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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

SAVE THE DATES: Shattered Globe Theatre's 2019-20 Season

Shattered Globe Theatre Announces 2019-20 Season:





Chicago Premiere!
BE HERE NOW
By Deborah Zoe Laufer
Directed by SGT Producing Artistic Director Sandy Shinner

Chicago Premiere!
SHEEPDOG
By Kevin Artigue
Directed by Wardell Julius Clark

WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING
By Andrew Bovell
Directed by Elizabeth Margolius

The cast of Shattered Globe Theatre’s 2019-20 season opener, the Chicago premiere of BE HERE NOW, includes (top, l to r) Demetra Dee and Deanna Reed Foster with (bottom, l to r)  Rebecca Jordan and Joe Wiens.

Shattered Globe Theatre is pleased to announce its 2019-20 Season, featuring two Chicago premieres: BE HERE NOW by Deborah Zoe Laufer, directed by Producing Artistic Director Sandy Shinner* – a bittersweet comedy about searching for happiness; and SHEEPDOG by Kevin Artigue, directed by Wardell Julius Clark – a love story colliding with today’s headlines; followed by WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING by Andrew Bovell, directed by Elizabeth Margolius – a stunning mystery of love and loss that reverberates through four generations.

The full 2019-20 Season will be presented at Shattered Globe’s resident home, Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. SGT’s VIP Season Traveler Memberships are on sale now at www.shatteredglobe.org. Single tickets for BE HERE NOW go on sale August 5, 2019 at www.shatteredglobe.org, by calling (773) 975-8150, or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. Discounted group sales for all three productions are currently available at groupsales@shatteredglobe.org or by calling (773) 770-0333.



Shattered Globe Theatre’s 2019-20 Season includes:



September 5 – October 19, 2019
BE HERE NOW - Chicago Premiere!
By Deborah Zoe Laufer

Directed by SGT Producing Artistic Director Sandy Shinner*

Featuring Ensemble members Deanna Reed Foster*, Rebecca Jordan* and Joe Wiens* with Protégé Alumna Demetra Dee+

Press opening: Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 3 pm



Bari, an atheist and misanthrope, loses her job teaching nihilism in NYC and ends up working in a fulfillment center in her small hometown. Her empathetic co-workers push her toward yoga, meditation, and a blind date in the pursuit of happiness. But recently, her recurring headaches have gotten more intense, manifesting as ecstatic and almost religious experiences – and they are changing her entire outlook. She’s almost… happy! When she finds out that these rapturous headaches may be killing her, Bari needs to choose: does she live a shortened, joyful life – or does she risk a return to her past life of misery. Be Here Now takes audiences on a hilarious and poignant quest for meaning in modern life.



January 16 – February 29, 2020
SHEEPDOG - Chicago Premiere!
By Kevin Artigue

Directed by Wardell Julius Clark

Press opening: Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 3 pm

Amina and Ryan are both officers in the Cleveland police force. Amina is black, Ryan is white, and they are falling deeply and passionately in love. They pride themselves on moral and ethical conduct; they are officers committed to guarding the “sheep” (citizens) from the “wolves” (predators). When a police-involved shooting roils the department, the intoxication of young love spirals into confusion and self-doubt. This is a mystery inside a love story with high stakes and no easy answers. At breakneck speed, Amina’s dogged pursuit of the truth may exact a devastating toll.



April 23 – June 6, 2020

WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING

By Andrew Bovell

Directed by Elizabeth Margolius

Press opening: Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 3 pm

Shifting seamlessly from 1959 to 2039, an epic family saga unfolds across two continents and four generations. In the year 2039, rain falls in the desert of Australia as a father waits to reunite with his estranged son. A pivotal conversation unspools in London in 1988 as young Gabriel Law confronts his alcoholic mother about seven cryptic postcards his mysterious father sent from the outback. As Gabriel attempts to retrace his father’s footsteps, the past begins to inform the present. Rich and evocative, When the Rain Stops Falling creates a stunning thematic mosaic of secrecy, parentage and the echoing impact of the trespasses of those who came before.

*Denotes SGT Ensemble Member  ^Denotes SGT Artistic Associate  +Denotes SGT Protégé Alumna


About the Artists
Deborah Zoe Laufer’s (Playwright, Be Here Now) plays have been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Portland Center Stage and The Humana Festival. Informed Consent appeared at The Duke Theatre in NYC in 2015, a co-production of Primary Stages and EST. It was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. Her play End Days won The ATCA Steinberg citation, and it has received over 70 productions around the country, and in Germany, Russia and Australia. Other plays include: Leveling Up, Out of Sterno, The Last Schwartz, Sirens, Meta, The Gulf of Westchester, Miniatures, Fortune, and Window Treatment, a collaboration with composer Daniel Green, produced in NYC by Premieres, Inner Voices. Be Here Now was commissioned and produced by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in 2018.


Deb is a recipient of the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, the Lilly Award, and grants and commissions from The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Edgerton Foundation, The National New Play Network, the NEA, and the LeCompte du Nouy grant from the Lincoln Center Foundation. Her plays are published by Samuel French, Smith and Kraus and Playscripts, and have been developed at The Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, PlayPenn, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Ojai Playwrights Conference, The Missoula Colony, The Cherry Lane Alternative, The Dramatists Guild Fellowship Program, New Georges, The Lark Play Development Center Asolo Repertory Theatre, PlayLab and the Baltic Playwrights Conference. She is a graduate of Juilliard, an alumna of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and a member of The Dramatists Guild.

Sandy Shinner (Director, Be Here Now) joined Shattered Globe Theatre in October 2013 as the theatre’s first Producing Artistic Director. Her SGT directing credits include Will Snider’s How to Use a Knife, Scott McPherson’s Marvin’s Room and Sally Nemeth’s Mill Fire. The former Associate Artistic Director of Victory Gardens Theater, she created the nationally known IGNITION! Festival, served as co-director of the Access Project, and, with former Artistic Director Dennis Zacek and former Managing Director Marcelle McVay, accepted the 2001 Regional Theater Tony Award on behalf of Victory Gardens. Her other recent directing credits include: the world premiere of Rasheeda Speaking by Joel Drake Johnson (Rivendell Theater Ensemble) and Creditors by August Strindberg (Remy Bumppo Theater Company). She has directed over 80 plays at theaters including Victory Gardens, Remy Bumppo, American Blues, the University of Virginia, Actors Theater of Louisville’s Humana Festival, Steppenwolf’s First Look Repertory of New Work, New York’s 78th Street Theater Lab and the Sacramento Theater Company, among others. Her production of Trying by Joanna McClelland Glass transferred to New York, and her direction was nominated for the Joe A. Callaway Award. Shinner received the 2013 Kathryn V. Lamkey Spirit Award from the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee of Actors’ Equity Association for her commitment to diversity and non-traditional casting. She has been recognized as one of “50 Top Players” by Newcity and a “Chicagoan of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune. She is an adjunct professor at DePaul’s Theatre School, an At Large Ambassador for the National New Play Network and an Artistic Affiliate at American Blues Theatre.

