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This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with two new theatrical productions about to open in the area. First, the world premiere adaptation drama “Thirteen Days,” based on the book by Robert F. Kennedy. It addresses the Cuban Missile Crisis from the perspective of the players involved. It was a time when the world held its breath wondering if the US and Russia were on the true brink of nuclear war because of missiles placed in Cuba by Russia. This was no bluff, no false story. The fear was palpable and real. Joining in the discussion is the Director of the production, Brian Pastor; and in a twist, the leads are played by women who take on the challenge of playing very complex men: actors Cameron Feagin (plays President John F. Kennedy) and Kat Evans (plays JFK’s brother, US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy). The time was historic and tense, these actors did their research and talk during the interview about the challenge of taking on such well known historical figures during an intense and historic time.Previews begin on September 10th thru 17th, the Show opens on September 19th and runs thru October 24th, at City Lit Theatre: 1020 west Bryn Mawr (inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church). Tickets at: www.citylit.org.

Then, the mood lightens as the cast of Matilda The Musical join the podcast to talk about this new upcoming production by the Highland Park Players, playing at the Northbrook Theatre. Director/choreographer Jenilee Houghton is joined by actors Brent Walker (Miss Trunchbull) and Jill Iverson (Miss Honey) to talk about the challenge of taking on a big Broadway musical by a local theater but maintaining all the fun and magic of Broadway. The show opens on September 24th and runs thru October 3rd. Tickets can be purchased along with show information at: www.HighlandParkPlayers.com.