The Tony Award-honored Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, a veritable new-works machine, opens its 29th season with Ann Noble's new contemporary dramatic comedy, Ariadne's Thread, Sept. 23, following previews that began Sept. 13.
VG associate artistic director Sandy Shinner directs the work by Chicago playwright Noble, who "has created a modern-day maze of marriages, love affairs, family relationships, births and deaths for seven contemporary women to negotiate," according to production notes. "Three cities and 14 telephones are their threads in this funny, touching and topical story of intersecting lives. Yet despite all the talking, is anybody really communicating? When random connections start to form patterns, each character discovers how deep her resources are for love, humor and compassion, and whether the path through the labyrinth of life will be as frightening as originally thought."
Performances on the VG mainstage continue to Oct. 27.
The cast for Ariadne's Thread features Tyla Abercrumbie as Joan; Mary Kathryn Bessinger as Anderson; Joey Honsa as Connor; Nambi E. Kelley as Niki; Laura Jones Macknin as Gareth; Jenny McKnight, in her Equity debut as Wendy; and Julia Neary as Lea.
Designers are Judith Lundberg (costumes); Jack Magaw (set), Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman (sound) and Jaymi Lee Smith (lights). Ann Noble's work includes her acclaimed Irish play, And Neither Have I Wings To Fly, which received its inaugural production seven years ago at Victory Gardens with the Seanachai Theatre Company. In its most recent Chicago staging in 2000, by Fox Theatricals, John York Noble and Michael Leavitt, also at Victory Gardens, And Neither Have I Wings To Fly received four Jeff Award nominations, and an After Dark Award for Outstanding Production. Noble's other plays include The Way I Wear My Hat, The Boarding House and most recently, The Pagans.
Tickets are $30-$35. Victory Gardens is located at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. For information, call the Victory Gardens box office at (773) 871-3000 or visit www.victorygardens.org.
— By Kenneth Jones