CHICAGO: The Hypocrites are amping up their musical theatre programming in the company’s 2015–16 season, the company’s 19th, with the Chicago premiere of Green Day’s American Idiot and ADDING MACHINE: A Musical. Returning artistic director Sean Graney will also remount his much-lauded 12-hour epic adaptation of 32 Greek tragedies All Our Tragic, which received multiple mentions on American Theatre‘s list of “Favorite Things” for 2014.
“Look at all these great plays slated for our 19th season! I am thrilled to return as artistic director of the Hypocrites, and for my first full season back, I have been working with our community to create a wonderful season for our patrons and artists,” Graney said in a statement.
Graney’s epic adaptation All Our Tragic kicks off the season over the summer. The 12-hour theatrical experience will include most of the original cast and will be directed by Graney.
The Chicago premiere of Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer’s American Idiot comes in the fall, in a production directed by Steve Wilson. Based on the Green Day album of the same name, the show will feature a cast including Luke Linsteadt as Johnny, Jay Cullen as Will, Alex Madda as Heather, Becca Brown as Extraordinary Girl, Drew Tildon as Whatsername, Steven Perkins as Favorite Son and Malic White as St. Jimmy.
Graney will don his playwriting cap for The 4th Graders Present an Unnamed Love-Suicide, on which he will collaborate with students from Senn Arts Magnet School. Joel Ewing and Mechelle Moe will codirect the production, which will also run in the fall.
For the holidays, the Hypocrites will produce the Ruffians‘ Burning Bluebeard, a critically acclaimed production about the Iroquois Theatre fire of 1903. The play, written by Jay Torrence and directed by outgoing Hypocrites artistic director Halena Kays, uses clowning techniques to make the true story simultaneously uplifting and heartbreaking. The play also received a mention on American’s Theatre‘s list of “Favorite Things” for 2014.
Also in the winter, actor/director Hans Fleischmann will reimagine (again) Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. Fleischmann originally staged his conception with Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co. in a production that went on to a run at Theater Wit. For the Hypocrites, he will create yet another reinvention of the classic work. Fleischmann himself will play Tom, with Joanne Dubach as Laura, Walter Briggs as the Gentleman Caller and Donna McGough as Amanda.
Finally, in the spring, the Hypocrites are bringing the Off-Broadway musical ADDING MACHINE: A Musical back to Chicago, where it originated. Geoff Button will direct the show, an adaptation of Elmer Rice’s play with music by Joshua Schmidt and book and lyrics by Schmidt and Jason Loewith.
Although none of the troupe’s signature Gilbert & Sullivan rethinks won’t play at home in Chicago this season, the Hypocrites will take the shows across the country, with H.M.S. Pinafore at Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Pirates of Penzance at Berkeley Rep and Olney Theatre Center, which will also have The Mikado.