns, Theater Wit's spring production is the Midwest premiere of Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, one of the funniest, wisest, most excruciating comedies about the holy and holier-than-thou you'll see this season. First seen in New York in 2012, the 2013 production at Roundabout Theatre Company was hailed by Charles Isherwood of The New York Times as "the best comedy of the season."