Kevin Artigue (Playwright, Sheepdog) writes plays, TV and film. He was raised in Redlands, CA and calls Brooklyn home. He’s a current member of The Working Farm @ SPACE at Ryder Farm, the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages and an alum of Interstate 73 and the Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group. He most recently was welcomed into New Dramatists, class of 2026. His plays have been performed and developed with South Coast Rep, Golden Thread, Page 73, The Public Theater, the National New Play Network, NYTW, Long Wharf Theater, Portland Center Stage and the Playwrights' Center. MFA: Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

Wardell Julius Clark (Director, Sheepdog) is originally from Fairfield, Alabama and earned his BFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Upcoming shows he's directing include His Shadow (16th Street Theater), Kill Move Paradise (TimeLine Theatre). Chicago directing credits include: Dutch Masters (Jackalope Theatre), The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 (Chicago Children's Theatre), The Shipment (Red Tape), Insurrection: Holding History (Stage Left) and Surely Goodness and Mercy (Redtwist). He was also Associate Director for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Assistant Director for Gem of the Ocean and Satchmo at the Waldorf (Court), and Assistant Director for The Scottsboro Boys (Porchlight Music Theatre). Chicago acting credits include work with Raven Theatre, American Blues Theater, First Folio, Windy City Playhouse, Court Theatre, Northlight, Victory Gardens, 16th Street Theater, MPAACT, American Theater Company and Congo Square Theater. Regional credits include work at Theater at Monmouth, Cardinal Stage, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival and Carver Theatre. His television and film credits include Shameless, Chicago Fire and Proven Innocent. Wardell is also a company member at TimeLine Theatre, as well as an actor instructor/teaching artist at the School at Steppenwolf, TimeLine Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Black Box Acting Studio, Vagabond School of the Arts. He is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Andrew Bovell (Playwright, When the Rain Stops Falling) is an internationally recognized writer for the stage and screen. His works for the stage include Things I Know to Be True, a co-production between State Theatre Company of South Australia and Frantic Assembly in the UK (2016), plus a new production at Belvoir Street Theatre in 2019; an adaptation of Kate Grenville novel The Secret River, directed by Neil Armfield, Sydney Theatre Company / Sydney Festival 2013 and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in 2016; When the Rain Stops Falling, Adelaide Festival of the Arts 2008, Sydney Theatre Company and Melbourne Theatre Company in 2009, Brisbane, Canberra and Alice Springs in 2010. The play was produced in London at the Almeida Theatre (2009) and in New York at The Lincoln Center (2010), where it won five Lucille Lortell Awards and was named best new play of the year by Time Magazine. Productions of Andrew’s plays continue throughout Asia, UK, America and Europe.

Earlier works for the stage include: Holy Day (2001), Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? (1998), Speaking in Tongues (1996), Scenes from a Separation (1995), Ship of Fools (1999) and After Dinner (1988). After Dinner was revived by Sydney Theatre Company in 2015 and State Theatre Company of South Australia in 2018.

Andrew’s film credits include Stoner (2017) an adaptation of John Williams’ novel for Blumhouse/F4, In the Shadow of Iris, a French language adaptation of his screenplay Chaos directed by Jalil Lespert (starring Romain Duris, Charlotte Le Bon, Jalil Lespert, and Camille Cottin); A Most Wanted Man (2014) an adaptation of John Le Carre’s novel for director Anton Corbijn (starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Defoe and Robyn Wright) which premiered at Sundance Film Festival; Edge of Darkness (2010) starring Mel Gibson; Blessed (2009) winner Best Screenplay at the San Sebastian Film Festival; The Book of Revelation (2006); Lantana (2001), based on his stage play Speaking in Tongues, premiered at Sydney Film Festival and had Gala Screening at Toronto Film Festival, the screenplay was awarded Best Screenplay at the Australian Film Institute Awards, Australian Critics Circle Award, Australian Writers Guild Award; Head On (1998) winner Best Screenplay Australian Writers Guild Awards, The Fisherman’s Wake (1996) and the original screenplay for Strictly Ballroom (1992).


Elizabeth Margolius (Director, When the Rain Stops Falling) is a Chicago and upstate New York based, multiple Joseph Jefferson Award-nominated stage and movement director. Elizabeth’s stage and movement directorial credits include: Queen of the Mist for Firebrand Theatre, The Scarlet Ibis for Chicago Opera Theater, Miss Holmes for Peninsula Players, Machinal for Greenhouse Theater Center (Movement Director), The Bridges of Madison County for Peninsula Players, Uncle Philip’s Coat for Greenhouse Theater Center, Haymarket: The Anarchist’s Songbook for Underscore Theatre, L’Occasione Fa Il Ladro and Twelfth Night for DePaul Opera Theatre, The Girl in the Train, The Land of Smiles and The Cousin from Nowhere for Chicago Folks Operetta, Goldstar, Ohio for American Theater Company, The Merry Wives of Windsor for Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Assistant Director), The Last Cyclist for Genesis Theatrical Productions, Opus 1861 for City Lit Theater (Jeff nomination-Best Adaptation), Violet for Bailiwick Chicago (Jeff nomination—Best Director of a Musical) and Bernarda Alba and Songs for a New World for Bohemian Theatre Ensemble. Elizabeth is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, a recipient of a full directorial scholarship for the Wesley Balk Opera-Music Theater Institute, a finalist for the Charles Abbott Fellowship, and the Co-Founder of DirectorsLabChicago. Elizabeth is a proud member of the American Guild of Musical Artists and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.



