BIG LOVE

by Charles L. Mee
directed by Matt Hawkins
Season 25
April 21—May 25, 2013
RECOMMENDED … a comic, tragic, utterly terrific battle that makes The Taming of the Shrew look like the kid's stuff it essentially is. Matt Hawkins's staging is also terrific. The precisely choreographed cast of 30 (yes, 30) play for keeps—especially those in featured roles, such as the fierce Michaela Petro, the convincingly dangerous Shane Kenyon, the girly-girlish Sarah Goeden, and Stacy Stoltz and John Ferrick as gender warriors who find themselves caught behind enemy lines. Paul Fagen and Cheryl Roy float through in delightful character roles, and Mike Mroch's apparently simple set discloses its value as the show goes along. All in all, this Big Love is a marvel of big ensemble work in a tiny space.
— Chicago Reader
★★★ Hawkins, whose staging of Peter Barnes' Red Noses for Strawdog a few seasons ago was a sheer delight, again demonstrates his zesty ability to animate a large cast in a small space without losing focus on the small telling moments ... Pianist Dane Halvorson provides cunning accompaniment to a gaggle of pop love songs ... the performances are terrific from top to bottom, including John Henry Roberts' Piero, the owner of the Italian villa who finds his attempts to help the women thwarted by realpolitik, and Cheryl Roy as Bella, the Italian matriarch …
— Chicago Tribune
People who would like this show are people who like being free, being in love, and flip-up sunglasses. People should go and see this show because it is funny but also very serious. It has a great set (by Mike Mroch) that is pretty and deadly. The costumes (by Brittany Dee Bodley) are amazing. The wedding dresses are pretty when you first see them and then they start to get creepy; they reminded me of ghosts. The acting is fantastic. It made me think that I am not going to let anyone make me marry anyone. Period.
— Ada Grey Reviews For You

The term "battle of the sexes" gets a whole new meaning when a group of brides-to-be on the run from the altar face down their jilted grooms at an Italian villa. Strawdog Artistic Associate Matt Hawkins, director of The House Theatre's Cyrano and Strawdog's award-winning smash hit Red Noses returns (triumphantly) to our mainstage with Mee's poetic, madcap riff on love, violence and gender roles.

cast
Christopher Acevedo
Groom
Jonathan Beal
Groom
Sami Cravens
Bride
Luke Daigle
Groom
Matthew Dealy
Groom
Anita Deely *
Eleanor
Paul Fagen *
Giuliano
Sarah Goeden *
Olympia
Dane Halvorson
Pianist
Shane Kenyon
Constantine
Michael Medford
Groom
Emilie Modaff
Bride
John Moran
Groom
Shane Michael Murphy
Groom
Rasika Ranganthan
Bride
Cheryl Roy
Bella
Eleni Sauvageau
Bride
Kevin Sheehan
Groom
Elise Spoerlein
Bride
Stacy Stoltz
Lydia
Britni Tozzi
Bride
Walls Trimble
Bride
Casey Wortmann
Bride
Kelly Yacono
Bride
production
Author
Charles L. Mee
Director
Matt Hawkins
Assistant Director
Charlie McGrath
Set Design
Light Design
Heather Gilbert
Costume Design
Props Design
Jeff Shields
Sound Design
Choreography
Marrissa Moritz
Dialects
Kathy Logelin
Stage Manager
Clare Roche
Ass't Stage Manager
Sarah Espinoza
Master Electrician
Aaron Cannon
Production Manager
Sarah Burnham
* = Strawdog company member
Photography by Jon Cole Media
Production photo by Chris Ocken
Photo by KBH Media
Photo by Donald Cardiff
Photo by John Flak
Photo by Dave Brennan
Production photo by TCMcG Photography