The Goodman Theatre of Chicago has shuffled its 2000-2001 season once again, exchanging one Rebecca Gilman play for another Rebecca Gilman play. Subscribers had been expecting to view Gilman's latest, The Great Baseball Strike of 1994, come June. That work has been shelved, however, in favor of Blue Surge by the same playwright.
Strike, which is about exactly what the title says it is, was also effected by an earlier scheduling change. Originally slated to bow in May, Strike was shifted to June when Wit was given the earlier slot. Goodman artistic director Robert Falls will helm Blue Surge; the late Goodman associate Michael Maggio had been set to direct Strike.
The punning title of Blue Surge (blue serge is a type of suit, once a staple of every man's closet) ostensibly refers to two underground policeman in the drama, who arrest two "massage parlor workers" in a small Midwestern town. During the interrogation of the suspects, however, the four discover they went to high school together and associated with the same group of people. The ensuing revelations cause one of the cops to question his role in the arrest.
No casting has been announced.
Gilman had her New York debut last summer when Spinning Into Butter opened to much fanfare at Lincoln Center Theater. Butter originated at the Goodman, as did Gilman's Boy Gets Girl, due to open at Manhattan Theatre Club on Feb. 20. The latter was to have been directed by Maggio. He is still listed as the production's director, but MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow is supervising the staging. Boy Gets Girl features the original Chicago cast. Falls directs the Goodman's current attraction, Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden.
The 2000-2001 Goodman schedule now runs as follows:
The Albert Ivar Goodman Theatre:
• As previously reported, the season got underway with August Wilson's latest, King Hedley II, a sequel of sorts to Seven Guitars, which filled the Albert Ivar Goodman Theatre, Nov. 30-Jan. 6, 2001, and will reach Broadway this spring.
• House by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Robert Falls, Jan. 26-March 4 (opening Feb. 5).
• James Baldwin's The Amen Corner, March 16-April 21 (opening March 26). Chuck Smith directs the 1954 work about Sister Margaret Alexander, who risks losing her Harlem church and her son when her vagabond, jazz musician husband returns home.
• Wit by Margaret Edson, directed by Steve Scott, May 11-June 16 (opening May 21).
• Blue Surge by Rebecca Gilman, directed by Robert Falls, June 29 Aug. 4 (July 9).
The Owen Bruner Goodman Theatre:
• Garden by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Robert Falls, Jan. 26-March 5.
• Regina Taylor's new adaptation of The Seagull, April 27-May 27 (opening May 7). Actress-playwright Taylor has relocated the drama to the historic Gullah Islands off the coast of modern-day South Carolina. The family is now African-American and Konstantin is a performance artist.
—By Robert Simonson