Friday, June 8, 2012
Live from Chicago, it's the National Theatre's One Man, Two Guvnors and Frankenstein
I was disappointed that I wasn't able to make it to New York City this spring to see One Man, Two Guvnors, Richard Bean's hit Broadway comedy which was nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Direction of a Play and Best Leading Actor in a Play. The show transferred to NYC's Music Box Theatre from a sold-out run at London's renowned National Theatre - and now I am happy to report that it is coming to Chicago's very own Music Box Theatre later this month via a live filmed performance - along with Danny Boyle's stage production of Frankenstein. Both screenings are produced by National Theatre Live, a groundbreaking initiative to broadcast the best of British theatre to cinemas around the world, both live and in "encore screenings" (repeats of the live performance that are recorded and replayed without losing any of their magic and immediacy). And having recently seen a press preview of One Man, Two Guvnors, I can tell you that the encore screening was an absolute delight to watch.
Directed by Nicholas Hytner, the comedy stars the wonderful Tony-nominated British actor James Corden as Francis Henshall, who agrees to work for a local gangster as well as a criminal in hiding, both of whom are linked in a web of schemes, extortions and romantic associations - none of which the easily confused Francis can keep straight. Falling trousers, flying fish heads, star-crossed lovers, cross-dressing mobsters and a fabulous on-stage band (with groovy music by Grant Olding) are just some of what awaits at this hilarious play. Encore screenings of One Man, Two Guvnors take place at Chicago's Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport) on Saturday, June 16, at 2 pm and Thursday, June 21, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $15 (advance) and $18 (day of) and can be purchased at the box office or online at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
The Music Box Theatre is also presenting a limited engagement screening of Frankenstein, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch. Directed by the Academy Award-winning Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), this electrifying production of Mary Shelley’s classic 1818 novel enjoyed a sell-out run at the National Theatre in 2011. Encore screenings of Frankenstein take place on Monday and Tuesday, June 18 and 19, at 7:30 pm; Sunday, July 22 at 6 and 8:30 pm; and Wednesday and Thursday, July 25 and 26 at 7:30 pm. There are two versions - Miller and Cumberbatch alternate in the roles of Victor Frankenstein and The Creature; for specific casting, please visit www.musicboxtheatre.com. Tickets are $15 (advance), $18 (day of) and $20 to see both versions (advance sale only) and can be purchased at the box office or online at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
So I highly recommend that every theatre lover in Chicago checks out these two special screenings - it's the next best thing to actually seeing a Broadway or West End show (and at a much more affordable price).