The Chicago Shakespeare Theater's production of Stephen Sondheim's musical look at the opening of Japan to the West, Pacific Overtures, was what the original Broadway mounting never was: a hit. The rare revival was extended a full month to Jan. 6, 2002, and there was even talk of a New York transfer. But, for now, Jan. 6 is the end of the road for the show.
The musical began performances at CST's Navy Pier home on Oct. 10 and was to close on Dec. 2. The Windy City's tireless stager of musicals, Gary Griffin, is in the director's chair.
The cast includes Kevin Gudahl as Kayama, Joseph Anthony Foronda as Reciter, Blake Hammond as Shogun's Mother, Christopher Mark Peterson as Manjiro, Niel Friedman as Madam, Richard Manera as Lion Dancer, Nathaniel Stamplet as Warrior, Anthony Hite as Tamate and Jeff Dumas as Dutch Admiral.
The original production of Pacific Overtures opened at the Winter Garden Theatre Jan. 11, 1976. Harold Prince directed, using Kabuki-styled techniques. John Weidman wrote the book. It ran only 138 performances.
* It will be Peter Brook in the spring at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The artist will be featured in the company's CST spring festival.
Brook will pay a return visit. CST scored a coup when Peter Brook presented his Hamlet at the Windy City theatre last season. Now, the theatrical auteur returns with Le Costume (The Suit), a play based on a work by South African writer Can Themba about an unorthodox love triangle between a man, a woman, and...a suit.
Le Costume's dates are yet to be announced.
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