The Joffrey Ballet's 2020–2021 season, the company's first in Chicago's Lyric Opera House, will include the world premiere of a ballet based on John Steinbeck's classic novel Of Mice and Men, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Choreographed by Cathy Marston, the production will be presented on the same program as George Balanchine's Serenade. Featuring music by Thomas Newman, the Depression era–set Of Mice and Men will premiere February 17–28, 2021.
Of Mice and Men began as a novella published in 1937 by Nobel Prize winner Steinbeck. It was adapted for the screen several times and adapted as a radio play for the BBC. The first stage production was directed by George S. Kaufman in 1937 and ran for 207 performances. James Franco and Chris O'Dowd both made their Broadway debuts in the most recent Main Stem revival, which was directed by Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro in 2014.
The American classic tells the story of George and Lennie, an unlikely pair of friends drifting from job to job across the farms and fields of California, holding fast to their dream of one day having an acre of land they can call their own.
The Joffrey Ballet season will kick off October 14–25, 2020, with the company's premiere of the three-act ballet Manon, choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, and will also include Christopher Wheeldon’s version of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (December 5–27, 2020) and an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's 1837 fairytale The Little Mermaid, featuring music by Lera Auerback and choreography by John Neumeier (April 21–May 2, 2021).