From the carnivorous to the schizophrenic, from cross-dressers on the run to actors on the bum, IL's Candlelight Dinner Playhouse and Forum Theatre will offer a wild 1997-98 season of music, raucous comedy and lavish production values. Two Jule Styne & Bob Merrill musicals are also part of the mix.
Here's the Candlelight line-up:
Funny Girl (Oct. 23-Jan. 18, 1998).
Bob Merrill, Isobel Lennart and Jule Styne's comedic, musical look at the Fanny Bryce story won the 1964 Tony for Best Musical. Barbra Streisand became a legend singing such tunes from the score as "Don't Rain On My Parade" and "People." David Perkovich will direct this staging, which is not connected to the Broadway-bound tour that ran out of gas out of town in 1996.
Some Like It Hot (Jan. 22-April 19, 1998).
No longer called Sugar, Styne & Merrill's musical adaptation of the Billy Wilder film comedy will feature "big tap numbers and jazzy costumes." The show tells of two out-of-work musicians who witness a mob hit and join an all-girl band to hide out.
Jekyll & Hyde, The Musical (July 23-Oct. 18, 1998).
A story of one man's split between good and evil, adapted from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. Candlelight spokesperson Dina Travis Sanchez told Playbill On-Line she wasn't sure whether this would be the current Broadway Jekyll & Hyde (by Frank Wildhorn & Leslie Bricusse) or another musical version of the show. (Like "Phantom Of The Opera" and "Jane Eyre," J&H apparently has several adaptations available to regional theatres.) Kookier fare will be on view at the Forum Theatre:
The Food Chain (Sept. 24-Dec. 21), The Chicago premiere of Nicky Silver's darkly funny look at co-dependency -- via an obese over-eater, an anorexic, newlywed wife and her gay husband.
Moon Over Buffalo (Feb. 25-May 17, 1998), Ken Ludwig's farce about a once-famous, husband-and-wife acting team on tour in 1950s Buffalo, NY., will be directed by Pullinsi.
Pullinsi started producing theatre with Catholic University classmate Anthony D'Angelo in 1959. By 1961 (with help from his grandfather, William "Gramps" Altier, Pullinsi had turned a Summit tavern and barbershop into a theatre. In 1964, audience size mandated a move to the current location, which now seats 600. Candlelight eventually became the first Chicago-area company to perform a 52-week season, as well as the first to offer repertory theatre with three shows running concurrently. The Forum Theatre was built in 1971 as a place to stage new and avant garde works.
For tickets (subscriptions begin at $40 for the four musicals) to Candlelight's 39th season, call (708) 496-3000.
--By David Lefkowitz