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Showing posts with label Pride Arts Center. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pride Arts Center. Show all posts

Saturday, November 26, 2022

JACK OFF THE BEANSTALK Via PrideArts November 28 Through December 18, 2022

 PrideArts’ JACK OFF THE BEANSTALK 

to bring British holiday panto tradition to adult audiences



RECOMMENDED FOR AGES 18+

To borrow the catchphrase from the Monty Python TV series, PrideArts will next present “something completely different” for the holidays by bringing the British theatrical genre of panto to Chicago. Panto (short for pantomime, but not to be confused with mime), is a tradition with roots going back to Commedia Dell’Arte, and is a loud, fun, enjoyable musical comedy theatre production that takes well-loved children’s tales and turns them into a show full of giggles for kids along with subtle adult-minded jokes. PrideArts’ holiday show, though, will be the US Premiere of a very adult holiday panto that premiered in London in 2013 and has enjoyed multiple productions around the UK since then. 

Top row L-R: Eustace Allen, Tyler Callahan, Hannah Eisendrath, Lisa Fiori.

Middle row L-R: Neill Kelly, Joe Lewis, Sam Martin, Peter Moeller.

Lower row L-R: Anna Seibert, Sara Torre.

JACK OFF THE BEANSTALK was written by Tom Whalley, arguably the leading panto artist of Great Britain. While Whalley has written for general, all-family audiences, he has additionally created several pantos, like this one, that are strictly for adults. PrideArts’ production will be a full-scale musical, with popular songs performed live by the cast, a four-piece band, and lively choreography. The show is recommended for ages 18 +. Press opening is Thursday, December 1 at 7:30 pm, following previews November 28-30. The production will play through December 18, 2022, at the Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago.

Whalley’s take on the traditional fairy tale of the boy who steals magic beans from a giant atop a huge beanstalk adds several characters - Princess Jill, who is a love interest for Jack and is kidnapped by the giant and his evil henchman Fleshlight. An ally for Jack Clapp and his mother Dame Clapp is Fairy Flick Bean. Though British in origin, JACK OFF THE BEANSTALK will include many local references and inside jokes, as is also part of the panto tradition. Songs, performed live by the cast and backed up by a four-piece band, will include favorites by such American artists as Kelly Clarkson and Whitney Houston. With audience participation involving call and response reactions, and with alcoholic drinks (available in the lobby for a donation) allowed inside the theater, the audience experience will be as much a party as attending a live performance.

Anna Seibert (Left) and Joe Lewis (right). Photo by Bryan McCaffrey Click on image to download high-res file.

JACK OFF THE BEANSTALK will be directed by Bryan McCaffrey, whose credits include stage and musical direction for PARADE, GUYS AND DOLLS, and SOMETHING ROTTEN for Theatre Nebula; PASSING STRANGE for Porchlight Music Theatre, and A CHRISTMAS KAROL: A HOLIDAY INTERVENTION for PrideArts in 2021. Music direction is by Anna Wegener, whose recent credits include PARADE and GUYS AND DOLLS (Theatre Nebula), QUEER EYE: THE MUSICAL PARODY (The Second City), and NOTES AND LETTERS (Underscore Theater). The choreographer is Ariana Cappuccitti, who recently choreographed SPONGEBOB: THE MUSICAL, CHICAGO, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, and BIG FISH in the Chicago suburbs and has performed in WONDERFUL TOWN (Goodman Theatre), FUNNY THING… FORUM (Porchlight Music Theatre), MAMMA MIA (Music Theatre Works) and SOMETHING ROTTEN (Theatre Nebula).

The cast who will deliver the outrageous humor, raunchy puns, and sexual innuendo of Whalley’s creation includes Joe Lewis, seen in PrideArts’ GIRLFRIEND and in 2021’s CHRISTMAS KAROL: A HOLIDAY INTERVENTION CABARET, as Jack. His love interest, the Princess Jill, will be played by Anna Seibert (of SHOUT! at Metropolis Art Center). Eustace Allen, whose credits include MODIGLIANI, and NIGHT OF THE IGUANA for The Artistic Home; and INTIMATE APPAREL and AFTER THE FALL for Eclipse Theatre, will be Jack’s mother, Dame Clapp. Neill Kelly (of Theatre Nebula’s PARADE) is Fleshlight and will also understudy Dame Clapp. Hannah Eisendrath will be Fairy Flick Bean, and Tyler Callahan is Fist the Cow. Additional understudies are Sam Martin (Jack), Lisa Fiori (Jill), Peter Moeller (Fleshlight, Fist), and Sara Torre (Fairy Flick Bean).

The production team, in addition to McCaffrey, Wegener and Cappuccitti, includes Victoria Jablonski (Costume Designer), Brett Baleskie (Scenic Designer), Amelia Simonoff (Lighting Designer), Valerio Toretta Gardner (Sound Designer), Carlos Concetta (Sound Engineer) AlJoya Hall (Master Electrician),  Emma Ferguson (Props Designer, Assistant Stage Manager), and Christa Retka (Stage Manager).

Performances will begin with previews November 28, 29 and 30 at 7:30 pm each night. Opening night is Thursday, December 1 at 7:30 pm. Regular performance schedule is Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 3:00 pm. Tickets $35 for regular performances, $25 for previews. Seniors and students receive a $5 discount off regular performance prices. Tickets are on sale now online at www.pridearts.org.


Previews Monday, November 28, Tuesday, November 29, and Wednesday, November 30 at 7:30 pm

Press Opening Thursday, December 1 at 7:30 pm

Regular run December 1–December 18, 2022

Curtain times Wednesdays–Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm

Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago

Tickets $35 for regular performances, $25 for previews. Seniors and students receive a $5 discount off regular performance prices. Tickets and more information at www.pridearts.org.

773-857-0222


BIOS

Bryan McCaffrey (Director) in 2022 has directed productions of PARADE and GUYS AND DOLLS for Theatre Nebula. He has also served as Music Director for Theatre Nebula’s production of SOMETHING ROTTEN, for Porchlight Music Theatre’s PASSING STRANGE and for PrideArts’ A CHRISTMAS KAROL: A HOLIDAY INTERVENTION.

Tom Whalley (Writer) trained at Associated Studios, London graduating with a Diploma in Musical Theatre and studied Drama & Scriptwriting at Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom. Tom has made a name for himself as a performer and writer working with a number of theatre companies, directors and creatives in London and elsewhere in the UK. Following an appearance on BBC Three’s reality series Shoplife, Tom has since starred in a number of off West End productions and UK Tours (Dick Whittington eat your heart out!). Passionate about Pantomime, Tom starred in his first panto as an ‘Ugly Stepsister’ while still at school and has gone on to start his own business writing and licensing pantomime scripts for theatre companies across the globe: www.tomwhalleypantomimes.com 

Jay Españo (PrideArts Artistic Director). Born in Manila, The Philippines, he joined the prestigious Tanghalang Pilipino’s Actors Company in 1998, where he trained with acclaimed Filipino director Nonon Padilla. He acted in several commercials, television series and films. Notably, he was a regular cast member of Koko KwikKwak - a spin-off of Batibot (Philippine SESAME STREET). He toured The Philippines with that show’s mascots, performing for kids throughout the country. In 2000, Jay was one of many Filipino actors who were cast in the Action Theater Singapore’s hit musical CHANG AND ENG, which toured Asia for several years.

