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Windy City Playhouse announces intriguing 2017 season

Robert O'Hara, Joanie Schultz and Scott Weinstein are on board to direct Windy City Playhouse's newly announced three-play 2017 season. (Photo: Courtesy of Windy City Playhouse)

To be sure, Windy City Playhouse, the boho-chic storefront theater at 3014 W. Irving Park Rd., has made its mark during its first two seasons on the Chicago itscene. It has selected a solid (and often inspired) array of plays, attracted first-class actors, directors and designers to realize them, and (no minor consideration) it has treated its audiences to some of the most comfortable theater seats in the city. It also has a full-service bar.

For its third season, Windy City Playhouse has selected a notably intriguing trio of plays and paired them with an equally intriguing trio of directors. Included on the lineup will be: “Bootcandy,” the Chicago premiere of Robert O’Hara’s wild coming-of-age story, to be directed here by the playwright himself; “King Liz,” the Chicago premiere of Fernanda Coppel’s gripping feminist tale, to be directed by Joanie Schultz; and “Becky Shaw,” Gina Gionfriddo’s dark comedy, directed by Jeff Award-winner Scott Weinstein, who recently triumphed with sensational productions of the musicals “Bat Boy” (at Grffin Theatre) and “Rent” (at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre), for which he received a Jeff Award.

In a prepared statement, Amy Rubenstein, Windy City’s artistic director noted: “In this third season, we’ll be taking some new risks artistically—pushing the boundaries, embracing edginess, and exploring new definitions of entertainment, all while maintaining the artistic quality our audiences have come to know and love.”

Here is a closer look at Windy City Playhouse’s plans for its 2017 season:

+ “BOOTYCANDY” (Jan. 25 – April 16, 2017): Written and directed by Robert O’Hara, this award-winning, semi-autobiographical Off Broadway hit centers around Sutter, a precocious boy learning what it means to be gay and black. With everyone trying to teach him the ways of life, he’s learning fast that no one person will be able to tell him the meaning of love, life, sex or race. He will have to define those things for himself.

+ “KING LIZ” (May 24 – Aug. 13, 2017): Written by Fernanda Coppel and directed by Joanie Schultz, the play takes us into the fast-paced, cut-throat world of sports agents. Liz, a wise-cracking woman in a man’s world, is not going to let anyone discount her skill— and most certainly not because of her race or her sex. But when a volatile young client steps way out of line, “King Liz” may finally have met her match. Coppel’s play had its world premiere Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in 2015, and is currently being developed as a series for Showtime.

+ “BECKY SHAW” (Sept. 20 – Dec. 10, 2017): Written by Gina Gionfriddo and directed by Scott Weinstein. When Suzanna sets up her best friend with her husband’s co-worker, she thinks she’s making a kind gesture. But when mixing a brutally honest businessman with an emotionally-fragile college dropout, the results can be explosive. Gionfriddo’s play follows a newlywed couple who can’t help but fix up two romantically challenged friends, but an evening calculated to bring happiness takes a dark turn, and a crisis (and wicked comedy) ensue.

Subscriptions range from $60 – $135), with a special $45 rate for patrons under 30. Single tickets range from $15-$55, with discounts available for seniors and student. Call (773) 891-8985 or visit windycityplayhouse.com.