Pages

Showing posts with label Hell in a Handbag. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hell in a Handbag. Show all posts

Sunday, December 20, 2020

HELP OUT: Hell in a Handbag Productions Announces Annual Benefit “THE MORNING AFTER” Featuring the Very First Live Stream of POSEIDON! AN UPSIDE-DOWN MUSICAL Streaming January 1, 2021 from 6 – 9:30 pm CST

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Hell in a Handbag Productions Announces Annual Benefit

“THE MORNING AFTER”

Featuring the Very First Live Stream of

POSEIDON! AN UPSIDE-DOWN MUSICAL

Streaming January 1, 2021 from 6 – 9:30 pm CST

Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce its annual benefit “The Morning After,” featuring the streaming world premiere of the smash hit musical that started it all for them, POSEIDON! An Upside-Down Musical on Friday, January 1, 2021 from 6 – 9:30 pm CST. Tickets ($22–$30) include a 6 pm pre-show discussion and never-before-seen clips from past POSEIDON! productions, memories from cast and crew members of all three productions, and a raffle and silent auction featuring fabulous self-care items for you to bid on to make your quarantine bearable! Handbag will also provide links to order food and cocktails from partnering restaurants. Tickets are currently available at eventbrite.com. All proceeds benefit Hell in a Handbag Productions, Chicago’s leading camp and parody theater company.

(left to right) Shane Roberie, Elizabeth Lesinski, Katherine Bellantone, Nicky Mendelson, David Lipschutz, Frankie Leo Bennett, Scott Sawa, Stevie Love, Tommy Bullington and Michael S. Miller in Hell in a Handbag Productions’ revival of POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical. All Photos by Rick Aguilar Studios.


(front, l to r) Brittney Brown, Michael S. Miller, Tommy Bullington, Maiko Terazawa and the cast of Hell in a Handbag Productions’ revival of POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical. 

“What do you to when your world turns upside down? That’s what POSEIDON! is about,” comments Artistic Director David Cerda*. “This is what makes the first live stream of POSEIDON! in 18 years so relevant for today. We’re all just trying to survive, physically and mentally.”

The 2019 production of POSEIDON! An Upside-Down Musical was recorded by Peter Neville* in HD with stereo sound at Chicago’s Edge Theater. POSEIDON! features book and lyrics by Handbag Artistic Director David Cerda*, music by David Cerda* with Scott Lamberty, direction by Derek Van Barham, music direction by Andrew Milliken and choreography by Breon Arzell.


(left to right) Frankie Leo Bennett, Shane Roberie, Elizabeth Lesinski, Katherine Bellantone, Stevie Love, Nicky Mendelson, Scott Sawa, Tommy Bullington, David Lipschutz and Michael S. Miller

The cast includes Katherine Bellantone, Frankie Leo Bennett, Brittney Brown, Tommy Bullington, Sydney Genco*, Caitlin Jackson*, Josh Kemper, Elizabeth Lesinski*, David Lipschutz*, Stevie Love*, Nicky Mendelson, Michael S. Miller*, Courtney Dane Mize, Elissa Newcorn, Marc Prince, Shane Roberie, Scott Sawa, Patrick Stengle and Maiko Terazawa.

(front) Stevie Love (with back, l to r) David Lipschutz, Shane Roberie, Elizabeth Lesinski, Nicky Mendelson and Scott Sawa 

It’s New Year’s Eve and a group of hardcore fans have gathered for their annual viewing of the greatest film ever – The Poseidon Adventure, the story of the capsize of the SS Poseidon on New Year’s Eve, and the handful of misfit passengers that decide to climb to the top of the ship – which is now the bottom. As the story progresses the viewers become one with the film. POSEIDON! An Upside-Down Musical is part parody, part homage – and a look at how movies can leave their mark on you.

(front, l to r) Katherine Bellantone, Frankie Leo Bennett and Courtney Dane Mize with (back) Stevie Love 

(pictured) The cast of Hell in a Handbag Productions’ revival of POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical. 

Handbag’s original 2002 Chicago production of POSEIDON! was a critical and popular smash and extended for a five-month sold-out run in Chicago, and was accepted into The New York International Fringe Festival, where it was the most attended show of 2003, winning an award of excellence for Best Ensemble. The show was remounted in 2009 at The Chopin Theatre and enjoyed another extended run.

