OAK BROOK, IL — First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83), known for bringinghigh quality performances of Shakespeare and other classics to the Chicagoland stage, announces its 2012-2013 season. The season begins with an the return of the acclaimed production THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE: A LOVE STORY, an original play by Executive Director David Rice, previewing September 26, opening September 29 and running through November 4, 2012. The effervescent comedyJEEVES TAKES A BOW previews January 30, opens February 1 and runs through March 3, 2013; the quirky mystery UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL previews March 27, opens March 30 and runs through April 28, 2013; and the World Premiere of SHAKESPEARE'S CYMBELINE: A FOLK TALE WITH MUSIC, adapted by Rice, previews June 19, opens June 22 and runs through July 21, 2013.
THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLEN POE: A LOVE STORY is a riveting exploration of the life and death, love and heartbreak of one of the most prolific writers of all time. Poe's macabre and melancholic tales and poems come to life in this mesmerizing play, called "A smart and heartfelt journey!" (The Chicago Tribune) and "A masterful take on a master's work!" (The Daily Herald). Poe and his wife, Virginia, guide the audience through historic Mayslake Hall, taking them from the garrets to the dungeons and deep into the madness of Edgar Allan Poe. This original work by First Folio Executive Director David Rice is based on the life and writings of the famed author and received a Jeff Award nomination for New Adaptation in 2007. THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLEN POE: A LOVE STORY will be directed by Michael Goldberg (Director of First Folio's Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night's Dream) and stars Larry Neumann, Jr., Diane Mair, and Robert Allan Smith. The production begins previews September 26, opens September 29 and runs through November 4, 2012.
British upper crust meets the New York mob in the witty new play JEEVES TAKES A BOW. Everyone's favorite hapless hero, Bertie Wooster, embarks on an American adventure armed only with his handsome fortune, his talent for trouble, and his remarkable manservant, Jeeves. In less than a New York minute, Bertie finds himself knee-deep in troubles with vengeful gangsters, chorus girls, and a new Broadway musical. "The return of Jeeves and Bertie is as welcome as a reunion with old friends!" said The Daily Herald. The Chicago Sun-Times raved, "For riotous, light-hearted comedy, Jeeves is hard to beat!"JEEVES TAKES A BOW is the third installment of Margaret Raether's adaptations of the stories of P.G. Wodehouse. The production will be directed by Jeff Award nominee Alison C. Vesely (First Folio's A Moon for the Misbegotten). The cast of First Folio's 2009 production Jeeves in Bloom will reprise their roles inJEEVES TAKES A BOW, starring Jim McCance as "Jeeves" and Christian Gray as "Bertie," as well as Kevin McKillip, Melanie Keller, and Lydia Berger Gray. JEEVES TAKES A BOW previews January 30, opens February 1 and runs through March 3, 2013.
UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL was named one of the Top Ten Plays of the Year by Time Out New Yorkwhen it opened in 2001, and has had successful runs in Ireland, London's West End, and Canada. When a Dutch librarian opens a book returned 113 years overdue, she finds a ticket for a Chinese laundry in London. Her curiosity compels her to redeem the ticket for a pair of abandoned trousers, which contain another clue that leads her on an adventurous journey around the world and into surprising revelations of a long-forgotten past, where she ultimately discovers what can only be described as a miracle. The Chicago Tribune raved that UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL is "Fascinating and picaresque!" and The New York Times said "There is something innately compelling in this tale of an unlikely discoverer of a secret thread who is instinctively moved to pull it and pursue the consequent unraveling." UNDERNEATH THE LINTELis by Emmy Award-winner Glen Berger, who recently co-wrote the book for the musical adaptation ofSpider-Man on Broadway. The production will be directed by Alison C. Vesely and previews March 27, opens March 30 and runs through April 28, 2013.
SHAKESPEARE'S CYMBELINE: A FOLK TALE WITH MUSIC, a powerful tale of love and betrayal adapted by David Rice, Music and Lyrics by David Rice and Michael Keefe, is First Folio's "Shakespeare Under the Stars" production. Falsely accused of betraying her lover, Imogen must flee to the hills to escape her death. Imogen disguises herself as a man and with the help of the shepherd Belarius and his two sons, she must prove her honesty and chastity, restore her good name, and defeat her evil stepmother. This wondrous Shakespearean folk tale has been moved to Civil War Appalachia and set to music in this reimagining of the timeless story. The production will appear on the outdoor main stage situated on the scenic slopes of the historic Mayslake Peabody Estate and guests are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy "Shakespeare Under the Stars." SHAKESPEARE'S CYMBELINE: A FOLK TALE WITH MUSIC previews June 19, opens June 22 and runs through July 21, 2013.
First Folio Theatre is entering its 16th season of bringing high-quality performances of Shakespeare and other classics to the stage. During that time, the theater has expanded from an annual summer production to a year-round operation with three separate and distinct stages at the historic Mayslake Peabody Estate. The Shakespeare Book of Lists names First Folio Theatre one of the "150 Great Places to See a Shakespeare Play." The Chicago Tribune raved that their "Shakespeare Under the Stars" summer series"offers something Navy Pier can't...plenty of greenery, gentle breezes and the chance to stretch out on a blanket with family and friends while being transported to Shakespeare's otherworldly romance."šAll performances take place at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, located at 1717 W 31st St., off Rt. 83, in Oak Brook. First Folio is easy to get to from either the East-West Tollway (I-88) or the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Free parking is available on the grounds. Preview tickets are $22. Regular priced tickets are $32 Wednesdays and Thursdays (seniors and students are $26), and $37 on Fridays through Sundays (seniors and students are $30). Three and four show subscriptions are available for $57-$105 (subscribers will receive $5 off each subscription if they are purchased by August 15, 2012). Season subscriptions and individual tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 630.986.8067 or online atwww.firstfolio.org .