Speed Dating | The Reader's Guide Feature | Chicago Reader
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Hello Again was a late addition to Circle Theatre's season this year, a replacement for The Fifth of July after that play unexpectedly turned up on another theater's spring schedule. Written by Michael John LaChiusa and described as an "adult musical fantasy," Hello Again is based on Arthur Schnitzler's 100-year-old Viennese shocker La Ronde. The Schnitzler play is a game of sexual dominoes--a blitz of brief encounters and the frank dialogue that precedes and follows them. A masterpiece of social commentary, it looked as raw as reality TV to its European audience. Crowds rioted, police banned it, and Schnitzler wound up on trial for obscenity. LaChiusa's version is a near opera--a sung-through, danced-through musical that touches down in every decade of the 20th century. It has a cast of ten and a three-piece combo playing a jazz-edged score. "Not as dark as La Ronde," says director Kevin Bellie, but, even in its comic moments, not fluff. Hello Again ran at Lincoln Center in 1994, when the New York Times called it the "best original musical of the season"; LaChiusa's added new material for this production. Bellie and Circle, which is up for 15 of the non-Equity Jeff awards that'll be handed out next week, worked directly with LaChiusa last year on The Wild Party, and LaChiusa will be in town for this show as well. Previews are at 8 PM June 6, 7, and 10; regular performances start at 8 Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 Sundays June 11 through July 20 at 7300 Madison in Forest Park. Tickets are $21 ($10 for previews); $19 for students and seniors. Call 708-771-0700 for more information.

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

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