The Odyssey of the Goodman Theatre 1999-2000 season begins on Sept. 17, when the new Mary Zimmerman epic by that name takes up residence in the Chicago theatre.
Last year, Zimmerman won the prestigious MacArthur fellowship, more commonly known as the "genius grant." The prize carried a $240,000 prize with no stipulations as to how the recipient is to spend the money.
Recent projects by Zimmerman include Midsummer Night's Dream at Boston's Huntington Theatre, Eleven Rooms of Proust, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, S/M, Arabian Nights and Mirrors of the Invisible World. The new piece is based, of course, on Homer's classic.
Zimmerman, who is a member of Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre and is an artistic associate at the Goodman, fashions work characterized by stylized movement and athletic choreography.
The Odyssey will officially open Sept. 27 for a run through Oct. 30. The remainder of the Goodman mainstage season is as follows:
• The new revival of O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten, starring Cherry Jones, and directed by Dan Sullivan, which will land on Broadway in March 2000, will tryout in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre, Jan. 14-Feb. 19, 2000. The Goodman date replaces a scheduled stop at the Kennedy Center.
• The world premiere of Rebecca Gilman's Boy Meets Girl (March 3 April 8, 2000). In Boy Meets Girl, a man and a woman go out on a blind date. Things are going fine until he turns out to be the kind of guy "who won't take no for answer." Michael Maggio (All the Rage and Black Snow) directs.
• Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun (April 21-May 27, 2000). The production will be directed by Chuck Smith.
• Luis Valdez' Zoot Suit (June 18 - July 22, 2000). Based on an actual trial of a young Chicano gang arrested for a suspected murder, the musical Zoot Suit mixes mambo, swing and traditional Latin songs to create the atmosphere of Chicano life in 1943. Henry Godinez will direct.
In addition to these four shows, the Goodman will present their annual production of A Christmas Carol. For ticket information, call (312) 443-3800.
The 1999-2000 mainstage season is the Goodman's final season in the company's current location, before they move to a new home in the North Loop in fall 2000.
--By Robert Simonson