Sunday in the Park With George, David Ives, National Theatre of Scotland Will Play Chicago Shakespeare Season
By Kenneth Jones
Chicago Shakespeare Theater will produce Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park With George, plus David Ives' The School for Lies and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and Henry VIII in 2012-13, artistic director Barbara Gaines and executive director Criss Henderson announced.
Gary Griffin (CST's Follies, Broadway's The Color Purple) will direct Sunday in the Park on CST's thrust mainstage, the Courtyard Theater.
CST's World's Stage program of international works includes the American premiere of A History of Everything by Belgian company Ontroerend Goed and the return of the National Theatre of Scotland's acclaimed Black Watch and The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart.
CST's annual CST Family programming will offer Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Additional productions for the 2012-13 season will be announced.
Sunday in the Park With George, a musical rumination on the nature of art and artists, using Georges Seurat's famous painting "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" as a jumping off point, will play Sept. 26-Nov. 4. (The famed pointillist painting is in the Art Institute of Chicago's permanent collection.)
Following Ives' CST commission of an adaptation of Georges Feydeau's A Flea in Her Ear, Gaines will stage his verse adaptation of Moliere's The Misanthrope, called The School for Lies, Dec. 4, 2012-Jan. 20, 2013.
Julius Caesar, Feb. 5-March 24, 2013, will be staged by director Jonathan Munby, whose credits include productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and the Donmar Warehouse in London. It will use "the fractured political landscape of present-day Washington as a backdrop."
Gaines will direct CST's first production of Henry VIII April 30-June 16, 2013. The "story of England's most notorious king — known for his six marriages and frequent public beheadings — reveals the political machinations and sexual exploits of Anne Boleyn's rise to power," according to CST.
In the American premiere of Belgian company Ontroerend Goed's A History of Everything, May 25-June 3, 2012, Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, "the artists take on the mammoth task of telling our collective history, from the present day all the way back to the Big Bang — in one extraordinary evening."
The National Theatre of Scotland will present two works: Black Watch, Oct. 10-21, the movement-filled tale of a "heroic Scottish regiment's tour in Iraq," at the Chicago Park District's Broadway Armory; and David Greig's new verse play The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (Sept. 26-Oct. 14), offering "supernatural storytelling, Scottish border ballads and devilish encounters combine in this dream-like journey of self-discovery."
Jeff Award-winning director Rachel Rockwell will stage Disney's Beauty and the Beast (music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, book by Linda Woolverton) this summer, June 28-Aug. 26.
For more information about the Tony Award-honored company located on Nacy Pier in Chicago, IL, visit www.chicagoshakes.com or call (312) 595-5600.
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