In 1965, the last big obscenity trial of the 20th century targeted William S. Burroughs' controversial novel, "Naked Lunch." But Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer -- the gurus of the Beat Generation -- rose to its defense, testifying in favor of free speech, free thought and free love.
Presented in June in Chicago, this iconic trial comes back to life in an original musical comedy called "Naked Lunch: The Musical." Written by Barrington's own Bill Hannay (book and lyrics) and composer Damon Baker (music), the show is a song-strewn courtroom comedy that features publishers, prudes, professors and poets facing off against each other to sing their testimony attacking or praising the book. The music ranges from Bach to Broadway, from rock to tango. Running time is one hour 30 minutes, with no intermission.
The cast includes six stars from Barrington and Chicago: Todd Parkhurst, Clyde Patterson, Jim Munson, Kay Lewis, Mark Fisher, Fred Joseph, Lydia Brinkmeier, Dan Thake, Kevin Rowe, Russ Baylin, and Chip LaCasse, plus Terry Mullin from the original New Haven and Los Angelese productions. With accompaniment by Nancie Tobison.
This raucous sendup of a uniquely American effort to muzzle a "dirty book" will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6 and Saturday, Oct. 7, at The Parker Playhouse, 117 E. Northwest Highway, in Barrington. Tickets are available online at www.parkerplayhousebarrington.org.
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