Showing posts with label Bailiwick Chicago Theater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bailiwick Chicago Theater. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ACT OUT OPENING: The Drowsy Chaperone at Bailiwick Chicago

Bailiwick Chicago Presents
February 4 – 8, 2014 at Stage 773
Actors Bid For Roles at Annual CHICAGO CASTING AUCTION

It’s no ordinary cast!  Dozens of competitors bid for roles in a professionally produced stage production of the hit musical comedy parody THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Bailiwick Chicago’s annual Chicago Casting Auction.  Now, they’re ready to take the stage for six performances onlyFebruary 4 – 8, 2014 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago.  With book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar, music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE is directed by Bailiwick Chicago Managing Director Geoff Bleeker* with music direction by Robert Ollis*.  Tickets are currently available at

The cast of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE includes Andy Lambros (Man In Chair), Paula Goedert (Drowsy Chaperone), Jill Renn (Janet Van der Graff), Rusty Rector (Robert Martin), Jerry Hickey (George), Varris Holmes (Adolpho), Nancy Studenroth (Mrs. Tottendale), Herb Quinde (Underling), Larry Blust (Feldzeig), Laura Ladeweski (Kitty), Leatrice Berman Sandler (Trix), Christine Hadley and Amy Robbins (Gangsters), Myles Tobin (Superintendent), Penny Reynolds and Peg Wander (Reporters) with a special guest cameo by Noodles The Wonder Dog.  The ensemble includes Michelle BibergalMary BurkeStuart BursteinCarol ChristensenJenny DavisDenise DohertyMaria Harrigan, Deb Hayes, Kim Klein, Marcelline KlestilCorey KrolDiana LynchBliss McMahonLinda Effinger-Quinde, Fred Snow, Eileen Sweeney and Nora Winsberg. The teen and youth chorus includes youth from Bailiwick Chicago’s partner school, Franklin Fine Arts Center, and the Chicago area. The youth chorus includes: Dylan Lainez, Joshua Steinfels-Saenz and Bennett Van York with Franklin Arts Center students Abbie BrandaAnnie Goldenberg, Haley Goldenberg, Rory Kopplin, Rory Normal, Thomas Serges, Emily SmagaczMyles Tanzer and Khilah Turnipseed.  

A rare combination of unprecedented originality and blinding talent, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE boldly addresses a great unspoken desire in all of our hearts: to be entertained. It all begins when a die-hard musical-theater fan plays his favorite cast album on his turntable, and the musical literally bursts to life in his living room, telling the rambunctious tale of a brazen Broadway starlet trying to find, and keep, her true love. If you've ever sat in a dark theatre and thought, "Dear Lord in heaven, please let it be good," this is the show for you!

Bailiwick Chicago’s annual Chicago Casting Auction is a unique opportunity for non-professionals to experience the thrill of being on stage in a professionally produced Chicago stage production. More than 35 roles were auctioned off during the November 2, 2013 event at Chicago’s Dank Haus German American Cultural Center Grand Ballroom, 4740 N. Western Ave. Contenders for leading and major supporting roles took the stage during the nail-biting live auction, often edged on by the crowd to show off their vocal and dancing talents. Additional supporting and chorus roles were won via silent auction. The event raised more than $60,000 for Bailiwick Chicago.  Last year’s auction, which culminated in a sold-out public run of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, raised $75,000 (including ticket sales to the production itself) to support Bailiwick Chicago programming.

The production team for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE includes: Chris Kristant* (scenic design), D.J. Reed  (costume coordinator), Jessica Carson (lighting design), Alex Heika (choreographer), Jon Martinez (asst. choreographer), Kyle Pollio (vocal director), Kate Garassino* (youth choir director/producer), Casi Maggio (associate youth choir director), Varris Holmes* (assistant director) and Heather Stuck* (stage manager).


Book: Bob Martin and Don McKellar
Music & Lyrics: Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison
Director:  Managing Director Geoff Bleeker
Music: Robert Ollis*
Musicians: Robert Ollis* (Keyboard I, Conductor), Diane Hansen (woodwinds), Derek Fitting (trumpet), Deb Johnson (bass) and Lindsay Williams (percussion).

Location:  Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago
Dates:  Previews: Tuesday, February 4 and Wednesday, February 5 at 7:30 pm
Regular run:  Thursday, February 6 – Saturday, February 8, 2014
Curtain Times:  Thursday at 7:30 pm; Friday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 2 pm & 7:30 pm
Tickets: Previews: $20. $15 children 12 & under. Regular run$45. Tickets are currently available at

*Denotes Bailiwick Chicago Collective Member.

