Pride Films & Plays Stages BEAUTIFUL THING, Now thru 2/17
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by BWW News Desk
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.
Note that the production was originally announced for the Luna Central space, but will now be performed in Studio Three at the Athenaeum Theatre, located at 2936 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago.
Previews play tonight, January 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. Opening is set for January 19 at 7:30 p.m., and the production runs through February 17, 2013. 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: call 773-935-6875 or visit www.athenaeumtheatre.org.
Jonathan Harvey (Playwright) comes from Liverpool and now lives in London. His plays include The Cherry Blossom Tree (Liverpool Playhouse Studio, 1987), which won him the 1987 National Girobank Young Writer of the Year Award; Mohair, Wildfire, and Beautiful Thing, winner of the John Whiting Award 1994; Babies, winner of the George Devine Award 1993 and Evening Standard's Most Promising Playwright Award 1994; Boom Bang-A-Bang, and Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club. Jonathan is currently working on several projects, including A New Television series and a musical with the Pet Shop Boys.
John Nasca (Director) is co-founder and Artistic Director of Glitterati Productions and an Artistic Associate for Pride Films and Plays. His directing credits include Gypsy, Moon Over Buffalo, No, No, Nanette, Love Sucks!, and the staged readings of Beautiful Thing, Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood, The Ritz, Save the Date, Maurice, Hello Norma Jeane, and Visalia. John is also a 3-time Jeff-recommended costumer for Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Anyone Can Whistle, and Die! Mommie, Die!, and the proud recipient of After Dark and Broadway World awards. His costume work also includes Noises Off, Metropolis, Phantom, Poseidon: An Upside-Down Musical, Follies, The Miracle Worker, Chicago, The Little Foxes, Rigoletto, The Great White Hope, Tintypes, The Women, and On the Waterfront.
Pride Films and Plays, based in Chicago, links an international network of writers with professionals working in film and theater. PFP fosters excellent writing for the stage and screen that speaks not only to the LGBT community, but is essential viewing for all audiences.
Using stories with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters or themes, Pride Films and Plays develops human stories that become a cultural bridge to understanding. Through readings, contests, classes, screenings, and full Theater Productions, PFP engages artists and audiences in the full developmental process needed to make great artistic experiences. For more information, visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com.
Beautiful Thing is the second production of PFP's season, following the Jeff-recommended world premiere of At the Flash by Sean Chandler and David Leeper. The final production in Pride Films and Plays' season is the world premiere of Under A Rainbow Flag by Leo Schwartz, running March 23 to April 21 at Main Stage, 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago.
Additional information can be found at www.pridefilmsandplays.com.