A Rare Play Opening at TUTA THeatre

h_brecht_0 TUTA Theatre Chicago is proud to kick off its 2009/2010 international upcoming season of shows with the comedy The Wedding by German playwright Bertolt Brecht, featuring original music by Jesse Terrill.  In this, their eighth season in the city of Chicago, the critically acclaimed theatre company will be presenting the first of two rarely seen and early works of Brecht.  The Wedding will run Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 3:00pm, from January 14 – February 14, at Chopin Theatre Studio, 1543 W. Division St.

When nine middle class self-important guests converge on a young bride and groom’s apartment, each one slowly unravels the joys and horrors of living a pretentious life.  As the guests’ uptight facades collapse, an adventure full of music, slapstick humor and social criticism is unleashed.  Featuring live original music performed by the cast, The Wedding reflects on times of moral and economic crisis in which all social manners and values such as family, tradition, marriage, virginity, decency, private property, and patriotism breakdown.

Tickets are $15 for previews, $25 for adults and $20 for Senior Citizens and Students for the regular run, and may be purchased at the door one hour before show time or online at www.tutato.com.  $12 Industry tickets are available at every Thursday and Sunday performance at the door.


Jazz Vocalist Jessie Arlen Releases Her Debut CD

Jessie_Arlen_photo_by_Tara_Chumpelik Jessie Arlen, a 22 year-old New York-based vocalist and Downbeat Student Music Award winner in the category of Best Jazz Vocalist, releases her debut recording “Certain Surprise” Tuesday, Jan. 12.  Arlen’s pure, soulful voice lends itself to multiple musical styles including jazz, folk and R&B. Arlen returns to her hometown of Evanston, Ill. for a concert to celebrate the debut at Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Avenue, Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m.

Described as a crossover artist with roots in jazz, Arlen is a classification-defying singer who embraces songs in a way that belies her relative youth.   Her interpretations both honor the composer’s style and intent and adds a very personal and contemporary relevance. 

The album features a number of standards, including versions of Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” and Ann Ronell’s “Willow Weep for Me” that sound as though they were taped during a smoky, middle-of-the-night jam session, while her take on Mercer and Kern’s “I’m Old Fashioned” transports the listener back to the tuxedoed elegance of a 1940s night club.  By contrast, her interpretation of the Beatles’ “Oh! Darling” has a Ray Charles-like soulfulness, and two Burt Bacharach standards are performed with a in a way that salutes the pop-tune original but gives them a modern twist.  The lesser known “More Love” by J. Segal and the John Martyn’s title track are performed with a heartfelt delicacy that gives the listener the sense that they are hearing a classic tune and lyric for the first time.

Joining Arlen on the recording many of Chicago’s best musicians, including Neil Artwick, piano; Mark Beringer, acoustic bass; Phil Gratteau, drums; Ken Arlen, soprano and tenor saxophone; Mark Olen, trumpet and flugelhorn; Russ Phillips, trombone; David Young, muted trumpet; Richie Davis, acoustic and electric guitar; Steve Roberts, ukulele and electric guitar; Steve Ramsdell, nylon string and electric guitar; and Rich Stitzel, percussion.

Arlen’s debut recording, “Certain Surprise” is priced at $15 and can be purchased beginning Tuesday, Jan. 12 on Jessiearlen.com.


Philip Seymour Hoffman Makes His Chicago Directorial Debut at Goodman Theatre

goodman_new_iconGoodman Theatre is proud to present the world premiere of Brett C. Leonard’s The Long Red Road directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

psh%20headshot In this raw, provocative world premiere, Sam attempts to drink away his past and exorcise his demons on an Indian reservation in South Dakota, where he has been trying to forget his role in a tragic accident involving his family. When a visitor from his past arrives on the reservation, Sam is forced to face his guilt and take a harrowing look at the man he has become. The Long Red Road is a searing play about the way one person’s anguish can tear a family apart.

The show runs February 13 – March 14, 2010 in the Goodman’s 400-seat flexible Owen Bruner Theatre. Tickets are $12 – $45 and are currently on sale at GoodmanTheatre.org or by calling 312.443.3800.

You’re Invited to a Marvelous Party!


You’re invited to a marvelous party!  Oh Coward! celebrates one of the theatre’s greatest entertainers—Noël Coward.  Best known for his comic masterpieces Blithe Spirit, Private Lives and Hay Fever, Coward was one of the most prolific songwriters of his day.  Now, acclaimed director Jim Corti brings his effervescent music, satirical quips and witty repartee to life.  With the intimate Books on Vernon venue transformed into a nightclub, Oh Coward! is a must-see evening of the most memorable tunes of the 20th century!


Title:                            Oh Coward!
Words and Music by:     Noël Coward
Devised by:                   Roderick Cook
Directed by:                   Jim Corti
Musical Direction by:      Doug Peck
Featuring:                      Kate Fry, Rob Lindley and John Sanders

Writers’ Theatre announces the extension of Oh Coward!.  The production runs through March 28, 2010, at Writers’ Theatre, 664 Vernon Avenue in Glencoe.

For Tickets call 847-242-6000 or visit www.writerstheatre.org

Northlight’s Season includes Tony Award winner John Mahoney, Tony Award nominee Felicia P. Fields, Mike Nussbaum, Robert Belushi and Mississippi Charles Bevel


Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, is pleased to announce casting for the remainder of its 35th Anniversary Season. 

