Pride Films and Plays has announced the Chicago 20th anniversary production of Jonathan Harvey's acclaimed Beautiful Thing, the heartwarming story of two teenaged boys coming to grips with their sexuality. Director John Nasca directs a cast that includes PFP Artistic Ensemble Members Michelle McKenzie-Voigt and Patrick Rybarczyk as Sandra and Tony, with Robert Hilliard as Jamie, Charlie Wein as Ste, and Kiah McKirnan as Leah.
Jamie, a boy who skips school to avoid playing sports, is attracted to his next-door neighbor Ste, an athletic teen who is regularly beaten by his father and brothers. One night, Jamie's mother Sandra offers Ste refuge from his abusive family, setting off a chain of events that changes their lives forever. Set in a working-class area of southeast London, Beautiful Thing illustrates the struggle of growing up in a world that can be cruel and unforgiving to anyone perceived as different.
Written in 1993, Beautiful Thing was initially produced by The Bush Theatre, London, England. It received its American premiere in 1998 by Famous Door Theatre Company in Chicago and then transferred to New York in 1999 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. "As 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of Beautiful Thing and with bullying issues still very much a part of today's headlines, this is the perfect time to revisit this play, which feels more relevant than ever," says director John Nasca.
Please note that the production was originally announced for the Luna Central space, but will now be performed in Studio Three at the Athenaeum Theatre.
Title Beautiful Thing
Playwright Jonathan Harvey
Director John Nasca
Featuring Michelle McKenzie-Voigt, Patrick Rybarczyk, Robert Hilliard, Charlie Wein, and Kiah McKirnan.
Location Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago.
Previews January 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening January 19 at 7:30 p.m. (additional press tickets are available for Sunday, January 20 at 2:00 p.m.)
Closing February 17
Curtain Times Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
Prices $15 for Previews, $23 on Thursdays and Sundays, and $25 on Fridays and Saturdays.
Tickets 773-935-6875 or www.athenaeumtheatre.org