Goodman opening gala takes wing with ‘Sweet Bird’
Past chairman of trustees and gala co-chairman Carol Prins, Chicago actor Mary Beth Fisher and Goodman Theatre executive director Roche Schulfer originally of Hinsdale. | Lee A. Litas~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 24, 2012 9:52PM
The Event: The Goodman Theatre kicked off its 87th season on Sept. 24 with Tennessee William’s “Sweet Bird of Youth.”
Attended by 450 guests, the 3.5-hour production, directed by Jeff and Obie award-winner David Cromer and starring one of Hollywood’s leading ladies, Diane Lane opposite Finn Wittrock — was the pièce de résistance which followed the opening night gala at The Standard Club.
Cause célèbre: “This is a wonderful launch to our ‘Something Wild” season,’” said Ruth Ann Gillis, chairman of the board of trustees. “And having Diane Lane and David Cromer together to make this Tennessee Williams play a reality is very special.”
Honorary chair of the Goodman board, Albert I. Goodman, addressed the importance of introducing live theater to new generations. “As time goes by, the young need to get it first-hand and not just right out of a book,” he said.
The eight scheduled productions of Goodman’s new season will be an eclectic mix of new plays, musicals and classics, according to executive director Roche Schulfer. “People will see the widest range of work on stage anywhere in Chicago,” he said.
The season includes a Dicken’s classic “Christmas Carol,” Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure,” and a new musical based on the Disney film “The Jungle Book,” adapted from Rudyard Kipling’s children’s tales.
“Chicago is really pre-eminent and what we do at the Goodman and so many of our non-profit theatres is really remarkable,” noted Gillis.
Chicago Mayor Rahn Emanuel added that, “The Goodman Theatre is a cornerstone of (Chicago’s) rich theatrical landscape, renowned for its stellar productions and notable contributions to the cultural fabric of this city.”
The Bottom Line: The event raised $354,000 for the Goodman Theatre.