City Lit Theater’s 42nd season will kick off in October with the world premiere of THE MARK OF KANE, from Chicago-based playwright and actor Mark Pracht, directed by City Lit Artistic Director Terry McCabe. Spanning eight decades, Pracht’s oeuvre begins in 1939 when Bob Kane and Bill Finger create the comic book character Batman; one of them goes to fame and fortune, while the other languishes in obscurity.
THE MARK OF KANE is the first in “The Four Color Trilogy,” a set of works that Pracht is writing for City Lit that will premiere worldwide over the next three seasons and will highlight major turning points in comic book history. book industry, once a denigrated art form but now at the center of American pop culture. Pracht has appeared in leading roles in City Lit in PROMETHEUS BOUND, FRANKENSTEIN and THE COPPERHEAD, and won a Jeff Award for Performer in a Leading Role for REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT with The Artistic Home, where he is an ensemble member. The second work in the trilogy, THE INNOCENCE OF SEDUCTION, about the 1950s congressional investigation into horror comics, will be released in 2023; the third, THE HOUSE OF IDEAS, about the rise of Marvel in the 1960s, will be released in 2024. THE MARK OF KANE opens to press on Sunday, October 30 at 3 p.m. 2022.
McCabe announced his cast and production team today. Appearing as Bob Kane will be Josh Zagoren, who has credits with Chicago’s Interrobang Theatre, The Factory and other companies. He has appeared on NBC’s CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO MED and is also known as “Chad the Bird” on his “Chad the Birdcast” podcast. Kane’s creative partner, Bill Finger, will be played by Todd Wojcik, who recently appeared in THE PAVILION and as the “Nasty Interesting Man” in Sarah Ruhl’s EURYDICE, both with The Artistic Home. City Lit veteran Adam Bitterman, who won acclaim as “Old Mahon” in City Lit’s THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD last summer, has been cast as Kane and Finger’s fellow DC Comics writer Arnold Drake, creator from Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Annie Hogan, who appeared in City Lit in FORTY-TWO STORIES and earned a Jeff nomination for her role in REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT with The Artistic Home, will play Finger’s wife, Portia.
Other notable creators of the DC Comics universe portray Lee Kanne as Jerry Robinson (co-creator of Robin and the Joker for the Batman comics), David Valenta as Shelly Moldoff (co-creator of Batgirl and the Batman supervillains Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze). Michael Sherwin will play Jim Steranko, best known for writing and drawing NICK FURY, AGENT OF SHIELD.
Rounding out the cast are Sean Harklerode (Vin Sullivan/Charles Sinclair), Laura Coleman (Tessie Finger/Augusta Kahn/Lily Uslan), John Wehrman (Louis Finger/Herman Kahn/Jack Liebowitz/William Dozier), Zoe Deprez (Lottie/Gilda Finger / Doris Kahn/Michael Uslan/Veronica), Linsey Falls (Harry Donenfeld/Sam Singer), and Dakota Pariset (Randy/Jerry Bails/Fred Finger). The production team, in addition to directing McCabe, includes Jeff G. “Max” Award nominee Maxin IV (Set/Lighting/Projection Designer), Rachel S. Parent (Costume Designer), and Jeff Petter Award Winner Wahlback (composer).
Subscriptions for the three-show season of City Lit are available for $75.00, valid for all performances, or $58.50 for prior performances. Subscriptions can be ordered online at www.citylit.org. Individual tickets for THE MARK OF KANE and other productions in the ’22-’23 season are priced at $30 for previews and $34 for regular shows and are on sale now at www.citylit.org. Senior prices are $25 for previews and $29 for regular showings. Students and military pay $12.00 for all submissions.