Goodman announces cast for “Ain’t Misbehavin”

Chicago's Goodman Theatre presents 'Ain't Misbehavin' in their main theatre during the month of July 2008.The Goodman Theatre has just announced the casting for there summer production of Ain’s Misbehavin’, directed by Chuck Smith. The cast will include five of Chicago’s foremost musical theatre names – E. Faye Butler (Purlie), John Steven Crowley (Crowns), Alexis Rogers (Black Nativity), Parrish Collier and Lina Kernan.  Additionally, Linda Buchanan has been hired as set designer, who reportedly will transform the 856-seat Albert Ivar Goodman Theatre into a grandiose period concert hall, featuring an eight-piece band led by music director Malcolm Ruhl. 

The band will include Peter Benson (piano), Larry Bowen (trumpet), Y.L. Douglas (drums) Anderson Edwards (bass), T.S. Galoway (trombone), Jarrard Harris (tenor sax/clarinet), Stephen Leinheiser (alto sax/clarinet) and Malcolm Ruhl (guitar and conductor).

The design team and additional artists for Ain’t Misbehavin’ include Birgit Rattenborg Wise (costumes), Robert Christen (lighting), Josh Horvath and Ray Nardelli (sound) and Lisa Willingham-Johnson (choreographer). 

Ain’t Misbehavin’ opened first as a cabaret act, quickly followed by a Broadway run of over 1,600 performances and numerous awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical. 

From the Goodman Theatre:

“Born in Harlem in 1904, Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller remains one of the most influential stride piano players, having written more than 450 songs and recorded over 500 sides during his career. He wrote his first composition at age 14, and became a professional pianist the very next year – playing with legendary artists such as Fletcher Henderson and Jack Teagarden, Alberta Hunter and Bessie Smith. He became famous performing a combination of his own music and music written by others. After Waller’s death in 1943, his influence waned and his legacy faded into the historical background for over three decades. In 1978, theatre artists Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr., generated renewed attention and interest in Waller with their creation Ain’t Misbehavin’, through which they paid tribute to Waller’s contributions to American music and highlighted the best aspects of the Harlem nightclub revues of the 1920s and ’30s.”

Ain’s Misbehavin’ will run this summer at Goodman’s Albert Ivar Theatre from June 21st through July 27th.   For more information, go to Goodman’s website.

(Hat tip to Playbill.com)

It’s a black (casting) thing

In 2004, the Goodman Theatre presented an amazing all-black cast production of “Proof”.  Looks like Broadway is finally playing catch-up, including an all-black “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”.  Hey Broadway – get with it!

Goodman Theatre announces “Talking Pictures” cast

Goodman Theatre has announced their cast for the upcoming Horton Foote play Talking Pictures, which will play in rotation with two other Foote plays – Blind Date and The Actor.  The play will be directed by Henry Wishcamper, and will run from January 29th through March 2nd.

Theatre Thursday – “Shining City” at the Goodman

“Shining City” at the Goodman TheatreThe League of Chicago Theatre’s “Theater Thursdays” is really a great program, and is worth checking out.  Every Thursday the League offers specially-priced tickets to one of Chicago’s popular plays, along with cocktails and appetizers before or after the show, PLUS the chance to hang out with the artists and/or take a tour of backstage, etc.  

This week’s choice pick is “Shining City” at the Goodman Theatre, written by playwright Conor McPherson and directed by Robert Falls.  As the League’s website describes it:

In a Dublin psychiatrist’s office, a distraught man reveals a fantastical happening: the recent sighting of the ghost of his newly deceased wife. Thus begins this haunting, mysterious tale about two people’s searches for love, meaning and their places in the world.

For more information on how to get tickets (tickets go fast!) and make reservations, you’ll need to go to the League of Chicago Theatre’s website:   www.chicagoplays.com    While at their website, you might want to sign up for ChicagoplaysExtra, and receive periodic emails with information on shows, events and special offers tailored to your interests.

Henry Godinez named as Northwestern University artistic director

Henry Godinez, celebrated playwright and resident artistic director at the Goodman Theatre, has just been named as the artistic director of NU’s Theatre and Interpretation Center on the Evanston Campus.  Although this is a new position for Godinez, he is more-than-familiar with Northwestern, as he has held a position of assiciate professor there for 2 years. 

Congrats are in order for Godinez’s new position. And with his Henry Godinez’s new play The Cook opening this week at the Goodman, can anyone say busy man????

Godinez also curates the Goodman’s biennial Latino Theatre Festival and has produced plays for the Chicago Children’s Theatre as well as Teatro Vista Theatre.