Beautiful Thing | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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In May 1998, Famous Door Theatre Company presented the U.S. premiere of this 1993 comedy-drama by Liverpool-bred playwright Jonathan Harvey, about two working-class schoolboys who fall in love right under their parents' noses. Slated for a two-month run, the production was an unexpected hit, striking a chord with audiences of all persuasions as it tenderly depicted how a gay teen romance affects the lovers' already anxious relationships with parents and peers. It played at the Theatre Building till the end of that year, then enjoyed a four-month off-Broadway engagement. Now director Gary Griffin has reassembled the excellent original cast for a summer remount; after its weeklong appearance as part of the Chicago Park District's summer Theater on the Lake series, the show will move to the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts, where Griffin just triumphed with his stripped-down staging of My Fair Lady. Matt Stinton stars as shy, sports-challenged Jamie and Michael Moran as the slightly older athlete he adores; Kirsten Sahs plays Jamie's mum, a rough-edged waitress struggling to raise a son alone. Theater on the Lake, Fullerton and Lake Shore Dr., 312-742-7994. Opens Wednesday, July 10, 7:30 PM. Through July 14: Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 PM; Sunday, 6:30 PM. $12.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Brad Miller.

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