Since joining PrideArts as Artistic Director in 2021, Jay has directed THE THINGS I NEVER COULD TELL STEVEN, 4000 DAYS, CHRISTMAS KAROL: A HOLIDAY INTERVENTION, TOMMY ON TOP, and GIRLFRIEND.  Elsewhere in the Chicago area, Jay has worked with storefront theater companies such as Silk Road Rising, Prologue, Ghostlight, Halcyon, and PrideArts. He has played the role of the King in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I with various theater companies in the US and in Canada.

 

ABOUT PRIDEARTS

PrideArts tells queer stories on a variety of platforms, including both live and virtual performances. Since its founding in 2010, PrideArts has had several chapters, including operating as an itinerant theater for their first six seasons, and as the developer and primary tenant in the Pride Arts Center since 2016.

The company produces full seasons of plays and musicals, as well as events including cabaret, and more. The company has earned 39 Jeff Awards and nominations, and six nominations in the most recent (2019) ALTA Awards from the Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists of Chicago. Programming has reflected the diversity of queer communities by including work made by and illuminating the experiences of women, gay men, transgender people, and BIPOC.

PrideArts is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago’s City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, The Pauls Foundation, The Heath Fund, The Service Club of Chicago, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation, Arts and Business Council, and Alphawood Foundation.

PrideArts is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. PrideArts is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, Northalsted Business Association, Lakeview East, Uptown United, and The League of Chicago Theatre.

For more information and to donate, visit www.pridearts.org or call 1.773 857 0222.




Thursday, March 24, 2022

Pay What You Can: Rhinoceros Theater Festival April 1 – May 7, 2022 at Jimmy Beans Coffee & Pride Arts Center

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Fest Alert 

The Curious Theatre Branch, in association with Pride Arts Center and Jimmy Beans Cabaret, Prop Thtr and Labyrinth Arts, is pleased to present A Hint of Rhino: Rhinoceros Theater Festival 2022, playing April 1 – May 7, 2022. Shows will run Thursdays – Sundays at Jimmy Beans Coffee (2553 W. Fullerton Ave, second floor) in Logan Square and the Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center (4139 N Broadway Ave) in Uptown.

Curious and friends present a pared-down, curated series of events including music, spoken word, new plays, drag and variety events. Programming on Sunday, May 1 at Pride Arts Center will include a special celebration of Matt Rieger, longtime Managing Director for Curious, who died suddenly in October 2021, and whose final play, Jimmy and the Nickels, will run Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings at Pride Arts. Rhino Fest returns this year following a hiatus in 2021, in which festival producers awaited the return of safer gatherings in public spaces rather than shifting to a virtual format. This Rhino Fest represents the result of invitation and collaboration among small groups of Chicago artists, making inquisitive and expansive events for the current moment.



Tickets to all events are $20 or pay-what-you-can. 


Proof of vaccination will be required at the door, and audience members and crew will remain masked inside venues. Cash and credit cards accepted at the door. Tickets are currently available through Eventbrite. Further additional information and updates, visit rhinofest.com.

 


The full Rhino Fest 2022 line-up includes:

 A Hint of a Rhino Party

Saturday March 26 at 7 pm, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts

An opening night party to mosey back to Rhino. An evening of food and drinks, presentations, some previews of shows to come, a film or two, some jokes and lots and lots of mingling.  

 

John & Paul: Strictly Platonic

Fridays at 8 pm, April 1 – 29, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center

Chicago sketch comedy veterans John Klingle and Paul Brennan bring their anarchic humor back to the stage in a raucous celebration of dysfunctional friendship. Watch John and Paul juggle the roles of emasculated fathers, naive prison guards and problematic method actors, all while struggling to keep their corporate sponsorships. Special guests include drag artist Tara Bitchup, songstress Zoë Pike\ and stand-up comic Katie Zane.

 

New Speculative Fiction

Friday, April 1 at 7 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee

Sharon Houk, Andy Sullivan, and Tanner Vaughan Halversen read new work.

 

Labyrinth Hour Cabaret

Saturdays at 8 pm, April 2 – 30, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center

A musical and variety adventure featuring bands, musical guests and variety acts.

April 2 & 23: The Improper Behavior Jump Blues Band featuring Miss Sharon and Keith Fort.

April 9 & 16: Drag Show with Narcisca and Slussy Vanity. Further guest artists to be announced. Produced and directed by Diane Hamm with Labyrinth Arts and Performance Collective.

 

The Chicago Beast Women

Saturdays at 10 pm, April 2 – 30, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center

Chicago’s longest-running showcase for veteran and premiering female artists comes to Pride!  An inspiring line-up of solo and collaborative artists showcasing new and urgent work. Jillian Erickson, Michelle Power, Cristina McCrystal, Alley Cat and many, many more beloved Chicago performers.

 

Vernon Tonges

Saturday, April 2 at 7 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee

Known to many as Spoo Willoughby, Vernon Tonges is a low-profile performing songwriter and singer known for his crippling introversion and disastrous inability to adequately self-promote. Many of his shows occur unannounced in random parking lots where his audience mainly consists of drivers idling in the drive-through line awaiting takeout chicken. Surplus thigh meat comprises his chief compensation. The world remains a tough nut to crack.

 

The Crooked Mouth and Special Guests

Saturday, April 2 at 9 pm and Saturday, May 7 at 9 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee

A Chicago-based music group including Jenny Magnus, Beau O'Reilly, T-Roy Martin, Vicki Walden and Heather Riordan with ample harmonies and lyrics to sink one's teeth into. Rock/pop/alt-country/vaudeville, if you must have a genre.

April 2: Special guest Izzy Yellen. "Izzy yellin'? No, he's making ambient folk."

May 7: Special guests Michael Amandes and Mac Modean

 

Writers Aloud

Sunday, April 3 at 3 pm, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center

For over three years, from in-person to online and now both live and streaming – this unassuming monthly forum organized by Donna Dunlap, Karen Fort and Cordis Heard for those who write and have seldom if ever spoken their own written words – a core Prop Thtr tradition. Two hours with three to five readers.

 

Jimmy and the Nickels

Sundays: April 3 at 5 pm, April 24 & May 1 at 3 pm. Note: the May 1 show will be followed by a celebration of Matt Rieger, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center

Thursdays: April 7, 14, 21, 28 at 8 pm, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center

A follow up to 2020’s lauded My Dinner with Joe, this chamber comedy, the last work of the beloved and abruptly departed Curious playwright and Managing Director Matt Rieger, features Mike McKune, Don Schroeder, Nick Leininger and Paul Brennan, and is directed by Stefan Brün with Charlotte Lastra.

 

Hypnosis

Friday, April 8 & 22, Saturday April 9 & 23 at 7pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee

A new monologue from Chicago poet and fringe theater mainstay Barrie Cole.

 

Cafe Neckbeard To Go

Fridays: April 8, 15, 22, 29 and May 6 at 9 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee

Saturdays: April 9, 16, 23, 30 at 9 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee

PR Representative and Procurement Specialist Chris Bower will theatrically update the world on the ongoing saga of the most experimental and explosive and explosively experimental cash-only fine dining celiac-intolerant temporarily to-go cafe in The Historic Logan Square Neighborhood (THLSN): Chef Anton "*" Anis's Cafe Neckbeard! Featuring Chris Bower and Steak Richardson.

