The Siren Song of the Pirate Queen | The Reader's Guide Feature | Chicago Reader

The Siren Song of the Pirate Queen 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Cheri and Don Hood got their first look at Grannia, a musical-theater version of the life of 16th-century pirate queen Grace O'Malley, when their daughter played the lead in a college production in the mid-1990s. They loved the story of the fierce Irishwoman who raided Queen Elizabeth's ships and regularly beat the English in battle, got a copy of the script from coauthor Thomas Powers, and passed it around for a time at the College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center, where Don is production manager. Years flew by, however, and the script was lost and pretty much forgotten. Then, Cheri fell seriously ill with a blood disease. She fought it for a year and a half, and in the depth of her illness dreamed that she was producing Grannia. When the lost copy of the script surfaced two days later, the Hoods decided it was meant to be: when Cheri recovered, they would stage it themselves. Last week Cheri was putting the finishing touches on costumes for the production, which opens September 3 at the arts center. Don directs Shannon Comiskey as Grannia and Denise Blank as Elizabeth, plus a cast of 19 other local actors; an eight-piece orchestra will play the Larry "Flash" Allen score on period instruments. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2 through September 19 at the McAninch Arts Center, Fawell and Park in Glen Ellyn. Tickets range from $19 to $21; call 630-942-4000.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
September 18
Performing Arts
September 24

Popular Stories

  • What happened to YOUmedia?

    The Chicago Public Library's flagship teen program was a refuge for Black and Brown youth. Recent layoffs put that in jeopardy.
    |
  • Queer folks of color want to cancel today’s Buttigieg-Lightfoot book event 13

    Activists say the pair's public conversation about “trust and distrust” shows the problems with assuming marginalized people have progressive values.
    |
  • How I Made It in Comedy: Bob Odenkirk

    "I had a meeting about writing a movie script for Francis the Talking Mule, which was a really dumb idea. I thought, What did the executives see in my past work that made them think I’m the perfect guy to write this?"
    |
  • Chicago's budget crisis, explained 2

    Budget season is here but it’s more dogged than usual. How will the city recover from a nearly billion-dollar budget gap?
    |
  • Surfing Sandy

    Lake Michigan's turbulent waters offer die-hard surfers a prime opportunity to shred some waves
    |