2020-2021 Season

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Be Here Now 

by Deborah Zoe Laufer
Directed by Courtney O’Connor

A romantic comedy in which two damaged souls ask themselves how much they’re willing to risk for love and meaning.

“Transformative and infinitely entertaining, Be Here Now is a witty comedy, romance, and tragedy rolled into one. It is a brilliantly perceptive take on the meaning of life and happiness in today’s world.”
— Around the Town, Chicago

“Not only dives deep into what why and how a person achieves happiness, but manages to do it with heart and humor.”
— Splash Magazine

Bari’s always been a bit of an angry, depressed misanthrope. Losing her job teaching nihilism and being forced to work at the local fulfillment center in her rural hometown in upstate New York has sent her into despair. But lately her recurring headaches manifest bizarre, ecstatic, almost religious experiences, and they’re changing her entire view of life. She’s in love! She’s almost…happy! When she finds out they’re also killing her, she must decide whether it’s better to live a short, joyful life, or risk a lifetime of misery. And she must also ask herself…what’s it all for anyway?

Fabulation Or, The Re-Education of Undine

by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Dawn M. Simmons

From two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage (Intimate Apparel, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Sweat) comes a riches-to-rags comedy about a high-powered African-American publicist who stumbles down the social ladder after her husband steals her hard-earned fortune. 

A co-production with the Front Porch Arts Collective

“Four Stars!  A delectable treat!”
Time Out New York

“Delightful and very funny, delivering sharp observations about social and racial identity.”
The Hollywood Reporter

“A self-made woman bumps roughly down the social ladder in this lively, loose-limbed, satiric fable. Clever and consistently entertaining, stocked with funny set pieces.”

Fabulation or, the Re-Education of Undine is a comeuppance tale with a comic twist. High-powered business woman Undine Barnes Calles’ husband suddenly disappears after embezzling all of her money. Pregnant and on the brink of social and financial ruin, Undine retreats to her childhood home in Brooklyn’s Walt Whitman projects, only to discover that she must cope with a challenging new reality. Undine learns to transform her setbacks into small victories in the battle to reaffirm her right to be. Featuring “punchy social insights and the firecracker snap of unexpected humor” (The New York Times), Fabulation reveals what can happen when we rediscover our roots.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder 

Book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman,
Music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak
Directed by Spiro Veloudos
Choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Music Direction and Piano by Matthew Stern

This Tony Award-winning Best Musical follows the hilarious adventures of Monty Navarro, eighth in line for an earldom in the lofty D’Ysquith family, as he sets out to speed up the line of succession by using a great deal of charm…and a dash of murder. Of course, all will be worth it if he can slay his way into Highhurst Castle. And what of love? Because murder isn’t the only thing on Monty’s mind.

“Please give a hearty welcome to Monty Navarro, the conniving killer who helps turn murder most foul into entertainment most merry.  Delightful!”
NY Times

“Thoroughly delightful and uproarious! Quite simply, it’s a bloody good time!”
 Entertainment Weekly

“Witty and adorably wicked!”

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder is the hilarious musical confection that won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical, playing on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre from November, 2013 through January, 2016.  It is based on the 1907 novel Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal by Roy Horniman. The novel was also the source for the 1949 British film starring Alec Guiness, Kind Hearts and Coronets.

Set in London in 1907, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder centers on Monty Navarro, a penniless clerk who is informed after the death of his mother that he is ninth in line to inherit the earldom of Highhurst, controlled by the wealthy D’Ysquith banking family. After the imperious ruling Lord dismisses Monty’s claim of being a relative, the eight D’Ysquiths ahead of young Mr. Navarro begin dying in natural and not-so-natural ways. (A single actor plays all the not-so-nice D’Ysquiths, adding to the merriment.) Meanwhile, Monty is trying to woo money-minded Sibella Hallward —until he finds himself drawn to young Phoebe D’Ysquith. How will all these convoluted storylines come together?  And will Monty inherit Highhurst Castle?

Fires in the Mirror 

by Anna Deavere Smith
Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian

Actor Maurice Emmanuel Parent animates 26 characters in Anna Deavere Smith’s epic play, helping us to understand the African-American and Jewish frissons leading to the 1991 Crown Heights riots.

“Turns headlines into pure drama.”
—NY Daily News.

Fires in the Mirror is, quite simply, the most compelling and sophisticated view of urban racial and class conflict that one could hope to encounter.  Spectacular further proof that the American theater is rising to illuminate these rancorous times with a vitality that may be equaled but is certainly not surpassed by any of our other native arts.”
—NY Times.