 

The Problem With Flowers

Sundays: April 10, 17, 24 at 5 pm, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center

Thursdays: April 14, 21, 28 at 7 pm, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center

Roberto Del Rio’s solo work playfully examines the loves and miseries, the delights and betrayals in an emotional day off. From dawn until dusk we’ll hear those struggles, triumphs, fears and desires that only manifest when we’re by ourselves.

 

Deconstructing Desolation Row

Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 at 7 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee

Four writers respond to Bob Dylan's 1965 ballad from Highway 61 Revisited in song and lecture. Performances by Jayita Bhattacharya, Frank Bonacci, Michaela Chan and Bill Ferguson.

 

Time in a Teacup

Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 at 7 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee

New work by Jay Sebastian. Musings on time, memory, and baloney sandwiches through stories, original songs and 8mm movies.

 

The Anchovy's Song, The Pelican's Apocalypse

Friday, May 6 at 7 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee

Jeff "Hollywood" Dorchen weaves together songs, obvious lies (elaborate and simple) and poems.

 

Sheila Donohue and Friends

Saturday, May 7 at 7 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee

Performance poet and four-time National Poetry Slam Champion Sheila Donohue returns to Rhino Fest for an evening of new and archival work, with special guests.

Venue Note: Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center is a first-floor space and is wheelchair accessible, with two accessible bathrooms. Jimmy Beans Cabaret is up one flight of stairs and is not easily accessible for wheelchair users.

 

About Rhino Fest

The event that became the Rhinoceros Theater Festival began in 1988 as an offshoot of the Bucktown Arts Fest, and in its first year featured just two days of performances, including work by Jenny Magnus and Beau O'Reilly. When the event's founder moved away from Chicago in 1990, he asked a ragtag group of local artists (including Beau O'Reilly and Theatre of the Reconstruction’s Scott Turner) to keep the festival going, and the Rhino Fest was born. The Curious Theatre Branch went on to produce the Rhino across many neighborhoods and venues over the years, with events variously taking place in Wicker Park/Bucktown, Rogers Park, Andersonville and Avondale; at spaces including the Lunar Cabaret and Full Moon Café, the Neo-Futurarium, the Society for New Things, The Garage, The Firehouse, Remains Theatre and Prop Thtr. In the mid-2000s, Rhino Fest settled at Prop Thtr in Avondale as its long-term base, and Prop and Curious co-produced the festival among a shifting group of curators for many years. Following the closure of Prop's Elston Ave. space in 2020, and a year off during the height of the pandemic, Rhino Fest is once more becoming itinerant, this year producing shows at The Broadway at Pride Arts Center in Uptown and Jimmy Beans Coffee in Logan Square.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

A MICHAEL MARTIN TRIBUTE Via Curious Theatre Branch November 11 – 28, 2021 at Pride Arts Center

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar: 

Curious Theatre Branch Presents

A MICHAEL MARTIN TRIBUTE

Curated by Kelly Anchors

November 11 – 28, 2021 at Pride Arts Center


Curious Theatre Branch is please to host a three-week celebration of the solo performance monologues of the late Michael Martin, curated by Kelly Anchors. A Michael Martin Tribute will take place November 11 – 28, 2021 at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway in Chicago. Tickets are available at dime.io/c/curious-theatre-branch or at the door ($15 or pay-what-you-can). For additional information, visit curioustheatrebranch.com.

Performance Schedule:

Thursdays: November 11 & 18 at 8 pm. Danne W. Taylor performs The Bearer and Max McKune performs Bachelor in New Orleans.

 Fridays: November 12, 19 & 26 at 8 pm. Chris Bower performs Justine Bateman.

 Saturdays: November 13, 20 & 27 at 8 pm. Mark Chrisler performs Hinckley on Foster.

*Please note: there will be an added performance of The Bearer and Bachelor in New Orleans on Sunday, November 28 at 7 pm.

Michael Martin was a playwright, actor, storyteller, social media maven, director and friend to hundreds of people in the Chicago and New Orleans fringe art scenes and beyond. His death in April 2021, while working the third shift in a New Orleans hotel, left a huge gaping hole. (And here Michael would have inserted a good joke as to how it should be filled.) Many of us who loved him and his work will come together for performances of four of his monologues.

  

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

REVIEW: A Man of No Importance Now Playing at The Pride Arts Center Through November 10, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
Music by Stephen Flaherty, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Book by Terrence McNally
Directed by Donterrio Johnson
Music Direction by Robert Ollis 
The Broadway, Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago




Guest Review
by lori morrison 

Alfie Byrne is a middle-aged bachelor living with his sister in 1964 Dublin. His two great loves are Oscar Wilde and the theater.

Alfie is a bus conductor who spends his days reading Wilde’s poetry to his community riding the bus. He also directs many of those same passengers in amateur productions of Wilde’s plays at the local parish hall.

Although never acting on it or getting close to anyone, much to his sister's (who keeps trying to set him up with woman after woman so she can marry her love) annoyance, he is also secretly in love with his friend and driver to the bus, Robbie.

Having had past success with staging The Importance of Being Earnest, Alfie sets out to produce his dream production, the much more explicit, Salome. 

This play is a character study of Alfie struggling with his secret and shame over a love “that dare not speak its name.” With visions of Wilde as his only confidant and hero, he eventually comes to believe Wilde and realize "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it".

In doing so, he faces violence, bigotry, the loss of his church and his beloved theater company. 

However, it is theatre that once again changes his life and gains him the support of his true friends.

Ryan Lanning does an excellent job of playing Alfie. You really feel for his character and become invested in him. 

The music was great and did a lot to drive the story forward in an interesting and fun way. 

It is a small stage with lots of scene changes and some big props. This did sometimes lead to some traffic jams and if you are sitting in the front row, better keep your feet pulled in. 

Lori Morrison is an unschooling Chicago mom who lives in LaGrange with her three kids. She is a 2nd degree black belt in TKD and a burlesque dancer, who teaches self defense and works for Edge Theatre, NFP.

Pride Films and Plays will stage the first Chicago production in more than a decade of A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, the heartwarming musical created by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Terrence McNally, the team that wrote RAGTIME and ANASTASIA. A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE is based on a 1994 film starring Albert Finney as a Dublin bus conductor and features a gorgeous Irish-influenced score. Donterrio Johnson, the Jeff award-winning actor who directed PFP’s BUYER AND CELLAR earlier this year and recently appeared in THE SPITFIRE GRILL with American Blues Theater, will direct. Music direction is by Robert Ollis, who most recently music directed SOUTHERN COMFORT for Pride Films and Plays. Ollis received a Jeff Award for his music direction of KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, plus Jeff nominations for six other shows, including HAYMARKET: A NEW FOLK MUSICAL  in 2019.  Ollis was Music Director for the 2008 production of A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, which earned five Jeff Award nominations for Bailiwick Repertory.

Alfie Byrne is a middle-aged, unmarried bus conductor who idolizes Oscar Wilde and harbors a secret crush on his handsome young co-worker Robbie Fay. Much of the musical’s comedy comes from Alfie’s determined efforts to stage a production of Wilde’s SALOME with his quirky community theater group. 

Director Johnson says “I find A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE to be above all, a story about community and how art is keeping this particular community together. I’m very honored to be bringing A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE back to Chicago with this unbelievable and diverse cast of actor/musicians. This is a show I’ve always had an affinity for, and to be given the chance to retell this story about acceptance and the power of the theatre will be an awe-inspiring experience for the cast and audiences alike.”

