[NOTE: EMBARGOED online til midnight Wed. into Thursday; in print on Thursday]
Headed to TimeLine: Rare Blitzstein Musical "Juno," Plus Hansberry and Kramer Classics
The 2013-2014 season at TimeLine Theater is taking shape.
As previously announced, its opening production will be a revival of Larry Kramer's landmark AIDS drama, The Normal Heart," starring David Cromer, and directed by Nick Bowling ("The History Boys," "33 Variations"), which will be staged at the company's "satellite" venue, Stage 773 at 1225 W. Belmont, which enables the company to accommodate its more than 3,300 subscribers.
But now comes more news about the lineup at its home base at 615 W. Wellington. Most notably it will include a rare revival of "Juno" (April 23 - July 27, 2014), the Marc Blitzstein-Joseph Stein musical that debuted on Broadway in 1959 but has never been seen in Chicago. Inspired by Irish dramatist Sean O'Casey's rousing play, "Juno and the Paycock," the show, to be directed by Bowling, is about the destitute Boyle family of Dublin which is caught up in the Irish War of Independence of the early 1920s. Musical direction will be by Doug Peck and Elizabeth Doran. Featured in the role of Juno Boyle, the indomitable matriarch, will be multiple Jeff Award-winning actress Rebecca Finnegan.
"Juno" will be the first musical to be staged by TimeLine since its hugely successful production of "Fiorello!" in 2006.
Planned as the season opener is a revival of "A Raisin in the Sun" (Aug. 20 - Nov. 17), Lorraine Hansberry's classic about race, real estate and roots, Chicago style. It will be directed by Ron OJ Parson, whose vivid work has been on view recently at Court Theatre and Writers' Theatre. A fourth show is still to be announced.
Meanwhile, on the "commercial front," TimeLine's world premiere hit production of "To Master the Art," about the life and times of Julia Child and her husband during their years in Paris in the 1050s, will be remounted at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut. Created by William Brown and Doug Frew, and directed by Brown, it is being produced by the Chicago Commercial Collective and presented by Broadway in Chicago, with performances beginning Sept. 10. "Mastering the Art" is NOT a part of TimeLine's subscription series.
A 4-admission FlexPass ($86-$198) for the TimeLine season is now on sale. For tickets and more information call (773) 281-8463 or visit www.timelinetheatre.com.