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Chris Jones and the Theater Loop are going international with a chartered travel package to the world-renowned Stratford Festival in Canada. Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones will host this idyllic three-day getaway to the leading classical theater festival in North America, complete with premier access to top-tier performances and gatherings with Stratford luminaries organized exclusively for members of this travel group.
Highlights of the Theater Loop Travel Package
o Backstage tour
o Tour of costume and props warehouse
o Admission to two Stratford Festival Forum events, featuring panel discussions about themes from the Festival season
Day One: Friday, Sept. 5
The Theater Loop getaway begins with a chartered luxury bus departure from the Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, at 7 a.m. Your transport comes furnished with Wi-Fi, reclining seats, power outlets and water and light snacks. Chris Jones and Theater Loop’s Johnny Oleksinski plus staff from the Chicago Tribune will be on board, keeping the conversation lively and tending to any needs along the way. We will arrive at the Arden Park Hotel, near the Stratford Festival, by late-afternoon, in time for your hotel check-in and dinner of your choosing. Enjoy your first play at 8 p.m. Friday evening, when you’ll have the choice of reserved A+ seating for either “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” or “Man of La Mancha.”
Day Two: Saturday, Sept. 6
As the curtain rises on our second day at Stratford, you will have a choice of a Forum event (“He’s Not Mad, He’s Madly Visionary!: A Debate on Madness and Individuality”) or a guided tour of the Festival Theatre or the vaunted costume and props warehouse. These morning activities conclude around 11 a.m., when you are free to have lunch at one of the many restaurants around Stratford.
After lunch, enjoy A+ seating at a matinee performance of either “The Beaux’ Stratagem,” directed by Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino, or “Alice Through the Looking Glass.” Following the matinees, Chris Jones invites us to join him for a cocktail hour in the Festival Lounge where he will be in conversation with notable festival artists. You are free to make your own dinner plans. In the evening, choose one of two shows: “Crazy for You,” with music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, book by Ken Ludwig and directed by Donna Feore, or Noel Coward’s classic “Hay Fever.”
Day Three: Sunday, Sept. 7
Start your Sunday with either a Forum event (“Restoration Comedy: Those Marital – and Extra-Marital – Knots”) or a backstage tour of the Festival Theatre. You’ll be finished in time for brunch with Chris Jones at the Festival Theater Paul D. Fleck Marquee. The crown jewel of your weekend will be Sunday afternoon’s performance of “King Lear,” directed by Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino. You will enjoy A+ seating. Your transportation will depart from the Festival Theatre immediately following the performance. Chris Jones, Johnny Oleksinski and the Chicago Tribune staff will accompany you back to Chicago.
A+ seating is included in the travel package according to the following schedule. Travelers must indicate their performance choices when the travel package is booked:
Friday, September 5, 8 p.m.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare, directed by Chris Abraham
“Man of La Mancha” music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion; book by Dale Wasserman, directed by Robert McQueen
Saturday, September 6, 2 p.m.
“The Beaux’ Stratagem” by George Farquhar, directed by Stratford artistic director, Antoni Cimolino
“Alice Through the Looking Glass” By Lewis Carroll; Adapted by James Reaney, Directed by Jillian Keiley
Saturday, September 6, 8 p.m.
“Crazy for You” music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin; book by Ken Ludwig, directed by Donna Feore
“Hay Fever” by Noel Coward, directed by Alisa Palmer
Sunday, September 7, 2 p.m.
“King Lear” by William Shakespeare, directed by Stratford artistic director, Antoni Cimolino
Age requirement: Must be at least 21 years old to register.
Accommodation and Meals
Hotels: Lodging is not included in the price of your ticket, and it is your responsibility to secure your own accommodations. Stratford has many hotels, and many guests of this trip will be staying at the Arden Park Hotel. Attendees are free to make their own accommodation decisions.
Food: Light appetizers will be provided at the Saturday cocktail hour; brunch will be provided Sunday; a boxed sandwich dinner will be provided on the bus ride home. All other meals will be the responsibility of the attendees.
Chris Jones is the chief theater critic for the Chicago Tribune and has reviewed and commented on culture, the arts, politics and entertainment for the Tribune for more than 15 years. His arts criticism also has appeared often in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, American Theatre magazine and numerous other newspapers and magazines. A native of Manchester, England, Jones earned a doctorate in theater from the Ohio State University in 1989 and taught for many years at both Northern Illinois University and DePaul University, where he served as an associate dean.
The Press Pass series is presented by Nielsen.
You may receive a full refund if you cancel before 5pm CST August 4, 2014. You will not receive any refund if you cancel after August 22, 2014. If you cancel after 5pm August 4 and before August 22, we can refund the amount you paid except for $500 which we will have already spent on non-refundable costs. You will receive a confirmation email that includes a confirmation number for your registration(s). Tickets for all Stratford Festival shows and events will be distributed once we arrive at the Stratford Festival.
For questions concerning Trib Nation Events, please email TribNation@tribune.com or call 312-222-4369.