Johnson’s cast will be led by Ryan Lanning as Alfie. Lanning appeared as Robbie Fay in the 2008 production. Lanning is a Jeff Award winner for his Molina in Bailiwick’s KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN and his leading roles on Chicago stages also include the title roles in CANDIDE for Porchlight and HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH for Haven Theatre. Nick Arceo, who recently performed the leading role in Underscore Theatre’s workshop of NOTES AND LETTERS, will play Robbie Fay.

Also featured in Johnson’s diverse cast are Ciera Dawn (of THE LITTLE MERMAID and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Paramount and WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT…. at Steppenwolf) as Adele Rice, Sarah Beth Tanner (of HAYMARKET for Underscore Theatre and TWELFTH NIGHT for Midsommer Flight) as Lily Byrne, and Jeff Award-winner Tommy Bullington (who most recently played Pseudolus in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM at Metropolis Arts Center) as William Carney.

Also in the cast are Ryan Armstrong (Ernie, Rasher Flynn), Tiffany Taylor (Mrs. Patrick), Ian Rigg (Father Kenny), Kimberly Lawson (Mrs. Grace), Jessica Lauren Fisher (Miss Crowe), Christopher Davis (Baldy), Orlando Shelly (Peter), Amanda Giles (Mrs. Curtin), Thomas Tong (Sully O’Hara), Kevin O’Connell (Brenton Beret, Oscar Wilde), Patrick O’Keefe (Swing) and Jenni Carroll (Swing). The production team includes Robert S. Kuhn (costume design), Evan Frank (scenic design), Mike McShane (lighting design), Allison Petrillo (assistant director), Emily Marrazzo (stage manager), and Justus Wright (sound engineer).


Top row L-R: Ryan Lanning, Nick Arceo, Ciera Dawn, Sarah Beth Tanner, Tommy Bullington.
Second row L-R: Jessica Lauren Fisher, Ryan Armstrong, Kimberly Lawson, Thomas Tong, Patrick O'Keefe, Christopher Davis.
Bottom row L-R: Orlando Shelly, Tiffany Taylor, Ian Rigg, Amanda Giles, Kevin O'Connell, Jenni Carroll.

A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE will be staged in the 85-seat Broadway Theatre of the Pride Arts Center and will open to the press on Monday, October 14 following previews from Thursday, October 10. It will play through Sunday, November 10. Tickets are on sale now at www.pridefilmsandplays.com.

October 10 – November 10, 2019
Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm., plus Wednesday November 6 at 7:30 pm

Premium reserved seats $40, general reserved seats $30, student/senior/military $25 (not valid Saturdays)
The Broadway, Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago
Tickets available by phone at 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222 or online at www.pridefilmsandplays.com.


ABOUT PRIDE FILMS AND PLAYS

Pride Films and Plays produces a year-round festival of work centered on LGBTQ characters or themes that are essential viewing for all. Since opening Pride Arts Center in 2016, with our two intimate spaces, Pride Films and Plays is in many ways the center of queer programming in the Midwest thanks to our award-winning full productions, cabarets, film fests, new play development and special events. Founded in 2010, Pride Films and Plays has earned 36 Jeff Recommendations and Awards. 

Pride Arts is grateful for hundreds of individual donors, especially the recurring donors in the Pride Society.  The company is most grateful for foundation support from Illinois Arts Council, a State Agency, City Arts Grant, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Heath Fund, the Pauls Foundation, The Service Club of Chicago, Arts and Business Council, Taproot Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, AmazonSmile Foundation, among others. 

Pride Arts is grateful for the support of Braintree, which sponsors our Pride Parade float, the Australian Consulate-General Chicago and Qantas Airlines, and the Consulate General of Canada, Chicago. Pride Arts is a member of the League of Chicago Theaters, Northalsted Business Association, Buena Park Neighbors, Uptown United, and Lakeview East Business Association.

Friday, June 14, 2019

OPENING: CHICAGO PREMIERE of New musical NOW AND THEN at The Broadway at Pride Arts Center

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
CHICAGO PREMIERE OF
NOW AND THEN

Music and Lyrics by Dennis Manning, Story and Book by Ronnie Larsen
Directed by Ronnie Larsen
Music Direction by Dennis Manning

July 10 – August 11, 2019


New musical NOW AND THEN, about a love between two men across four decades, to begin performances July 10 in The Broadway at Pride Arts Center
Chicago premiere of original musical that enjoyed its World Premiere in Ft. Lauderdale, FL in Fall 2018

NOW AND THEN, a new musical about a long-term loving relationship between two gay men, will be mounted in a commercial production by Now and Then Productions in the Broadway Theatre at the Pride Arts Center from July 10 – August 11. The musical with a folk-infused score by Dennis Manning and a story and book by Ronnie Larsen had its World Premiere at Wilton Theatre Factory in the Ft. Lauderdale area in September 2018 and was recommended for the Carbonell Awards, South Florida’s Theater and Arts Honors.

This musical tells with humor and heart the relationship of the characters Daniel and Greg from their twenties through their middle and later adult years. They meet in college, when Daniel is an aspiring country singer-songwriter and Greg has dreams of being a stand-up comedian. The two characters will be played by six actors, portraying Daniel and Greg in their twenties, mid-thirties and sixties as they deal with such universal relationship challenges as establishing trust, financial pressures, and keeping their love vibrant over time. The story by Ronnie Larsen, whose plays have enjoyed long runs off-Broadway and across the US, is loosely based on events from Manning’s life. Manning, whose wistfully melodic15-song score will be accompanied by three of the actors playing acoustic guitar on stage, has worked as a singer-songwriter and has performed at Nashville’s celebrated Wild Horse Saloon.

Larsen will direct a cast including Carl Herzog, who was just recently given a Jeff Award nomination for his role on THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY by Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre. Herzog, also known for his work in Theo Ubique’s MY WAY: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO FRANK SINATRA and Kokandy Productions’ TOMORROW MORNING, will play “Daniel 2” – the thirtysomething version of the aspiring country singer Daniel. Alex Smith will play “Greg 2,” who in his thirties has become the more practical half of the couple. The cast also will include Will Fulginiti as “Daniel 1” and Benjamin Walton as “Greg 1,” the college-age version of the couple. The couple in their sixties will be played by Manning as “Daniel 3” (the role he originated in the World Premiere production) and Skip Sams as “Greg 3.”

The three versions of the couple will sometimes be on stage simultaneously, as if remembering or anticipating events in their relationship over the decades. Daniel and Greg’s past and present will co-exist on stage, as the title NOW AND THEN suggests. Reviewing the World Premiere production for the website New York Style Guide, critic Bill Hirschman said, “director Larsen stages bookwriter Larsen’s concept deftly and inventively by visually, aurally and dramatically juxtaposing these couples.”

NEW YORK STYLE GUIDE’s Hirschman also praised the score, saying  “Manning’s heartfelt music gloriously meanders in a fusion of several genres. Without intentionally emulating them, it echoes early Indigo Girls, Joni Mitchell, coffeehouse folk and a hint of Grand Ol’ Opry, notable for rippling cascades of finger-picked notes along with strummed background chords that add strength and palpable dimension.” The enthusiastic reception to the score from audiences and critics alike led to a cast recording, which was released in April and is available through Amazon Music, iTunes, YouTube Music, Spotify, Google Play, Pandora, Deezer, and iHeartRadio.

