From the deep South to pre-war Berlin to ancient Greece, Chicago's Northlight Theatre will hop across the globe in its 23rd season, Sept. 17, 1997-June 7, 1998. The first show, Thunder Knocking On The Door, opens Sept. 24.
Here's the 1997-98 Northlight line-up:
THUNDER KNOCKING ON THE DOOR. A "blusical" written and directed by Keith Glover, with 11 songs by Keb' Mo' and a story involving a young girl who must compete in a guitar-playing contest to win a magical guitar. Glover's other works include Dancing On Moonlight (NY Shakespeare Festival, 1995), Coming Of The Hurricane, and In Walks Ed.
With songs by Keb' Mo', Thunder was commissioned in 1996 by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. At Northlight the show will star Phillip Van Lear, alongside Tab Baker, Freeman Coffey, Vicki Myers and Lori Holton Nash. (Prev: Sept. 17, opens Sept. 24; runs to Oct. 19.)
THE GLASS HOUSE. World premiere of Ellen (Bubbe Meises) Gould musical, directed by Northlight artistic director Russell Vandenbroucke. The show takes place in Berlin, 1938, as a mysterious Hassidic rabbi visits a cabaret chanteuse's dressing room. (Prev: Dec. 3; opens Dec. 10; runs to Jan. 4, 1998.)
A LOVELY SUNDAY FOR CREVE COEUR. Assistant artistic director Cecilie D. Keenan directs this rarely produced Tennessee Williams comedy/drama, about a romantic in love with a high school principal. Other Williams plays include Not About Nightingales and Summer And Smoke. (Prev: Feb. 4, 1998; opns Feb. 11, 1998; runs to March 8, 1998.) THE LAST SURVIVOR. Eleanor Reissa memoir to her father, which spans the years 1938-95, from Germany to the U.S. Reissa directed the Broadway musical Those Were The Days and Off-Broadway's Cowgirls. (Prev: March 18, 1998; opens: March 25, 1998; Runs to April 19, 1998).
THE WOUND AND THE BOW. Russell Vandenbroucke adapts and directs Sophocles' Philoctetes, about a man, exiled due to a festering wound on his foot, suddenly wanted again by the Greek army that cast him out. (Prev: May 6, 1998; opens May 13, 1998; Runs to June 7, 1998).
One of the nation's largest not-for-profit theatres, Northlight boasts 6,600 subscribers -- a 75 percent increase of 1996-97! Part of the boon is due to its new location, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts on Skokie Boulevard in Skokie. The 350-seat theatre is offering five-play subscriptions starting at $85 (further discounts for seniors and students are also available).
For tickets and information on shows at Northlight Theatre, currently playing Michael Gow's Away, call (847) 673-6300, or refer to the Northlight Theatre regional listing on Playbill On-line.
--By David Lefkowitz