If it’s almost August it must be time to fill in the calendar with some must-see shows of Chicago’s 2011-2012 theater season.
First in a series on what will be on Chicago stages is Goodman Theatre’s seat-filling line-up.
The Goodman’s Albert Theatre menu mixes David Mamet, Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill with a Broadway hit by John Logan and that dynamic “hat” production by Regina Taylor. Of course, the bill of fare includes Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a perennial family favorite and Goodman tradition.
Red September 17 – October 23, 2011
The season opens with Logan’s Tony award winning Red which had moved from London to Broadway for a limited engagement in 2010. The play delves into an intense two-year struggle of famed abstractionist Mark Tothko to be true to his art as he works on a series of murals for a prestigious restaurant. Directed by Robert Falls, the play stars Washington, D.C.-based actor Edward Gero as Mark Tothko and Chicago actor Patrick Andrews as Ken, Rothko’s new, young assistant. Non-subscriber tickets for Red go on sale August 5.
A Christmas Carol November 18 – December 31, 2011
Dickens’ A Christmas Carol follows in mid-November. Chicago Director and Goodman Associate Producer Steve Scott directs the classic which stars Chicago actor Larry Yando. Non-subscriber tickets for A Christmas Carol go on August 19 online and August 22 at the box office.
Race is January 14 – February 19, 2012
Race by David Mamet and directed by Chuck Smith opens mid-January following a Broadway run 2009-2010. The play’s action swirls around mystery and prejudice when a black lawyer and a white lawyer are asked to defend a white client charged with the rape of an African-American woman. Non-subscriber tickets go on sale Dec. 2
Camino Real March 3-April 8, 2012
Camino Real by Tennessee Williams opens early March. Directed by Calixto Bieito, the play proposes an answer to what might happen when an American traveler accidently enters a surrealistic realm populated by lost souls. The setting may be imaginative but the actions and reactions follow two of the playwright’s favorite motivations: desperation and desire. Non-subscriber tickets go on sale Feb. 3
The Iceman Cometh April 22 – June 10, 2012
Goodman’s answer to what can possibly follow the dramatic statements of David Mamet and Tennessee Williams is Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh. Artistic Director Robert Falls directs the play which stars Nathan Lane as Theodore “Hickey” Hickman, a formerly good-time guy who now has a reformer’s zeal to change others and expose delusions, and Brian Dennehy as Larry Slade, a former Syndicalist-Anarchist.Dennehy had played Hickey in Falls’ 1990 production. Written in 1939, the play is set in 1912 at Harry Hope’s Greenwich Village Saloon and rooming house frequented by alcoholics and prostitutes. Non-subscriber tickets on sale March 2, 2012.
Crowns June 23- Aug. 5, 2012
After three confrontational dramas, Crowns ends the season on a jubilant gospel note. Written and directed by Regina Taylor, the show was adapted from “Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats,” a 2000 photography book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry. The musical has a cultural “hattitude” that turns tough times and worries into celebrations of life with songs, stories and wonderful headwear.
In addition to the shows in The Albert, Goodman will feature Dartmoor Prison by Carlyle Brown, Chicago Boys by Kathleen Tolan and Ask Aunt Susan by Seth Bockley as part of a “New Stages Amplified” series in the intimate Owen Theatre, October 13 – November 20.
Also in the Owen are The Convert by Danai Gurira, directed by Emily Mann and co-produced with McCarter Theatre (NJ) and Center Theatre Group (CA), February 25 – March 25, 2012 and Fish Men by Cándido Tirado, directed by Edward Torres, in partnership with Teatro Vista, April 7 – May 6, 2012.
General and subscriber ticket information and at 312-443-3800
Goodman Theatre, 170 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60601