Featured events in September 2020
The Lyric Opera's 2019/20 season kicks off with a production of Gioachino Rossini's popular romantic comedy, which acts as a prequel to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro. The plot revolves around the clever character Figaro, an enterprising barber who attempts to help a young woman marry a duke instead of being wedded to her older guardian.
Theater in September 2020
Cambodian Rock Band scribe Lauren Yee returns to town with her play The Great Leap, which follows a Chinese-American basketball player (loosely based on her father) whose college team travels to Beijing in 1989 as China is on the brink of revolution. Add basketball’s whirligig athleticism to Yee’s exuberant theatrical style, and you couldn’t dream up a more exciting play.
Janet Ulrich Brooks stars in this adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s book from My Big Fat Greek Wedding triple-threat Nia Vardalos. The production chronicles Strayed’s time as “Sugar,” an unpaid online advice columnist who tackled the world’s problems with empathy and personal anecdotes.
Broadway Playhouse’s slate of offerings typically includes lots of non-union tours and other oddities, but its premiere of J.T. Rodgers’ Tony-winning Oslo is one to watch. Director Nick Bowling helms this recounting of the behind-the-scenes maneuverings that led to the historic 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and Palestine.
Oscar winner The King’s Speech started off as a play, and now it’s enjoying a second life on the stage. This North American premiere from director Michael Wilson features Harry Hadden-Paton (Downton Abbey) as the stuttering English monarch King George VI and James Frain (The Tudors) as his eccentric speech therapist Lionel Logue. Can’t wait for the The Crown’s third season to premiere? The King’s Speech should tide you over quite nicely.
Director Ron OJ Parson continues his trek through the works of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle with the King Hedley II. Kelvin Roston Jr. stars in the title role as an ex-convict whose modest dream of opening a video store remains painfully out of reach in the trickle-down world of Ronald Reagan’s America. Parson has a gift for teasing out Wilson’s rich, musical language in ways that makes these plays really sing.
Smash creator Theresa Rebeck turns to a different kind of backstage drama as she dives into famed actress Sarah Bernhardt’s scandalizing 1899 role as the titular character in Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
Adventurous theatergoers should venture over to Windy City Playhouse’s second location in Motor Row for the wild—and wildly moving—Every Brilliant Thing. This interactive play from British writer Duncan Macmillan features the great Kate Spence as a woman who guides the audience through her mother’s history of depression, with many ancillary roles filled by audience members.
The crew of a lonely interstellar space station on Pluto stave of madness as they wait for a message from Earth that may never come. Alistair McDowall’s Cthulhu-tinged thriller Pomona bewitched audiences (and critics) this summer at Steep Theatre—and X promises to cast a similar spell. Jonathan L. Green directs this U.S. premiere for Sideshow Theatre Company.