About Shattered Globe Theatre

Shattered Globe Theatre (Sandy Shinner, Producing Artistic Director; Doug McDade, Managing Director) was born in a storefront space on Halsted Street in 1991. Since then, SGT has produced more than 65 plays, including nine American and world premieres, and garnered an impressive 42 Jeff Awards and 106 Jeff Award nominations, as well as the acclaim of critics and audiences alike. Shattered Globe is an ensemble-driven theater whose mission is to create an intimate, visceral theater experience that challenges the perspective of audience and artist alike through passionate storytelling. Shattered Globe is inspired by the diversity of Chicago and committed to making theater available to all audiences. Through initiatives such as the Protégé Program, Shattered Globe creates a space which allows emerging artists to grow and share in the ensemble experience.

Shattered Globe Theatre is partially supported and funded by generous grants from The Shulman-Rochambeau Charitable Foundation, The James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, The Shubert Foundation, The Blum-Kovler Family Foundation, The Robert J. & Loretta W. Cooney Family Foundation and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

For more information on Shattered Globe Theatre, please visit www.shatteredglobe.org.



Monday, July 29, 2019

REVIEW: Over The Tavern Now Playing at Theatre at the Center in Munster, IN Through August 11, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
Over the Tavern 
at Theatre at the Center in Munster, IN
Now Playing Through August 11, 2019


Guest Review
by Milan Pejnovich 

Though Theatre at the Center in Munster, Indiana is known primarily for its musical offerings, they also program one or two plays each season, and this summer’s production is the rollicking comedy Over the Tavern.  Set in the wholesome 50s, it’s about a large Catholic family who live over the titular tavern co-owned by the family patriarch and his father (the latter whom we never see) and specifically about a precocious young boy in the family having a crisis of faith as he also hits puberty.  That crisis puts him at odds with his school’s stern Mother Superior, which provides much of the play’s comic relief, but also with his father, which provides much of its drama. Happily, the former outweighs the latter, though it’s through the drama that we get a very heartening conclusion to the proceedings, so both are certainly appreciated.

As said boy, Logan Baffico shows tremendous charm, if somewhat rushed and slurred delivery, especially with his punchlines. He’s definitely someone to look out for in the future after proper stage training. Cory Goodrich as his mother is the heart of the play and the mom we all remember or at least wish we had. Eric Slater as the father is perfect balancing sternness, insecurity, and gruff love. Isabelle Roberts and Seth Steinberg are consummate professionals as the older sister and brother, and Julian Solis in particular is disarmingly effective as the special needs younger brother. Finally, Janet Ulrich Brooks, the most pedigreed of the cast with recent performances at Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, and as Maria Callas at TimeLine, steals every scene she’s in as the Mother Superior, and that’s saying something considering most of them are with the young star of the show.

Special mention should go out to the design team; Angela Weber Miller for designing a set that easily incorporates the various scenes throughout the house and other environs with the help of lighting design from Shelley Strasser; Brenda Winstead and Kevin Barthel for designing costumes and wigs, respectively, perfectly evoking the era; and Michael J. Patrick and Emily Hartig for providing the complementary sound and props design.

All in all, this was an enjoyable evening at the theater that would be fun for the whole family!

Milan Pejnovich Milan has nearly 30 years of experience in marketing and the performing arts, including positions as the Audience Services Manager at Court Theatre and the Marketing Manager at Northlight Theatre. He also spent many years in house manager positions at Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts, About Face Theatre, Court Theatre,and Northwestern University. He is currently the manager of Strategic Marketing for the Arts, which provides telemarketing and telefunding services to over three dozen non-profit arts organizations nationwide, including Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theater off-Broadway, and the Omaha Symphony, Long Beach Opera,Denver Film Society and Cincinnati Ballet.


All photos by Guy Rhodes

Director Ericka Mac has cast Janet Ulrich Brooks as Sister Clarissa, Logan Baffico as Rudy, Cory Goodrich as Ellen, Isabelle Roberts as Annie, Eric Slater as Chet, Julian Solis as Georgie and Seth Steinberg as Eddie in Over the Tavern, a hilarious look at family life in the 1950s for the summer stage production at Theatre at the Center in Munster.  Previews begin July 11 with Opening Night on July 14 and a continued run through August 11.

In Tom Dudzick’s semi-autobiographical play, set in 1959, audiences meet Rudy Pazinski, a precocious 12-year old student who feels God put us on Earth to have fun.  He matches wits with ruler-wielding Sister Clarissa when he shares his plans to shop around for a more fun religion.  We also meet the entire Pazinski family, who live in a tiny apartment above the neighborhood bar they run, as they face both the real and comical struggles of life, including Rudy’s questioning the rules of the Roman Catholic Church just as he is about to receive the church sacrament of confirmation. An earlier run of Over the Tavern was a smash-hit with Theatre at the Center audiences in 2005.



Janet Ulrich Brooks (Sister Clarissa) returns to TATC after receiving a Jeff-nomination for her performance as Ann Landers in the TATC production of The Lady with All the Answers.   Janet is a Company Member of TimeLine Theatre where credits include portraying Maria Callas in Master Class and also a production of Bakersfield Mist, as well as Jeff-nominated performances in The Audience, 33 Variations, A Walk In The Woods, All My Sons and other favorite works.  Her most recent credits include The Children at Steppenwolf Theatre and Pipeline at Victory Gardens.  Her film credits include roles in Divergent, One Small Hitch and Conviction, as well as television credits with roles in Chicago Med, Fire and Justice and Boss.  Janet was the first recipient of the Ed See Outstanding Theatre Alumnus Award from the University of Central Missouri.     

Logan Baffico (Rudy) is making his TATC debut.  He was most recently seen as Hero Boy in the Rail Events’ The Polar Express.  His other credits include Benjamin in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Chip in Beauty and the Beast at BrightSide Theatre.  He also appeared as Posh Boy in Billy Elliot at Porchlight Theatre, Sebastian in The Little Mermaid and James in James and the Giant Peach at Stage Door Fine Arts Theatre.

Cory Goodrich (Ellen) returns to TATC for her 14th production, having previously appeared in Steel Magnolias, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash.   She is a five-time Jeff nominee including a Jeff Award for her role of June Carter in Ring of Fire and another for her role of Mother in Drury Lane’s production of Ragtime. Cory has also performed in productions at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Chicago Shakespeare, Candlelight and Drury Lane.   As a singer/songwriter, Cory has four solo albums. 

