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Dashiell Hamlet, directed by Mike Nussbaum
City Lit Theater
Chicago, IL
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Dashiell Hamlet, directed by Mike Nussbaum
  The first production of City Lit Theater's 2008-2009 season, Dashiell Hamlet:  The Classic Mystery by Mike Nowak, Mike Nussbaum, Kathleen Thompson and Paul H. Thompson, will begin previews at City Lit Theater on Friday, September 12 and open for the press on Tuesday, September 16.  The production, directed by Mike Nussbaum, runs through October 26.  
  Dashiell Hamlet is a film noir-styled telling of Shakespeare's tragedy, set in 1945 Los Angeles.  Nat Hamill, scion of the family that owns Hollywood's Majestic Studios, returns home from the war to find that his recently deceased father may have been murdered.  The play is a revised version of a script that originated at Chicago's old Commons Theatre, also in a production directed by Nussbaum.  When the play premiered in 1983, Mike Nowak, another of its co-authors, played Nat Hamill, the Hamlet role; twenty-five years later at City Lit, he will play Ralph Hamill, the Claudius role.  
  Mike Nowak is an actor, writer, director, radio talk show host, gardener and singer. He has won Joseph Jefferson Citations in three categories: as an actor for his work in Pyewacket's The Turn of the Screw; as a playwright for co-writing The Signal Season of Dummy Hoy, which made its world premiere at The Commons and has gone on to productions off-Broadway and elsewhere; and as a director for The Commons production of Tom Stoppard's Dogg's Hamlet/Cahoot's Macbeth. He is the host of "The Mike Nowak Show" Sundays at Noon on WCPT 820AM, which focuses on gardening, the environment and green living. For ten years he hosted WGN Radio's "Let's Talk Gardening." He is an award-winning columnist for Chicagoland Gardening Magazine. He is also a member of two a cappella groups: Rolls Voyce, which performs primarily doo-wop songs, and The Frozen Robins, which dons Dickensian costumes and sings mostly during the Christmas holiday season.
  Mike Nussbaum recently appeared in Northlight Theater's world premiere of Better Late by Larry Gelbart and Craig Wright co-starring John Mahoney. Chicago Shakespeare credits include Doctor Tambouri in Gary Griffin's production of Sondheim's Passion,  Polonius in Hamlet, Justice Shallow in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (CST and on tour to the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford upon-Avon), Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet, and John of Gaunt in Richard II. Other Chicago credits include Shelley Levene in the revival of Glengarry Glen Ross (Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Dublin Theatre Festival), as well as shows at virtually every major and many emerging Chicago venues. New York and international credits include Peter Brook's production of The Cherry Orchard (on tour to New York, Moscow, and Japan); the original productions of David Mamet's plays American Buffalo (as Teach) and Glengarry Glen Ross (as Aronow in Chicago and on Broadway). He won a Best Director Jeff Award for the world premiere of Alan Gross's Lunching at the old Body Politic Theatre, which became the first off-Loop production ever to transfer to a commercial Loop venue.  He also directed the Chicago-born Broadway musical Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? as well as shows at Northlight and the old St. Nicholas and Orphans theatres.  He co-directed the American Theatre Company's revival of American Buffalo, a play in which he was in the original cast at St. Nicholas a quarter-century earlier. He recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Joseph Jefferson Committee and a Legend Award from the Illinois Arts Council.
  Kathleen Thompson was artistic director of The Commons Theatre at the time of the first production of Dashiell Hamlet. Her plays have been produced in Chicago and New York. She also writes books, including more than one hundred of them for young people and The Face of Our Past, a visual history of black women that was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She designed City Lit's first set in 1980, when the company presented its premier production, Eudora Welty's Why I Live at the P. O., at The Commons space .
  Paul H. Thompson is the quiet Beatle.
  The cast for Dashiell Hamlet is Jerry Bloom, Melissa diLeonardo, Andy Hager, Greg Hardin, Julian Martinez, Erin Myers, Mike Nowak, Mark Pracht, Geoff Rice, and Shawna Tucker.    
  The design team is Leigh Barrett (lighting), Tom Kieffer (costumes), Christopher Kriz (sound), and Grant Sabin (set).
  Dashiell Hamlet will play Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 3:00 PM, September 12 through October 26.  Press opening is Tuesday, September 16 at 7:00 PM.  Ticket prices are $18 for previews and $25 after opening.  Discounts are available for seniors, students and groups of ten or more.  Tickets can be reserved by going to or by calling (773) 293-3682.
  City Lit's production of Dashiell Hamlet is the first production of its twenty-ninth season.  City Lit receives funding from the Alphawood Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs CityArts program, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.  Its outreach program is sponsored in part by A.R.T. League.
  City Lit specializes in literate theatre, including stage adaptations of literary material.  
  City Lit Theater 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 Restaurant, located across the street from City Lit.  Discounted self-parking is available for theatre customers, with validation from the Edgewater Beach Caf, located in the Edgewater Beach Apartments building one block east of the theatre.



City Lit Theater
1020 W. Bryn Mawr
Chicago, IL 60660
United States

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Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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