James Joyce's The Dead Awakens in Chicago Debut, Nov. 21

News   James Joyce's The Dead Awakens in Chicago Debut, Nov. 21 James Joyce's The Dead, the quirky and wistful musical adaptation of Joyce's famous short story, will have its Chicago debut Nov. 21 at the Court Theatre.

James Joyce's The Dead, the quirky and wistful musical adaptation of Joyce's famous short story, will have its Chicago debut Nov. 21 at the Court Theatre.

The run, directed by Charles Newell, will play until Dec. 22.

The Dead is the creation of Irish composer Shaun Davey and playwright Richard Nelson, who directed the show's Off-Broadway debut at Playwrights Horizons in 1999. Though reviews were mixed, the unique show found an audience and moved to Broadway, later winning a Tony Award for Best Book. Nelson went on to pilot the show in productions across the U.S.

The story concerns an annual holiday part held by two elderly aunts and their niece, in Dublin around the turn of the last century. A dozen relatives and friends arrive, resulting in an evening of various conversation and song. The piece is far removed from most examples of the musical theatre genre, given its mix of stand-alone songs and plot-driving tunes, its general lack of a traditional story and its overall low-key atmosphere.

The cast includes Chicago regulars Kathy Taylor, Deanna Dunagan, McKinley Carter, Hollis Resnik and John Reeger (as Gabriel, the central figure). Court Theatre is located at 5535 S. Ellis Ave. in Chicago, on the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park. For tickets and information, call the Court Theatre Box Office, (773) 753-4472.