Wealthy Chicagoans Come Down with AFFLUENZA!, at Victory Gardens, Nov. 14-Dec. 28

News   Wealthy Chicagoans Come Down with AFFLUENZA!, at Victory Gardens, Nov. 14-Dec. 28 AFFLUENZA!, a world-premiere comedy by Victory Gardens Theatre playwright James Sherman, "is a wicked contemplation of today's culture of decadence and greed served up in delicious comedic form and fashion," starting Nov. 14.

VGT artistic director Dennis Zacek stages the plat at his Tony Award-honored Chicago company. The cast includes Roslyn Alexander, Richard Henzel, David New, Cedric Young, Kim Wade and Ian Westerfer.

"Imagine the favorite characters from 17th century theatre: the cuckolded husband, the wily servant, the maiden, the true-wit, the fop, the coquette," the production notes invite. "In AFFLUENZA!, yesterday's archetypes exist in today's new world of cell phones, eBay, plastic surgery, Starbucks and the new Soldier Field. The plot revolves around William Moore, a real estate magnate who lives high above Lake Michigan; his only company is his assistant, Bernard, and his net worth of $650 million. William has just rediscovered love with Dawn, an innocent woman half his age, of simple means, and seemingly good intent. But Bill's parasitic son Jerome, nephew Eugene, and ex-wife Ruth are convinced Dawn's just a garden variety golddigger. As AFFLUENZA! takes hold, each character scrambles to protect his or her bottom line, and who gets what and who ends up with whom is revealed in surprise after hilarious surprise."

Chicago playwright James Sherman has enjoyed a long relationship with Victory Gardens for nearly 20 years. He became a playwright-in-residence in 1986. His 1989 hit comedy, Beau Jest, remains the most successful play in Victory Gardens' 30-year history. It ran one year in Chicago, followed by two-and-a-half years Off-Broadway at New York's Lambs Theatre. He is currently working on a musical version of the play, with composer Brad Ross.

Designers for AFFLUENZA! include Mary Griswold (set); Judith Lundberg (costumes); and Andre Pluess (sound).

Opening is Nov. 24. Performances continue to Dec. 28. Victory Gardens is located at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. For tickets, call (773) 871-3000, or visit www.VictoryGardens.org.