For Tickets and More Information click here.

(left to right) Elizabeth Lesinski, Scott Sawa, Tommy Bullington, Shane Roberie and Frankie Leo Bennett 

(pictured) The cast of in Hell in a Handbag Productions’ revival of POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical. 

Benefit Schedule: 

6 pm: Pre-show with never-before-seen clips, and memories with the cast members from all three productions.

6:30 pm: the virtual world premiere of POSEIDON! An Upside-Down Musical.

7:45 pm: Intermission, raffle drawings and bonus clips.

8:50 pm: POSEIDON! ends – raffle and silent auction winners.

9:15 pm: You end up giving us all of your money!

(left to right) Elissa Newcorn, Shane Roberie, Elizabeth Lesinski, David Lipschutz and Caitlin Jackson

(left to right) Scott Sawa, Josh Kemper, Elizabeth Lesinski, Marc Prince, Nicky Mendelson and the cast of Hell in a Handbag Productions’ revival of POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical. Photo 

The production team includes Christopher Rhoton (scenic design), Beth Laske Miller (costume design), Cat Wilson* (lighting design), Danny Rockett (sound design), Adrian Hadlock (props design), Sydney Genco* (make-up design), Keith Ryan* (wig design), R & D Fight Choreography (violence and stunt choreography), Madison Smith (assistant director), Noah Watkins (technical director), Andrew C. Donnelly* (stage manager) and Dani Bar-Lavi (assistant stage manager).

Although 2020 has put a stop to live performances, Hell in a Handbag has met the challenge with their very first virtual production of The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes; a fun, safe drive-in series of their greatest hits; Airport 1970SOMETHING, a streaming parody of another ‘70s disaster classic: and their current holiday show, The Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special, filmed on a set with the magic of green screen and a little ingenuity, playing through January 9, 2020. 

*Denotes Handbag ensemble members and artistic associates


(front, l to r) Marc Prince, Elizabeth Lesinski, Scott Sawa, Shane Roberie and the cast of Hell in a Handbag Productions’ revival of POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical.

(left to right) Patrick Stengle and Stevie Love in Hell in a Handbag Productions’ revival of POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical. Photo by Rick Aguilar Studios.

 About Hell in a Handbag Productions

Hell in a Handbag is dedicated to the preservation, exploration, and celebration of works ingrained in the realm of popular culture via theatrical productions through parody, music and homage. Handbag is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit. For additional information, visit handbagproductions.org.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Review: Hell in a Handbag's Hilarious Holiday Special Perfect Panacea For Pandemic Blues

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Hell in a Handbag Productions Presents 

The World Premiere of

THE RIP NELSON HOLIDAY 

QUARANTINE SPECIAL

By Artistic Director David Cerda

Directed and Choreographed by Stevie Love

Now Streaming Through January 9, 2021

Grant Drager as Bing Crosby, Sydney Genco as Vampira, Tyler Anthony Smith as Bernadette Peters and David Lipschutz as Doug Henning in a publicity image forHell in a Handbag Productions’ world premiere of The Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special. All Photos by Rick Aguilar Studios.

AND

THE GOLDEN GIRLS: The Lost Episodes

The Holiday Edition, Vol. 2 recorded in 2019
Now streaming through December 31st

(*Virtual General Admission $15.00 +$2.55 Fee. Choose your amount to donate as all monies got to Groceryland in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago)


REVIEW: THE RIP NELSON HOLIDAY 
QUARANTINE SPECIAL

By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

H... E... double toothpicks. H... E... double holiday shows. Yes, the intrepid drag queens, singers and comedians of Chicago's Hell in a Handbag have just the pill for your quarantine ills. They have not one, but two holiday shows now streaming and the best news is neither one is A Christmas Carol! Make it a double. 

I invited a friend over for the press opening of The Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special, and though we were masked and 6 feet apart, things almost felt normal. It was fun ChiILin' in Chi, IL in my heated back yard tent, getting my holiday Hell in a Handbag Productions fix, streaming another David Cerda original, projected on a 10' screen. I could almost see the steep, creaking stairs to the cozy confines of Mary's Attic, and taste the martinis. On the bright side, audience members don't have to make it to Chicago anymore to experience Hell in a Handbag's unique brand of hilarity. They've been at it for 18 years now, and aren't about to let a little thing like a worldwide pandemic stop the fun.

The Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special is a brand new production, perfect for all the adults out there who've spent the last 9 months in quarantine exhausting everything on Netflix and cable and are about to resort to DIY puppet shows with their pandemic snacks, in desperation for something new. This green screen extravaganza is a welcome relief from the flood of Zoom theatre productions now streaming and allowed for lots of creative backgrounds, and even an exaggerated hourglass figure for Vampira. It is the darkest time of the year after all, and what's a holiday special without a touch of the macabre? The only ghosts of Christmas past are dead celebrities, and this 70's style variety show lineup is capably and campily played by a host of Handbag regulars. 

Coming along for the strange ride is Rip’s stage manager Tony (Michael S. Miller*) and his line-up of celebrity guests: Bing Crosby (Grant Drager*), David Cassidy (Nicky Mendelsohn), Shari Lewis and Lambchop (Caitlin Jackson*), Ella Fitzgerald (Robert Williams*), Charlton Heston (Michael Rashid*), Bernadette Peters (Tyler Anthony Smith*), Vampira (Sydney Genco*), Quentin Crisp (Danne W. Taylor*) Lucie Arnaz (Alexa Castelvecchi), and her mother, Lucille Ball (David Cerda*) – or at least that’s who Rip thinks they are.

The wacky plot is a kitschy nod to the star laden holiday shows of the past, with a dose of covid angst, and a Wizard of Oz twist at the end. This is a show best served to an all adult audience with copious amounts of booze and/or edibles. 

RipNelson-1 (left to right)Alexa Castelvecchi as Lucie Arnaz,David Cerda as Lucille Ball andEd Jonesas Rip Nelson in a publicity image forHell in a HandbagProductions’ world premiere of The Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special. Photo by Rick Aguilar Studios.

Sure, quarantine times are strange, and we miss live theatre passionately, but till we can safely meet again, we suggest this double feature as a fun alternative and a great way to forget about 2020 for a few hours. Highly recommended! 

(left to right)Tyler Anthony Smith as Bernadette Peters andNicky Mendelsohn as David Cassidy. 



(pictured)Ed Jones as Rip Nelson. Photo by Rick Aguilar Studios.

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 publishes frequently: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly). 



 MORE ON THE RIP NELSON HOLIDAY QUARANTINE SPECIAL

Hell in a Handbag Productions celebrates the holidays with the return of America’s favorite funnyman, Rip Nelson (Ed Jones*), in the star-studded world premiere of The Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special, streaming through January 9, 2021 via Vimeo. The world premiere is written by Artistic Director Cerda* and directed and choreographed by Stevie Love*, with music and lyrics by David Cerda and Scott Lamberty. Tickets ($25) are currently available at handbagproductions.org or stage773.com. The show streams at designated performance times (see schedule below). 

It’s 2020 and Rip is in the hospital after an ill-advised gig on a Pride cruise. Rip’s devoted make-up woman and confidante Gladys (Lori Lee*), is worried sick, but Rip is more upset that Ryan Seacrest is taking over as host of his annual television holiday special! Rip’s not going to let anything, including the overbearing Nurse Ursula (Terry McCarthy*), stop him from being on that show! A determined Rip makes it to the studio with a little help from trippy magician, Doug Henning (David Lipschutz*) and soon finds himself in his weirdest television special ever.

“Our production will be filmed in a large warehouse combining a physical set and green screen techniques to ensure the safety of the cast and crew,” comments playwright and Artistic Director David Cerda. “Many people look forward our holiday shows with a combination of absurd humor and heart. This show provides both – and addresses trying to stay sane in 2020.”

Performance Schedule:

Thursdays and Friday at 8 pm

Saturdays at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm

Sundays at 3 pm

Please note: shows stream at designated performances times. There will be an added performance on Wednesday, December 23 at 8 pm; there will not be a performance on Friday, January 1 (New Year’s Day).

The production team includes Peter Neville/Image Control Unit* (filming and editing), Pamela Parker* (scenic and props design), Liz Cooper (lighting design), Beth Laske Miller (costume design), Sydney Genco (make-up design), Jabberwocky Productions (puppetry), Keith Ryan* (wig design), Michael Rashid* (production manager) and Drew Donnelly* (stage manager).