Eric Slater (Chet) is also making his TATC debut.  He has worked in Chicago at The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Writers Theatre, Court Theatre and Chicago Children’s Theatre.  His Off-Broadway credits include productions at the Public Theater, York Theatre, The Kitchen and Theater for the New City.  Film and television credits include Chicago Fire and Widows.

Seth Steinberg (Eddie) joins the cast as another TATC debut. He recently performed as Joey Oren in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of If I Forget and appeared as Nathan Lukowski in the The Full Monty at Theater Wit in Chicago.  As part of the Another Door Theatre Project, he appeared in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Pippin, Bare, a Pop Opera and Heathers the Musical and has performed in several musicals with Repertory Company at the Actors Training Center in Wilmette.    

Isabelle Roberts (Annie) is making her TATC debut.   She has appeared in Alice in Wonderland: Alice’s Rock and Roll Adventure at Chicago Children’s Theatre; The Sound of Music at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bye Bye Birdie at Drury Lane and Sunday in the Park with George at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

Julian Solis (George) returns to the TATC stage after making his TATC debut in A Wonderful Life.   He also appeared as Rudy Pazinski for the TATC season preview last August.   He was also a featured soloist for the Northwest Indiana Symphony for two consecutive seasons.  

Ericka Mac is making her TATC directorial debut. She has served as Assistant Director of Company at Writers Theatre.  She also served as Associate Director for the U.S. Premiere of Ride the Cyclone at MCC Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare; the World Premieres of both Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical and Alice’s Rock and Roll Adventure at Children’s Theatre Company; The Little Mermaid at Chicago Shakespeare and Guys and Dolls at Marriott Theatre.

The creative team for Over the Tavern includes Scenic Designer Angie Weber-Miller, Lighting Designer Shelley Strasser-Holland, Sound Designer Michael Patrick, Costume Designer Brenda Winstead, Wig Designer Kevin Barthel and Properties Designer is Emily Hartig.   Stage manager is Jessica Banaszak.   Artistic Director Linda Fortunato is teamed with TATC General Manager Richard Friedman and Ann Davis, TATC Head of Production.



Founded in 1991, the 410-seat TATC is a year round professional theater at its home: The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road in Munster, Indiana.   TATC is an accessible venue with plenty of free parking and is located off I-80/94, just 35 minutes from downtown Chicago.

Performances are 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 7:30 p.m. Fridays; 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays; and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.   Individual ticket prices range from $42-$46.   To purchase individual tickets, call the Box Office at 219-836-3255 or Tickets.com at 800-511-1532.   Group discounts are available for groups of 11 or more.   Student tickets are $20 and gift certificates are also available.   For more information on Theatre at the Center, visit www.TheatreAtThe Center.com.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

GIVEAWAY AND REVIEW: WIN a Pair of Tickets $120 Value/ 2 Winners To The Midwest Premiere Of DARLING GRENADINE at Marriott Theatre through August 18th

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
DARLING GRENADINE 


Heath Saunders, Paul the Dog and Phillip Huber 
Photo Credit for all Production Photos: Liz Lauren


Katherine Thomas and Heath Saunders 

Enter Below Through Midnight August 1st 
For Your Chance To WIN
a Pair of Tickets $120 Value/2 winners To 
DARLING GRENADINE at Marriott Theatre 
Valid for any performance through August 18, 2019 
(pending availability)


REVIEW:
by bonnie kenaz-mara


It was my great pleasure to catch opening night of Marriott Theatre's Darling Grenadine with a couple of friends. This powerful production is a must see for anyone who has loved and lost a person, a pet, a childhood friend, or a dream. It's a passionate love story, with surprising depth and insight about addiction, the travails of making a living as a creative artist in our society, the pain of selling out, and the joys and risks of putting your heart and your true self out there, for the world. 

The true charm of Darling Grenadine is in the details. All the little moments of playful banter, finding joy in the daily mundane, the changing of season, and fabulously flawed humans just being, are where this show shines. This isn't a happily ever after. Rather, Darling Grenadine is the painful process of growing and becoming. It's mistakes, missteps, failures and foibles, sexy and sad. What a true joy to see such stellar storytelling. The entire cast is crazy talented and Paul the Dog and his puppeteer/creator are something to see. The dog's vocalizations are cleverly "voiced" by trumpet by Mike Nappi.  

Paul the Dog and Phillip Huber 

Mike Nappi 

This pup's mannerisms, size, and look are modeled after legendary puppeteer, Phillip Huber's own Golden Lab with an intentionally open/mesh body design (Ala "War Horse") to both represent an unfinished story and to give the audience a bit of emotional cushion from becoming too attached. I'm not sure the latter helped much, as the entire audience bonded with this captivating canine from the opening scene.

ChiIL Mama ChiILin' with Paul the Dog and Phillip 

Paul Photos Below by B. Kenaz-Mara









It was truly a treat to hang with Paul the Dog at the opening night, post show party. We had a fascinating talk with Huber about his creative process, that my friend, Kathy Roman video taped on her phone. Check it out here.

This is not your typical lighthearted summer fare, or fluff piece musical. Darling Grenadine's dark undertones lend authenticity and realism to these characters and scenarios, sorely lacking in most musical theatre. The script is phenomenal and utterly relatable. 


Despite a hopeful ending, by the close of the second act, there were few dry eyes in the house. One of my friends was so emotionally devastated by this production, that she was still pretty undone well into the afterparty. Knowing the impact, be forewarned this production may be triggering for dog lovers and those who have struggled with alcoholism or addiction issues in family, friends and loved ones. Still, the message of second chances, growing into your potential and new beginnings is worth the emotional rollercoaster ride. Don't miss this. Highly recommended.

Nick Cosgrove


Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a Chicago based writer-theater critic-photographer-videographer-actress-artist-general creatrix and Mama to two terrific teens. She owns two websites where she has published frequently since 2008: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly). 

 


Terry James, Executive Producer
Aaron Thielen, Lead Artistic Director
Andy Hite, Artistic Director

Present the Midwest premiere of this boldly unique, bittersweet new musical
DARLING GRENADINE 



With its surprising melding of off-beat, whimsical humor and serious themes of denial and loss, DARLING GRENADINE makes its Midwest premiere, running June 26th through August 18th, at Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. Featuring an eclectic score and stirring book and lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik, DARLING GRENADINE takes audiences on an emotional journey of highs and lows, where old meets new and romance meets reality. Directed by Jeff Award winner Aaron Thielen, with musical direction by Jeff Award winner Ryan T. Nelson, this exhilarating show continues Marriott Theatre’s long tradition of presenting new musicals.






