Theater Oobleck and Chicago DCA Theater Present “Strauss at Midnight” World Premiere June 11 to July 19

Theater Oobleck presents a new play by Jeff Dorchen, author of “Ugly’s First World” and “The Life and Times of Jewboy Cain,” at the Chicago DCA Storefront Theater June 11 – July 19, 2009

Theater Oobleck, in association with Chicago DCA Theater, presents the world premiere of Strauss at Midnight by company founding member Jeff Dorchen. The production comes to Chicago DCA Theater’s Storefront Theater at 66 E. Randolph Street, from June 11 through July 19, 2009.

Strauss at Midnight visits Oscar Madison’s apartment in order to explore such “Odd Couples” as liberty and tyranny, love and hate, man and superman. When a time-traveling tourist on a prehistoric safari accidentally kills a butterfly, Oscar and Felix’s poker table becomes the battleground for human civilization. Incorporating Saul Bellow, Niccolo Machiavelli, and University of Chicago Neo-Con godfathers Leo Strauss and Allan Bloom, this world premiere takes Neil Simon’s most famous play into Tom Stoppard territory and considers a society where the super-privileged can redesign the fabric of time and space.

Performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sunday afternoons at 3pm. There is no performance on Friday, July 3, or Saturday, July 4, due to the Independence Day holiday. A post-show discussion will follow the performance on Thursday, June 18.

Tickets are available for a $15 suggested donation or pay-what-you-can by calling 312-742-TIXS (8497), visiting dcatheater.org, or stopping by the box office, open Tuesday through Saturday, 12noon to 6pm; Sundays, 12noon to 4pm.; and one hour prior to each performance.

Cast and Production Team

Strauss at Midnight features H.B. Ward as Oscar, Brian Nemtusak as Felix, Matt Rieger as Roy, Matthew Holzfeind as Gauss, Kat McJimsey as Crabtree, and KellyAnn Corcoran as Evelyn. All based on characters from Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” this group has been warped by alterations in the space-time continuum.

Members of the University’s of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought — Leo Strauss (played by David Shapiro), Allan Bloom (Troy Martin), and Saul Bellow (David Isaacson) – are joined in a bothersome afterlife by D’wayne Taylor as Virgil Tibbs of “In the Heat of the Night” and Scott Hermes as Niccolo Machiavelli of the Italian Renaissance.

The show’s set design is by Mickle Maher with lighting by Martha Bayne, sound by Chris Schoen, and costumes by Angela Altenhofen.

Special Events

In association with the production, Theater Oobleck and Chicago DCA Theater will present a special free event:

Panel Discussion Moderated by Arts Critic Andrew Patner
Art and Pop Culture, Leo Strauss and Western Democracy, Text and Subtext, and Other Odd Couples
DCA Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph Street
Monday, June 29, at 7pm

Price: FREE, Reservations encouraged at 312-742-TIXS (8497), or at dcatheater.org.

International arts critic Andrew Patner moderates a discussion on some of the themes of Strauss at Midnight with knowledgeable panelists and Oobleck members, including the play’s author, Jeff Dorchen.

About the Oobleck Theater

Theater Oobleck is dedicated to producing and performing original works of theater at low or no cost to audiences. Three things define the company: New works. No director. Free if you’re broke. In 21 years in Chicago, Oobleck has launched over 50 productions of new works, all created and developed by members of the ensemble, working in concert to create a collective vision without an overseeing director. Most recently, the company completed an Off-Broadway run of The Strangerer at New York’s Barrow Street Theatre and presented Oobleck Election Play 2008: The Trojan Candidate at the Neo-Futurarium in Chicago.

The Storefront Theater and the Studio Theater, its companion theater located in the Chicago Cultural Center at 77 E. Randolph Street, comprise Chicago DCA Theater, an anchor of the downtown theater district. Chicago DCA Theater offers downtown audiences an off-Loop theater experience with an exciting look at the vibrant emerging and developing theater companies that call Chicago home. Proposals for creative and innovative productions for the January to June 2010 season are now being accepted until May 15, 2009.

Discounted parking is available at Wabash Randolph Self Park at 20 E. Randolph. Patrons can receive the $14 rate by validating their ticket at the Storefront Theater box office.

For more information about Theater Oobleck’s Strauss at Midnight and Chicago DCA Theater, visit call 312-742-TIXS (8497) or visit dcatheater.org. The enhanced website features more information about DCA Theater performances and programs, including a blog, photo galleries, and visitor information.


Christine Carrino, 312-742-1148

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