Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-winning Dinner With Friends will make its Chicago-area premiere at Northlight Theatre in Skokie, IL, according to artistic director B.J. Jones, who will direct.
The hot regional will offer the rueful comedy, about two couples and their shifting relationships as they head into middle-age, Sept. 27-Nov. 5. The production will be presented in Northlight's 350-seat space.
The nonprofit booking does not preclude a commercial sitdown in the Windy City. As in New York City, the possibility exists that commercial producers could pluck the Northlight staging out of Skokie and put it into a house in Chicago.
With Dinner being served, Jones is clearing away the previously announced Bee Luther-Hatchee in February 2001 and moving An Experiment With an Air Pump (announced for September) to that Feb. 7-March 11, 2001 slot.
* As previously announced, the Northlight season will also include the world premiere of Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, May 16 June 24, 2001.
The two-character musical is billed as a "romantic musical about a nice Jewish boy and a good Irish Catholic girl in New York City who fall in love and fall apart during a five-year courtship."
Also on tap are Enter the Guardsman (Dec. 6-Jan. 7, 2001), a backstage musical about infidelity and theatrical excess, based on the play by Ferenc Molnar; and The Gamester (March 21-April 29, 2001), a "timely" restoration comedy by Moliere contemporary Jean François Regnard, in a world premiere translation by Freyda Thomas.
Northlight Theatre, which has a $2.1 million annual budget, is the resident producing theatre (using two venues) at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, at 9501 N. Skokie Blvd. in Skokie.
Its current staging of the musical, Side Show, has sold $100,000 in single tickets, unheard of for Northlight, which has a subscribership of about 9,000.
For information, call (847) 673-6300 or try the web site at http://www.northlight.org.
-- By Kenneth Jones