See “A Steady Rain” on Broadway with Chicago Dramatists

More than 100 generous donors and friends will be joining Chicago Dramatists on Broadway for Resident Playwright Keith Huff’s A STEADY RAIN, starring Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman – and you can be one of them.

Although tickets for the show are virtually sold out (except for premium tickets at $375 per ticket) you’ll be able to attend the play AND a pre-show party for just $250.

The production exports a playwright (Keith Huff), whom Chicago Dramatists has nurtured for many years, to Broadway and shines a spotlight on Chicago and the other talented playwrights and plays developed here.  This upcoming benefit will go towards helping other upcoming playwrights being honed through the Dramatists’ programs.

Here’s the info:

Saturday, November 14, 2009
The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th Street
8:00 pm Curtain
Pre show Cocktail Party, PS 450, 5:15 – 7:15 pm

Limited Tickets Available at $250.  A  very limited number of prime seats are available at $500 each

For more information, contact Cynthia Frahm at or 312.633.0630 ext: 3#


Cynthia and Daniel

Development Director Cynthia Frahm with A Steady Rain star Daniel Craig

Read the rave reviews of A STEADY RAIN in Time Magazine, Variety, and USA Today,8599,1927540,00.html

Review: Chicago Dramatists’ “Lucinda’s Bed”

Many Beds in Lucinda’s Life


Chicago Dramatists present:

Lucinda’s Bed

By Mia McCullough
Directed by Jessi D. Hill
Thru November 8th (buy tickets)

reviewed by Timothy McGuire

The world premiere of Lucinda’s Bed by Mia McCullough is a dark tragic comedy that explores the anger in a girl who tries her whole life to be good, with no reward for her choices and no break from her relentless temptations. Confined by the expectations of others, Lucinda fights to identify herself and recognize her personal desires. She is constantly growing through her painful experiences and continuing to “sleep in the bed she made.” She questions the benefit of her choices and tiptoes on to the dirty lucindaportraitside of morality. As we travel through the different stages of Lucinda’s life we see the pain and conflicting emotions of a girl just trying to see if it is possible to do the right thing and be true to her self.

At nine years old, Lucinda (Elizabeth Laidlaw) is a pure child who has an innocent yet intimate friendship with a nice young boy Adam (Doug Mackechnie) who is kind, supportive and predictable. It is at this young age that the monster under Lucinda’s bed (Lucas Neff) introduces himself to her and her temptations begin. Throughout her life the monster visits Lucinda, challenging her automatic response to do the “right” thing and presents her with the possibility to follow her raw desires.

Mia McCullough tells an honest (even when exaggerated) portrayal of the horrifying hardships that a female may encounter while becoming a woman. Through the physical, emotional and mental conflicts that arise in Lucinda’s journey, McCullough tells a story about how much it takes out of a woman that constantly tries to love and please everyone. She shows the strength one gains from loving and caring for everyone around you, but also the toll that it takes on that person’s spirit.

Director Jessi D. Hill has smoothly strung together a long series of events covering a Lucinda’s lifetime. The quick transitions between scenes are creative, finding ways to enhance the sense of a time lapse. However, the overly consistent changes dragged on after a while even with the witty effects. Scenic designer Grant Sabin scatters outlandishly clever pieces through out the set, changing the room to exemplify the time in Lucinda’s life that each scene took place.

play3393 Lucinda lives through a painful sequence of events as she grows older, but the moments in between had me bent over laughing. Elizabeth Laidlaw connected with the audience, making Lucinda’s aging relatable. Laidlaw is sexually tantalizing on stage, as she spends a large portion of the show in her bra and panties.  But her ability to find the tragic depth in each moment she encounters, and cope with the hurdles in front of her with changing reactions due to her constantly evolving life experience, is what stands out in her performance.

Lucas Neff’s acting ability is put on display as he convincingly plays numerous characters. His charm effortlessly switches to immature goofiness, giving each character he plays a full range of personality. Meanwhile, Doug Mackechnie was at his best when playing an older Adam closer to his age. While over-embellishing his portrayal of Adam in his youth, he completely captured the innocence in his youthful character.

The Chicago Dramatists are hot right now – their world-premiere of Keith Huff’s A Steady Rain is currently running on Broadway, starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig -  and they continue to roll with Mia McCullough’s Lucinda’s Bed. This play provides deep insight into the weighty sorrow one feels after trying to live up expectations and move past its cruelty in the world before it sucks the life right out of us. Chicago Dramatists present what would be a dark drama with great humor and an overall entertaining experience. This tragedy is a comedic experience that will give you lots to talk about.

Rating: «««


Featuring: Associate Artist Doug MacKechnie, Elizabeth Laidlaw and Lucas Neff
Grant Sabin (Set Designer), Diane Fairchild (Lighting Designer) Nick Keenan (Sound Designer), Jenniffer Thusing (Props Designer and Stage Manager), and Kat Doebler (Costume Designer)

Review: Chicago Dramatists’ ‘Lucinda’s Bed”

Is “being good” all it’s cracked up to be?


