A ‘Mormon’ Reminder & Goodman & Chicago Shakes’ Season Announcements

Photo by Jeff Goldberg

Before we go any further, don’t forget: The Book of Mormon tickets are on sale TODAY for the general public! More info here >

With that out of the way, it’s never too early to start planning for the next Chicago theater season! Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Goodman Theatre have announced their 2012/2013 seasons, and they both look very exciting.

Goodman’s 2012/2013 season, which begins in September, holds great potential with several premiere productions. Of this fine lineup, I’m most looking forward to the Chicago premiere of Other Desert Cities as it’s been all the buzz on Broadway recently, with NYC critics calling it the “best new play on Broadway.” In fact, my very picky friend who was recently visiting NYC texted me for advice on what to see (Mormon tickets weren’t available). I suggested Other Desert Cities, as I knew the reviews were strong, and it’s starring Stockard Channing (one of his favorite actresses). Immediately following the show, he texted back, “That was, without a doubt, one of the most powerful plays I’ve ever seen.”

More season info from Goodman’s official announcement:

The new season begins in September with Chicago native David Cromer’s revival of Sweet Bird of Youth by Tennessee Williams. Next up in the Albert Theatre are two consecutive Chicago premieres: Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities directed by Henry Wishcamper, and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage, directed by Chuck Smith. The season culminates with the world-premiere production of The Jungle Book, a new musical based on the Disney animated film and the stories by Rudyard Kipling, adapted and directed by Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman. Three Goodman-commissioned plays take the stage in the Owen Theatre: Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, directed by Chay Yew; Christopher Shinn’s Teddy Ferrara, directed by Evan Cabnet; and The Happiest Song Plays Last by Quiara Alegría Hudes. The 2012/2013 Season also includes the 35th annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, directed by Steve Scott. Read more here >

Chicago Shakespeare Theater, I believe, offers one of the most consistently eclectic seasons in the city. Musicals, classics, experimental pieces, international theater, family programming — there’s something for everyone. After seeing what Gary Griffin did with Stephen Sondheim’s Follies (which was my favorite production of 2011) I’m greatly looking forward to what he’ll do with Sunday in the Park with George. He directed a smaller version of this show nearly a decade ago in ChiShakes’ upstairs black box theater, but this production, which will be in their downstairs space, is completely new. ChiShakes is also bringing back The National Theatre of Scotland’s searing Black Watch — if you didn’t see it when it was here last year, you simply have no excuse missing it this time around. It’s truly a remarkable, unforgettable experience. But, heck, everything in their upcoming season looks great.

From ChiShake’s official announcement:

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s season begins with a major new production of Sunday in the Park with George by musical team Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, and also includes the Chicago premiere of The School for Lies by playwright David Ives and productions of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Henry VIII. The Theater’s extensive World’s Stage lineup of international programming for 2012/13 ranges from the American premiere of A History of Everything by Belgian company Ontroerend Goed to the return of the National Theatre of Scotland’s internationally acclaimed Black Watch and its inventive, supernatural The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart. CST’s annual CST Family programming kicks off this summer with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Additional productions will be announced for the 2012/13 Season later this summer, including an ongoing collaboration between Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Australia’s one step at a time like this (en route) creating for the City of Chicago a world premiere pedestrian-based live art event inspired by Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and set in the city’s urban landscape. Read more here >

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