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Piven Theatre Workshop presents the midwest premiere of “Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical” by playwright Sarah Ruhl, with a new musical score by composer Todd Almond. The play, directed by Polly Noonan, will run April 30 through June 7 at Piven Theatre Workshop, 927 Noyes St.
“Melancholy Play” had its world premiere in 2002 at Piven Theatre Workshop and starred Ms. Noonan in the lead role as Tilly, a bank teller with a quirky disposition. A decade later, Ms. Ruhl teamed up with Mr. Almond and developed “Melancholy Play” as a new chamber musical. It was workshopped in 2012 in Brooklyn.
“We rarely present musicals but knew we had to jump at the chance to work with Sarah again and share this gem with Chicago audiences,” said Piven Theatre Workshop artistic director Jennifer Green. “She has taken this quirky, lovely story to a new and different level from when it was first staged here. This is going to be a special night out for Piven audiences.”
In this lighthearted farce, Tilly (played by Stephanie Stockstill), is able to channel her melancholy into an appealing character, so that every stranger she meets falls in love with her. One day Tilly becomes unexpectedly happy, and this wreaks havoc on the lives of her paramours, while Frances, Tilly’s hairdresser, becomes
so melancholy that she turns into an almond. It is up to Tilly to bring her back.
Previews are April 30 and May 1, with pay-as-you-can ticket prices. The rest of the run is priced at $20 to $35. More information is available by calling 847-866-8049 or visiting www.piventheatre.org.