The world premiere City Lit adaptation of Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, adapted and directed by Paul Edwards and the third production of City Lit Theater's 2012-2013 season, will begin previews at City Lit Theater on Friday, February 22, 2013 and open for the press on Tuesday, February 26. The production runs through Saturday, March 30, 2013.
Peyton Place, set in a small and seemingly respectable New England town, entwines the stories of three women coming to terms with their sexual identities in an environment of repression: the beautiful and emotionally distant Constance MacKenzie, her sensitive daughter Allison, and Allison's best friend Selena Cross, a poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks.
Named by the New York Public Library in 1995 as one of "The Books of the Century," Peyton Place was widely banned upon its publication - and not only in places where that might be expected, like Boston and Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was the first novel ever banned from the entire state of Rhode Island, and Canada banned its importation into that country under a tariff provision that forbade importing books "of an indecent or immoral character."
Each banning, of course, only helped sales; Peyton Place sold 60,000 copies in its first ten days in print and went on to sell 12 million copies, one for every four and a half households that were in America at the end of the 1950s.
Asked by the New York Times Magazine in 1999 to contribute a book to its online time capsule of the twentieth century, filmmaker John Waters named Peyton Place, calling it "the first dirty book the baby-boom generation ever read; the shocker they never got over."
The film version was the second-highest grossing film of 1958; Metalious hated it for its sanitized screenplay. She had drunk herself to death by the time the even more sanitized TV version, which nonetheless drew criticism for its sexual content, premiered in 1964. It was the first prime-time soap opera on American television, and ran until 1969. At its peak, three new episodes aired per week.
Paul Edwards is a two-time Jeff Award-winning adaptor. At City Lit, he directed his world premiere adaptations of Jack Finney's The Body Snatchers and Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle. His world premiere adaptation of Peyton Place begins previews on Friday, February 22, 2013, and runs through Saturday, March 30. Press opening is Tuesday, February 26, 2013, at 7:00 pm.
The cast for Peyton Place is Jerry Bloom, Caron Buinis, Kingsley Day, Sara Gilbert, Catherine Gillespie, Christine Jones, Andrew Jorczak, Jeremy Myers, Todd Neal, Mark Pracht, Charlie Rasmann, Dave Skvarla, Judy Lea Steele, Lisa Stran, and Sheila Willis.
The design team is Liz Cooper (lighting), Miriam Cross (props), kClare Kemock (costumes), and Jacob Watson (set). The violence choreography is by David Yondorf.
Peyton Place will play Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 3:00 PM, February 22 through March 30, as well as two Thursdays at 8:00 PM, March 7 and 21. There will be a special Saturday matinee performance on the final day of the run, Saturday, March 30 at 3:00 PM, in addition to that evening's closing performance.
Press opening for Peyton Place is Tuesday, February 26, at 7:00 PM. Ticket prices are $21.50 for previews and $28.50 after opening. Discounts are available for seniors, students, members of the military, and groups of ten or more. The production is not recommended for children. Tickets can be reserved by going to www.citylit.org or by calling (773) 293-3682.
City Lit receives funding during the 2012-2013 season from the Alphawood Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs CityArts program, the Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), and The Saints. Its outreach program is sponsored in part by A.R.T. League.
City Lit specializes in literate theatre, including stage adaptations of literary material. It is located in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church building at 1020 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, one block west of Sheridan Road and a block and a half east of the Bryn Mawr Red Line L stop. The 84 Peterson bus, the 147 Lake Shore Express bus, and the 151 Sheridan bus all stop near City Lit.
Valet parking is available for theatre customers at Francesca's Bryn Mawr restaurant across the street from City Lit. Discounted parking is available for theatre customers, with validation from the Edgewater Beach Café, in the Edgewater Beach Apartments' underground parking lot located one block east of the theatre. A limited amount of free parking is available for theatre customers who dine at That Little Mexican Café one block west of the theatre.
City Lit Theater (View)
1020 W. Bryn Mawr
Chicago, IL 60660
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