Davi, Yazbeck, Mathis, Jones and More Sweeten Goodman Animal Crackers; Carrafa Choreographs

News   Davi, Yazbeck, Mathis, Jones and More Sweeten Goodman Animal Crackers; Carrafa Choreographs
Broadway's Tony Yazbeck, Jonathan Brody, Mara Davi, Stanley Wayne Mathis and Chicago favorites Molly Brennan and Joey Slotnick are among performers in Goodman Theatre's upcoming revival of Animal Crackers, the musical that was a vehicle for the four Marx Brothers.
Mara Davi
Mara Davi

Henry Wishcamper directs the Chicago production, with choreography by Tony Award nominee John Carrafa (Into the Woods, Urinetown). Performances will play Sept. 18-Oct. 25 in the Goodman's Albert Theatre. Opening is Sept. 28.

Animal Crackers (1928) is written by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, with music and lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. Its film version is considered a comedy classic.

In Animal Crackers, according to Goodman, "chaos ensues at the estate of Mrs. Rittenhouse when a celebrated sculpture is stolen during a party honoring the African explorer Captain Spaulding. A series of madcap Marx Brothers antics follows as the guests set out to find the burglar."

The cast of Animal Crackers includes Joey Slotnick (of Lookingglass' recent Our Town) as Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding, the Groucho Marx role; Jeff Award-winning comic actress Molly Brennan as The Professor, Harpo Marx's role; Jonathan Brody (Titanic, Sally Marr…and her escorts) as Emanuel Ravelli, Chico Marx's role; Ed Kross (an American Theater Co. veteran) as Horatio Jamison, Zeppo Marx's role; Ora Jones (Goodman's The Good Person of Setzuan, Proof and Marvin's Room) as Mrs. Rittenhouse; Jessie Mueller (Bowery Boys at Marriott Theatre) as Grace Carpenter; Tony Yazbeck (Broadway's A Chorus Line) as Wally Winston; Mara Davi (Broadway's A Chorus Line, The Drowsy Chaperone) as Arabella Rittenhouse and Stanley Wayne Mathis (Broadway's Kiss Me, Kate and Wonderful Town) as Hives.

The show's "clowning director" is Paul Kalina (500 Clown's Elephant Deal and Macbeth) and music director Doug Peck (Court Theatre's Carousel; Caroline, or Change). The creative team for Animal Crackers is completed by set designer Robin Vest (Playwrights Horizons' Pen); costume designer Jenny Mannis (Atlantic Theatre's Port Authority; Playwrights Horizons' Drunken City); lighting designer Matthew Richards (The Old Globe Theatre's The Women; Manhattan Class Company's Grace) and sound designer Richard Woodbury (Goodman Theatre's King Lear, Broadway's Desire Under the Elms).

Tickets are $25–$76 and go on sale Aug. 14 at (312) 443-3800 or visit GoodmanTheatre.org.


Production Sponsors for Animal Crackers include Abbott, Mayer Brown LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Goodman Theatre's Women's Board.

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