Bailiwick Chicago is a non-profit professional company with a mission to produce contemporary musicals and plays, reinvent classic musicals and develop new work, while sharing a powerful and authentic theatrical experience. The company celebrates and engages our community through diverse programming, artistic partnerships and outreach opportunities. In its first three seasons Bailiwick Chicago has garnered 44 award nominations, including 10 Non-Equity Jeff Award Nominations in its first Jeff-Eligible season (2011-12).  For additional information, visit

Bailiwick Chicago Staff:
Artistic Director: Lili-Anne Brown
Executive Director: Kate Garassino
Creative Director: Eric Martin

Managing Director: Geoff Bleeker

Monday, October 28, 2013

ACT OUT OPENING: CHICAGO’S WEIRD, GRANDMA October 28 – December 2, 2013

We can't wait to monkey around tonight with some of Chi-town's Best and Brightest Performing Arts Companies & Artists and our long time favs, Barrel of Monkeys!   As in "more fun than..."

Chicago's Weird Grandma... and proud of it!   

Come on out and see just how weird and wonderful it is when the unbridled creativity of kids' stories is given a voice, costumes, and a platform!   These guys are some of our favs and it's been too long since we've made it out on a Monday to give them props (...of the word variety... not actual props.   Those they have a treasure trove of).   We'll be there tonight and have a full review up shortly.

October 28 – December 2, 2013
The Hypocrites, Manual Cinema, Bailiwick Chicago, The Neo-Futurists and others Transform Stories by Chicago Public School Students 

It's easy to get complacent about long running shows, and Barrel of Monkeys has been at it for over 12 years with their popular Monday night pastime, That's Weird Grandma.  Don't!  If you haven't been or haven't been lately, go already!

Check 'em out LIVE the next 6 weeks, for their annual Chicagocentric version.  Then check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often.  We have an original video interview with Barrel of Monkeys coming soon.

The complete schedule of guest artists and companies for CHICAGO’S WEIRD, GRANDMA:

Monday, October 28 – Manual Cinema
Monday, November 4 – Jessica Hudson
Monday, November 11 – The Neo-Futurists and Bailiwick Chicago Theater
Monday, November 18 – Jyldo
Monday, November 25 – The Hypocrites
Monday, December 2 – About Face Theatre and Noah Ginex Puppet Company

Heck yeah... that's really reasonable:
WHEN: Mondays at 8pm
WHERE: The Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland (directions)
TICKETS: $5 for kids, $10 for adults

Just when you thought Monday nights couldn’t get any better, Barrel of Monkeys is partnering with some of Chicago’s best performing arts companies and artists for the second iteration of CHICAGO’S WEIRD, GRANDMA, directed by Artistic Director Molly Brennan, playing Mondays at 8 pm from October 28 – December 2, 2013 at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago.  Each guest artist or company will bring their unique talents to transform stories written by Chicago Public School students into entertaining sketches incorporating puppetry, sketch comedy, clowning, music, dance and other disciplines. 

This year’s guest line-up includes: About Face Theatre, Bailiwick Chicago Theater, Jessica Hudson, The Hypocrites, Jyldo, Manual Cinema, The Neo-Futurists and Noah Ginex Puppet Company.  Each guest artist or company will choose from original stories from Barrel of Monkeys’ in-school residencies and adapt them into unique performances. Barrel of Monkeys ensemble members will round out each performance with a rotating line-up of sketches from their long-running revue, THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA. The weekly collection of short sketches is equally entertaining for both adults and children. The line-up changes each week by audience vote – so no two shows are ever the same.  

For tickets, reservations and information visit  or call (312) 409-1954.

*Too late for the littles?!   Don't despair.  After the Chicago shows & holiday special, fam friendly Sunday matinees return Jan 26th -March 30th!

Kids Write It. We Do It. World Saved!
Barrel of Monkeys Warms Up Winter With
Sunday Matinees Return January 26 – March 30, 2014
Monday Night Performances Resume March 2 – 31, 2014

The 8pm start time on a school night was cooked up for the industry peeps, because most shows run through the weekends and many actors have Monday nights off to go see That's Weird Grandma and laugh their booties off.   This winter, though, even the school kids and 9-5ers can sleep in on Sundays and still make it to the matinees.   Be there.

“Every story that you see was written by a child (uh huh). And every child was taught by the Barrel of Monkeys (well well). First we take the stories and perform them in the schools. Afterwards we share them with the world (you are the world).”

So sings the opening song of “That’s Weird, Grandma”—our Monday night public performance where we showcase the amazing talents of our student authors and our company of performers. After teaching creative writing residencies at Chicago Public Schools and working with students to generate literally thousands of creative stories, we have a gigantic repertoire of material to share with you!

Barrel of Monkeys, a Chicago-based arts education theater ensemble now in its 16th season, conducts creative writing workshops with 3rd through 5th grade students in underserved Chicago Public Schools. The ensemble of actor-educators then turns their stories and words into professionally-performed theater, presented both in-school and for the general public through its revues. Barrel of Monkeys annually performs more than 300 student-written stories for the students in their schools and 175 stories on the stage for the general public.

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