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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The scene setup was waaay to chaotic. It was difficult to focus on the main scene. There was too much happening. The stage was small and a little too close to the audience for the manner in which it was conducted. A play of this nature should be...continued
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I have walked out of two productions in my life. The first was the production of City of Angels, at the Athanaeum, in the spring of 2006 and the other was The Night of the Iguana, this past Friday evening. It was literally the worst production...continued
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.
About the Ticket Supplier: Raven Theatre
Raven Theatre’s mission is to establish itself as an important voice in regional theater, focusing on American classics, as well as new and lesser-known projects that shed light on the “American Experience.” The company’s mission is realized by uniting an ensemble of Chicago-based theater artists from diverse disciplines who work together with the goal of maintaining a high standard of artistic excellence with programming easily accessible to patrons of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds, and thereby enriching our community’s cultural life. Vigorously fresh revivals of masterpieces by great playwrights such as Miller, Williams, Saroyan and Mamet introduce new audiences to established classics, while original and lesser-known works give voice to the next generation of playwrights. Through Raven’s Children’s Theatre Program, the company seeks to present a wide range of theatrical education and entertainment options applicable across a broad academic spectrum.