Chicago's Defiant Theatre battens down the hatches for its first production of the 1999 season, Bluebeard, by Charles (master of camp) Ludlum, March 11-April 17 at Victory Gardens Theatre.
The legendary pirate, Bluebeard, is on a quest to create a third genital. So far he's been unsuccessful and has nothing to show for his efforts but an island littered with botched attempts. Things change when his virginal niece visits, and Bluebeard once again feels the inspiration to challenge nature's inadequate options.
Bluebeard will be helmed by Jim Slonina, who won a Jeff nomination for his 1997 Defiant production of Ludlum's Mystery of Irma Vep.
Other plays in the Defiant season include:
The restaging of Defiant's 1998 summer blockbuster, Action Movie: The Play . A spectacle of non-stop action and outrageous comedy, Defiant takes everything unstageable about the famed film genre and throws it on stage. Director Joe Foust received an After Dark award for Action Movie 's 1998 incarnation. The production opens on June 16 at American Theater Company (3855 N. Lincoln Ave.).
The fall has Defiant visiting Joan Schenkar's Burning Desires , where Joan of Arc meets up with a bevy of female icons -- Gertrude Stein, Marlene Dietrich, Emily Bronte, and Emily Dickinson. Specific dates and venue will be announced. Defiant Theatre, which moved to Chicago six years ago from Urbana, IL, has received six Joseph Jefferson Citations and four After Dark Awards. Defiant is noted for addressing complicated issued through a blend of theatrical traditions ranging from naturalism to Kabuki to vaudeville. Comprising the company are Jeff Arena, B. Emil Boulos, Kati Brazda, Matthew Callahan, John DeLeonardis, Joe Foust, Jennifer Gher, Linda Gillum, A. Bryan Guthrie, B.F. Helman, Christopher Johnson, Jennifer Keller, Rob Kimmel, Stephen Kruse, Andrew Leman, Kara Loquist, Martin McClendon, Anne McKernan, William J. Norris, Rich Norwood, Nick Offerman, Michelle Primeaux, Richard Ragsdale, Lisa Rothschiller, Will Schutz, Cherise Silvestri, Sean Sinitski, Jim Slonina, Gregor Mortis, Barb Thometz, Chris Thometz, Kevin Wade and Jonathan Watkins.
-- By Sean McGrath