Chicago's Court Theatre will open its 1998-99 season with a display of Gross Indecency -- that is, Moises Kaufman's play about the three trials of Oscar Wilde. The courtroom drama, which uses newspaper accounts, personal letters, biographies and transcripts of the trial, opens Sept. 22 at 7 PM. Previews began Sept. 11 for a run through Oct. 11. Gary Griffin directs.
Also on the Court's line-up this season are Nora (Nov. 6-Dec. 6; opening Nov. 16), Ingmar Bergman's treatment of Ibsen's A Doll's House. Bergman's version, which the filmmaker and stage director adapted in 1981, delves further into the story of the drama's central character, Nora. Kate Collins take the title role, under Charles Newell's direction.
Next, director Laszlo Marton takes a look at the Shakespeare comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream (Jan. 15-Feb. 14; opening Jan. 25, 1999). This is the Hungarian Marton's third visit to the Court, after staging The School for Wives and The Play's the Thing.
Lillian Hellman's melodrama The Little Foxes (Mar. 12-May 16; opening Mar. 28, 1999) fills the company's fourth slot. Newell returns to direct the tale of greed and villainy in the turn-of-the-century South.
The Court season concludes with David Hirson's La Bete (Mar. 17 May 17, 1999). Hirson's ambitious verse play was produced on Broadway several years ago to some acclaim, some derision and a short run. Tom McGowan and Michael Cumpsty starred in the New York staging of this tale of a 17th century artistic feud between playwright Elomire and arrogant pretender Valere (the beast of the title). For information on the Court season call (773) 753-4472.
-- By Robert Simonson