City Lit Theatre Artistic Director Terry McCabe has announced the cast for the company’s season finale, the British comedy London Assurance. First produced in London in 1841 at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, and shortly thereafter in New York City, London Assurance is considered a transitional play between the 18th century comedies of Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Oliver Goldsmith and the late 19th Century plays of Oscar Wilde. It has been one of Great Britain’s most popular comedies of the standard classical repertoire and in recent decades has been performed by some of Britain’s leading actors. Dame Judi Dench starred in a 1970 production of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a production that was later remounted in London’s West End and transferred to Broadway, where it starred the late Roger Rees. That was one of six Broadway productions of the play over a century and a half. The most recent Broadway production was in 1997, when it starred Brian Bedford and a young Rainn Wilson (who would later become famous for TV’s The Office). A 2010 production directed by Nicholas Hytner for the National Theatre of Great Britain starred Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw, and was broadcast live around the world as part of the NT Live program. Inexplicably, given London Assurance’s enduring popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, it has not been produced in Chicago for 120 years.
The play concerns the 18-year-old Grace Harkaway, who considers herself immune to love and is planning to marry the 63-year-old Sir Harcourt Courtly for his money. Then she meets his son, Charles, who, unaware of his father’s engagement to Grace, begins to woo her. Things become even more complicated when Sir Harcourt meets and becomes taken with the domineering and horse-riding Lady Gay Spanker.
Appearing as Sir Harcourt Courtly will be longtime City Lit favorite Kingsley Day, recently seen on the City Lit stage in Shirley Jackson’s The Sundial. Lady Gay Spanker will be played by Cameron Feagin, whose recent credits include Gross Indecency for Promethean Ensemble Theatre and who earned a Jeff nomination for her work in Private Lives at City Lit.
Grace Harkaway will be played by Kat Evans, of City Lit’s Hauptmann. Charles Courtly will be played by Kraig Kelsey, who appeared in Promethean’s Gross Indecency along with Evans.
In the role of Charles’ friend Dazzle will be Richard Eisloeffel, who had the title role in City Lit’s fall 2016 production of P.G. Wodehouse’s Psmith, Journalist. The cast also includes Edward Kuffert (Cool), Cooper Wise (Martin), James Sparling (Squire Max Harkaway), Jean Waller (Pert), T.C. Fair (James), Joe Feliciano (Meddle), David Fink (Adolphus Spanker), and Zach Bloomfield (Solomon Isaacs).
The press opening will be Sunday, June 18 at 3 pm, following previews from June 9 – June 17, 2017. The regular run will continue through July 23, 2017 at City Lit Theatre, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. More information and ticketing is available at www.citylit.org or by phone at 773-293-3682.
By Dion Boucicault
Directed by Terry McCabe
June 9 - July 23, 2017
Previews: Friday, June 9 – Saturday, June 17, 2017
Press Opening: Sunday, June 18 – 3 pm
Fridays-Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, Mondays, July 10 and 17 at 7:30 pm
Preview ticket prices $28.00, seniors $23, students and military $12 (all plus applicable fees)
Regular run Sunday, June 18 - Sunday, July 23
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm.
Regular run ticket prices $32.00, seniors $27.00, students and military $12 (all plus applicable fees)
Performances at City Lit Theatre, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago 60660 (Inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church)
Tickets on sale now at www.citylit.org or 773-293-3682.