Chicago's Goodman Theatre has announced its 2023-24 season, which is set to include three world premieres and four Chicago premieres. Making its highly anticipated debut will be Female Troubles: A Period Piece, set to run June 25-August 4, 2024.
Featuring music by two-time Emmy nominee Curtis Moore (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and lyrics by two-time Tony nominee Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody, Bring It On), Female Troubles is a new musical comedy set in 19th century England written by Emmy winner Gabrielle Allan (Veep) and Jennifer Crittenden (Seinfeld). It follows the unmarried and pregnant Elinor Benton and Dabney, Elinor's maid, as she faces social ruin. With a group of friends in tow, Elinor takes a humor-filled carriage ride to London where she hopes infamous midwife Madame Restell will help her with her "female troubles."
Friends of the show's creators Bonnie Milligan and Ariana DeBose recently took to the studio to sing "A Woman Knows" from the the musical (watch it here). Female Troubles has been in development for several years, and had a concert presentation last year at Pennsylvania's Bucks County Playhouse, part of their sixth annual Oscar Hammerstein Festival.
Ahead of Female Troubles' debut, Goodman Theatre will present the world premieres of Highway Patrol and The Matchbox Magic Flute. Highway Patrol, part love story and part ghost story, will star Emmy winner Dana Delany. Using hundreds of tweets and DMs from Delany's own digital archives, Jen Silverman arranged and curated the text for this work from Delany, Silverman, Dane Laffrey, and Mike Donahue. Donahue will direct the work January 20-February 18, 2024.
Overlapping will be The Matchbox Magic Flute under the direction of Mary Zimmerman February 10-March 10, 2024. Zimmerman adapted the Mozart opera for a cast of 10 and an orchestra of five.
Making Chicago premieres will be Pearl Cleage's The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years directed by Lili-Anne Brown (September 16 – October 15); Christopher Llewyn Ramirez and Jeff Colangelo's Lucha Teotl presented by Goodman Theatre and Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (September 29-October 29); Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad directed by Booth (March 2-31, 2024); and Sanaz Toossi's English directed by Hamid Dehghani (May 10-June 9, 2024).
"Whether thinking about our country, our field, this theatre or the season ahead, the common denominator is paradigm shift,” said Booth in a statement. “The opportunity and responsibility of curating for a legacy institution in a time of radical shift comes down, for me, to interrogating point of view. To tell a familiar story from an untold perspective. To dive head-first into a polarizing topic via a subversive and deeply irreverent new musical.”
Rounding out the season will be a revival of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone directed by Chuck Smith (April 13–May 19, 2024), as well as the 46th annual A Christmas Carol (November 18–December 31) and the New Stages Festival this fall.
The upcoming season marks the inaugural offering from the regional theatre's new Artistic Director Susan V. Booth.