Heading into the last weekend of the year, what better way to celebrate new beginnings than with a night out at the theater? This week’s Countrywide Guide spotlights Jimmy Smits and John Ortiz getting f**ked up in the Windy City, a chance to see Obie winner David Drake perform as delicious drag diva "Tawny Heatherton" in Baltimore, the launch of the Broadway-aimed Flashdance: The Musical tour and more!
Steppenwolf Gets F**ked
Heads up! The Motherf**ker With the Hat is headed to Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, the perfect home for Stephen Adly Guirgis' no-holds-barred examination of love, drugs and a quest for vengeance. The best news: Anna D. Shapiro, the Tony-winning director of August: Osage County, is again the helm, so expect a fast and furious evening with a cast that includes Jimmy Smits and John Ortiz (in the role created by Bobby Cannavale). Steppenwolf's Hat trick is set to run from Decemer 28 through March 3.
David Drake Turns Tawny for a Good Cause
Christmas may be over, but you can still celebrate A Very Tawny Christmas with David Drake, who will bring his fabulous new drag diva “Tawny Heatherton” (a distant relative of ‘60s starlet Joey) to the Spotlighters Theatre on December 28 and 29. Boasting a cotton candy blonde wig and the best pair of gams in the business, Drake…er, Tawny…performs seasonal songs shares wild stories in performances that will benefit a renovation project at Spotlighters, where the Obie winner got his start. Joy to the World, Ms. H!
SAN DIEGO, CA
A Very Young Cast Tackles Rent
What could be better than seeing Rent performed by a company of San Diego’s best young actors? The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical is headed to the Lyceum Theatre from December 29 to January 6 in a production from the acclaimed California Youth Conservatory Theatre. Although the show will be performed by teens, they'll be presenting the full-score, unedited version of Rent we all fell in love with. Start your next 525,600 minutes with Roger, Mark, Maureen & Company.
What a Feeling! Flashdance Begins in Steel City
Maniacs for the 1983 movie Flashdance, rejoice! The Broadway-bound musical adaptation of the hit film kicks off its national tour in—where else?—Pittsburgh, where the story takes place. Starring Emily Padgett as welder (by day) and aspiring dancer (by night) Alex Owens, Matthew Hydzik as Nick Hurley and Rachelle Rak as Tess, the production will premiere at Heinz Hall January 1 through January 6. With electrifying dance at its core, Flashdance features hit songs such as "What a Feeling," "Maniac" and "I Love Rock & Roll."
The Wicked Witch Flies Into the Midwest
Lions and tigers and bears—oh my! Head down the yellow brick road for Cardinal Stage Company’s production of The Wizard of Oz! Adapted from the 1939 film classic, this Wizard has it all—flying monkeys, charming munchkins, beloved characters looking for a brain, heart and courage, a Kansas lass named Dorothy and, of course, songs like “Over the Rainbow” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard.” The Wizard of Oz plays at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater through January 5.