Deanna Isaacs reports:
Homeboy Gary Griffin will make his Lyric Opera of Chicago directorial debut next season with a holiday production of Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow, starring Elizabeth Futral and Roger Honeywell.  Lyric general director William Mason cited Griffin’s brilliant Court Theatre version of My Fair Lady as one of the reasons the Chicago Shakespeare Theater associate artistic director came to mind for the operetta. Lookingglass Theatre ensemble members Daniel Ostling and Mara Blumenfeld will also make Lyric debuts, designing sets and costumes, respectively. The Merry Widow will run December 5, 2009 to January 10, 2010.

Lyric will hold local auditions for six principal roles in The Merry Widow on October 27. No walk-ins will be seen. To request an audition, e-mail your photo and resume to, with “MERRY AUDITION” in the subject line. The roles: wives Sylviane, Olga, and Praskowia; diplomats Bogdanowitsch, Kromow, and Pritschitsch.