Evanston, IL's Next Theatre Company has announced its 1997-98 season line-up, which includes several world-premieres and a rarely-seen play attributed by some scholars to William Shakespeare.
The season opens with a world premiere co-production of El Paso Blue with Chicago's Teatro Vista, directed by Henry Godinez. Written by award-winning author Octavio Solis, El Paso Blue "is a modern Western with music." Variations on the Oedipal tragedies focus on an innocent Latino ex-convict, his wife and his father. Previews for El Paso Blue begin Sept. 19. The show opens Sept. 22 for a run through Oct. 18.
Starring in the show are Teatro Vista artistic director Eddie Torres (as the convict) opposite Next artistic director Steve Pickering (as the con's buddy -- who has a metal plate in his head). Other performers include Gustavo Mellado, Sandra Marquez and Amy Landecker. Incidental music for the show was composed by Michael "Hawkeye" Herman. John Kamys serves as music director.
Designing El Paso Blue are Rebecca Hamlin (set), Claudia Boddy (costumes), Robert Neuhaus (sound) and David Gipson (lighting).
Director Godinez has also worked at IL's Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Repertory. Author Solis' previous plays include Santos & Santos, Prospect, Man Of The Flesh. *
After El Paso's run, Tom Szentgyorgyi debuts his latest play Snow, under the direction of associate artistic director Sarah Tucker. Snow is a social commentary written with humor about an older married couple stranded in snowy western mountains, forced to learn to communicate with each other again. Previews Nov. 14 and opens Nov. 18, running through Dec. 13.
A third world-premiere is the adaptation of William Gibson's Burning Chrome by Steve Pickering and Charley Sherman, directed by Pickering. Based on a collection of short stories published under the same title, Burning Chrome is set in a future where "simulated stimulation" has replaced the human touch and face-to-face conversation is practically unheard of. Previews Feb. 6 and opens Feb. 9, running through March 7.
Cardenio or, The Second Maiden's Tragedy, said to be written by Shakespeare, closes Next's season. The play is billed as written by Shakespeare and John Fletcher, but the authenticity of this claim has been subject to much debate. The play follows the usurping of the throne of the rightful king by a tyrant who has his eyes on the king's betrothed. Directed by Kate Buckley. Previews April 3 and opens April 6, running through May 2.
For subscription or ticket information call (847) 475-1875.