Playtime Chicago Theater Updates, Personnel Changes, Wine Recommendation — August 9th, 2020

Below is a lightly edited transcript of the Playtime Chicago Theater Report for August 9, 2020.

You can hear this episode on:

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Good afternoon and welcome to the Chicago Theater Report. We have a lot of news this week, including details of upcoming productions, some personnel changes at various companies and a new weekly feature: Wine recommendations to go along with streaming shows.


Personnel Changes at Chicago Theater Companies

Leda Hoffmann and Kamille Dawkins

Strawdog Theatre Company has announced the departure of artistic director Leda Hoffmann, effective Aug. 15. Hoffman has accepted the position of artistic director of CATCO in Columbus, Ohio. Ensemble member Kamille Dawkins will serve as the company’s interim artistic director.

Sana Selemon. Photo by Sydni Randle.

Meanwhile, BoHo Theatre has announced the appointment Sana Selemon as the company’s new Executive Director.

Charlique Rolle

Congo Square Theatre Company has appointed Charlique C. Rolle as its new managing director.

Mikael Burke

About Face Theatre has named Mikael Burke as its new Associate Artistic Director.

Lyric Opera Gala

TonyTheTiger at English Wikipedia / CC BY-SA

Moving on to upcoming events, The Lyric Opera’s annual opening night red carpet gala can’t happen this year due to COVID-19 restrictions and the cancellation of all performances through the end of the year. This isn’t putting a stop to the yearly celebration, which will still be happening! For the Love of Lyric— a virtual concert, will premier on Sunday, September 13th. The concert will be streamed free of charge on YouTube and Facebook and features stars such as Renée Fleming, Heather Headley,  Ailyn Pérez, Soloman Howard, and J’Nai Bridges, as well as members of Lyric’s 2020/21 Ryan Opera Center Ensemble and members of the Chicago Children’s Choir. For more information, visit

Patchwork Play Festival

Eclectic Full Contact Theater Company has announced that its 1st Annual Patchwork Play Festival will be taking place on Zoom early next year. Eclectic Full Contact is accepting submissions that embody this year’s theme of “Reliance,” through December 31st, 2020. Nine finalists will have their play produced and a $250 Audience Award will be presented to the festival favorite as determined by the audiences.

A War of the Worlds

Awhile back, I mentioned that  Theater In the Dark would be producing its own version of War of the Worlds this Fall. Those plans are still in place, but the show, A War of the Worlds, will be a virtual audio drama running from October 15th to November 21st. While it will be based on the H.G. Wells classic, the story will be updated and set in Modern-Day Chicago and Illinois. Tickets go on sale on September 1st and you can get more information about the show at

Wine Review: Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge 2016

There are few things that accompany theatrical performances as well as good wine. As theater lovers continue to enjoy streaming shows at home, I’ll be recommending good wines to go along with your entertainment. All wines reviewed will be from Chicago-area wine shops. You can hear the rundown of my favorites on the May 17th, 2020 show (I start talking about the wine shops at the 55:05 mark).

This week, my recommendation is Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir “Ribbon Ridge” ‘2016. I’m not normally a huge fan of pinot noir: Often, the grape is mishandled and produces wines that promise a lot from nose to first sip, only to disappoint at the finish.

However, this bottle, which can be purchased from Perman Wine Selections here in Chicago, offers a truly fulfilling wine experience. I noticed a bit of cherry along with a wee bit of a savory note, which carried through from start to finish. Like most pinot noirs, this bottle from Goodfellow Family Cellars goes best with simple cuisine: I enjoyed mine with a pot roast, but this could go equally well with simply cooked salmon or chicken. Goodfellow Family Cellars Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir 2016 goes for $35.99 a bottle and can be purchased in Chicago by visiting or calling 312.255.8990 to order a bottle. Curbside pickup is free, or you can have your wine delivered for an extra charge.

Playtime with Bill Turck and Kerri Kendall can be heard every Sunday from 1-3pm Central time. The show streams live at and Facebook and an archive recording is also made available for streaming at any time. In the Chicago area? WCGO is at 1590 AM throughout the Chicagoland area and 95.9 FM on the Northside.