Last week, both Kokandy Productions and Porchlight Music Theatre unveiled their plans for their 2022-23 seasons.
For their tenth-anniversary season, Kokandy, settling in at the Chopin Theatre, will mount the regional premiere of Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical, as well as the classic Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Says Artistic Director Derek Van Barham: “In 2022, we’re asking ‘how far can we go?’ We’re curious about discoveries in the flexible Chopin space, and we are challenging ourselves to push the boundaries (in every aspect) to create unique, enthralling experiences for our audience. With Cruel Intentions and Sweeney Todd, we are back in person, exploring humanity at its most corporeal. These are shows of the flesh, of mouths and throats, of sweat and blood. These worlds are thirsty, hungry. While we explore how far we can go, the devilish duos in these two shows go further to ask ‘How far will we go?’ They make the bet. They make the pie. They give us a taste, and make us ask for more.”
Cruel Intentions: The ’90 Musical
June 9th – August 7th, 2022 Based on the film by Roger Kumble Directed by Artistic Associate Adrian Abel Azevedo Based on the acclaimed hit film starring Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar, Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musicalis the ultimate throwback party. Rulers of their elite Manhattan prep school, Sebastian and Kathryn have placed a mischievous bet. As their vengeful crusade wreaks havoc on the students at Manchester Prep, the two devilish step-siblings become entangled in their own web of deception and unexpected romance in this raucous jukebox throwback, featuring fresh takes on familiar ‘90s jams from No Doubt, *NSYNC, Garbage, Goo Goo Dolls and more.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
September 8th – November 6th, 2022
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim Book by Hugh Wheeler Directed by Producing Artistic Director Derek Van Barham
Sweeney Todd has become a bloody, worldwide success since being awarded eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical for its Broadway premiere. An infamous tale, Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, returns to nineteenth century London, seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop. Mrs. Lovett's luck sharply shifts when Todd's thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London hungry for more. Stephen Sondheim's and Hugh Wheeler's tasty, thrilling, theatrical treat has simultaneously shocked, awed and delighted audiences around the world.
For their part, Porchlight’s 28th season “speaks to moments of courage, endurance and humanity in the face of life’s greatest challenges,” said Porchlight Artistic Director Michael Weber. “This series of productions—a Pulitzer Prize-winner; two that are “Best Musical” Tony Award-winners, and the Chicago premiere of one of the most incredible new musicals seen recently off-Broadway—remind us there is no subject that is beyond the realm of the art of music theatre and that there is no story that cannot be enhanced when told through the forms of music, drama and dance.”
October 29th – November 27th, 2022 The Tony and Pulitzer-winning musical that has become a cultural phenomenon with millions of fans around the world.
January 14th – February 12th, 2023 A bold and provocative landmark musical that shines a spotlight on Berlin in the late 1920s and the colorful, gritty, and hedonistic lives found there.
Ernest Shackleton Loves Me
May 6th - June 1st, 2023 In association with Skylight Music Theatre, this is the Chicago premiere of the critically acclaimed new musical with a tongue-in-cheek script by Tony Award-winner Joe DiPietro,
Before retiring from the artistic directorship of Goodman Theatre, Robert Falls has one more addition to the previously announced season: a thirtieth-anniversary production of The Who’s Tommy, once again directed by Des McAnuff, who steered the original Broadway production to several Tonys, including one for Pete Townshend. Says Falls, “We’re honored to host these Tony Award-winning artists as they reinvestigate this exhilarating piece for a new time and new audiences.”
The Who’s Tommy
June 13th – July 23rd, 2023
Music and Lyrics by Pete Townshend
The groundbreaking pop-culture musical sensation is reimagined in a new production. Myth and spectacle combine in a fresh reinvention of The Who’s exhilarating 1969 rock concept album, Tommy—including the unforgettable anthems “I’m Free,” “See Me, Feel Me,” “Sensation” and “Pinball Wizard.” After witnessing his father shoot his rival, the young Tommy Walker is lost in the universe, endlessly and obsessively staring into the mirror. An innate knack for pinball catapults him from reticent adolescent to celebrity savior. Tony Award-winning composer Pete Townshend and Tony Award-winning original director Des McAnuff find powerful resonance reexamining this classic story for today.