Chicago Premiere of CASA VALENTINA by Harvey Fierstein

Full casting has been announced for Pride Films and Plays’ Chicago Premiere of CASA VALENTINA, by Harvey Fierstein, one of the giants of gay writing and stagecraft of our time. CASA VALENTINA, which premiered on Broadway in 2014, was nominated for that season’s Tony Award® for Best Play. Pride Films and Plays Artistic Associate Michael D. Graham will direct.

CASA VALENTINA is set in 1962, in an inconspicuous bungalow colony in New York’s Catskill Mountains that caters to a very special clientele: cis-gender straight men who delight in dressing and acting as women while away on vacation. These white-collar professionals discreetly escape their regular routines to spend certain weekends safely inhabiting their chosen female alter-egos. But given the opportunity to share their secret lives with the world, the members of this hidden society must decide whether the freedom gained by openness is worth the risk of personal ruin.

Based on real events and infused with Fierstein’s trademark wit, this moving, insightful, and delightfully entertaining work offers a glimpse into the lives of a group of “self-made women” as they search for acceptance and happiness in their very own Garden of Eden. While the characters of CASA VALENTINA are not men who identify as gay, it continues Pride Films and Plays’ exploration of all things gender related, that are essential viewing for all audiences.

Graham’s cast will include Patrick Byrnes (seen most recently in FROST/NIXON at Redtwist Theatre) as George/Valentina and Nicholia Q. Aguirre (HOME ON THE LAKE with Piven Theatre) as George’s wife Rita, the proprietors of Casa Valentina. Danne W. Taylor, who played “The Playwright” – a character inspired by Tennessee Williams in Pride Films and Plays’ HIS GREATNESS – will be Charlotte. Also in the cast are Kingsley Day (City Lit’s TWO DAYS IN COURT) as Theodore/Terry, Michael Hagedorn (THE LIAR with Promethean Theatre Ensemble) as Albert/Bessie, Robert Koon (FUN HARMLESS WARMACHINE for The New Colony) as Judge/Amy, Micah Kronlokken (HOLDING THE MAN for Pride Films and Plays) as Jonathan/Miranda, Josh Marshall (MACBETH with Saltbox Theatre Collective) as Michael/Gloria, and BethAnn Smukowski (THE FRONT PAGE with St. Sebastian Players) as Eleanor. Jessica Goforth and Casey Coppess are understudies.

CASA VALENTINA’s production team will include Evan Frank (Set Designer), Shelbi Arndt (Lighting Designer), Ricki Pettinato (Lighting Assistant), Aaron Harris Woodstein (Sound Designer), Michael Starcher (Stage Manager), Claire Hart Proepper (Assistant Director and Movement Coordinator), Jeffrey Geddes (Dramaturg) and Justin Petty (Intern) plus additional personnel to be named.

CASA VALENTINA will open to the press in the Broadway, Pride Arts Center, on Monday, August 26 at 7:30 pm, following previews from Thursday, August 22. Tickets will be on sale shortly.

Tickets available by phone at 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222 or online at www.pridefilmsandplays.com

Pride Films and Plays produces a year-round festival of work centered on LGBTQ characters or themes that are essential viewing for all. Since opening Pride Arts Center in 2016, with our two intimate spaces, Pride Films and Plays is in many ways the center of queer programming in the Midwest thanks to our award-winning full productions, cabarets, film fests, new play development and special events. Founded in 2010, Pride Films and Plays has earned 36 Jeff Recommendations and Awards.

Working with a small staff, a great group of dedicated artists, and a devoted board, Pride Films and Plays continues to bridge LGBTQ history to works of the most exciting new writers.

CASA VALENTINA

By Harvey Fierstein

Directed by Michael Graham.

August 22 – September 29, 2019

Previews Thursday August 22 through Saturday August 24 at 7:30 pm and Sunday August 25 at 5 pm

Press Opening Monday August 26 at 7:30 pm

Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 5 pm.

Premium seats $40, general admission seats $30, student/senior/military $25 (not valid Saturdays)

Pride Arts Center – the Broadway, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago

Tickets available by phone at 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222 or online at www.pridefilmsandplays.com

 

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