Chicago announces their wide range of fall programming, featuring everything from the latest musicals to international work, is enjoying record ticket sales, with many hit productions enjoying record extensions, as well.
"The Chicago theater community is starting the fall season after reports of record-breaking hit shows at theaters across Chicagoland. Chicago theaters have seen record attendance and ticket sales for productions, ranging from world premieres and international work to family-friendly musicals. The League of Chicago Theatres' Hot Tix has sales broken records for the third consecutive year, indicating strong sales records throughout the theater community," says Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. "Our vibrant theater community is a source of pride for our city. Chicago theater is stronger than ever, both fiscally and artistically."
This season, a number of Chicago companies have reached benchmark anniversaries: Stage Left Theatre is celebrating 30 years. Chicago Shakespeare Theater is celebrating 25 years. Writers' Theatre, Shattered Globe and The factory Theater are all celebrating 20 years. TimeLine, Remy Bumppo and The Hypocrites have all reached 15 years and The House Theatre is celebrating 10 years.
The following is a selection of notable work playing in Chicago this fall.
Prize winners include:
Lookingglass Theatre, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, kicks-off its 24th season with the return of The Great Fire written and directed by Ensemble Member John Musial, and coinciding with its historic 140th Anniversary. Performances run September 21-October 23.
Bruce Norris returns to Steppenwolf with the Chicago premiere of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park. Amy Morton directs the play, which is set in Chicago and runs September 8 - November 6, 2011.
Stephen Sondheim will receive the 2011 Chicago Tribune literary prize for lifetime achievement at the Chicago Humanities Festival on November 6. This fall, Gary Griffin directs Follies at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, October 4 - November 6, 2011, with an ensemble of 40 actors and musicians. Porchlight Music Theatre will produce Putting it Together, September 2 through October 16, 2011.
Robert Falls directs John Logan's Tony Award-winning play Red at the Goodman Theatre, September 17-October 23, 2011.
MacArthur Genius Award winner Sarah Ruhl's play In the Next Room or the vibrator play opens at Victory Gardens Theater September 9 - October 10, 2011. Associate Artistic Director Sandy Shinner directs.
A selection of world premieres includes:
About Face Theatre and Chicago Dramatists present a co-production of The Kid Thing by Chicago playwright Sarah Gubbins September 1 through October 16, 2011. Joanie Schultz will direct.
Sean Graney adapts and directs Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses, a four-hour event based on Sophocles' seven surviving texts: Ajax, Antigone, Trachinian Women, Oedipus the King, Electra, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus for The Hypocrites, September 6 - October 23, 2011.
Provision Theater presents Bonhoeffer's Cost by Mary RutH Clarke and Tim Gregory. September 16 through October 23, 2011.
A selection of other notable productions includes:
New Artistic Director Timothy Douglas kicks off Remy Bumppo's season by directing Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, playing September 21 through October 30, 2011.
Northlight Theatre, in conjunction with Relevant Theatricals and Cardboard Productions, kicks off its season with Snapshots, a new show described by the authors as a "musical scrapbook," that includes some of the best-loved music and lyrics by the creator of Wicked, Godspell, Pippin! and Working, with book by David Stern, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Runs September 16 - October 23, 2011.
Damon Kiely will direct two ChicaGo Productions this fall: Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo at A Red Orchid Theatre running September 23 - November 6, 2011 and Maple and Vine by playwright Jordan Harrison at Next Theatre, October 27 through December 4, 2011.
Carrie Fisher's autobiographical solo show Wishful Drinking comes to the Bank of America Theatre, October 4 - 16, 2011.
Love, Loss, And What I Wore based on the best-selling book and featuring actresses Emily Bergl, Nora Dunn, Felicia Fields, Katie O'Brien and Barbara Robertson runs at the Broadway Playhouse September 14 - October 23, 2011.
Spunk, adapted from the short stories of Zora Neale Hurston by George C. Wolfe with music by Chic Street Man and directed by Seret Scott, plays at Court Theatre September 8 - October 9, 2011.
Teatro Vista kicks off its 22nd season with Momma's Boyz by Candido Tirado. October 23 - December 4, 2011.
Artistic Director Jim Corti launches Paramount Theatre's Broadway series by directing My Fair Lady. September 14 - October 2, 2011.
Lifeline Theatre's The Count of Monte Cristo, based on the book by Alexandre Dumas and adapted by Christopher M. Walsh, premieres September 9 - October 30, 2011.
Quest Theatre Ensemble's world premiere musical Enter Love plays at The Blue Theater, September 9 - October 16, 2011.
Nashville's hit the Doyle and Debbie show comes to the Royal George through December 31, 2011.
Writers' Theatre opens its 20th season with Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, September 13 - November 20, 2011, directed by Michael Halberstam, fresh from his production of A Minsiter's Wife at Lincoln Center.
Long-running productions continuing in Chicago include:
The hit musical Million Dollar Quartet in its third year at the Apollo Theater, tickets are currently on sale through December 31, 2011.
Emerald City Theatre's hit musical Pinkalicious runs at the Broadway Playhouse through January 7, 2012.
About Chicago theater
Chicago theater is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theaters throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theaters in the country, including 5 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago's theaters serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In 2009-10 alone Chicago theater companies produced more than 130 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year Chicago theaters send new work to resident theaters across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.
The League of Chicago Theatres' Mission Statement
The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theaters which leverages its collective strength to promote, support and advocate for Chicago's theater industry locally, nationally and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theater in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theaters and theater professionals.
For a comprehensive list of ChicaGo Productions, visit the League of Chicago website, www.chicagoplays.com. Discounted tickets are available at www.hottix.com.