April 2011, Volume 15, Number 2

Cultural Spotlight

Kendall Theater Makes ‘Front Page’

Dog Sees God

After the success of Peanuts' comic-strip takeoff Dog Sees God earlier this year, MDC’s Kendall Campus Theater department is now making news with The Front Page. Wrapping up another memorable season, The Studio Theatre will now be showcasing their production of the beloved comedy classic.

The Front Page, by legendary Hollywood screenwriter-cum-playwright Ben Hecht and playwright Charles MacArthur, both former journalists, was a hit when it premiered on Broadway in 1928. It not only delighted audiences with rapid-fire, streetwise dialogue and scintillating wit but also greatly influenced American comedy writers.

The play also has seen several silver screen incarnations, including His Girl Friday, starring Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant.

“Working with such a famous play is both exciting and a bit daunting,” said director Brad Beckman, in part referring to the many versions and variations of the play, which include changing the protagonist, Hildy, from the original male to a female lead.

“We initially talked about doing it with the His Girl Friday character change, but eventually decided to do the show as written, and to the ‘nth’ degree.”

Beckman chose to adhere to the original so faithfully that even the set, costumes and accents are going to be “very Chicago, 1928.”

To everyone’s delight, a great play, a great cast and a great director have come together again at MDC’s Kendall Campus Theater. If theater is all about making choices, then choosing to rediscover this 20th-century classic is the way to go.

— HP

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