Join us Sunday, January 7 for Hard Times, the first theater trip, of 2018. It will be staged in the intimate Lookingglass Theater located within the Water Tower Water Works.
Lookingglass launches its 30th Season with the return of the award-winning, circus-infused Hard Times.
A Dickensian carnival of characters inhabits the streets of smoke-choked Coketown: grim Mr. Gradgrind’s school churns out joyless students; poor Stephen Blackpool toils in the nearby mines; and mill-owner Mr. Bounderby, full of bluster and bombast, presides over it all. Only when a traveling circus alights nearby, and young orphan Sissy Jupe enters their world, does a ray of hope shine through.
Artistic Director Heidi Stillman adapts and directs this timeless love-letter to the power of beauty, hope, and imagination.
Heidi Stillman—in her finest, most nuanced work as both adapter and director—has crafted a show of tremendous grace and heart, darkness and light. She has brought to life a Victorian-era epic that bursts with wit and whimsy, and all the outrage, hope, severity, and sentimentality of the novel.
– Chicago Sun-Times
As brilliantly conceived as any Dickens stage adaptation I have ever seen. It’s a tribute not only to the glory of Dickens, but to the joy of theater.
– Chicago Tribune
Learn more about the Hard Times production on its webpage including: artist/cast bios and video clips:
Hard Times Returns to Lookingglass, (2:29) and
Hard Times (2017) First Rehearsal (2:46)
Run Time: Two Hours and 45 minutes including one intermission (2:00 PM - 4:45 PM)
11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Free Time for Lunch and Adventure
within easy walking distance of
(N. Michigan Ave & E. Pearson St)
A few suggestions
Free Noon Tour, Great Gift Shop, MCA Cafe
ItineraryBear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave. Arrive early and we will all arrive in Chicago on time to begin our adventure.
– Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.
– Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the trip.
7:30 AM Bus arrives at Oakwood University Woods to begin boarding.
7:55 AM Arrive at Capitol Lakes
8:10 AM Arrive at East Towne Sears
8:20 AM Depart for Chicago (Or, sooner if everyone is aboard)
11:00 AM Fig and Olive Restaurant
11:05 AM Arrive Lookingglass Theatre, Contemporary Art Museum (MCA) Chicago, Driehaus Museum and Water Tower Place.
11:20 AM Arrive Art Institute of Chicago
11:30 AM Arrive Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Alder Planetarium
11:45 AM Arrive Museum of Science and Industry
2:00 PM Hard Times performance begins
3:30 PM Pick up Museum of Science and Industry
3:45 PM Pick up Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Alder Plantetarium
4:00 PM Pick up Art Institute of Chicago
4:30 PM Arrive Lookingglass Theatre, Contemporary Art Museum (MCA) Chicago, Driehaus Museum and Water Tower Place.
4:45 PM Hard Times performance ends
4:45 PM - 5:05 PM Boarding preparation period
5:05 PM Depart for Madison (Or, sooner if everyone is aboard)
Arrive Madison (Est)
8:00 PM East Towne Sears
8:15 PM Capitol Lakes
8:35 PM Oakwood University Woods
Non-Member Policy. Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. (Members may bring more than one guest near the registration Deadline Date if seats are available. Check with trip organizer.) Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee. PLATO Membership is $60.00/year.
Accessibility Accessibility Policy. On the Van Galder Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus. If you need assistance, we recommend that you bring a friend to give you a hand.
The Lookingglass Theatre is handicap accessible. Each aisle has row handrail support for more easily ascending and descending the seating area.
Hard Times Mail-in Registration Forms (including instructions):PLATO Members Form
For further information, contact Hard Times theater trip organizer, Bob Blitzke, firstname.lastname@example.org and 608-271-7741