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Stephen Schellhardt. Photo by Brandon Dahlquist.
Incoming Artistic Director Stephen Schellhardt has announced BoHo Theatre’s lineup for its 15th anniversary season, which will include the Chicago premiere of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s bluegrass musical BRIGHT STAR.
“These three shows are stories that need to be told now, by BoHo,” Schellhardt said. “Experiencing these shows in an intimate space, which is one of BoHo’s signature strengths, will help illuminate the central stories and human relationships.” BRIGHT STAR opened on Broadway in the 2016 season, and despite critical acclaim, was only able to run 109 performances. A 9-city tour launched last fall, and is about to wrap up having avoided Chicago. The season will continue with THE RIVER, the thriller play from Jez Butterworth which starred Hugh Jackman on Broadway in 2014. The season closes with Andrew Lippa and John August’s screen-to-stage adaptation of BIG FISH, about tall-tale-teller Edward Bloom.
The company will perform the entirety of their 2019 season at the Greenhouse Theater Center, where they are now a resident company.
BoHo’s 2019 Season (from the press release):
Music, lyrics, and book by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
Spring 2019 (dates TBA) at the Greenhouse Theater Center
BoHo is proud to bring to Chicago this new work from Grammy, Emmy, and Academy Award-winner Steve Martin and Grammy Award-winner Edie Brickell. Inspired by a real event, BRIGHT STAR tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ‘40s. The story follows young writer Billy Cane, recently returned from World War II, and Alice Murphy, the editor who takes a chance on him. As Billy mines his childhood home for engaging stories, Alice explores her own small-town past. The secrets they uncover lead them to a startling and heart-warming connection.
BRIGHT STAR was nominated for five Tony Awards and called “a shining achievement” by The New York Times. It received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music and Outer Critics Circles Awards for Outstanding New Broadway Musical and Outstanding Score.
By Jez Butterworth
Summer 2019 (dates TBA) at the Greenhouse Theater Center
BoHo is excited to introduce Chicago to THE RIVER, Jez Butterworth’s haunting and complex new play that asks: when we find someone new, are we really just trying to recapture someone we once lost? On a moonless night in August when the sea trout are ready to run, a man brings his new girlfriend to the remote family cabin where he has come for fly-fishing since he was a boy. But she’s not the only woman he has brought here—or indeed the last. Part thriller, part ghost story, this haunting play is a poignant tale of love, loss, and patterns of pain acknowledged but nonetheless unbroken. THE RIVER was called “a magnetically eerie, luminously beautiful psychodrama” by Time Out London.
Music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa; Book by John August
Fall 2019 (dates TBA)
Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, BIG FISH tells the larger-than-life tale of Edward Bloom, a man who leads an extraordinary life—according to the stories he tells his son, Will. But Will, who is getting married and expecting a child of his own, doesn’t think there’s any truth to the extravagant tales his father tells about meeting witches, kissing mermaids or joining the circus. He doesn’t even believe the story of how his father proposed to his mother, Sandra, in a field full of daffodils. But when Edward’s health begins to decline, Will must decide whether to accept his father’s wild stories as fact or risk losing him completely. BIG FISH is a heartfelt, powerful, and truly magical musical about fathers, sons, and the stories that we use to define our identities.