Here’s the release from Northlight:
Northlight welcomes back Tony Award winners John Mahoney and Rondi Reed for its 35th Anniversary Season
Season to include The Marvelous Wonderettes, Souvenir, Awake and Sing, and A Life
Chicago, IL-Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans are proud to announce the 2009-2010 Northlight Season, which includes Roger Bean’s pop musical, The Marvelous Wonderettes; Stephen Temperley’s comedic musical tribute, Souvenir directed by David Bell; Clifford Odets’ Depression-era classic Awake and Sing directed by Amy Morton and featuring Rondi Reed and Mike Nussbaum; Hugh Leonard’s Irish drama, A Life directed by BJ Jones, starring John Mahoney; and another production to be announced (now updated to include Low Down Dirty Blues).
“A 35th Anniversary in the life of a theatre is a rare and exceptional thing, a celebration of artistry and integrity. But the lifeblood of a theatre exits on both sides of the footlights. It is our audience’s loyalty and passion for our work that has kept Northlight thriving for three and a half decades,” says BJ Jones. “To acknowledge their collaboration and in celebration of all these extraordinary years, we are inviting some of our dearest friends and some of our newest friends to bring their world class artistry to Northlight’s stage. John Mahoney, Mike Nussbaum, Rondi Reed, Amy Morton, and David Bell are just some of the stars of Chicago theatre who will remind us all why Northlight Theatre has been such a special place for 35 years.”
THE 2009-2010 NORTHLIGHT SEASON INCLUDES:
The Marvelous Wonderettes
Written and directed by Roger Bean
September 17 – October 25, 2009
Press opening: Saturday, September 26, 2009
When the entertainment doesn’t show up for the Class of 1958 prom, The Wonderettes step in to save the day. Between belting out 50’s and 60’s favorites like “It’s My Party,” “Mr. Sandman” and “Dream Lover,” the girls trade gossip about high school hijinks and teenage romance. Your toes will be tapping throughout this nostalgic pop musical, coming straight to Northlight as one of this season’s biggest off-Broadway hits!
Written by Stephen Temperley
Directed by David Bell
November 12 – December 20, 2009
Press opening: Saturday, November 21, 2009
The comedic and musical true story of Florence Foster-Jenkins: a New York socialite whose tin ear couldn’t keep her off the stage at Carnegie Hall. Seen through the eyes of her beloved accompanist, Souvenir is a touching and comic tribute to Ms. Jenkins’ sincerity, ambition, deep love of music and complete lack of talent, all of which brought a very unique joy to thousands.
Awake and Sing
Written by Clifford Odets
Directed by Amy Morton
Featuring Tony Award winner Rondi Reed and Mike Nussbaum
January 21 – February 28, 2010
Press opening: Saturday, January 30, 2010
In a cramped Bronx tenement during the Great Depression, a working-class Jewish family copes with financial hardship even as they dream of a brighter future. Bessie Berger’s fierce determination keeps her family afloat, whatever the cost. Gritty, passionate, funny and heartbreaking, Odets’ 1935 masterpiece (the Tony Award winner for best revival in 2006) beautifully captures both the hopes and the struggles of an unforgettable American family.
Written by Tony Award winner Hugh Leonard
Directed by BJ Jones
Featuring Tony Award winner John Mahoney
March 18 – April 25, 2010
Press opening: Saturday, March 27, 2010
In the sequel to the late Hugh Leonard’s most celebrated work, Da, John Mahoney stars in this evocative play about the evolution of friendships in a small Irish town. Desmond Drumm nears retirement and his memories come to life, reminding him of the triumphs and tragedies of his youth and prompting him to mend relationships with a childhood friend and the love interest that had charmed them both. But as scenes from the past shed light on the misunderstandings of today, Desmond must realize that his lifelong ability to use his great intellect and acerbic wit as a means of self-defense has come at a cost.
Low Down Dirty Blues
by Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman
Directed by Randal Myler
Music Direction by Dan Wheetman
May 27 – July 3, 2010
Press opening: Saturday, June 5, 2010
From the very birth of the Blues, great musicians have captivated audiences with their Dirty Blues—music filled with passion, soul and a love of life, as well as innuendo, insinuation and sly wit. Featuring the very best of the style made (in)famous by the likes of Mae West, Muddy Waters, Ma Rainey, Sophie Tucker, Howlin’ Wolf, Pearl Bailey and many others, Low Down Dirty Blues is a look at life and sex in all it’s fascinating and painful expressions, and a rousing, raucous musical event!
Creators’ notes/ About Low Down Dirty Blues:
The Blues has always had an “earthy” quality. It has been the voice of a people caught in economic and social situations that have kept one entire social sector of the country under the thumb of another sector through the “Jim Crow” laws and through narrow fields available for economic gain.
Out of this environment their voices found expression in the celebration of Life in all its facets. From the first blues songs (known as “jump ups,” “work songs” and “hollers”) to the music that was born in the Black Vaudeville shows, where singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith crafted a bawdy style of innuendo, the Blues has dealt with subjects other musical styles have either avoided because of social stigma, or overlooked due to lack of understanding or experience.
In the early 1920s women like Sippy Wallace, Ma Rainey, Victoria Spivy, Memphis Minnie and Alberta Hunter sang songs with a “ragtime” feel and a lyric explicit and real as the world they lived in. Men like Charlie Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Bo Carter and the Chatmans sang heartbreaking songs of a life bound in invisible chains of prejudice and poverty while also singing joyous songs of sexual freedom and their freedom of movement. Both topics, Low Down Dirty Blues.
All plays and artists are subject to change.
Curtain times are: Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.; Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Subscriptions to the 2009-10 Northlight Season are available through the box office, 9501 Skokie Boulevard in Skokie, by phone at (847) 673-6300 or online at www.northlight.org.
Subscriptions range in price from $99-$230. A limited number of season subscriptions for the Opening Night performances (also includes a reception with the cast) are available for $275, subject to availability.
Subscriptions go on sale to the public on May 2. With its wide range of ticket prices, discounted subscription packages and complimentary parking, Northlight remains of one of the best theatrical values in Chicagoland.
Northlight enters its 35th season in 2009-10 as one of the largest non-profit theatres in Chicago. Dedicated to enhancing the cultural life of the North Shore and Chicago, Northlight presents theatrical works which reflect and challenge the values and beliefs of the community it serves while continuing to grow its reputation for launching world premieres, new musicals, classic plays and compelling dramas.
Northlight has mounted more than 165 productions, including 33 world premieres, and garnered 140 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 27 Awards. As one of the area’s premier theatre companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality. For more information, visit www.northlight.org.
Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from The Allyn Foundation; the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; ComEd, An Exelon Company; Patrick and Anna M. Cudahy Fund; Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Northern Trust Charitable Trust; The Pauls Foundation; Polk Bros Foundation; Sanborn Family Foundation ; Dr. Scholl Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; the Skokie Fine Arts Commission; the Sullivan Family Foundation; and The Chicago Community Trust.