*Denotes Handbag ensemble members and artistic associates


(pictured)David Cerda as Lucille Ball 


Hell in a Handbag Productions Presents
THE GOLDEN GIRLS: The Lost Episodes
The Holiday Edition, Vol. 2
By Artistic Director David Cerda
Directed by Ensemble Member Stevie Love

Celebrate the season in sunny Miami as Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia return for brand new holiday episodes in THE GOLDEN GIRLS: The Lost Episodes – The Holiday Edition, Vol. 2. Written by Artistic Director David Cerda* and directed by ensemble member Stevie Love*, the latest installment of Hell in a Handbag Productions’ long-running parody of the beloved TV sitcom recorded in 2019 at Mary’s Attic, in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. 

THE GOLDEN GIRLS: The Lost Episodes – The Holiday Edition, Vol. 2 features ensemble members Ed Jones* as Rose, David Cerda* as Dorothy and Grant Drager* as Blanche with Ryan Oates as Sophia. The cast also includes ensemble members Lori Lee*, Michael Miller* and Michael Rashid* with Steve Kimbrough and Tyler Anthony Smith.

THE GOLDEN GIRLS: The Lost Episodes series began in 2017 and has been going strong ever since. Chicago loves Handbag’s long-running parody of the classic TV sitcom with original scripts.

The production team includes Chris Rhoton (scenic design), David Cerda* (costume design), Liz Cooper (lighting design), DJ Douglass (sound design), Pamela Parker (prop designer), Keith Ryan* (wig design), Sydney Genco* (make-up design) and Jeremy Hollis (technical director, additional scenic design).

*Denotes Handbag ensemble member.

PRODUCTION DETAILS:

Title: THE GOLDEN GIRLS: The Lost Episodes – The Holiday Edition, Vol. 2
Written by: Artistic Director David Cerda*
Directed by: ensemble member Stevie Love*

Cast (in alphabetical order): David Cerda* (Dorothy), Grant Drager* (Blanche), Ed Jones* (Rose), Steve Kimbrough (Ensemble), Lori Lee* (Ensemble), Michael Miller* (Ensemble), Ryan Oates (Sophia), Michael Rashid* (Ensemble) and Tyler Anthony Smith (Ensemble).

About the Artists     

David Cerda (Playwright, Music & Lyrics) is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Hell in a Handbag Productions, now in its 18th year. As the resident playwright, his plays include POSEIDON! An Upside-Down Musical, Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer, Caged Dames, Christmas Dearest, Sexy Baby, Lady X- The Musical, The Drag Seed, and many more. Cerda was in inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame in 2016 and received an honorary lifetime Jeff Award in 2017 for his contribution to Chicago theatre. 

Stevie Love (Director/Choreographer) most recently played Nonnie in Hell a Handbag’s Poseidon! and Annie/Shelly in Evil Dead the Musical (Black Button Eyes Productions) which earned a 2019 Jeff Award nod for Supporting Actor. Other credits (directing, choreography, acting): Disney Cruise Lines, Steppenwolf Garage, Northlight Theatre, Ensemble Theatre Company, Pride Films and Plays, National Pastime Theater, Red Tape Theater, The New Colony, and many Handbag shows (notably: Helen in MIRACLE! which garnered Jeff and BroadwayWorld Award nominations).

Scott Lamberty (Music) is a composer, arranger, sound designer and audio engineer who has

been bringing sound and music to the Chicago theater scene since the early 1990s. He has written and produced musical scores for more shows than he can count including The Bad Seed The Musical and The Passion Follies at Corn Productions; and POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical, The Birds and Rudolph The Red-Hosed Reindeer at Hell in a Handbag Productions. His work as an audio engineer has included the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera, Chicago a capella, Music of the Baroque and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. He is the recording engineer for the Ravinia Steans Music Institute.

About Hell in a Handbag Productions

Hell in a Handbag is dedicated to the preservation, exploration, and celebration of works ingrained in the realm of popular culture via theatrical productions through parody, music and homage. Handbag is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit. For additional information, visit handbagproductions.org.


Google Analytics