Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman’s revival of WONDERFUL TOWN – Leonard Bernstein’s classic musical that with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and book by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov, has been extended by popular demand at Goodman Theatre’s Albert Theatre until Oct. 23rd.
A whimsical love letter to Manhattan, WONDERFUL TOWN follows the adventure of sisters Eileen and Ruth, who leave Columbus, Ohio in search of success in the Big Apple. Lauren Molina, who appeared as Cunegonde in Zimmerman’s acclaimed production of Candide (2010/2011 Season), portrays the beautiful actress and hopeful romantic, Eileen; and breakout Chicago star Bri Sudia (Far From Heaven, Porchlight Music Theater) makes her Goodman debut as Ruth, an aspiring, romantically challenged journalist.
Joining Molina and Sudia in the 26-member cast are Chicago favorites Karl Hamilton as Robert Baker, the isolated editor of The Manhatter newspaper; Wade Elkins as Frank Lippencott and Steven Strafford as Chick Clark-two of Eileen’s love prospects and residents of the bohemian 1950s town; and Jordan Brown (Wreck), Amy J. Carle (Mrs. Wade), Matt DeCaro (Appopolous), Christina Hall (Violet), James Earl Jones II (Speedy Valenti), Kristin Villanueva (Helen) and George Andrew Wolff (Lonigan).
Ensemble members include Nathaniel Braga, Ariana Cappuccitti, Sherriese Hamilton, Aaron Holland, Mark David Kaplan, Tiffany Krause, Kent M. Lewis, Russell Mernagh, Jeff Parker, Jody Reynard, Todd Rhoades, Lainie Sakakura, Ian Saunders and Erica Stephan.
Under music director Doug Peck and associate music director/conductor Ben Johnson, the 18-member orchestra brings to life 20 of Bernstein’s songs-including “Ohio” and “One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man.” Chicago native and choreographer Alex Sanchez, whose work has been described as “spectacular-wildly ingenious and playful from start to finish” (Chicago Sun-Times), makes his Goodman debut. The creative team also includes Todd Rosenthal (sets), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), T.J. Gerckens (lights) and Ray Nardelli (sound).
For tickets and more information, visit GoodmanTheatre.org, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn).
What the critics are saying:
Chicago Sun-Times “Highly Recommends” WONDERFUL TOWN for its “fabulously eclectic, endlessly danceable music… knockout choreography… and applause inducing surprises.”
Time Out Chicago calls WONDERFUL TOWN “a musical love letter to a town that was probably never so wonderful as it’s depicted here.”
Theatermania says WONDERFUL TOWN is “a gem of a production that breathes new life into a twentieth-century classic.”
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.com, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.