NOW AND THEN
July 10 – August 11, 2019
Previews: July 10 and 11 at 8:00pm All preview seats $15.
Press Opening: Friday, July 12  at 8 pm
Regular Run: July 12 – August 11 with evening performances Thursdays - Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 7 pm; matinees Saturdays at 4 pm and Sundays at 3 pm
Pride Arts Center - The Broadway
4139 N. Broadway

Premium front row seats $50, general admission seats $35. Tickets available online at www.nowandthenmusical.com 


BIOS

Dennis Manning (Lyricist and Composer). Dennis has been a singer, songwriter and performer for more than 40 years in the country, pop, folk music industry.  He has performed in Nashville at the celebrated Wild Horse Saloon. He did theater in the early days in productions of GODSPELL, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM. Dennis was a Franciscan Friar, a restauranteur, and has worked in a variety of industries.  He holds an MS in Training, BS in Marketing, BA in English and has a recording engineering certification.

Ronnie Larsen (Story and Book). Ronnie Larsen is an actor-director-playwright-producer whose work has been seen in every major city in America, as well as in Canada, Australia, Italy and London. Twelve of his plays have been produced and five have been seen Off-Broadway in New York City. He has also made a documentary that had theatrical runs at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, Cinema Village in New York City and the Laemmle 5 in Los Angeles as well as showings at numerous film festivals in America, England and the Berlin Film Festival. His plays include: SCENES FROM MY LOVE LIFE, MAKING PORN, 10 NAKED MEN, PEEP SHOW, ALL-MALE PEEP SHOW, GIRL MEETS GIRL, MY BOYFRIEND THE STRIPPER, SHOOTING PORN: LIVE ONSTAGE!, A FEW GAY MEN, SLEEPING WITH STRAIGHT MEN, CHARLIE THE SEX ADDICT, COCKSUCKER: A LOVE STORY, SEX AND VIOLENCE, and TWO DEAD CLOWNS. He created the documentary, SHOOTING PORN and he has also hosted THE VAGINA TALK SHOW, THE PENIS TALK SHOW and THE TGIRL TALK SHOW.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

OPENING: BUYER & CELLAR Featuring Scott Gryder at Pride Films and Plays April 11 – May 19

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
BUYER & CELLAR 
By Jonathan Tolins
Featuring Scott Gryder
Directed by Donterrio Johnson


April 11 – May 19

I'll be out for the Press Opening April 15th so check back soon for my full review. 


**NOTE: BUYER & CELLAR Performance Schedule Update
Sunday matinees moved up to a 2:00 pm curtain time to enable a PFP “Double Feature” with AFTERGLOW

All Sunday matinees for Pride Films and Plays’ production of Jonathan Tolins’s BUYER & CELLAR have been rescheduled to a 2 pm curtain, an hour-and-one half earlier than previously announced.  The change was made to make it possible for patrons to attend on a single afternoon both plays that will be playing at the two-stage Pride Arts Center in April and May. BUYER & CELLAR, which will start performances on April 11 in the 85-seat Broadway Theatre at 4139 N. Broadway, will begin its Sunday matinees at 2 pm and let out shortly after 3:30 pm. This will allow a 25-30-minute break before the 4 pm Sunday matinees of AFTERGLOW, performed in the 44-seat Buena Theatre at 4147 N. Broadway. AFTERGLOW, which opened on March 27,  has a running time of approximately 80 minutes with no intermission, and lets out at approximately 5:20 pm. Separate tickets are required for the two plays.

Emmy Award winner and Chicago Musical Theatre and Cabaret performer Scott Gryder will star in Pride Films and Plays’ upcoming production of Jonathan Tolins’s one-man comedy BUYER & CELLAR, directed by Donterrio Johnson. Gryder will play all the characters in Tolin’s comedy, but most notably, the role of Alex More - a struggling actor who takes a job managing a make-believe shopping mall in the basement of Barbra Streisand’s Malibu home.

Gryder’s Chicago stage credits include JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Lyric Opera) and THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (Drury Lane Water Tower), THE GOLDEN GIRLS – THE LOST EPISODES (Hell in a Handbag), AMOUR (Black Button Eyes), and SOUTH PACIFIC (Light Opera Works). He has performed in cabarets at such venues as Davenport's, Victory Gardens Theater, and Auditorium Theatre's Katten-Landau Studio. Gryder has a B.A. in Theater from Texas Tech University. MeTV’s GREEN SCREEN ADVENTURES earned him three National Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup.

BUYER & CELLAR was a 2013 off-Broadway hit, running for 13 months at the Barrow Street Theatre immediately after its sold-out world premiere at the Rattlestick Theatre. A national tour starring Michael Urie played Chicago for six weeks in 2014. It has been performed in many countries around the world since then. This will be the play’s first Chicago production since the tour’s engagement here.

Tolins, whose other playwriting credits include the gay-themed comedies LAST SUNDAY IN JUNE and THE TWILIGHT OF THE GOLDS, was inspired to write BUYER & CELLAR after reading about Streisand’s real-life faux mall in her book, MY PASSION FOR DESIGN. Tolins’s comedy begins with the truth of the mall – a showcase for her collectibles like dolls and antique clothing – and imagines what it might be like to be the custodian of such a place for such a celebrity. BUYER & CELLAR is an outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things, and the oddest of odd jobs.

BUYER & CELLAR will be performed in the 85-seat Broadway Theatre of the Pride Arts Center. It will open to the press on Monday, April 15 following previews from Thursday, April 11; and will play through Sunday, May 19, 2019. BUYER & CELLAR joins the schedule of shows previously announced for spring at Pride Arts Center, including the musical SOUTHERN COMFORT, opening to the press on March 4; the drama AFTERGLOW, opening on March 27; and the world premiere of DESIRE IN A TINIER HOUSE on June 3. 

BIOS
Scott Gryder (Alex More) has been seen throughout Chicagoland, with appearances including JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Lyric Opera Chicago), THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (Drury Lane Theatre at Water Tower Place), and SOUTH PACIFIC (Light Opera Works). He has performed in cabarets at such venues as Davenport's, Victory Gardens Theater, and Auditorium Theatre's Katten-Landau Studio. Gryder has a B.A. in Theater from Texas Tech University. MeTV’s GREEN SCREEN ADVENTURES earned him three National Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup. For more info, visit www.thescottgryder.com

Donterrio Johnson (Director) is excited to be back at home with Pride Films and Plays - this time behind the table directing this new exciting production of BUYER AND CELLAR by Jonathan Tolins. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for intricate storytelling that is thought-provoking and modernistic, Donterrio Johnson has created some incredible art as both actor and director over the past 15 years. He was a Jeff Award-winner for his Judas Iscariot in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR with Theo Ubique and has earned raves for his Dan in NEXT TO NORMAL and his Caldwell B. Cladwell in  URINETOWN, both with BoHo Theatre. He has also appeared in the Chicago cast of SPAMILTON and as Leading Player in PIPPIN at Mercury Theater and recently  returned from a year-long stint in the National Tour of WAITRESS. Johnson’s notable directing credits include: THE COLORED MUSEUM, 101 DALMATIANS , EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES WILLY WONKA, LAST FIVE YEARS, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS  AND THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE. Donterrio has worked with companies such as Pulse Theatre Company, Prisco Center, and The REPA Center.