Following the deaths of a Black American boy and a young Orthodox Jewish scholar in the summer of 1991, underlying racial tensions in the nestled community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn erupted into civil outbreak. The ensuing riots that wracked the neighborhood’s previous atmosphere of tolerance for its divergent cultures made national headlines and pointed to the growing friction in racial and cultural relations across America.  Fires in the Mirror was Anna Deavere Smith’s groundbreaking response. Drawn verbatim from a series of over fifty interviews with Crown Heights’ residents, politicians, activists, religious leaders, gang members, street dwellers, victims, and perpetrators alike, Smith has created a theatrical event distilling the lives and voices of twenty-six of the incident’s survivors into a visionary amalgam, the import of which touches upon every American regardless of race, color, or beliefs. As much provocation as it is exploration, Fires in the Mirror is a tour de force for brilliant actor and Lyric Stage favorite Maurice Emmanuel Parent.

The Book of Will 

by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Courtney O’Connor

In the wake of Shakespeare’s death, his company of actors unite to preserve the plays they performed, narrowly rescuing the iconic playwright from obscurity. A love letter to Shakespeare, the power of art, and the stage.

“Nobody ever has really answered that question, “How did [Shakespeare] know these things so young?,” but here is a play that points out that unless someone had saved what he knew, we’d all be even more ignorant about human nature than we currently seem.  Humorous, entertaining, and irreverent!”
Chicago Tribune

“Without Lauren Gunderson’s funny, profoundly heartfelt, and historically-based new drama, the world might’ve been ignorant of the trials and tribulations that went into the publication of The First Folio. This play is a Valentine aimed at every theatre lover and Shakespeare aficionado.”
Chicago Theatre Review

The Book of Will unequivocally announces Gunderson as a playwright with whom to be reckoned. It is, quite frankly, one of the best plays I have ever seen. It will bring tears of both laughter and sorrow to all but the most jaded audience member’s eyes. It is, in a word, a triumph.”
— Boulder Weekly (CO)

The King’s Men are getting the band back together. The goal: to gather the Bard’s scattered masterpieces and bind them to each other, and to history. It’s a grand feat, to be sure. Especially for a community of actors who may know all the ins and outs of iambic pentameter, but next to nothing about binding books. Even so, they undertake their mission with pluck and wit and hearts full of joy. It’s a theatrical, beat-the-clock race to save a legacy, offering snippets of some of Shakespeare’s greatest hits spoken by your favorite players.

All My Sons 

by Arthur Miller
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw

A young couple is kept apart by the ghosts of family and the sins of a father. A story of lies, greed, love, and loss.

“At a time of flux and fakery when lies masquerade as truth, we find reassurance in Miller’s moral rigour. A tribute to the enduring power of Miller’s appeal to our collective conscience.”
—The Guardian

“Still packs a wallop! There are plenty of secrets, resentments, and disillusionments ahead, poised to rip this sunny Middle Americana facade to shreds.   Miller reveals a dark, disturbing strata that stretches beyond one family, into a neighborhood and out into the country.”

How far would a man go to protect his family, his interests, and his legacy? All My Sons tells the story of Joe Keller, a successful, middle-aged, self-made man who has done a terrible and tragic thing: he framed his business partner for a crime and engineered his own exoneration. Now, as his son is about to marry the partner’s daughter, the affair is revisited, and his lie of a life is unraveled. Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman, The Crucible) reveals a post-war American family in a tragic downfall of lies, greed, love, and loss, and demands its audience examine their own social responsibilities to all the sons of American wars.

Legally Blonde 

Book by Heather Hach
Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin
Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture
Directed by Leigh Barrett

In this vibrant musical, Elle Woods proves that blonde is a state of mind, as she accomplishes much more than anyone – herself included – thought possible.

“A bright testimony to the power of women and the importance of self-love. Leaving a show happier than you were coming in is a wonderful thing!”
— Broadway World

“While Legally Blonde might overall be a feel-good show, that doesn’t stop the musical from focusing on what’s important: ‘Being true to yourself never goes out of style.’ Delightful and empowering for the next generation!”
— Chicago Parent

Winner of the Olivier Award for Best Musical

Based on the adored Reese Witherspoon movie, Legally Blonde follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. Elle appears to have it all. Her life is turned upside down when her boyfriend Warner dumps her so he can attend Harvard Law. Determined to get him back, Elle ingeniously charms her way into the prestigious law school. While there, she struggles with peers, professors, and her ex. With the support of some new friends, though, Elle quickly realizes her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world.

* Season is subject to change

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