Chicago's Lifeline Theatre will end the run of its 1999-2000 season opener, Scary Home Companion, Nov. 13. This tribute to the American ghost story, with an original script by Eric Lane Barnes, opened Sept. 15 (after beginning previews Sept. 10) and was scheduled to run through Nov. 28 but will instead end two weeks earlier. Also, the Halloween performance (Oct. 31) will be the last Sunday performance of the run.
The piece combines many familiar urban legends and spooky stories for a play described by the company as "bloodcurdling and hilarious." Legends portrayed in Scary include the phantom bus, the mysterious prom date, vampires, a hanging, and vengeful ghosts.
Scary Home will be the first play written by Barnes to appear on Lifeline's Main Stage, although he has previously written several shows for their KidSeries including, Simple Jim and His Four Fabulous Friends, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and The Amazing Bone. Lifeline ensemble member John Hildreth will direct.
Other shows in Lifeline Theatre's season include:
€ The Two Towers, (Jan. 21-May 7, 2000), adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's novel of the same name, the piece is the second part to Tolkien's classic "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Lifeline produced an adaptation of the first part, Fellowship of the Ring, in their 1996-97 season. € Pistols for Two, (June 9-Aug. 27, 2000), Jeff-winning adaptor Christina Calvit adapts Georgette Heyer's short stories into a theatre piece. Calvit won a Jeff last season for her adaptation of Heyer's The Talisman Ring.
Lifeline's KidSeries includes:
€ My Father's Dragon, (Oct. 23-Jan. 9, 2000), adapted from Ruth Stiles Gannett's Newberry Honor book by James Sie. Dragon tells of a young boy's journey to rescue an overworked dragon.
€ Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, (Feb. 12-May 28, 2000), adapted by Christina Calvit from Betty MacDonald's book, Piggle-Wiggle tells of a woman who lives in an upside-down house who doles out punishment to poorly- behaved children.
For more information on Scary Home Companion or the rest of the Lifeline season, call (773) 761-4477.
-- By Sean McGrath & David Lefkowitz