“We are thrilled to be bringing this new musical to life,” says Director Aaron Thielen. “It is an honor to be entrusted with Daniel’s words and music, and we look forward to the opportunity to take audiences on the journey of this vibrant, fresh show.”



Harry is a charming songwriter whose fanciful view of the world rivals the Technicolor of any MGM classic. But as Harry floats through the kind of Manhattan life that dreams are made of, he suddenly finds himself confronted with the idea that a dream may be exactly what it is. And reality isn’t nearly as beautiful. Told with a rich contemporary score, DARLING GRENADINE peels away the layers of musical comedy tropes to explore the friction between romance and reality, joy and heartbreak. This bittersweet new musical brings us something magical, moving, and unique.





DARLING GRENADINE was originally staged in concert form at Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Angeles, and further developed at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals where it debuted on the Norma Terris Theatre stage. Now in a Midwest Premiere at Marriott Theatre, the musical stars Heath Saunders as “Harry” (Marriott Theatre debut! Broadway: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812; Lyric Opera of Chicago: Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar; MCC Theater: Alice by Heart), Katherine Thomas as “Louise” (Marriott Theatre: Ragtime; Arena Stage: Jubilee; Milwaukee Rep: The All Night Strut) and Nick Cosgrove as “Paul” (Broadway: Jersey Boys; Marriott Theatre: Footloose, Oklahoma!, The Bridges of Madison County). DARLING GRENADINE also stars Phillip Huber, Mike Nappi, Allison Sill, and Brandon Springman, with understudies Laura Brennan, Adam LaSalle, Jeff Pierpoint, Jaq Seifert, Elizabeth Telford, and Patrick Michael Tierney.

The production features set design by Jeffrey D. Kmiec, media design by Anthony Churchill, lighting design by Jesse Klug, sound design by Robert E. Gilmartin, properties design by Sally Zack, orchestrations by Matt Moisey, and musical supervision by Patti Garwood. The production will also feature costume design by Theresa Ham. Marionette created, built, and provided by The Huber Marionettes.

The performance schedule for DARLING GRENADINE is Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., with select Thursday 1:00 p.m. shows. Ticket prices range from $50 to $60, excluding tax and handling fees. Call for student, senior, and military discounts. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings there are a limited number of dinner-theatre packages available for purchase through the Marriott Theatre Box Office. 

To make a restaurant reservation, please call 847.634.0100. Reservations strongly recommended. Free parking is available at all performances. To reserve tickets, please call The Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or go to www.ticketmaster.com. Visit www.MarriottTheatre.com for more information.




Enter HERE Through Midnight, August 1 
For Your Chance To WIN
a Pair of Tickets $120 Value/2 Winners To 
DARLING GRENADINE at Marriott Theatre 
Valid for any performance through August 18, 2019 

(pending availability)



Friday, July 26, 2019

Digital Lottery: $25 Tickets for COME FROM AWAY at BROADWAY IN CHICAGO’S CADILLAC PALACE THEATRE JULY 30 – AUGUST 18, 2019


BROADWAY IN CHICAGO ANNOUNCES DIGITAL LOTTERY FOR
COME FROM AWAY


BROADWAY’S TONY AWARD-WINNING “MUST-SEE MUSICAL” (NPR)

BROADWAY IN CHICAGO’S 
CADILLAC PALACE THEATRE

JULY 30 – AUGUST 18, 2019


I'll be ChiILin' in Chi, IL at the opening of COME FROM AWAY at Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre July 31st. Check back soon for my full review. In the meantime, book your tickets and/or try your hand at the free daily ticket lottery on line. Winners can purchase up to 2 tickets for $25 each. 

Broadway In Chicago is delighted to announce there will be a digital lottery for COME FROM AWAY, which will play for a limited three-week engagement at Broadway In Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph) from July 30 through August 18, 2019.

The digital lottery will begin July 29 at 9AM, and 26 tickets will be sold for every performance at $25 each. The lottery will happen online only the day before each performance.  Seat locations vary per performance.




HOW TO ENTER THE DIGITAL LOTTERY

Visit this link

Follow the link “Click here for details and to enter the lottery”

Click the “Enter Now” button for the performance you want to attend.

Fill out the entry form including the number of tickets you would like (1 or 2). 

Patrons will receive a confirmation email once they have validated their email (one time only) and successfully entered the lottery.

After the lottery closes, patrons will be notified via email within minutes as to whether they have won or not.

Winners have 60 minutes from the time the lottery closes to pay online with a credit card.

After payment has been received, patrons can pick up tickets at the Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph) no sooner than 30 minutes before show time with a valid photo ID.


DIGITAL LOTTERY ADDITIONAL RULES

Limit 1 entry per person, per performance. Multiple entries will not be accepted. Patrons must be 18 years old and have a valid, non-expired photo ID that matches the names used to enter. Tickets are non-transferable. All lottery prices include a $3.50 facility fee. Ticket limits and prices displayed are at the sole discretion of the show and are subject to change without notice. Lottery prices are not valid on prior purchases. Lottery ticket offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. All sales final - no refunds or exchanges.  Lottery may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. No purchase necessary to enter or win.  A purchase will not improve chances of winning.

 

ABOUT COME FROM AWAY

COME FROM AWAY, the true story of the small town that welcomed the world is now on tour across North America! 

The touring production of COME FROM AWAY will star Kevin Carolan (Disney’s Newsies), Harter Clingman (Peter and The Starcatcher), Nick Duckart (In the Heights), Chamblee Ferguson, Becky Gulsvig (School of Rock the Musical), Julie Johnson (Memphis), Christine Toy Johnson (The Music Man), Chicago actor James Earl Jones II (The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess), Megan McGinnis (Les Misérables), Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific), Danielle K. Thomas (Avenue Q), Emily Walton (August Osage County), Marika Aubrey, Jane Bunting, Michael Brian Dunn, Julie Garnyé, Adam Halpin and Aaron Michael Ray.

