This will be CST's ninth season in its Navy Pier home in Chicago. The season begins in June 2008 and runs through June 2009.
Kicking off the season will be the world premiere of the hip-hop musical adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing created by GQ and JQ, the team whose past work includes the international success, The Bomb-itty of Errors.
The piece was developed in a series of workshops at Chicago Shakespeare. It "showcases a cast of rap and hip-hop MCs playing multiple roles, setting rhyme and rhythm to a DJ's tracks," according to CST. After its summer run on Navy Pier, CST will present the work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.
Chicago performances will play June 25-Aug. 3, Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare.
The summer line-up also includes CST's production of the family musical Willy Wonka, based on the 1971 musical film version of Roald Dahl's classic children's novel, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," featuring music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. Joe Leonardo will direct the family-friendly show, which has been seen regionally following its development at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. It will play July 8-Aug. 17 at the Courtyard Theater. Also on the season:
The World Stage Series continues with Sweet William, Michael Pennington's "large-spirited, one-man show — an homage to Shakespeare that looks at his life and his work, side-by-side. Part biography, part analysis and part performance, Sweet William reflects on Pennington's long international experience as a leading Shakespearean actor — a career that has spanned more than 40 years, with leading roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and his own award-winning English Shakespeare Company." It will run Feb. 3-22, 2009, Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Additional productions in Chicago Shakespeare's World Stage Series will be announced in the coming months.
The 2008-09 season concludes with the Chicago debut of British director Josie Rourke, who'll stage Twelfth Night, March 29-June 7, 2009. For more information visit www.chicagoshakes.com.