“Beautiful Thing” At The Athenaeum

CHICAGO – Pride Films and Plays is thrilled to announce the Chicago 20th anniversary production of Jonathan Harvey’s acclaimed Beautiful Thing, the heartwarming story of two teenaged boys coming to grips with their sexuality. Director John Nasca directs a cast that includes Robert Hilliard, Michelle McKenzie-Voigt, Kiah McKirnan, Patrick Rybarczyk, and Charlie Wein.

Please note that the production was originally announced for the Luna Central space, but will now be performed in Studio Three at the Athenaeum Theatre.

Beautiful Thing runs January 17 – February 17, 2013 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago. Previews are January 17 and 18, 2013 at

7:30pm. The production opens Saturday, January 19 and runs through Sunday, February 17, 2013. Curtain times are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30pm,with Sunday matinees at 2:00pm.

Tickets are $15 for previews, $23 on Thursdays and Sundays, and $25 on Fridays and Saturdays. For tickets, reserve on-line at www.athenaeumtheatre.org or call the box office of the Athenaeum Theatre at 773-935-6875.

Jamie, a boy who skips school to avoid playing sports, is attracted to his next-door neighbor Ste, an athletic teen who is regularly beaten by his father and brothers. One night, Jamie’s mother Sandra offers Ste refuge from his abusive family, setting off a chain of events that changes their lives forever. Set in a working-class area of southeast London, Beautiful Thing illustrates the struggle of growing up in a world that can be cruel and unforgiving to anyone perceived as different.

PFP ensemble members Michelle McKenzie-Voigt (Sandra) and Patrick Rybarczyk (Tony) are joined in the cast by Robert Hilliard (Jamie) and Charlie Wein (Ste) making his Chicago debut. Kiah McKirnan, a student at Lincoln Park High School, makes her professional debut as Leah.

Jonathan Harvey (Playwright) comes from Liverpool and now lives in London. His plays include The Cherry Blossom Tree (Liverpool Playhouse Studio, 1987) which won him the 1987 National Girobank Young Writer of the Year Award; Mohair, Wildfire, and Beautiful Thing, winner of the John Whiting Award 1994; Babies, winner of the George Devine Award 1993 and Evening Standard’s Most Promising Playwright Award 1994; Boom Bang-A-Bang, and Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club. Jonathan is currently working on several projects including a new television series and a musical with the Pet Shop Boys.

John Nasca (Director) is co-founder and Artistic Director of Glitterati Productions and an Artistic Associate for Pride Films and Plays. His directing credits include Gypsy, Moon Over Buffalo, No, No, Nanette, Love Sucks!, and the staged readings of Beautiful Thing, Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood, The Ritz, Save the Date, Maurice, Hello Norma Jeane, and Visalia. John is also a 3-time Jeff-recommended costumer for Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Anyone Can Whistle, and Die! Mommie, Die!, and the proud recipient of After Dark and Broadway World awards. His costume work also includes Noises Off, Metropolis, Phantom, Poseidon: An Upside-Down Musical, Follies, The Miracle Worker, Chicago, The Little Foxes, Rigoletto, The Great White Hope, Tintypes, The Women, and On the Waterfront.

Via press release