National Theatre Live’s 2013 season continues at Music Box with Victorian farce The Magistrate starring John Lithgow shown Wednesday, January 23 with encore matinee Sunday, February 10

image003 The Music Box Theatre continues its partnership with the UK’s National Theatre Live – produced by Northwestern University alum David Sabel – to exhibit live stage performances beamed to Chicago from the prestigious National Theatre in London.  Academy Award nominee and Tony Award-winnerJohn Lithgow (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Shrek, This is 40) takes the title role in Arthur Wing Pinero’s uproarious Victorian farce, The Magistrate, directed by Olivier Award-winner Timothy Sheader (Crazy for You and Into the Woods). The Chicago performances take place Wednesday, January 23, 7 p.m. and Sunday, February 10, 2 p.m. at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport Avenue.  Tickets to National Theatre Live events are $15 in advance at the Music Box Theatre box office and online at; $18 at the door.

In a similar vein to the National Theatre’s smash-hit classic comedies, She Stoops to Conquer and London AssuranceThe Magistrate is sure to have audiences doubled up with laughter. When amiable magistrate Posket (John Lithgow) marries Agatha (Olivier Award-winner Nancy Carroll, After the Dance), little does he realize she’s dropped five years from her age – and her son’s. When her deception looks set to be revealed, it sparks a series of hilarious indignities and outrageous mishaps.

Now in its fourth season, the international phenomenonNational Theatre Live is the brainchild of Northwestern University alumnus David Sabel, National Theatre’s Head of Digital. Sabel explains, “When you think of filmed theatre it’s the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to be: there in the space, seeing the sweat and feeling the emotion and heat of the room. How is that going to work? People are surprised at how connected they feel. A huge part of that is the shared experience; if you were watching it on TV, even if it was live, you’d go and make a cup of tea, but here you are buying a ticket and reacting and applauding together.

“It’s like filming a sports match; you take the audience’s eye to where the ball goes. If we’ve done our job, you should feel you saw a piece of theatre, not a film, even though there were probably lots of close ups where the director was choosing what you see.” Since its debut in 2009,National Theatre Live has expanded from 40 theatres in the UK to nearly 300 screens worldwide.

The 2013 NTLive season at Music Box continues in March with People, the acclaimed new play by Alan Bennett (The History Boys) and concludes in May with This Housea biting and energetic new play about the ruthless world of 1970s British politics.   Visit for additional details.

About the Music Box Theatre: For nearly 30 years the Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films, festivals and some of the greatest cinematic events in Chicago. It currently has the largest cinema space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD and television markets throughout the United States. For additional information please visit .  Download the entire Music Box Theatre Winter Calendar here:

National Theatre Live is an initiative by the UK’s National Theatre to broadcast live performances onto cinema screens around the world. Since its first season, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production ofPhédre starring Helen Mirren, more than 750,000 people have now experienced the National’s work on movie screens worldwide.