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2005-2006 Theater Preview: The De-Spamming Edition

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 31, 2005 7:59PM

Note: This is Part 2 of an occasional series. Part 1 can be found here.

Theater companies have been working overtime lately, killing a forest to print their brochures and flooding inboxes with exciting emails—You Just Can’t Miss This Season!, We’ve Got Stuff You Can’t See Anywhere Else!, and Its’ Our Anniversary! Are You Going To Stand Me Up On Our Anniversary?!?! It’s a lot of clutter and noise, but it’s far more interesting than our bills and those daily inducements to “Eliminate Debt the Christian Way!” We wade through these notices so you don’t have to, and we’ve found a few tidbits along the way.

Writers masthead.jpgThe Writers Theatre in Glencoe may be the best company you’ve never heard of, presenting staged adaptations of literary classics and potential classics. Their season kicks off September 27 with The Uneasy Chair, a tribute to Dickens and Wilde. They’ll have yet another Christmas Carol for you to enjoy, theirs will be a one-man show, and will then close out with a modern Jewish favorite in Chaim Potok’s The Chosen and reach all the way back to Jacobean England for The Duchess of Malfi. Down the road, Evanston’s Next Theatre is kicking off their Silver Anniversary Season and they couldn’t be more excited. (Seriously folks, she’s so damn happy!) The company will continue to promote three playwrights we love—Sam Shepherd, Paula Vogel, and Caryl Churchill—and one we need to acquaint ourselves with, Lynn Nottage.

By October, the Cubs season will be over but Bailiwick Rep will be celebrating one of the finest to wear their uniform with Hit Man: The Hack Wilson Story. They’ll celebrate Christmas with two productions—It’s a Fabulous Life, interpreting the Frank Capra classic as only Bailiwick can, and The Christmas Schooner, the quest to bring holiday trees to Chicago. Then, settle in for a pair of winter shows--Kiss of the Spider Woman and Angels in America, a co-production with the Hypocrites. Just in time for next summer’s Gay Games is the Midwest Premiere of PINS, a tale of sexual identity and wrestling.

Shakespeare geary.jpgThe Chicago Shakespeare Theater kicks off 2005-2006 with Elizabethan fireworks. This fall, Artistic Director Barbara Gaines directs the often-discussed, sometimes rancorous Merchant Of Venice. The more playfully rancorous Much Ado About Nothing arrives in time for the holidays, and the marathon Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 closes things out. CST’s always been about more than just the Bard, so this year they’re presenting the U.S. premiere of The Burial at Thebes and David Ives’ new adaptation of A Flea in Her Ear, a classic by French satirist Georges Feydeau.

Victory Gardens has their hands full converting the Biograph Theatre into their new home, but that leaves enough time for them to present new tales of a Revolutionary-era slave poet, a survivor of the Rwandan massacre, and Samuel Beckett’s wife, among others.

Consider us excited.

Images via Writers Theater and Rick Geary.