With a book, music and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award nominees Irene Sankoff & David Hein, COME FROM AWAY is directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley (Come From Away), musical staging by two-time Tony nominee   Kelly Devine (Come From Away, Rocky), with music supervision by Grammy nominee Ian Eisendrath (Come From Away), scenic design by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt (Act One), costume design by Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James (Jelly’s Last Jam), lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (Hamilton), sound design by Tony Award nominee Gareth Owen (End of the Rainbow), orchestrations by Tony nominee August Eriksmoen (Bright Star), music arrangements by Grammy nominee Ian Eisendrath and casting by Telsey + Company.

COME FROM AWAY tells the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.

On September 11, 2001 the world stopped.  On September 12, their stories moved us all.


PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

Tuesdays at 7:30PM

Wednesdays at 2PM and 7:30PM (no matinee performance on July 31)

Thursdays at 7:30PM

Fridays at 7:30PM

Saturdays at 2PM and 8PM

Sundays at 2PM and 7:30PM (no evening performances on Aug. 11 and Aug. 18)

TICKET INFORMATION
Individual tickets for COME FROM AWAY are on-sale now and range in price from $35-$105 with a select number of premium seats available. Individual tickets are available by calling the Broadway In Chicago Ticketline at (800) 775-2000. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing GroupSales@BroadwayInChicago.com.  For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.



ABOUT BROADWAY IN CHICAGO

Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 19 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country.  A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining more than 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at The Auditorium Theatre.

For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ● Instagram @broadwayinchicago ● #broadwayinchicago

 

Monday, July 15, 2019

OPENING: POMONA at Steep Theatre July 18 – August 24, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Pomona
By Alistair McDowall
Directed by Robin Witt
July 18 – August 24, 2019


I'll be out for the press opening July 18, 2019, and can't wait to see Steep Theatre's latest. 

When Ollie’s sister goes missing, her search leads her to Pomona – a bleak, concrete island in the middle of a scarred city. Part thriller, part fantastical puzzle, Alistair McDowall’s Pomona twists and turns its way into the dark heart of a world built on pain and suffering and asks the question - is it even possible to be good anymore?

Steep Ensemble Member Robin Witt will close out the company’s 18th season with Alistair McDowall’s Pomona. McDowall was the playwright behind Steep’s 2015 hit Brilliant Adventures, which marked his U.S debut and was also directed by Witt. His work has been produced extensively, including productions at the Royal Court, the National Theatre, and the Royal Exchange. McDowall is a Bruntwood Prize winner and recipient of the 2018 Pinter Commission from the Royal Court. Robin Witt is a longtime director at Steep whose work includes the 2018 hit Linda and Cordelia Lynn’s Lela & Co, which won 2018 Jeff Awards for Director, Production, and Performer in a Principal Role.

Pomona will feature Ashlyn Lozano, Phoebe Moore, Jamila Tyler, and Steep Company Members Nate Faust (Red Rex, Earthquakes in London), Peter Moore (Linda, Brilliant Adventures), Brandon Rivera (Zürich, Brilliant Adventures), and Amber Sallis (Birdland, Hinter),

About the Playwright
Alistair McDowall grew up in the North East of England. Plays include: Zero for the Young Dudes! (National Theatre Connections 2017); X (Royal Court Theatre 2016); Pomona (RWCMD/Gate 2014; Orange Tree Theatre/Royal Exchange/National Theatre 2014/5); Talk Show (Royal Court Theatre 2013); Brilliant Adventures (Royal Court Young Writers’ Festival 2012; Royal Exchange, Manchester and Live Theatre, Newcastle 2013); and Captain Amazing (Live Theatre, Newcastle and Edinburgh Fringe 2013; UK tour 2014). He was the recipient of the Harold Pinter Commission in 2018. His work has been translated and produced internationally.

About the Director
Steep Ensemble Member Robin Witt has been at the helm for many of Steep’s most successful UK imports, including Penelope Skinner’s Linda; Cordelia Lynn’s Lela & Co.; Simon Stephens’ Wastwater, Motortown, Pornography, and Harper Regan; Alistair McDowall’s Brilliant Adventures; Dennis Kelly’s Love and Money; Jez Butterworth’s Parlour Song; and Laura Wade’s Breathing Corpses. Her Harper Regan is still the best-selling show in Steep history and was named one of the Top Ten shows of 2010 by both the Chicago Tribune and Timeout Chicago; her Lela & Co was named one of the Tribune’s Top Ten Shows of 2017; and her Breathing Corpses was named one of TimeOut’s Top Ten Shows of 2008. In addition to directing numerous productions at Steep, Robin is also an ensemble member of Griffin Theatre Company where her credits include Ferber and Kaufman's Stage Door, Terrence Rattigan's Flare Path, Ena Lamont Stewart’s Men Should Weep, and John Van Druten’s London Wall. Witt received the 2015, 2016, and 2018 Jeff Awards for Best Director for Men Should Weep, London Wall, and Lela & Co and was nominated in 2014 for Flare Path. She has worked at a variety of Chicago area theatres including The Goodman, A Red Orchid, Steppenwolf, and Writers Theatre. Robin recently directed A Doll’s House, Part 2 at Steppenwolf Theatre, A Number at Writers Theatre, and For Services Rendered at Griffin Theatre. She is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts (BFA) and Northwestern University (MFA). Robin is an Assistant Professor at UNC Charlotte.

About Steep Theatre
Housed in what was once a small grocery store, steps from the Berwyn Red Line stop, and lead by an ensemble of 41 actors, directors, designers, writers, and other theatre artists, Steep is the quintessential storefront theatre. Described by Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune as "a storefront theater known for the power of its acting," Steep creates powerful productions of plays by today's most exciting writers and features the work of Chicago's hottest theatre artists in an intimate, accessible space. Currently in its 18th season, Steep is known as a home for hard-hitting, finely tuned ensemble work. With each production, the company has shepherded a growing community of audiences and artists into bold new territories of story and performance.

Steep Theatre is conveniently located by the Berwyn Red Line stop and is within blocks of the #92, #36, #146, #147, and #151 buses.

