THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, the hit play based on C.S. Lewis’ classic novel, now playing at The Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Avenue, will feature expanded holiday performance schedule to include December 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. and a special New Year’s Eve performance on December 31. After the New Year’s Eve 8 p.m. show, there will be a champagne toast in the theater lobby followed by a special talk-back with Max McLean (co-creator and star) and Jeffrey Fiske (co-creator and director), who will foster audience discussions about the show’s provocative themes and answer questions about how they adapted C.S. Lewis’ classic novel into a hit stage production.
Prior to performances on December 29 and 30, Cullen’s Bar & Grill, the restaurant connected to the theater, is offering a special dinner price of only $26.00 total for two, which includes an appetizer, two entrees, and two desserts. Cullen’s pub-style menu features the hearty British-inspired cuisine that C.S. Lewis loved. Customers should mention this special when ordering tickets and tax, gratuity and beverages are not included.
THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, which had sold-out runs in New York and Washington, D.C., recently made its Chicago premiere in October and has extended its stay.
Presented by the Fellowship for the Performing Arts and adapted for the stage by Jeffrey Fiske and Max McLean, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is set in an office in hell. The play follows a senior devil, Screwtape, and his secretary, Toadpipe, as they train an apprentice demon, Wormwood, on how to “undermine faith and prevent the formation of virtues” in a young man who has just converted to Christianity.
Critics have raved that the show is “Very smart…richly rewarding…exuberant theatricality!,” (Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune), “Phenomenal! Sizzling entertainment…wonderfully clever. Sensational!,” (Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times), “A first rate production…Terribly entertaining… Screwtape boils over with wit” (Jayne Blanchard, The Washington Times), a “Hell of a good time…imaginative theatricality…wonderful performances” (Frank Scheck, New York Post), “Sly, funny, handsomely produced” (Celia Wren, Washington Post) and “A thought-provoking, engaging, entertaining, intelligent, bitingly satirical and funny exploration of profound issues of right and wrong,” (Daniel Kelley, NYTheatre.com.)
When first published in 1942. THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS brought immediate fame to C.S. Lewis, a little known Oxford don whose field of study was Medieval English and literature. Over the past sixty-five years its wit and wisdom have made it one of his most widely read and influential works. One of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably the most influential Christian writer of his day, C.S. Lewis was a Fellow and Tutor of English literature at Oxford University until 1954 when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. His major contributions in literary criticism, children’s literature, fantasy literature, and popular theology brought him international renown. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract millions of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include: The Chronicles of Narnia, Out of the Silent Planet, and Mere Christianity.
The initial production of THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS opened at Theatre 315 in New York City in January 2006 for a limited three-week run. Due to popular demand it ran for eleven sold-out weeks. After building on its success it reopened in the fall of 2007 at the Theatre at St. Clement’s for another twelve sold-out weeks to rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. In April 2008 it transferred to The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Lansburgh Theatre in Washington, D.C. for a five week run. Again it played to sold out and standing room-only audiences.
THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is directed by Jeffrey Fiske and stars Max McLean as Screwtape and Yvonne Gougelet as Toadpipe. Scenic design is by Cameron Anderson, costumes are by Michael Bevins, lighting by Tyler Micoleau, and sound is by Bart Fasbender. For more biographical or production information, visit www.ScrewtapeOnStage.com.
The performance schedule for THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is Wednesdays at 8pm, Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm; and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets range in price from $29.00 to $48.50. Tickets are available by calling The Mercury Theater Box Office at 773.325.1700, TicketMaster at 312.902.1500, or visiting www.ticketmaster.com. Discounted tickets for students and groups of 15 or more are also available by calling 773.477.7666.
Official Website: http://www.screwtapeonstage.com
Added by boleary on December 16, 2008