First Folio Presents ‘Madness of Edgar Allan Poe’ Sept. 26th-Nov. 4th

First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83), known for bringing high quality performances of Shakespeare and other classics to the Chicagoland stage, announces its 2012-2013 season. The season begins with an the return of the acclaimed production THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE: A LOVE STORY, an original play by Executive DirectorDavid Rice, previewing September 26, opening September 29 and running through November 4, 2012. The effervescent comedy JEEVES TAKES A BOW previews January 30, opens February 1 and runs through March 3, 2013; the quirky mystery UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL previews March 27, opens March 30 and runs through April 28, 2013; and the World Premiere of SHAKESPEARE’S CYMBELINE: A FOLK TALE WITH MUSIC, adapted by Rice, previews June 19, opens June 22 and runs through July 21, 2013.F

THE MADNESS OF Edgar AllenPoe: A LOVE STORY is a riveting exploration of the life and death, love and heartbreak of one of the most prolific writers of all time. Poe’s macabre and melancholic tales and poems come to life in this mesmerizing play, called “A smart and heartfelt journey!” (The Chicago Tribune) and “A masterful take on a master’s work!” (The Daily Herald). Poe and his wife, Virginia, guide the audience through historic Mayslake Hall, taking them from the garrets to the dungeons and deep into the madness ofEdgar AllanPoe. This original work by First Folio Executive DirectorDavid Riceis based on the life and writings of the famed author and received a Jeff Award nomination for New Adaptation in 2007. THE MADNESS OF Edgar AllenPoe: A LOVE STORY will be directed byMichael Goldberg (Director of First Folio’s Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and starsLarry Neumann, Jr., Diane Mair, and Robert Allan Smith. The production begins previews September 26, opens September 29 and runs through November 4, 2012.

British upper crust meets the New York mob in the witty new play JEEVES TAKES A BOW. Everyone’s favorite hapless hero, Bertie Wooster, embarks on an American adventure armed only with his handsome fortune, his talent for trouble, and his remarkable manservant, Jeeves. In less than a New York minute, Bertie finds himself knee-deep in troubles with vengeful gangsters, chorus girls, and a new Broadway musical. “The return of Jeeves and Bertie is as welcome as a reunion with old friends!” said The Daily Herald. The Chicago Sun-Times raved, “For riotous, light-hearted comedy, Jeeves is hard to beat!” JEEVES TAKES A BOW is the third installment of Margaret Raether’s adaptations of the stories of P.G. Wodehouse. The production will be directed by Jeff Award nomineeAlison C. Vesely(First Folio’s A Moon for the Misbegotten). The cast of First Folio’s 2009 production Jeeves in Bloom will reprise their roles in JEEVES TAKES A BOW, starring Jim McCanceas “Jeeves” andChristian Grayas “Bertie,” as well asKevin McKillip,Melanie Keller, and Lydia Berger Gray. JEEVES TAKES A BOW previews January 30, opens February 1 and runs through March 3, 2013.

UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL was named one of the Top Ten Plays of the Year by Time Out New York when it opened in 2001, and has had successful runs in Ireland, London’s West End, and Canada. When a Dutch librarian opens a book returned 113 years overdue, she finds a ticket for a Chinese laundry in London. Her curiosity compels her to redeem the ticket for a pair of abandoned trousers, which contain another clue that leads her on an adventurous journey around the world and into surprising revelations of a long-forgotten past, where she ultimately discovers what can only be described as a miracle. The Chicago Tribune raved that UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL is “Fascinating and picaresque!” and The New York Times said “There is something innately compelling in this tale of an unlikely discoverer of a secret thread who is instinctively moved to pull it and pursue the consequent unraveling.” UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL is by Emmy Award-winnerGlen Berger, who recently co-wrote the book for the musical adaptation of Spider-Man on Broadway. The production will be directed byAlison C. Veselyand previews March 27, opens March 30 and runs through April 28, 2013.