“The secret of Northlight’s success for 35 seasons is the relationship between its artists and its audience,” says Artistic Director BJ Jones.  “In celebration of that relationship we are thrilled to welcome back John Mahoney, Mike Nussbaum (Northlight’s first Artistic Director), and Felicia Fields in her first Chicago appearance since her Tony nomination for The Color Purple. This reunites her with Jeff Award winner and Northlight favorite Mississippi Charles Bevel in Low Down Dirty Blues, created by Randal Myler. In addition, Robert Belushi, who recently appeared in Chicago with his father Jim Belushi in the Second City 50th Anniversary Celebration, joins Mr. Mahoney in A Life.”


Awake-WEB-200x200 Awake and Sing!
Written by Clifford Odets
Directed by Amy Morton
Featuring Audrey Francis, Keith Gallagher, Tim Gittings, Cindy Gold, Peter Kevoian, Loren Lazerine, Mike Nussbaum, Demetrios Troy and Jay Whittaker

Previews: January 21 – January 30, 2010
Press opening: Sunday, January 31, 6:00pm
Regular run: February 2 – February 28, 2010

In a cramped Bronx tenement during the Great Depression, a working-class Jewish family copes with financial hardship even as they dream of a brighter future.  Bessie Berger’s fierce determination keeps her family afloat, whatever the cost. Gritty, passionate, funny and heartbreaking, Odets’ 1935 masterpiece (and Tony Award winner for best revival in 2006) beautifully captures both the hopes and the struggles of an unforgettable American family. 
Awake and Sing! is sponsored in part by The Lehman Family American Experience Series and Harris Bank.

A Life
Written by Hugh Leonard
Directed by BJ Jones
Featuring: Bradley Armacost, Robert Belushi, Joanne Dubach, Melanie Keller, Linda Kimbrough, John Mahoney, Matt Schwader and Penny Slusher

Previews: March 18- March 26, 2010
Press opening: Saturday, March 27, 2:30 and 8:00 p.m.
Regular run: March 28 – April 25, 2010
John Mahoney stars in A Life, an evocative play about the evolution of friendships in a small Irish town, and the sequel to the late Hugh Leonard’s most celebrated work, Da

Low Down Dirty Blues
Written by Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman
Directed by Randal Myler
Musical Direction by  Dan Wheetman
Featuring Mississippi Charles Bevel and Felicia P. Fields
Additional casting TBA.

Previews: May 27- June 4, 2010
Press opening: Saturday, June 5, 2:30 and 8:00 p.m.
Regular run: June 6 – July 3, 2010

The Year of Magical Thinking at Court Theatre

courtTHeatre Court Theatre continues its 55th season with the Chicago Premiere of The Year of Magical Thinking written by Joan Didion and directed by Artistic Director Charles Newell. The production will run January 14 – February 14, 2010 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue.

Mary_Beth,_The_Year_of_Magical_Thinking Acclaimed writer Joan Didion adapts her own National Book Award-winning memoir to the stage. A fiercely intelligent, courageous, and comic exploration of loss, this monumental one-woman journey will be performed by Mary Beth Fisher in its Chicago Premiere. The Year of Magical Thinking marks Mary Beth Fisher’s seventh production under the direction of Court Theatre Artistic Director Charles Newell; her latest collaborations with Newell include Rock ‘n’ Roll at the Goodman and Court’s production of The Wild Duck.

"Joan Didion’s book The Year of Magical Thinking was instrumental for me in coping with the loss of my mother, so when Mary Beth Fisher and I were invited to visit Didion herself at her home in New York, it was an unforgettable meeting for me, both personally and artistically." says Artistic Director Charlie Newell, “This process has been a journey for Mary Beth and me, and I’m thrilled to return to directing in Court Theatre’s space for the first time since Caroline, or Change."

Ticket prices are $32 to $40 for preview performances; $38 to $56 for regular run performances. Tickets are available online at www.CourtTheatre.org

A Conversation With Brian Dennehy at Goodman Theatre

images Goodman Theatre is proud to announce the Krapp’s Last Tape Artists Talk as part of the new 2010 Series connecting theater audiences with the artists who bring productions to life at the Goodman. The Artists Talk Series, spearheaded by Theatre Communications Group (TCG) Fellow Julieanne Ehre, features Goodman artists from each play in conversation about their process and production in an intimate environment with an invited moderator. On Saturday, January 23 at 5:30pm at the Goodman, the 2010 Artists Talk Series begins with a discussion focused on Samuel Beckett’s classic one-man show, Krapp’s Last Tape. Former Chicago Tribune Chief Theater Critic Richard Christiansen moderates the conversation with actor Brian Dennehy and director Jennifer Tarver.

Tickets to the Krapp’s Last Tape Artists Talk are $10 ($5 for subscribers and students) and can be purchased at Goodmantheatre.org

"The Artists Talk Series offers our audiences the unique opportunity to connect directly with the artists who create our productions," said Julieanne Ehre, member of the Goodman’s artistic team who initiated the series. "Chicago theatergoers are smart, hungry for the kind of engagement with artists that a behind-the-scenes discussion about the creative process provides. Under the guidance of experienced moderators, audiences will gain an insider’s look at each production."