The press alert I received earlier this week said it all: "Just in time for Halloween, Goodman Theatre hosts costume sale."
The sale is today at Chicago's legendary Goodman Theatre at 170 N. Dearborn St. and what a treasure hunt this is sure to be.
Here's what the press advisory promises: "Dress up in a piece of Goodman Theatre history this Halloween! For the first time in five years, Goodman Theatre's Costume Shop hosts a sale of costume pieces from past productions on Saturday, Oct. 20 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Goodman. Items are cash and carry, and all sales are final. Doors open at 9 a.m., and costume previews will not be available prior to the sale. No phone calls, please. There is something for everyone, as prices for the costume pieces start as low as $1. Stand-out sale items include the fish from Sarah Ruhl's 'Passion Play' (2007/2008 Season), the horse head from 'Turn of the Century' (2008/2009 Season), African masks from 'Animal Crackers' (2009/2010 Season), as well as pieces from 'Candide' (2010/2011 Season), 'Camino Real' (2011/2012 Season) and many more."
The towering giant fish costumes from "Passion Play" are definite fun finds. (They look so real, you're likely to have every feline in the neighborhood following like a parade on Halloween!)
I was amazed to be reminded that Goodman's run of "Passion Play" was back in September 2007. This was a play I raved about and recommended.
So happy costume hunting and in the meantime, I've dug out my original review from 2007 of "Passion Play" to share here:
"I've seen many interpretations and adaptations of the story of Christ as told in the 'Passion Play.' And ever since the age of 13, when I first became a reader at my church, I've even annually read the words of Pontius Pilate (and all the other male voice parts) during our church's services each year on Palm Sunday and Good Friday.
Still, given all of this, nothing could prepare me for what I would see last weekend on stage at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago at the press opening of 'Passion Play: a cycle in three parts' written by Chicagoland Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Sarah Ruhl.
This clever, funny, thought-provoking masterpiece challenges audiences to think about many things during the course of the production's three and half hours (which seems to breeze by with two short intermissions).
I hinted in Sunday's column that I would be seeing this play and that it even included castmember Polly Noonan, who can be seen in a brief, yet memorable role in the 1986 film 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' and who has family here in Michigan City.
Noonan, the only castmember appearing in Chicago who actually originated her role as 'the village idiot' in play's earlier unveiling elsewhere, takes control of every scene she's featured in during the first two acts, with her distinct voice and an honest, bright and energetic portrayal of a young girl with insight into the inner spirit.
Most importantly to emphasize, this is a play about three very different and yet very similar stagings of the 'Passion Play.' The same cast of 16 characters play all of the roles in all three acts, which span versions of the "Passion" being staged first from the days of the Renaissance in a small town in England around 1575 (at a time when the Queen has just been excommunicated by the Pope and she has abolished such art forms) and then fast forward to the famous German village of Oberammergau around the time of 1934, as the Nazi party is coming into power.
Lastly, in what is the weakest of the three acts, the scene is Spearfish, S.D., at the time of the Vietnam War and the 'Passion Play' is more important than ever before for new reasons.
During the course of the play, there are adult themes, a flash of nudity and some minor harsh language. There are also cameo appearances by famous faces like Queen Elizabeth I, Adolph Hitler and President Ronald Reagan.
Most of all, these are characters surrounded by a clever and very functional set design, that the audience not only connects to, but also cares about as a new old story unfolds."