Previews Thursday, April 11 through Saturday April 13 at 7:30 pm, Sunday April 14 at 3:30 pm,

Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm through May 19
Premium seats $40, general admission seats $30, student/senior/military $25 (not valid Saturdays)

AFTERGLOW
The Chicago Premiere of AFTERGLOW, an off-Broadway hit from 2017 exploring the emotional, intellectual, and physical connections between three men and the broader implications within their relationships, opened in the Buena Theatre of the Pride Arts Center on March 27. David G. Zak, the company’s Executive Director, directed. The cast includes Rich Holton (SEX WITH STRANGERS at Citadel Theatre) and Jacob Barnes  (URINETOWN at Red Barn Summer Playhouse and A COMEDY OF TENORS with Actors Theatre of Indiana), who play Josh and Alex, a gay male married couple in an open relationship. The two invite another man, Darius, (Jesse Montoya of HURRICANE DAMAGE at Pride Films and Plays) to share their bed one night.  When a new intimate connection begins to form, all three men must come to terms with their individual definitions of love, loyalty, and trust as futures are questioned, relationships are shaken, and commitments are challenged.

AFTERGLOW is performed in the 44-seat Buena Theatre of the Pride Arts Center. It opened to the press on Wednesday, March 27 and will play through Sunday, May 5, 2019.


Flex Passes available for $144 are good for six reserved seats with priority seating for the patron’s choice of shows.
Pride Arts Center – the Broadway, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago
Tickets available by phone at 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222 or online at www.pridefilmsandplays.com

ABOUT PRIDE FILMS AND PLAYS
Pride Films and Plays is working to produce year-round theater and film projects that change lives through the generation of diverse new work (or work that is new to Chicago) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that are essential viewing for all audiences. The company produces a five-play season of full productions, shoots one short film each year, and continues our famed play developmental projects. PFP is the principal tenant in Pride Arts Center. 

Pride Arts Center produces events complementing the PFP vision, including dance, cabaret, film, and more. Events can be one-night or limited run productions or feature national treasures like Charles Busch.  PAC occupies The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway, which has 85 seats, and The Buena, which has 50 seats at 4147 N Broadway.

Pride Films and Plays is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago’s City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, Proud to Run, The Pauls Foundation, The Heath Fund, The Service Club of Chicago, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation, Arts and Business Council, and Alphawood Foundation. 

PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, Northhalsted Business Association, Uptown United, and The League of Chicago Theatres.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

OPENING: THE GREEN BAY TREE in repertory with PINK ORCHIDS at PRIDE FILMS AND PLAYS

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:
THE GREEN BAY TREE
Mordaunt Shairp
directed by Amy Sarno



A charming young man is forced to choose between the love of his fiancée, the lifestyle of his male mentor, and the prescription of his upbringing. This is the infamous comedy of manipulation that, in 1933, made a leading Broadway star of Laurence Olivier, opposite his then-wife Jill Esmond. THE GREEN BAY TREE (1933) was a scandalous hit in the West End and on Broadway.

A torrid British drama of homosexual lust that premiered in London in 1933, starring Laurence Olivier. Through clever use of unspoken implications, THE GREEN BAY TREE avoided censorship from the Lord Chamberlain's office in an era when any depiction of gay love was banned from public performance.

Widely considered to be the first modern play to deal with homosexuality, THE GREEN BAY TREE suggests a same-sex attraction from Dulcimer toward Julian but does it so subtly that the text escaped censorship from the British government of the 1930’s – an era in which homosexuality was still illegal in Great Britain. THE GREEN BAY TREE – whose title refers to an Old Testament Bible verse from Psalms in which wickedness is said to spread “like a green bay tree” – was revived in London in 2014.


Left: Bradley Halverson, Kristen Alesia, Alexander McRae. Photo by David Zak.

The Pride Films and Plays production will be directed by Amy Sarno, whose stage credits include directing the world premieres of THE EXISTENTIAL GOURMET by Mindi Dickstein, THE DIVINE MISS DEA translated by Jack Street, CONCRETE DUALISM AND YOU by Juan Insua, and MEDEA (INCULTURATED) by Amy Sarno. Sarno is also the former Artistic Director of Erasing the Distance. It will play in The Buena, Pride Arts Center, in repertory with PINK ORCHIDS, through July 8.



Sarno’s cast will include Bradley Halverson as the young man, Julian.  Halverson appeared as Czechowski in the extension of Pride Films and Plays’ YANK! and was previously in the cast of the Jeff award-winning musical of 2017, HIGH FIDELITY. His fiancée, Leonora, will be Kristen Alesia. Alexander McRae has been cast as Julian’s wealthy mentor, Dulcimer. Gary Smiley will play Julian’s father, Mr. Owen. Buzz Leer, seen most recently at Redtwist Theatre in OUR TOWN and I SAW MY NEIGHBOR ON THE TRAIN AND DIDN'T EVEN SMILE will play Dulcimer’s butler, Trump.

Sarno’s design team will include Evan Frank (scenic design), Noel Huntzinger (costume design), Blake Cordell (lighting and sound design), Hillarie Shockley (properties design), Richard Gale (dramaturg), and Jackson Dougherty (Stage Manager).

THE GREEN BAY TREE will open to the press in Wednesday, June 13, following previews on Monday, June 11 and Tuesday, June 12. It will run through July 8th, playing in repertory with PINK ORCHIDS, which will open on June 8 following previews on June 6 and 7. 



The “PAC Pride Series” will continue with Joe DiPietro’s FUCKING MEN playing from July 1 – August 25, a world premiere, HURRICANE DAMAGE by Kevin Brofsky playing from August 1 - 26 and the American Premiere of HOLDING THE MAN, by Australian playwright Tommy Murphy, from August 5 – 26, 2018.



Tickets for all events are on sale now at  www.pridefilmsandplays.com or by phone at 866-411-4111 or 773-857-0222

Mordaunt Shairp (playwright) was an English dramatist and screenwriter. Educated at St Paul's School, London, and Lincoln College, Oxford, he spent much of his life as a schoolmaster in London and wrote many plays for pupils to perform.  His adult plays dealt with darker interpersonal relationships and included THE CRIME AT BLOSSOMS as well as THE GREEN BAY TREE. Shairp also spent a short spell in Hollywood as a screenwriter, including THE DARK ANGEL, which starred Frederic March, and THE WHITE ANGEL.

Amy Sarno (director) Amy Sarno’s stage credits include directing the world premieres of THE EXISTENTIAL GOURMET by Mindi Dickstein, THE DIVINE MISS DEA translated by Jack Street, CONCRETE DUALISM AND YOU by Juan Insua, and MEDEA (INCULTURATED) by Amy Sarno.  Sarno received a Fulbright to create PLAN B, a verbatim play about domestic violence.  Her verbatim play, IMPRINTS, was produced by Wisconsin’s New Court Theatre. Sarno is also the former Artistic Director of Erasing the Distance. 

June 11 – July 8, 2018
Previews Mon. 6/11, Tues. 6/12 at 7:30 pm
Opening Weds. 6/13 at 7:30 pm
Beginning Sat. 6/16, Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm through July 8. Extra performance Thursday, July 5 at 7:30 pm. No shows Sunday, June 24 or Wednesday, July 4

Buena Theater
Pride Arts Center
4147 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60613

Tickets: Previews $15, Regular Run: Premium seats $30, General Admission $25, Seniors/Students/Military $23
Tickets available at www.pridefilmsandplays.com or by phone at 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222.


