Court Theatre in Hyde Park has announced its 2013-2014 season (also its fifty-ninth), which notably features the Chicago premiere of 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner “Water By The Spoonful” by Quiara Alegria Hudes.
Beginning on September 5 and playing through October 6, 2013 is Katori Hall’s Olivier Award-winning “The Mountaintop.” The play has been a regional hit since its Broadway premiere in 2011 starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. That production got a mixed reception from critics, but the text — one I consider to be very strong — was likely muddled by ill-fitting celebrity casting and the imposing size of its Broadway house, the Bernard Jacobs Theatre. Court’s intimacy is much closer to “The Mountaintop”‘s original acclaimed home in London, Theatre503, which has a capacity of about sixty seats. Ron OJ Parson directs Court’s production.
From November 13 to December 8, 2013 is a remount of Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare’s “An Iliad,” once again starring Timothy Edward Kane whose previous turn brought him a Jeff Award for Best Solo Performance. Charles Newell again directs.
Next, from January 9 to February 9, 2014, is August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars,” the 1940s, blues-infused section of his Pittsburgh Cycle, also directed by Parson.
“Water By The Spoonful,” the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner, receives its Chicago premiere from March 6 to April 6, 2014. The middle play of Hudes’ Elliot Trilogy, Chicago has previously seen the first work, “Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue” in a Rivendell/Teatro Vista collaboration in the Steppenwolf Garage in 2007, and The Goodman Theatre stages the world premiere of the final episode, “The Happiest Song Plays Last” later this month. Henry Godinez, a Goodman artistic associate and curator of their Latino Theatre Festival, will direct “Water By The Spoonful” at Court.
Capping off the 2013-14 season is David Henry Hwang’s contemporary take on Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly,” “M. Butterfly.” Newell will direct the production, which runs from May 8 to June 8, 2014. Visit www.courttheatre.org for more information. (Johnny Oleksinski)