Bailiwick's Loft to Reopen for Gay South African Drama Happy Endings

News   Bailiwick's Loft to Reopen for Gay South African Drama Happy Endings Bailiwick Repertory in Chicago, a champion of works representing a diverse community, will present the U.S. premiere of Happy Endings Are Extra, a new play by South African playwright Ashraf Johaardien, Oct. 5.

The drama will reopen Bailiwick's 40-seat Loft Theater, and signifies a switch away from summer festivals of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender work "to the inclusion of GLBT works on a year-round basis."

Happy Endings Are Extra explores "a gay subculture undermining the relationship between Gabriel and Chantelle, his fiancé," according to the Chicago theatre. When Gabriel meets Chris, an underage rent-boy at a party, "a series of events is set into motion that starts to unravel the happy couple's comfortable suburban existence."

Johaardien's play has been seen around the world including the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival. The work "continues a current trend of dramatic writing exploring society's increasing awareness of the fluidity found in gender and expansive range of sexuality," according to Bailiwick.

Adrian Gonzales plays Chris; Shannon Strodel, of Bailiwick's hit production of Jerry Springer – The Opera, plays Chantelle; and William J. Watt plays the central role of Gabriel.

Matt Trucano, whose previous work at the Bailiwick includes directing A Bitter Taste, returns to direct this "twisted tale of love and sex, ecstasy and affliction, all set in the exotic underworld of Cape Town, South Africa." Designers are Justin Longnecker (set), BJ Wilkinson (lights) and Miles Polaski (soundscape). Production stage manager is Jess Gingrich.

Opening following previews will be Oct. 7 at 7:30 PM. Regular performances are on Fridays at 10:30 PM, Saturdays at 5:30 PM and Sundays at 7:30 PM through Nov. 11.

All tickets are $25 and are available at the Bailiwick Arts Center box office at 1229 W. Belmont, over the phone at (773) 883.1090, online at www.bailiwick.org or through Ticketmaster.com.