Northlight Theatre Wednesday announced the first four shows of its 40th anniversary season, which opens with the Midwest premiere of Amanda Peet's "The Commons of Pensacola."
That play, about a woman exiled to her Florida condo after her husband's financial crimes strip the family of its wealth, begins Sept. 12 at the theater, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie.
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Next up is the Agatha Christie whodunit "The Mousetrap" (Nov. 7-Dec. 14), followed by the world premiere of "White Guy on the Bus" (Jan. 23-March 1, 2015) by Northlight favorite Bruce Graham ("The Outgoing Tide," "Stella & Lou"). This examination of race and bias centers on the relationship that develops between white executive Ray and single, black mother Shatique, who share a Saturday bus ride.
Coming in May 2015 is the world premiere of "Shining Lives: A Musical," a Northlight commission by Jessica Thebus (book and lyrics) and Andre Pluess and Amanda Dehnert (music). Inspired by real life events which Melanie Marnich chronicled in her play "These Shining Lives," the musical is about four young women in 1922, whose work requires them to paint watch dials with a supposedly harmless radium compound that slowly poisons them.
"In recent years, Northlight's hallmark has been our embrace of new work by great playwrights," said artistic director BJ Jones in a prepared statement. "Additionally, we have presented refreshed classics, intense dramas and great comedies.
"Our 40th anniversary mirrors our desire to continue to reflect our community, bringing the world to Northlight and Northlight to the world."