ABOUT PRIDE FILMS AND PLAYS

Pride Films and Plays creates diverse new work (or work that is new to Chicago) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that is essential viewing for all audiences. We accomplish this mission through fully-staged productions, writing contests and staged readings, and filming one short film each season.

PFP is the primary tenant in the Pride Arts Center (PAC), which connects and promotes other artists who share our values, creating a safe environment for all. PAC books one-night events or limited runs, cabaret, film, dance, comedy, and other events. PAC opened in 2016 and consists of two performance spaces: The Buena at 4147 N. Broadway which has 50 seats and The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway which has 85 seats.
                                                                                                  
Pride Films and Plays is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago’s City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, Proud to Run, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation and Alphawood Foundation. 

PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois and The League of Chicago Theatres.

For more information, visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com or call 1.800.737.0984.



ABOUT PRIDE ARTS CENTER

PRIDE ARTS CENTER has become an important part of the arts environment in the Buena Park neighborhood and beyond. In addition to performances by PFP, (www.pridefilmsandplays.com), PAC hosts monthly events including play readings, film screenings, cabaret nights, and variety shows. Guest productions are also included in the PAC schedule. Find a full calendar of everything happening at PAC here. http://pridefilmsandplays.com/calendar/

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cast Announced for Brown Paper Box Co.’s Regional Premiere of Pulitzer Prize Finalist EVERYBODY

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Cast Announced for Brown Paper Box Co.’s 
Regional Premiere of Pulitzer Prize Finalist
EVERYBODY 

By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
 Directed by Erin Shea Brady*


July 13–August 12, 2018

The Buena at Pride Arts Center



Brown Paper Box Co.’s regional premiere of EVERYBODY has found its cast! This modern riff on the medieval morality play Everyman follows Everybody (chosen from the cast via lottery at each performance) as they question and explore life’s most basic and universal elements of death, love, friendship, family, God. etc. Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Gloria, An Octoroon) bases EVERYBODY on the 15th century morality play that instructs sinners on how to repent and seek redemption.


"This is play written for a company of nine performers of varying generations, gender- and ethnic-identities. The exact breakdown of roles should vary from performance to performance via lottery or some other element of chance." Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, playwright

For 20 performances, the majority of the cast’s roles will be decided by lottery live on stage. As the script says, “This is done in an attempt to more closely thematize the randomness of death while also destabilizing your preconceived notions about identity, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.” At any given performance, audiences will see a version of the show that has never been performed, out of 120 possible variations.

“With EVERYBODY, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins gives us the vital opportunity to see five very different actors step into a variety of roles in each others' stories,” says director Erin Shea Brady. “The piece takes ‘different every night’ to a whole new level without resting on a gimmick. EVERYBODY explodes our preconceptions of theatricality to explore bias, conditioning, relationship, and representation — and at the core of it all, to ground us in our collective humanity.”

"Our staff got about 6 pages into reading EVERYBODY and immediately knew it was the perfect play to begin our new season,” says Artistic Director Kristi Szczepanek. “The opportunity to premiere such an exciting and timely play following its New York debut during BPBCo.’s ‘back to our roots’ season is an absolute honor.”




The cast for EVERYBODY features Kenny the Bearded, Hal Christine, Chelsea Dàvid, Alys Dickerson, Nora Fox, Alex Madda, Donovan Session, Francesca Sobrer, and Elle Walker. Hannah Green and Alexandria Moorman round out the cast as Understudies.


The staff and design team includes Erin Shea Brady* (Director), Michelle Benda (Lighting Designer), Zach Dries* (Photographer),  Sarah D. Espinoza (Sound Designer), Evan Frank (Scenic Designer), Kaitlyn Guerrieri* (Box Office Manager), Destiney Higgins (Assistant Director), Jeremy Hollis* (Production Manager), M. William Panek* (Casting Associate), Deanna Satin (Stage Manager), Charlie Sheets* (Graphic Designer), Gin To* (Dramaturg).

* denotes Brown Paper Box Co. members


Previews: Friday, July 13, 2018 @ 7:30pm and Saturday, July 14, 2018 @ 7:30pm
Opening Performance: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 7:30pm
Press Performance: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 7:30pm 
Regular Run: Friday, July 20–Monday, July 23, 2018
                        Friday, July  27–Sunday, July 29, 2018
                       Thursday, August 2–Sunday, August 5, 2018
                       Thursday, August 9–Sunday, August 12, 2018

Tickets: On sale soon at www.BrownPaperBox.org

For more information, performance times, and ticketing information, please visit www.BrownPaperBox.org.

See EVERYBODY Again Punch Card Promotion

There are 120 possible variations to the randomness of recasting EVERYBODY by lottery night after night, so Brown Paper Box Co. is offering a See EVERYBODY Again punch card to see the show again with different performers in different roles. Nothing's guaranteed, but with 120 variations, odds are in the repeat viewer's favor!

After a first viewing, audience members can pick up a punch card that grants 50% Off a second visit and a Free Ticket for their third. Purchases must be made in-person at the Pride Art Center's Box Office the hour before the desired performance by the same attendee each visit. Seating is based on availability.



About Brown Paper Box Co.
Brown Paper Box Co. creates challenging and inspiring theatre that focuses on the text. By employing a smart, simple aesthetic in intimate spaces, we connect audiences directly to the heart of the story. 
 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

OPENING: US PREMIERE of PINK ORCHIDS to Launch PAC Pride Fest

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

PINK ORCHIDS
By Patrick Cash
US PREMIERE
Directed by Brennan T. Jones


The first play of the “PAC Pride Fest” - a summer season of five plays, PINK ORCHIDS by Patrick Cash is a British play in which five eloquently interwoven and often funny monologues explore the experience of living with HIV - a virus that attacks the emotions as well as the body.  It premiered in London in 2016 under the title THE HIV MONOLOGUES. This production will be directed by Brennan T. Jones and will open to the press on Friday, June 8 at 7:30 pm, in the Pride Arts Center’s Buena space. Jones directed JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS for Pride Films and Plays in summer 2017 and was Assistant Director for TimeLine Theatre’s THE AUDIENCE last fall.

Jones’ cast will include Jerome Beck (DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA for First Floor, and THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH for Remy Bumppo), Don Baiocchi (HOT PINK AND READY TO BLOW for New American Folk Theatre), Nick Dorado (AS YOU LIKE IT  for Eclectic Full Contact Theatre Company and ON GOLDEN POND at Oil Lamp Theatre); and Kathleen Puls Andrade, whose stage credits include BIBLE BINGO, part of the LATE NITE CATECHISM series at the Royal George and whose television credits include CHICAGO MED, BOSS, BERNIE and the award winning SHERYL STILL SINGLE.


Top row L-R: Don Baiocchi, Jerome Beck., Lower row: Kathleen Puls Andrade, Nick Dorado.

PINK ORCHIDS begins with Alex (Beck) meeting Nick (Baiocchi) and finding a connection. This connection is tested when Alex learns Nick is HIV-positive. He procrastinates about how to behave when confronted with Nick’s HIV status and makes some regretful mistakes. An Irish nurse, Irene (Kathleen Puls Andrade), and a producer, Barney (Dorado), also explain how HIV has affected their lives and the devastation caused by media negativity and other elements within society, even from within the LGBT community.