WHERE:               
Steep Theatre
1115 West Berwyn Ave., Chicago, IL 60640

WHEN:
July 18 – August 24, 2019
Previews: July 13 – 17, 2019

Schedule:
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8pm
Sunday matinees at 3pm on July 28, August 4, 11, and 18
Accessible Performances:
-Audio Description: Saturday, August 10, 8pm
-Open Captioning: Sunday, August 4, 3pm

BOX OFFICE:
General Admission Tickets: $27
Reserved Seat Tickets: $38

PAccess Tickets: $10 (Steep’s universal discount for students, artists, whomever)
(773) 649-3186
www.steeptheatre.com

GENERAL INFORMATION:
www.steeptheatre.com
773-649-3186
info@steeptheatre.com
Twitter: @SteepTheatre
Facebook: SteepTheatre

CAST:
Nate Faust*
Ashlyn Lozano 
Phoebe Moore
Peter Moore*
Brandon Rivera*
Amber Sallis*
Jamila Tyler

PRODUCTION TEAM:
Director – Robin Witt*
Stage Manager – Lauren Lassus*
Set Designer – Joe Schermoly
Lighting Designer – Brandon Wardell**
Sound Designer – Thomas Dixon*
Costume Designer – Aly Amidei
Props Designer – Jenny Pinson
Fight Choreographer – Christina Gorman
Dialect Coach – Adam Goldstein
Assistant Director – Cody Spellman
Production Manager – Catherine Allen**

*Denotes Steep Company Member
**Denotes Steep Artistic Associate




Saturday, July 13, 2019

REVIEW: Kokandy Productions Head Over Heels Now Extended through September 8, 2019 at Theater Wit

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Kokandy Productions Presents the Chicago Premiere of Hit Musical
HEAD OVER HEELS
Songs by The Go-Go’s
Based on The Arcadia by Sir Phillip Sidney
Conceived & Original Book by Jeff Whitty
Adapted by James Magruder
Co-Directed by Derek Van Barham & Elizabeth Swanson
Music Direction by Kyra Leigh
Choreography by Breon Arzell

(left to right) Roy Samra, Caitlyn Cerza, Marco Tzunux, Jeremiah Alsop, Tiffany T. Taylor, Deanalís Resto, Caitlin Dobbins, Bridget Adams-King and Britain Gebhardt in Kokandy Productions’ Chicago premiere of HEAD OVER HEELS. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

EXTENDED!
Extended through September 8, 2019 
at Theater Wit
 Two added weeks of performances!

Review
by bonnie kenaz-mara

When I walked into HEAD OVER HEELS, 80's music blared amid colored lights, and the audience was already singing along, dancing in their seats and grinning in anticipation. The festive, party atmosphere was palpable and the good vibes were contagious. With catchy, familiar songs by The Go-Go’s and a surreal plot based on a prose romance work from the 16th century, HEAD OVER HEELS is a visual feast and hella fun. This convoluted and far fetched plot could have easily devolved into campy chaos, but Kokandy's delightfully diverse cast keeps the audience enthralled as they bring this tale to life on stageParker Guidry is a particular standout. They have charisma and stage presence to spare and they're one to watch. I've seen Parker in other productions, and this kid is going places. Liz Norton and Jeremiah Alsop were also a delight to see in action.



(left to right) Parker Guidry, Caitlyn Cerza and Jeremiah Alsop in Kokandy Productions’Chicago premiere of HEAD OVER HEELS. Photo by Michael Brosilow.


(front, l to r) Liz Norton, Jeremiah Alsop and Caitlyn Cerza with (back, l to r) Frankie Leo Bennett, Shane Roberie, Kaimana Neil, Marco Tzunux, Tiffany T. Taylor and Roy Samra in Kokandy Productions’ Chicago premiere of HEAD OVER HEELS. Photo by Michael Brosilow.


Kudos to Kokandy for pushing the boundaries with a compelling range of ethnicities, ages, genders, shapes and sizes in this talented cast.

(front right) Liz Norton with the cast of Kokandy Productions’ Chicago premiere of HEAD OVER HEELS. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Breon Arzell killed it with the choreography. And though the costumes, props and set are shoestring chic, with a solid thrift store aesthetic, they don't detract from this imaginative and highly entertaining romp. 


(center) Parker Guidry and the cast of in Kokandy Productions’ Chicago premiere of HEAD OVER HEELS. Photo by Michael Brosilow.


HEAD OVER HEELS is one of summer's must see shows. Don't miss this! Extended and highly recommended. 


Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a Chicago based writer-theater critic-photographer-videographer-actress-artist-general creatrix and Mama to two terrific teens. She owns two websites where she has published frequently since 2008: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly).




(left to right) Bridget Adams-King, Deanalís Resto, Shane Roberie and Parker Guidry inKokandy Productions’ Chicago premiere of HEAD OVER HEELS. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Kokandy Productions is pleased to present the Chicago premiere of the bold new musical comedy HEAD OVER HEELS, featuring songs by The Go-Go’s, based on The Arcadia by Sir Phillip Sidney, conceived and original book by Jeff Whitty and adapted by James Magruder. Making its Chicago debut just six months after concluding its Broadway run, HEAD OVER HEELS is co-directed by Kokandy’s new Producing Artistic Director Derek Van Barham (he/him/his) and Elizabeth Swanson (she/her/hers/they/them/theirs), with music direction by Kyra Leigh (she/her/hers) and choreography by Breon Arzell (he/him/his). HEAD OVER HEELS will play July 1 – August 25, 2019 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.kokandyproductions.com, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office.

The cast includes Bridget Adams-King (she/her/hers), Jeremiah Alsop (he/him/his), Emily Barnash(she/her/hers), Frankie Leo Bennett (he/him/his), Caitlyn Cerza (she/her/hers), Caitlin Dobbins (she/her/hers), Britain Gebhardt (she/her/hers), Connor Giles (he/him/his), Parker Guidry (they/them/theirs), Kaimana Neil(he/him/his), Liz Norton (she/her/hers), Deanalís Resto (she/her/hers/they/them/theirs), Shane Roberie (he/him/his), Roy Samra (he/him/his), Tiffany T. Taylor (she/her/hers) and Marco Tzunux (he/him/his)

Swings:Courtney Dane Mize (she/her/hers) and Patrick O’Keefe (he/him/his).


(front left) Liz Norton with the cast of Kokandy Productions’ Chicago premiere of HEAD OVER HEELS. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

From the visionaries that rocked Broadway with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Avenue Q and Spring Awakening, HEAD OVER HEELS is a laugh-out-loud love story is set to the music of the iconic 1980’s all-female rock band The Go-Go’s, featuring the hit songs, “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation,” Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Mad About You.”

