Tennessee Williams' The Night of the Iguana at Raven Theatre
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The last date listed for The Night of the Iguana was Saturday December 8, 2007 / 8:00pm.
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Set in rural Ireland, John M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World follows a young man who swaggers into a small pub, telling grand tales and boasting of dark deeds. Instead of condemning him, the local men and ladies admire him. Not all is as it seems, however, and when the young stranger meets his match in a feisty, beautiful barmaid, there's an unexpected twist in the tale that threatens his moment in the spotlight. This dark, comedic masterpiece still packs the same punch as when it was originally produced at Dublin's Abbey Theatre in 1907. Learn More
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The Night of the Iguana is set in 1940 in Mexico, where an American widow endeavors to keep both her tropical hotel and her love life intact. Her guests include the defrocked Reverend Shannon, desperately struggling with addictions to alcohol and young women; the ethereal yet penniless artist Hannah Jelkes; her grandfather Nonno, “the oldest living and practicing poet”; a family of boisterous Germans; and a difficult busload of Baptist women.
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Michael Menendian
Director and co-set designer Michael Menendian is a co-founding member of Raven Theatre, where he has simultaneously directed and set designed many productions, earning several Joseph Jefferson and After Dark awards. His productions include The Sea Gull, American Buffalo, A Few Good Men, Dancing at Lughnasa, Golden Boy, Marvin’s Room, A Streetcar Named Desire, A View from the Bridge, You Can’t Take It with You, Glengarry Glen Ross, and many others.
The cast of fourteen includes both longtime Raven ensemble members and several newcomers. JoAnn Montemurro, playing the lusty hotel proprietress Maxine Faulk, is a founding member, current ensemble member, director, costume designer and frequent actor at Raven, most recently seen as Arkadina in The Sea Gull. Paul Dunckel, recently seen as Trigorin in The Sea Gull, plays Reverend Shannon, a rogue with a conscience. Kristen Williams Smith portrays the poor artist Hannah Jelkes. She most recently appeared with Chicago Opera Theater, and prior to that directed and performed the long-running hit Verbatim Verboten at the Royal George Theater. Tom Porter, another founding member, plays Jonathan Coffin or Nonno, the old poet. Porter was most recently seen at Raven as Sorin in The Sea Gull.
Attempting to salvage Reverend Shannon’s tour gone awry are bus driver Hank, played by Greg Caldwell, who portrayed Medvedyenko in The Sea Gull and has appeared in eight other Raven productions, and Jake Latta, portrayed by Calvin Haines, who has appeared with Raven, Circle, TinFish, and others. Also a playwright, Haines’ work has been staged at Strawdog and Bailiwick, among others. Their Baptist tour group is led by Miss Fellowes, played by Esther McCormick, a Raven ensemble member in her twenty-second year with the company. Katie Genualdi plays her young charge, Charlotte Goodall. Genualdi has worked with Raven, Collaboraction, Right Brain Project and Big Picture Group.
Maxine’s hotel also plays host to a family of Germans celebrating a wedding. Elizabeth Kline (Hilda, the bride) has worked with American Theater Company, Chicago Dramatists, Circle, and City Lit, among others. Marc Muszynski (Wolfgang, the groom) is an actor, filmmaker, and recent college graduate. Kevin Kenneally (Herr Fahrenkopf, father of the bride) most recently appeared as the Reverend Baines in Silk Road Theater Project’s Jeff-recommended Golden Child. He also performed in The Hypocrites’ Jeff Award-winning Death of a Salesman, Shattered Globe Theatre’s Judgment at Nuremburg, TimeLine Theatre’s The Crucible, and Eclipse Theatre’s Another Part of the Forest. Jean Vanier (Frau Fahrenkopf, mother of the bride) has been touring Florida in Menopause the Musical and The Music Man. She also has worked with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.
Finally, Maxine Faulk is assisted by two young locals at the hotel. Jason Lorenzo (Pedro) recently portrayed Juan in Yerma, Bortsov in Chekhov’s On the High Road, and has performed at the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia. Esteban Andres Cruz (Pancho), last seen in Piven Theatre's Mad Dancers and Boho’s Edward II, is also co-creator and a performer in the Game Show Show... and Stuff! at Strawdog Theatre.