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‘American Idiot,’ ‘Glass Menagerie’ set for Hypocrites 2015-2016 season

A world premiere and returning favorites are on the bill for The Hypocrites’ 2015-2016, boasting seven productions for the Off-Loop theater company.

The season will kick off with the return of “All Our Tragic,” a 12-hour theatrical adaptation of all 32 surviving Greek Tragedies into one epic 12-hour narrative. The season will close out in March 2016 with musical “Adding Machine: A Musical,” adapted from Elmer Rice’s classic “The Adding Machine.”

Here’s a closer look at what’s in store:

“ALL OUR TRAGIC” ( June 20 – August 9): Adapted and directed by Sean Graney, the critically acclaimed 12-hour extravaganza (with multiple intermissions and meal breaks) returns to recreate a daylong, contemporary Festival of Dionysus, the ancient gatherings for which these tragedies were originally crafted – to bring together a daily community to bond, eat food, drink wine and discuss complicated topics of society. Meals and snacks are included in ticket prices, with multiple intermissions and meal breaks.

“AMERICAN IDIOT”: (Aug. 28-Oct. 25): As previously announced, the musical, with book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer, with music by Green Day and lyrics by Armstrong, gets its Chicago premiere in late summer. Based on punk rock band Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album of the same name, the show follows three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia in a post 9/11 world. The musical garnered a 2010 Tony Award nomination for Best Musical and won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

“THE 4TH GRADERS PRESENT AN UNNAMED LOVE-SUICIDE” (Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 6-7): Written and directed by Sean Graney (with Joel Ewing and Mechelle Moe), the production features students from Senn Arts Magnet School. The story: When fourth-grader Johnny shoots himself, he leaves behind a play as a suicide note that the kids in his class are forced to perform as a memorial. As friends and bullies assume the roles of Johnny and his classmates, a heartbreaking, darkly curious story emerges, offering a glimpse into the motivation behind Johnny’s actions.

Anthony Courser (from left), Molly Plunk, Leah Urzendowski, Pam Chermansky, Jay Torrence and Ryan Walters in The Ruffians’ “Burning Bluebeard.” | Photo by Evan Hanover.
Anthony Courser (from left), Molly Plunk, Leah Urzendowski, Pam Chermansky, Jay Torrence and Ryan Walters in The Ruffians’ “Burning Bluebeard.” | Photo by Evan Hanover.

“BURNING BLUEBEARD” (Nov. 22, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016): Inspired by the true story of Chicago’s 1903 Iroquois Theatre Fire, The Ruffians’ production is back for its fourth year, presenting the story of six singed clown performers who emerge from the burnt remains of history attempting to perform their spectacular Christmas Pantomime once and for all. But this time, they hope to finally reach the true happy ending of their second act and avoid the fateful fire that killed 600 of its audience members.

“THE GLASS MENAGERIE” (Jan. 22-March 6, 2016): The Tennessee Williams classic, reimagined by director Hans Fleischmann, was originally staged in 2012 by Mary-Arrchie Theatre and in 2013 at Theater Wit. In this version, the play focuses on a man obsessed with regrets from his past. Living on the streets, he journeys the gritty back-alleys of his imagination.

“ADDING MACHINE: A MUSICAL” (March 18-May 15, 2016): Adapted from Elmer Rice’s “The Adding Machine,” with music by Joshua Schmidt and book and lyrics by Jason Loewith and Schmidt, the musical tells the story of Mr. Zero, a modern-day Everyman who loathes his job, his wife, his life in general. After a lifetime spent adding figures for the same company, he comes to work one day only to find he’s been replaced by a machine.

The seventh show, a still-to-be announced production directed by Graney will be announced at a later date. The Hypocrites performances are staged at The Den Theatre, 1329 N. Milwaukee. Visit the-hypocrites.com.

Follow @MiriamDiNunzio

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