Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss, With Jenny Bacon, Mark L. Montgomery, Jeffrey Carlson, Opens at Goodman

News   Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss, With Jenny Bacon, Mark L. Montgomery, Jeffrey Carlson, Opens at Goodman
Jenny Bacon plays the leading lady at the center of Goodman Theatre's world-premiere production of Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss, billed as an offbeat fairy tale about theatrical intimacy, opening May 9 following previews from April 30. It runs through June 5 in Chicago.

Mark Montgomery and Jenny Bacon
Mark Montgomery and Jenny Bacon Photo by Liz Lauren

The Goodman commission by the MacArthur Grant recipient (In the Next Room, The Clean House, Eurydice) is directed by longtime collaborator Jessica Thebus. 

Playing the leading lady, named She, Jenny Bacon (In the Wake at The Public Theater and Ivo van Hove's New York productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and More Stately Mansions) returns to her native Chicago, where she has acted with Goodman, Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Lookingglass.

Mark L. Montgomery, who portrays He — the leading man and She's ex-lover — was seen on Broadway in The Seagull and Mamma Mia! and at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Popular Chicago actor Ross Lehman (The Tempest on Broadway) portrays Director, who helms the play within the play. Married to She is Husband, portrayed by Scott Jaeck, who was twice seen on the Goodman's stage this season in Thomas Bradshaw's Mary and The Seagull.

In his Goodman Theatre debut, Jeffrey Carlson ("All My Children," Broadway's The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia? and the title role of Edward II at Chicago Shakespeare Theater) portrays the dual roles of Kevin and Tyler. Erica Elam (The Trip to Bountiful at the Goodman, Orlando at Court Theatre) portrays He's girlfriend, Laurie. Also in her Goodman debut, Sarah Tolan-Mee (Chaste at Trapdoor Theater) portrays She's daughter, Angela.

According to Goodman notes, "When ex-lovers He and She are thrown together as romantic leads in a long-forgotten 1930s melodrama, they quickly lose touch with reality as the story onstage begins to follow them offstage. Stage Kiss is a hilarious, off-beat fairy tale about what happens when lovers share a stage kiss…or when actors share a real one."

The design team includes Todd Rosenthal (set), Linda Roethke (costumes), James Ingalls (lghting) and Andre Pluess (sound).

Stage Kiss marks Chicago native playwright Ruhl's third production at Goodman Theatre, following Passion Play: a cycle in three parts (2007) and the Thebus-directed The Clean House (2006). Thebus also helmed the Chicago productions of Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone (Steppenwolf, 2008); Eurydice (Victory Gardens, 2008); Late: A Cowboy Song (Piven Theatre Workshop, 2010); and the current Court Theatre production of Orlando (through April 10). 

Read's fall 2010 Brief Encounter interview with Ruhl.

For information, visit

Mark Montgomery, Jenny Bacon, Erica Elam and Scott Jaeck
Mark Montgomery, Jenny Bacon, Erica Elam and Scott Jaeck Photo by Liz Lauren
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