By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL
The Quadrangle Club Revels will take place again this year, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31, and Saturday, Feb. 1, at the perennial play’s namesake venue, at 1155 E. 57th St.
This year’s production, “Sweet Dreams: A Winter’s Tale of Spring,” was written by local author Ted Fishman and retired courtroom sketch artist Andy Austin. It tells the story of a tortured U. of C. English student who falls asleep and has a zany dream at the Medici on 57th, 1327 E. 57th St.
“Every year I try to honor some Hyde Park institution,” Austin said, adding “I think the Medici is just such a cool place — all the stuff hanging around, and the graffiti and the gargoyles.”
Fishman and Austin’s screenplay keeps in the Revels’ tradition of referencing several neighborhood institutions. This year’s story takes place in a sleep laboratory operated by teddybears, and incorporates Italy’s Medici family — a reference to the neighborhood restaurant — and an anthropomorphized Hyde Park Herald in the form of a messenger.
The Quadrangle Club’s cluttered stage was the inspiration for the play’s sleep laboratory. According to Austin, it “was narrowed a great deal a few years ago by the club needing to put air conditioning equipment, freezers, all kinds of junk,” Austin said. “I thought, well, maybe we should get rid of the black curtains and use the stage with all its junk.”
This year’s play will have a cast of around 30 people, including novelist Sarah Paretsky and state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-25). The play will also feature live music composed by five people —including U. of C. Press manuscript editor Carol Saller — performed by university organist Thomas Weisflog.
For more information, visit facebook.com/ChicagoRevels. To buy tickets, contact the Quadrangle Club by calling 773-702-7221 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.