ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar
I PROMISED MYSELF TO LIVE FASTER
Text by Greg Moss and Pig Iron
Directed by JD Caudill
March 23 – April 16, 2023 at The Chopin Theatre
Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to continue its 21st season with the Chicago premiere of I Promised Myself to Live Faster, an intergalactic queer extravaganza featuring closeted extraterrestrials, high stakes pursuits and nuns from outer space, created and conceived by Pig Iron Theatre Company, with text by Greg Moss and Pig Iron and directed by JD Caudill*. I Promised Myself to Live Faster will play March 23 – April 16, 2023 at The Chopin Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets are now on sale at buytickets.at/hellinahandbagproductions/825817 or handbagproductions.org. I'll be out for the press opening March 26th, so check back shortly after for my full review.
The cast includes ensemble members David Cerda*, Sydney Genco*, Caitlin Jackson*, Tyler Anthony Smith* and Robert Williams* with Kim Boler, Taylor Dalton, Lolly Extract, Emmanuel Ramirez and Ben Stacy. Understudies include Connar Brown, Andres Coronado, Abbey Demorow, Ashley Graham, Rebecca Husk, Brian Knoll, Michael Radford and Scott Sawa (performing March 30 – April 2).
This space epic tells the tale of our reluctant hero Tim (Robert Williams*) who’s been put through an emotional ringer these past few months. Tim’s life takes a radical turn when an order of intergalactic nuns charge him with a quest: retrieve the Holy Gay Flame from the clutches of the evil emperor to save the race of Homosexuals and restore the balance of power in the universe. Once Tim is captured by the fabulously androgynous Ah-Ni (David Cerda*), Tim goes places he never dreamed in this ridiculous and delirious allegorical adventure.
The production team includes Jonathan Berg-Einhorn (Scenic Designer), Beth Laske-Miller and Rachel Sypniewski (Costume Designers), Liz Cooper (Lighting Designer), Danny Rockett (Sound Designer), Bren Coombs (Props Designer), Jamal Howard (Choreographer), Lolly Extract/Jabberwocky Marionettes (Puppet Designer and Puppetry), Sydney Genco* (Make-up Designer), Keith Ryan* (Wigs Designer), Carly Belle Cason (Violence Designer), Spencer Douglas Clark (Intimacy Designer) and Leo Batutis and Scott Sawa (Assistant Directors).
*Denotes Handbag Ensemble Member
COVID safety: Masking is recommended, but not required. COVID guidelines may change in accordance with public health guidelines.
Cast (in alphabetical order): Kim Boler (Mother Superior), David Cerda* (Ah-Ni), Taylor Dalton (Nun #2), Lolly Extract (Ensemble/Puppetry), Sydney Genco* (King Trout), Caitlin Jackson* (Nun #1), Tyler Anthony Smith (Movie Star Boy), Emmanuel Ramirez (Ensemble), Ben Stacy (Ensemble) and Robert Williams* (Tim).
Understudies: Connar Brown (Ensemble/Puppetry), Andres Coronado (Movie Star Boy), Abbey Demorow (Nun #1), Ashley Graham (Mother Superior), Rebecca Husk (King Trout), Brian Knoll (Tim), Michael Radford (Ensemble) and Scott Sawa (Ah-Ni, performing March 30 – April 2).
Location: The Chopin Downstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago
Previews: Thursday, March 23 at 7:30 pm, Friday, March 24 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, March 25 at 7:30 pm
Opening/Press performance: Sunday, March 26 at 7 pm
Regular run: Thursday, March 30 – Sunday, April 16, 2023
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets: $24 previews. $42 general admission ($25 Thursday special), $61 VIP/reserved seating with drink ticket. Group rates $34 for 10 or more. Tickets are now on sale at buytickets.at/hellinahandbagproductions/825817 or handbagproductions.org.
About the Artists
Pig Iron Theatre Company (Creator, Text) has been creating original performance works in Philadelphia since 1995, making plays about live music, dead people, neuroscience and thwarted love affairs. A unique method of performance research and collaborative creation, plus a signature physical approach to character, has led to 29 plays, cabaret-ballets, hoaxes and installations over two decades. Past collaborations include work with the legendary director Joseph Chaikin, playwright Toshiki Okada, choreographer David Brick, composer Cynthia Hopkins and the rock band Dr. Dog. Pig Iron's work has been presented by FringeArts in Philadelphia and by theatres and festivals around the world. The company has won two Obie Awards, a Total Theatre Award and eight Barrymore Awards. Other scripts by Pig Iron are anthologized in Pig Iron: Three Plays, published by 53rd State Press. pigiron.org
Greg Moss (Text) is a writer, educator and performer from Newburyport MA. His work has been produced at Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep, Steppenwolf, La Comédie-Française, EST-LA, Clubbed Thumb, Capital T Theatre and South Coast Rep, among others. His plays include Indian Summer, punkplay, Reunion, Billy Witch, House of Gold and sixsixsix. Upcoming: The Unauthorized Unofficial Hunter S. Thompson Musical at La Jolla Playhouse in September 2023. gregorymoss.com
JD Caudill (Director) is a queer director, artistic director, literary manager and music director, whose recent direction includes After the Blast (Broken Nose Theatre), Southern Comfort (Pride Films and Plays), Bechdel Fests 4-6 + 8 (Broken Nose Theatre), Book of Shadows (Broken Nose Theatre) and other plays at The New Colony, Haven Theatre, The Runaways Lab Theatre, New American Folk Theatre, Hobo Junction, 20% Theatre, Paragon Theatre, Otherworld Theatre, Arc Theatre, 16th Street Theatre, Stage Left, The Syndicates and Red Theatre. They are a proud ensemble member of Hell in a Handbag, where they have music directed countless shows, and recently became interim artistic director of Broken Nose Theatre, where they’ve served as a literary manager and ensemble member for the past five years.
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.