The production team for PINK ORCHIDS will include Evan Frank (scenic design), Noel Huntzinger (costume design), Blake Cordell (lighting and sound design), Hillarie Shockley (properties design), Erica Hughes (Dialect Coach) and Megan Chaney (Stage Manager).

PINK ORCHIDS will open to the press on Friday, June 8, following previews on Wednesday, June 6 and Thursday, June 7. It will run through July 7th, playing in repertory with THE GREEN BAY TREE, which will open on June 13 following previews on June 11 and 12. The “PAC Pride Series” will continue with Joe DiPietro’s FUCKING MEN, playing from July 1 – August 25; a world premiere, HURRICANE DAMAGE by Kevin Brofsky playing from August 1 – 26; and the American Premiere of HOLDING THE MAN, by Australian playwright Tommy Murphy, from August 5 – 26, 2018.

Patrick Cash (playwright) is a writer living in London. His plays include a queer adaptation of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, THE CLINIC, QUEERS, THE CHEMSEX MONOLOGUES, SUPERFICIAL and THE HIV MONOLOGUES. He is a senior contributing editor to ATTITUDE and has written for VICE and DAZED. Both THE HIV MONOLOGUES and THE CHEMSEX MONOLOGUES are published by Oberon Books, and THE CHEMSEX MONOLOGUES was nominated for the Polari Prize 2017. THE HIV MONOLOGUES was produced in Sydney, Australia in 2017. He also wrote and co-produced the short film series THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GRINDR.

Tickets for all events are on sale now at  www.pridefilmsandplays.com or by phone at 866-411-4111 or 773-857-0222.

Previews Weds. 6/6 and Thurs. 6/7 at 7:30 pm

Beginning 6/14, Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 3:30 pm through July 7. No performance Thursday, July 5. Also Sundays, June 17 and July 1 at 7:30 pm



Buena Theater
Pride Arts Center
4147 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60613
Tickets: Previews $15, Regular Run: Premium seats $30, General Admission $25, Seniors/Students/Military $23
Tickets available at www.pridefilmsandplays.com or by phone at 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222.

He’s just your type. But hold on. He’s about to tell you he’s got HIV.  How will you respond emotionally? Brush it aside and practice safe sex? Go on to a deeper relationship? Or do you walk away? In five eloquently interwoven and often funny monologues, Patrick Cash invites you to explore these emotions of living with a virus that attacks the emotions as well as the body.

"Pink Orchids is a piece that, while full of optimism, doesn’t shy away from the very real prejudices that are still aimed at HIV positive people to this very day. It’s educational and informative, but at the play’s centre are characters that walk off the page and straight into our hearts.' Gay Times ★★★★★



ABOUT PRIDE FILMS AND PLAYS
Pride Films and Plays creates diverse new work (or work that is new to Chicago) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that is essential viewing for all audiences. We accomplish this mission through fully-staged productions, writing contests and staged readings, and filming one short film each season.

PFP is the primary tenant in the Pride Arts Center (PAC), which connects and promotes other artists who share our values, creating a safe environment for all. PAC books one-night events or limited runs, cabaret, film, dance, comedy, and other events. PAC opened in 2016 and consists of two performance spaces: The Buena at 4147 N. Broadway which has 50 seats and The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway which has 85 seats.
                                                                                                  
Pride Films and Plays is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago’s City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, Proud to Run, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation and Alphawood Foundation. 

PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois and The League of Chicago Theatres.

For more information, visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com or call 1.800.737.0984.

ABOUT PRIDE ARTS CENTER
PRIDE ARTS CENTER has become an important part of the arts environment in the Buena Park neighborhood and beyond. In addition to performances by PFP, (www.pridefilmsandplays.com), PAC hosts monthly events including play readings, film screenings, cabaret nights, and variety shows. Guest productions are also included in the PAC schedule. Find a full calendar of everything happening at PAC here. http://pridefilmsandplays.com/calendar/

Sunday, May 27, 2018

PRIDE MONTH PICKS: Melissa Young’s OUT AND PROUD: A RAINBOW CELEBRATION 6/3/18

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

The Pride Arts Center’s summer season will kick off 
on Sunday, June 3 at 7:30 pm in the PAC’s Broadway venue with 
Melissa Young’s 
OUT AND PROUD: A RAINBOW CELEBRATION 
One Night Only

Young will perform and emcee a musical and comedic tour of LGBTQ history that will also feature in its cast Nick Sula, Daryl Nitz, Jeannie Tanner and Dan Riley, performing some of the most iconic songs of the LGBTQ movement.

OUT AND PROUD with Melissa Young, Nick Sula and guests at Pride Arts Center om June 3
Special guests will include Daryl Nitz, Jeannie Tanner and Dan Riley

Nine years ago, Young performed the music of the World’s most loved LGBTQ icons to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, June 28, 1969 and now returns to celebrate the progress our country has made over the last nine years with help from some of her friends! Daryl Nitz, Jeannie Tanner and Dan Riley join Young and Sula this time around with proceeds benefiting Pride Films and Plays. Starting with Stonewall and Judy Garland, Young will follow the LGBTQ Rights timeline, matching icons to significant moments in history. Dolly Parton’s “Light of the Clear Blue Morning” in 1977 aligns with Anita Bryant and the S.O.C., Bette Midler’s “Do You Wanna Dance” aligns with a post Stonewall New York (1971-73) of Bathhouses and Gay-owned Discos. The creation of the Pride flag 1979/80 and Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out!” Young’s passion for the history and where the movement is today comes across with laughter, heart and great love.



 Melissa Young, with Nick Sula at the piano.


Reservations recommended. Young’s been seen all around town at Davenports, Hydrate, the Park West, 3160 and Drury Lane Water Tower and out of town at The Dunes Resort, Don’t Tell Mama in NYC, The Duplex NYC and The Stonewall Inn.

Tickets for are on sale HERE or by phone at 866-411-4111 or 773-857-0222



OUT AND PROUD: A RAINBOW CELEBRATION
Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 7:30PM
Broadway Theater
Pride Arts Center
4139 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60613
Tickets: $30, Tickets available at www.pridefilmsandplays.com or by phone at 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222.

ABOUT PRIDE FILMS AND PLAYS
Pride Films and Plays creates diverse new work (or work that is new to Chicago) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that is essential viewing for all audiences. We accomplish this mission through fully-staged productions, writing contests and staged readings, and filming one short film each season.

PFP is the primary tenant in the Pride Arts Center (PAC), which connects and promotes other artists who share our values, creating a safe environment for all. PAC books one-night events or limited runs, cabaret, film, dance, comedy, and other events. PAC opened in 2016 and consists of two performance spaces: The Buena at 4147 N. Broadway which has 50 seats and The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway which has 85 seats.
                                                                                                  
Pride Films and Plays is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago’s City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, Proud to Run, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation and Alphawood Foundation. 

PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois and The League of Chicago Theatres.

For more information, visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com or call 1.800.737.0984.

ABOUT PRIDE ARTS CENTER
PRIDE ARTS CENTER has become an important part of the arts environment in the Buena Park neighborhood and beyond. In addition to performances by PFP, (www.pridefilmsandplays.com), PAC hosts monthly events including play readings, film screenings, cabaret nights, and variety shows. Guest productions are also included in the PAC schedule. Find a full calendar of everything happening at PAC here. http://pridefilmsandplays.com/calendar/

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