Lifeline Theatre, the Chicago company devoted largely to adaptations of works not written for the stage, opens the Madeleine L'Engle family fantasy classic, A Wrinkle in Time, Oct. 7 following previews Oct. 2-5.
Staging the 1990 adaptation by James Sie will be one of Meryl Friedman's last tasks as producing director at the nonprofit. At the end of the year, she leaves to become executive producer of California's Falcon Theatre.
Wrinkle, originally a young-adult book, continues through Nov. 30. L'Engle's story concerns siblings Meg and Charles, who search for their missing father with the help of Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit. Sie won a Jeff Award nomination for his buoyant adaptation.
Sherman Shoemaker, spokesman for Lifeline, told Playbill On-Line (Oct. 2) that a search is on to replace Friedman. Friedman's planned summer 1999 adaptation, Jane and Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor (from the story by Stephanie Barron), will be scrapped because of her departure. Lifeline offers a MainStage series and a KidSeries, with Wrinkle being the one "crossover" good for the whole family. Children's shows and main stage shows play in repertory with each other.
The Wrinkle cast includes Laura McKenzie (Meg), Evan Bregman (Charles), John Cabrera (Calvin), Laurie Larson (Mrs. Who), Stephanie Santos (Mrs. Whatsit), Ian Novak (Mrs. Which) and Larry Dahlke, Alex Gualino, Cherise Silvestri and Diana Simonzadeh.
Also on the 1998-99 Lifeline MainStage season:
Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde (from Robert Louis Stevenson) Feb. 26-May 23, 1999. Official opening is March 3, 1999.
Summer production to be announced, June 11-Aug. 29, 1999.
On the 1998-99 KidSeries:
Bunnicula (from James Howe) Jan. 23-May 30, 1999. Opening Jan. 3, 1999.
The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship (a folk tale) June 26-Aug. 29, 1999. Opening June 16, 1999.
Lifeline Theatre is at 6912 North Glenwood in Chicago. Tickets are $10 $18.50. Call (773) 761-4477.
-- By Kenneth Jones