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George Clooney’s 2005 film about broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow’s efforts to bring down fear-mongering U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy amid the heightened paranoia of the early 1950s, Good Night, and Good Luck, is coming to the stage.
Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company will present the world-premiere play, adapted from Clooney and co-writer Grant Heslov’s Oscar-nominated screenplay by Matt Charman, himself an Oscar-nominated screenwriter for Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies. The production is set to run Oct. 22-Dec. 20.
Good Night, and Good Luck will be staged by Steppenwolf artistic director Anna D. Shapiro, a Tony Award winner for Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County, currently represented on Broadway with the same playwright’s The Minutes.
The cast of the timely story of media and censorship in an ugly political atmosphere — bowing at the height of the 2020 election cycle — will feature company ensemble members Alana Arenas, Ian Barford, Audrey Francis, Tom Irwin and William Peterson, as well as Jordan Brodess, Keith Gallagher and Joey Slotnick.
Clooney’s film was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture, direction and actor for David Strathairn, who played CBS veteran Murrow. The cast also included Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels, Patricia Clarkson and Frank Langella.
Arguably the most distinguished actor-driven theater company in the country, Steppenwolf will wrap its 2020-21 season with Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, translated, adapted and directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov with an all-ensemble cast. Beginning performances Aug. 1, 2021, that production will inaugurate the organization’s new campus addition, a 50,000 square-foot theater-in-the-round, only six rows deep in order to maintain the Steppenwolf ethos of intimate and personal storytelling.
Also on the Steppenwolf 2020-21 season lineup is Vichet Chum’s Bald Sisters (Dec. 3-Feb. 7), Bess Wohl’s Barcelona (Jan. 28-March 14), Donnetta Lavinia Grays’ Last Night and the Night Before (April 1-May 16, 2021) and Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy (June 10-Aug. 1, 2021).
The stage adaptation of Good Night, and Good Luck is being produced by special arrangement with Jean Doumanian, Robert Fox, Clooney and Heslov. It seems inevitable that Broadway investors will be hitting Chicago during the run to check out the play’s potential for a New York transfer.
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