A hilarious, exuberant celebration of love, HEAD OVER HEELS follows the escapades of a royal family on an outrageous journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction – only to discover the key to their realm’s survival lies within each of their own hearts.

Comments Producing Artistic Director Derek Van Barham, “A celebratory pop musical about self-love and acceptance? I can’t imagine a better way to spend the summer!  Whether you’re looking for escape or sanctuary, the world of Head Over Heels has something for everyone. There’s a universal journey of self-discovery at the pulse of this show, and I am so proud to be able to share it with Chicago!”

The production team includes Chris Rhoton (scenic design), Uriel Gomez (costume design) G. “Max” Maxin IV(lighting design), Mike Patrick (sound design) Adam Borchers (props design), Sarah Scanlon (intimacy design),Kate Booth (fight choreography), Nicholas Reinhart (production manager), Johnnie Schleyer (technical director),Abby Letscher (master electrician), Patrick O’Brien (sound engineer), Emily Boyd (scenic painter), Hannah Cremin (stage manager) and Rachel Caffey (assistant stage manager).

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago
Dates: Previews: Monday, July 1 at 7 pm, Tuesday, July 2 at 7 pm, Wednesday, July 3 at 7 pm and Friday, July 5 at 8 pm
Press performance: Saturday, July 6 at 8 pm
Regular run: Sunday, July 7 – Sunday, August 25, 2019
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will be added performances on Saturday, July 27 at 3 pm, Wednesday, July 31 at 8 pm, Saturday, August 10 at 3 pm, Wednesday, August 14 at 8 pm, Wednesday, August 21 at 8pm and Saturday, August 24 at 3 pm.
Tickets: Previews $25. Regular run $40. Students/seniors $35. Tickets are available at www.kokandyproductions.comby calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office.

Rush tickets: Kokandy Productions will partner with TodayTix to offer $15 mobile Rush tickets beginning at 9 am each performance day. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis exclusively through the TodayTix app.


(left to right) Caitlyn Cerza, Tiffany T. Taylor, Bridget Adams-King, Kaimana Neil, Liz Norton, Shane Roberie, Marco Tzunux and Frankie Leo Bennett in Kokandy Productions’ Chicago premiere of HEAD OVER HEELS. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

About the Artists

Derek Van Barham (Co-Director) is the Producing Artistic Director of Kokandy Productions, and a member of the Red Tape Theatre ensemble. He previously served as Associate Artistic Director of Pride Films & Plays. For PFP, he directed Perfect Arrangement, Angry Fags (Steppenwolf Garage), Songs from an Unmade Bed (Jeff nomination), and (co-directing) PRISCILLA, Queen of the Desert. Choreography credits include The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier and BITE (PFP), all Black Button Eyes productions, and Salonathon. Other directing credits includeThe View Upstairs (Circle Theatre), Three Days of Rain (Boho) and Miracle! by Dan Savage and Skooby Don't! (Hell in a Handbag). He was named one of Windy City Times 30 Under 30, recognizing Chicago's LGBTQ+ community.

Elizabeth Swanson (Co-Director) is a Chicago-based theater director. Recent credits include I Know My Own Heart (Pride Films & Plays), Hildegard: A New Musical (With a Machete Productions), Where All the White Sneakers At? (Second City) and Lungs (Granary Theatre, Cork, Ireland). Assistant directing credits include Fun Home (Victory Gardens Theater), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and Vardo for the Dublin Theatre Festival (Anu Productions). Elizabeth has also directed for Stage 773’s Artists Lab, as well as festival shows and readings with About Face Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Chicago Theater Marathon, The New Colony and Waltzing Mechanics, among others. Elizabeth holds an MFA from the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Arts at the University of Dublin. elizabethswansondirector.com

Kyra Leigh (Music Director) is active as both a musician and actor. She’s composed and performed for the prestigious Stewart Ostrow Musical Theatre Lab, Prop Thtr, and released a full length album, “Transfigure.” She’s acted with the Jeff Award-winning Theo Ubique, The National Pastime Theatre, and is making her debut with Pride Films & Plays. She’s performed as a solo artist at venues such at Mary's Attic, Park West, The Abbey Pub and Davenport’s. She also directs shows at the Chicago School of Rock and is an active church musician with North Shore Baptist. She is a passionate advocate for trans visibility in the worlds of pop music, classical music and theatre. She is currently represented by DDO Artists.

Breon Arzell (Choreographer) Most commonly known as an actor, Arzell's breakout, and award-winning, premiere as a Chicago choreographer came with Oracle Productions' The Hairy Ape. The Detroit native received his first training while at Miami University. In Chicago, he has worked as a dancer, choreographer and instructor at Joel Hall Dancers & Center, Porchlight Music Theatre, Vagabond School and The Goodman Theatre (for their Musical Theater Program). Developing his own style of dance (hip-hop, jazz, modern, lyrical, contemporary and body percussion) and storytelling, movement credits include: We Are Proud to Present (Steppenwolf Theatre), Poseidon!(Hell in a Handbag), The Total Bent (Haven Theatre/About Face), Rightlynd, The House That Will Not Stand(Victory Gardens Theater), Night Runner, Wig Out (DePaul University); Julius Caesar (Writers Theatre), Marie Christine  (BoHo Theatre), The Wiz  (Kokandy), Scottsboro Boys (Porchlight Music Theatre), and more. His talents have allowed him to work all across the U.S., Canada, England, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Singapore and Malaysia.

(left to right) Bridget Adams-King and Caitlyn Cerza in Kokandy Productions’ Chicago premiere of HEAD OVER HEELS. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

About Kokandy Productions

Founded in 2010, Kokandy Productions seeks to leverage the heightened reality of musical theater to tell complex and challenging stories, with a focus on contributing to the development of Chicago-based musical theater artists, and raising the profile of Chicago's non-Equity musical theater community.

The company's artistic staff is comprised of Derek Van Barham (Producing Artistic Director), Scot T. Kokandy (Executive Producer), Adrian Abel Azevedo (Artistic Associate) and Leda Hoffmann (Artistic Associate).

For additional information, visit www.kokandyproductions.com.



(left to right) Bridget Adams-King, Deanalís Resto, Jeremiah Alsop and Caitlyn Cerza in Kokandy Productions’ Chicago premiere of HEAD OVER HEELS. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

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