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Red Orchid season includes return of Michael Shannon

Updated: June 7, 2012 2:12AM

Immediately on the heels of the news that Michael Shannon would be heading to Broadway this fall to appear in Craig Wright’s “Grace,” comes the news that the actor will be back in Chicago to costar in a special “summer bonus” production of Sam Shepard’s play, “Simpatico.” He will be putting the icing on the cake of A Red Orchid Theatre’s 20th anniverary season. The company, located in the Old Town neighborhood, has long been a home base for Shannon.

A Red Orchid’s season subscription will include:

— “The Opponent” (Oct. 18-Dec. 2), the world premiere of ensemble member Brett Neveu’s play that looks at the tough world of boxing from the perspective of a small-time gym owner and a young up-and-comer. Karen Kessler will direct.

— “The Aliens” (Jan. 17-March 3, 2013), the Chicago premiere of Annie Baker’s play about two slackers who hang out near a coffee shop’s dumpsters, talk about Bukowski, sex, travel, philosophy and more, and then are thrust into change by the arrival of a 17-year-old barrista/disciple. Shade Murray will direct.

— “In a Garden” (April 4-May 19, 2013), the Chicago premiere of Howard Korder’s play, set in 1989 as an ambitious architect is summoned to a fictitious Middle Eastern country where the Minister of Culture commissions him to build “a thing of beauty” — something that reminds him of his fondest childhood memories. Larry Grimm will direct.

— “Simpatico” (June 13-July 28, 2013), Shepard’s play, in which high society meets low life by way of the world of thoroughbred racing. Along with Shannon, Guy VanSwearingen will be part of the cast to be directed by Dado.

For tickets, call (312) 943-8722 or visit

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