The Commons of Pensacola, The Mousetrap and Two World-Premiere Productions to Play Northlight Theatre

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19 Feb 2014

Amanda Peet
Amanda Peet
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The 40th anniversary season of the Northlight Theatre will feature the midwest premiere of The Commons of Pensacola and the world's longest-running play, Agatha Christie's mystery The Mousetrap.

The theatre will also present the world premiere of Bruce Graham's White Guy on the Bus and Shining Lives: A Musical, the musical adaptation of Melanie Marnich's These Shining Lives, which follows four women who are harmed after being exposed to radiation at their jobs.

"I have been with Northlight as an actor and director since it was the Evanston Theatre Company and I am proud and honored to serve as Artistic Director as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary," artistic director BJ Jones said in a statement. "In recent years, Northlight's hallmark has been our embrace of new work by great playwrights — from Jason Robert Brown, Larry Gelbart and Craig Wright, to Bruce Graham and Christian O'Reilly. Additionally, we have presented refreshed classics, intense dramas and great comedies. We have enjoyed a large, loyal audience for 40 years because they enjoy the quality and range of theater Northlight has come to represent. Our 40th Anniversary mirrors our desire to continue to reflect our community, bringing the world to Northlight — and Northlight to the world."

The season-at-a-glance follows:

The Midwest Premiere of
The Commons of Pensacola
by Amanda Peet
Sept. 12–Oct. 19



"Judith is a woman in exile, relegated to a Florida condo after her husband's Madoff-like crimes have expelled her from a luxurious life. Family ties are tested when her daughter Becca comes to visit for Thanksgiving, joined by Becca's filmmaker boyfriend and rebellious niece. Guilt by association, lost wealth, and questionable motives make trying to love your family an uncommonly difficult challenge in this funny, incisive and timely new drama."

The Mousetrap
By Agatha Christie
Nov. 7–Dec. 14

"On a snowy night at Monkswell Manor, newlyweds Mollie and Giles welcome a group of strangers to their guest house, only to discover news of a murderer in their midst! A police investigation reveals the sordid details of each guest's mysterious past, but not soon enough to stop the killer from striking again. Agatha Christie's masterful whodunit weaves an intricate plot filled with nerve-rattling suspense, all leading up to the ultimate final twist!"

The World Premiere of
White Guy on the Bus
By Bruce Graham
Jan. 23-March 1, 2015

"Ray, a successful white business executive, rides the bus past the state penitentiary every Saturday. On his weekly ride he befriends Shatique, a young black woman putting herself through school and struggling to raise a son on her own. The threads that tie these disparate individuals together gradually unravel in a complex and explosive examination of race, intent, and racial biases from a candid and unexpected perspective."

The World Premiere of
Shining Lives: A Musical
Book & lyrics by Jessica Thebus
Music by Andre Pluess & Amanda Dehnert
Based on the play These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich
May 8–June 14

"It's 1922 and the young women of Chicago's Radium Dial Company are living a dream — earning good wages and beaming with new-found independence. After years of hand painting watch dials, the so-called 'harmless' radium that provided for so much joy leads to tragic results. Four courageous women upend their lives with a determination to change the future in this compelling new musical, the transcendent tale of heroic lives that glowed with promise."

Visit northlight.org for more information.