Pictured: The opening night cast of SOUTHERN GOTHIC. (l-r) Paul Fagen, Brianna Borger, Christine Mayland Perkins, Peter Ash, Ariel Richardson, Brian McCaskill, Michael McKeough and Sarah Grant. Photo by Michael Brosilow.
PerformInk has learned that Windy City Playhouse has all-but locked in a move of its hit immersive production of SOUTHERN GOTHIC to the South Loop for an open-ended run after multiple extensions on Irving Park road conclude this fall.
The theater plans to close the show as scheduled December 9 and move it to a 100-year-old exposed brick and beam warehouse building on Michigan Avenue south of Cermak (near McCormick Place). The re-opening is slated for just after the new year.
The run will be open-ended (meaning there it will continue to play as long as it is financially viable), but there’s no word yet on whether there will be any change in its scale. Currently, performances are limited to 28 audience members per night. In fact, a press representative for the theater declined to comment, likely because some of the details are still being ironed out. Transfers of hit productions can be quite complicated, and that’s compounded here by the task of opening a new venue. The City of Chicago’s licensing process can take time, especially if everything isn’t perfectly in order upon the first round of inspections.
At SOUTHERN GOTHIC, audience members are part of a cocktail party in 1960s Ashford, Georgia — complete with drinks and bites — where four couples come together to celebrate a 40th birthday. Written by Leslie Liautaud and directed by David H. Bell, the production is of an experiential type rarely seen in Chicago. As the evening progresses, celebration leads to disaster as relationships are heavily tested. Our Elizabeth Ellis had high praise for Bell, his actors, and the production design in her Critic’s Pick review.