Chicago Dramatists present:

Lucinda’s Bed

By Mia McCullough
Directed by Jessi D. Hill
Thru November 8th (buy tickets)

reviewed by Keith Ecker

Chicago Dramatist’s Lucinda’s Bed is a thorough character study of a woman striving to be good and her unrealized desires personified as the childhood monster that sleeps under her bed. The world premier play serves as a psychoanalytic narrative that dissects the self, forcing the title character to struggle between fulfilling the expectations of others and acting upon the very real wants that she secretly harbors within.

The story follows Lucinda (Elizabeth Laidlaw), beginning as a 9-year-old. It is at this early stage that she encounters the monster (Lucas Neff), a nonchalant, smooth-talking seducer who creeps out from under her bed in a pool of red light. It is here that the monster reveals he will be with Lucinda always and that he will never go away, foreshadowing the struggles to come.

Time passes and we see Lucinda go through various life milestones, from meeting her high school sweetheart to college to marriage to motherhood. Throughout these scenes, the monster makes regular appearances, shrouding himself as other characters, each representative of Lucinda’s suppressed desires. Meanwhile, her husband Adam (Doug MacKechnie), a man she herself pigeonholes as a “nice guy,” becomes increasingly frustrated with Lucinda’s erratic behavior, creating havoc within the marriage. Lucinda continues to unravel at the seams as she is perpetually torn between doing what she perceives to be good and what she truly desires. Added to her character’s complexity is the continued realization that being good isn’t very rewarding, while being true to one’s character—regardless of praise or condemnation—might actually be the best way to live one’s life.

Mia McCullough’s script could easily have fallen into the trap of parable, but thanks to her skillful writing, she has done a brilliant job creating real, multi-faceted characters that rise above any sort of archetypical cliché. In addition, she artfully interweaves laugh-out-loud comedic moments throughout, avoiding any feeling of melodrama that might arise from the series of unfortunate incidents that become Lucinda’s life (a scene where a pregnant, bed-ridden Lucinda screams for a popsicle had the audience howling).

Laidlaw brings the complex Lucinda to life, imbuing the character with a rich spectrum of emotions. Slowly and genuinely transforming a naïve little girl into a hardened ice queen is no easy feat. But Laidlaw pulls it off flawlessly, tying together all of Lucinda’s experiences and personality ticks convincingly.

Meanwhile, MacKechnie is believable as Lucinda’s modest and loving husband, but definitely excels most when portraying the character later in life. At times, his interpretation of a love-struck high schooler verges on cartoonish, detracting from the reality of the scenes. Neff has his work cut out for him portraying the various incarnations of the monster, including a chauvinistic college student, a perplexed plumber and a rather forward store clerk. As well executed as these manifestations are, there seems to be a spark lacking from his portrayal as the monster. You would think that passion personified would have more passion, but alas, Neff seems rather bored.

Director Jessi D. Hill artfully uses the simple staging, which entirely takes place within a bedroom, to create vivid and dramatic slice-of-life scenes. Sound effects, such as a ticking clock, are well placed to give a sense of time passing. Meanwhile her use of shifting wall art serves as insightful demarcations of time, both in the physical sense and in the sense of where the characters are in their lives.

Closing October 9th, there’s little time left to see this thought-provoking production.  Perhaps the play will be picked up and moved out East, as two other Chicago Dramatists plays have done: A Steady Rain is currently running on Broadway, while a 2002 production called The Liquid Moon was just optioned by the same producers.

Frightening and fatalistic, the thematic ideas within Lucinda’s Bed speak to all of us who strive to figure out what is good, what is right and whether the two aren’t always overlapping. Actors execute the play with realism while incorporating the fanciful in a compellingly written tale where monsters cry too. Do not miss this play.

During performance of “A Steady Rain”, Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig take on cell-phone user

Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig are costarring on Broadway in ‘A Steady Rain,’ (which was written and premiered at Chicago Dramatists). During one performance last week the two had to take on an audience member’s ringing cell phone.

The pair stayed in character as it rang not one time but two. Watch it for yourself:



Ticket sales for their play, by the way, have been huge.

Information on A Steady Rain here.

3-Day New York theatre trip offered by Heron PR

Noreen Heron & Associates has announced that they are offering their first ever Broadway tour of New York Oct 15 – 18 (3 nights.) From the scheduled shows, it looks like a great time will be had by all:

1. First off, they were able to score 40 tickets to THE hottest show on Broadway, A STEADY RAIN starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, and one of the producers, Ray Gaspard, is kind enough to share his time for a talk back session. 

2. You’ll then see the wildly popular musical BILLY ELLIOT, with a score by Elton John sweeping last year’s Tony Awards.

The package will also include dinner at Tavern on the Green, transportation between the airport, hotel, and restaurant, admission to a choice of six tourist attractions including the Empire State Building Observatory, Museum of the City of New York, the New York Water Taxi Statue of Liberty Express Cruise, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History or the top of the Rock Observation Deck. Shopping discounts and vouchers for coupon books are also included.

Rates for the Heron PR Broadway Tour are as follows: $1,999.00 for single occupancy, $1,799.00 for double occupancy, $1,599.00 for triple occupancy and $1,399.00 for quadruple occupancy.  Mention the code APPLE and save $100 when booking by August 30. For more information on this exclusive tour or to book your trip today, please contact Noreen Heron & Associates, Inc. at 773.969.5200.