Destiny of Desire

Mar 11 – Apr 16, 2017 In the Albert
Approximate running time: 2 hours and 20 minutes including one intermission

  • "Simply fabulous and riotously funny...highly entertaining"— Chicago Tribune

Passion. Deception. Forbidden love. The beloved telenovela comes to the Goodman stage – with a provocative twist.

On a stormy night in small town Mexico, two baby girls are born – one to poverty, one to privilege-and then secretly switched. Eighteen years later the girls meet, brought together by misfortune. Or is it fate? Filled with glorious live music, this smart, contemporary comedy proves just how much the world can transform when women take destiny into their own hands. 

   Performed in English with songs sung in English and Spanish.   



Group savings and dinner/theater packages with Latinicity are available for 10+. For info, contact or call 312.443.3820. To learn more about Latincity's menu options, visit the Groups page.

Produced in association with South Coast Repertory.

  • Destiny of Desire Production Photos
    Esperanza America (Pilar Esperanza Castillo), Ella Saldana North (Victoria Maria del Rio), Ricardo Gutierrez, Fidel Gomez (Dr. Diego Mendoza), Mauricio Mendoza and Elisa Bocanegra

  • Destiny of Desire Production Photos
    Ruth Livier (Fabiola Castillo), Ricardo Gutierrez (Dr. Jorge Mendoza) and Evelina Fernandez (Sister Sonia)

  • Destiny of Desire Production Photos
    Esperanza America, Fidel Gomez, Ella Saldana North, Elisa Bocanegra and Mauricio Mendoza

  • Destiny of Desire Production Photos
    Esperanza America (Pilar Esperanza Castillo) and Ella Saldana North (Victoria Maria del Rio)

  • Destiny of Desire Production Photos
    Ella Saldana North (Victoria Maria del Rio), Esperanza America (Pilar Esperanza Castillo), Ruth Livier (Fabiola Castillo) and Cástulo Guerra (Armando Castillo)

  • Destiny of Desire Production Photos
    Ruth Livier (Fabiola Castillo) and Fidel Gomez (Dr. Diego Mendoza)

  • Destiny of Desire Production Photos
    Esperanza America (Pilar Esperanza Castillo) and Ella Saldana North (Victoria Maria del Rio)

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Press & Reviews

'Destiny of Desire': The sweaty popularity of telenovelas, now at Goodman

What is the most popular form of entertainment on the planet? No, it's not the broadcasts of the National Football League or even the World Cup. It's not even Robert Falls' famous productions of the works of Anton Chekhov.

Review: Give in to giggles at Goodman's 'Destiny of Desire'

Master of parody Mel Brooks once said parodies were "what comedy should be. A salute... to the original...and just move it over 2 inches here to the right or the left and you get all the comedy you need."

Destiny of Desire

Telenovela takes the stage at Goodman Theatre. - Mar 22, 2017 by Adelaide Lee in Reviews. Tags: Destiny of Desire, Karen Zacarías, José Luis Valenzuela, Ruth Livier, Fidel Gomez, Esperanza America, Ella Saldana North, Elisa Bocanegra, Mauricio Mendoza, Castulo Guerra, Evelina Fernandez

Lust, Lies and Laughs: A Review of Destiny of Desire at Goodman Theatre | Newcity Stage

Esperanza America and Ella Saldana North/Photo: Liz Lauren RECOMMENDED "Destiny of Desire," Karen Zacarías' whirlwind comedy and loving parody of telenovelas, punctuates its onslaught of visual and verbal gags with sobering statistics that both contextualize and contrast the play's over-the-top tone.

Chicago Theater Review: DESTINY OF DESIRE (Goodman Theatre)

An exhilarating, over-the-top, floridly artificial romp, Destiny of Desire is as wonderfully hokey as its title. A Chicago premiere, Goodman Theatre's co-production with South Coast Repertory is Karen Zacarías' affectionate salute to the romance of the telenovela. Her stylized showcase is a giddy treat that quietly carries an exuberantly pro-feminist message, charmingly camouflaged in a feast of hysterical histrionics and enthralling excess.

Backstage of Destiny of Desire - Glossed & Found

Destiny of Desire begins on a stormy night in small town Mexico. Two baby girls are born into two very different worlds-one to privilege and one to poverty-but then are secretly switched. And so begins a wild romp of a musical play that leaves the audience Ooh-ing, Aah-ing and desperately leaving wanting more.

Talks & Events
low vision and blind services  PATRONS WHO ARE BLIND OR HAVE LOW VISION

Large print programs: available to download in Microsoft Word format for all shows prior to a performance. Large print program available here.

Braille programs: available day of the performance from the Guest Services desk

Audio Described performance: Saturday, April 8 at 2pm
Blind and low vision patrons receive a headset for one ear that allows them to listen to a description of the key visual elements of a performance while still hearing the actors. These descriptions are inserted into natural pauses in the show. For access to reserved, discounted seating enter the promo code AUDIO when purchasing online or call the box office at 312.443.3800 (voice) or 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD).

Touch Tour: April 8 at 12:30pm
The tour will feature a 45-60 minute presentation detailing the set, costume and character elements for the performance. When reserving tickets please indicate how many people will be in your party for both the Touch Tour and the performance.


hearing impaired services


Assistive Listening Devices: Both the Albert and the Owen are equipped with FM frequency assistive listening devices. You may use your own headphones, or they will be provided for you. In addition, neck loops are available that are compatible with t-coil hearing aids. Devices are available at the Guest Services desk in the Goodman lobby. Assistive listening devices are offered free of charge, but a driver's license or valid ID is required as security.

Open Captioned Performance: Saturday, April 15 at 2pm

For hard of hearing or deaf patrons, an LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance.  For access to reserved, discounted seating enter the promo code OPEN when purchasing online or call the box office at 312.443.3800 (voice) or 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD).

American Sign Language Interpretation: Wednesday, April 12 at 7:30pm

ASL interpreters are located near the stage for deaf patrons seated in an area of the theater that gives the best sight lines to follow the interpretation and the action on stage. To access reserved, discounted seating in the front five rows for a signed performance, enter the promo code SIGN when purchasing online or call the box office at 312.443.3800 (voice) or 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD).

Watch a signed summary of Destiny of Desire.


mobility services 


Goodman Theatre has accessible wheelchair/scooter locations in both the Albert and Owen* theaters.

Depending on your preferences, you can use the promo codes below to access special reserved seat locations when purchasing tickets online:

  • Enter promo code TRANSFER if you wish to transfer to a theater seat from your walker, wheelchair or scooter.
  • Enter promo code REMOVAL if you require a location where a seat can be removed for you to stay in your wheelchair/scooter while you watch the performance.

Please call ticket services at 312.443.3800 if you have questions or would like to purchase over the phone. All of our ticket representatives can assist you in finding a seat location to fit your needs.

Goodman Theatre has a wheelchair on site, which may be used to transport patrons to and from assigned seats. For use of the on-site wheelchair, contact house management at 312.443.3818.

*Although the Owen Theatre is a general admission house, accessible seats will be reserved for you on the seating level you purchase.

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