English Theater Stages ‘Run for Your Wife’ for The Drama Group in Chicago Heights – Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Heights drama group continues its 90th anniversary season by celebrating the 20th anniversary of its theater exchange program with the Stables Theater in England.
According to Andrew White, a member of The Stables Trust Limited for 29 years, most people traveling for “Run for Your Wife” from June 10-19 at The Drama Group’s Milord Studio Theater have never been on the exchange before.
“I think this is the first time that someone who isn’t actually involved in the production has taken on the organization,” said White, who helped coordinate aspects such as transportation, flights and accommodation for the exchange between Stables Theater and The Drama Group.
“Usually the organization was the responsibility of the show director, but I was involved in organizing The Drama Group’s return to Hastings in 2019, which I really appreciated.
“I thought that since directing a play is a challenge in itself, it would be more appropriate for someone else to take on the responsibility of organizing the trip.”
The May 6-14 production of “Run for Your Wife” which was directed by Lyndsey Meer at the Stables Theater & Arts Center in Hastings, East Sussex, England, will be remounted with the same cast in Chicago Heights.
“Lyndsey is a relatively new director at Stables. She did some great productions there. She did another comedy by the same playwright, Ray Cooney, which was very successful and very acclaimed,” White said of the 2018 production. from the Stables Theater of “It Runs in the Family”.
“I think it was the success that made me think ‘Run for Your Wife’ would be a good production to bring in for the swap.”
Cooney’s comedy “Run for Your Wife” premiered in 1982.
“It’s a classic British farce and it was very successful in the UK,” said White, who played Stanley in the Stables Theater production of “Run for Your Wife” in 1995.
“It is a taxi driver who operates in the city center. He becomes a bit of a local hero. He’s rather worried about it because he’s married to two women who don’t know each other. Of course, the resulting publicity will reveal its deep secret.
“It’s a series of escapades about how he tries to separate the two women and keep the press and police from finding out the truth. He involves the help of his neighbor Stanley to do so.
Glen Marks, Pauleen McLaughlin, Vivienne Pattison, Alan Haynes, Gavin Nevett, Dan Palmer and Richard Smith, who are all on the swap for the first time, star in “Run for Your Wife.”
“The actors involved are all experienced actors and actresses. All of them put on good performances,” White said.
“The show moves at a breakneck pace. It has a wide variety of characters. It is very ingenious in its staging. I liked seeing it again a few weeks ago when Stables performed it. Around me, people were laughing out loud.
“It’s a bit dated but the audiences we really enjoyed and I’m sure the audiences who see it in Chicago Heights will enjoy it too.”
The theater exchange program began in 1999 when The Drama Group performed ‘Spoon River Anthology’ in Hastings. The Stables Theater then presented Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” to Drama Group audiences in 2000.
The Drama Group last performed in Hastings in 2019 when the exchange performed John Bishop’s ‘The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940’ as part of the Stables Theatre’s 60th anniversary celebration.
“The great thing about the swap is that it’s so unique,” said White, who took part in the swap productions of The Stables Theater’s 2003 “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “The Mill on the Floss” in 2006 and “Taking Steps” in 2014.
“It’s the thrill and the excitement of bringing a successful production here to perform in front of a completely different audience in Chicago Heights with different facilities and the enthusiastic responses we get, the friendships we make and the hospitality we receive from The Drama Group.”
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“Run for Your Wife” in Chicago Heights includes residents of Berwyn, Chicago, Chicago Heights, Flossmoor, Frankfurt, Homewood, New Lenox, Olympia Fields, Richton Park and Tinley Park on the production team and/or program committee exchange.
“Run for Your Wife”
When: 7:30 p.m. on June 10-11 and 16-18; 2 p.m. on June 12 and 19
Where: Drama Group’s Milord Studio Theater, 330 W. 202nd St., Chicago Heights
Tickets: $23 adults; $21 for 65 and over; $17 students
Information: 708-755-3444; dramagroup.org
Jessi Virtusio is a freelance journalist for the Daily Southtown.