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Showing posts with label Theater Wit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Theater Wit. Show all posts

Saturday, July 13, 2019

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

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

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

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

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

Review
by bonnie kenaz-mara

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



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


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


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

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

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


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


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


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




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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

About the Artists

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

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

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

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

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

About Kokandy Productions

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

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

For additional information, visit www.kokandyproductions.com.



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

Friday, April 26, 2019

SAVE THE DATES: The Chicago Premiere of KENTUCKY Plus New Dates for Hansol Jung’s WOLF PLAY Via The Gift Theatre

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
The Gift Theatre Announces Final Production 2019 Season:

The Chicago Premiere of
KENTUCKY
By Leah Nanako Winkler
Directed by Ensemble Member Chika Ike
October 17 – November 17, 2019 at Theater Wit
Plus: New Dates for Hansol Jung’s WOLF PLAY



The Gift Theatre is pleased to announce the final play of its 2019 Season: the Chicago premiere of Leah Nanako Winkler’s dark comedy KENTUCKY, directed by ensemble member Chika Ike, playing October 17 – November 17, 2019 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago.

The Gift has also announced new dates for its world premiere of Hansol Jung’s messy, funny and disturbing theatrical experience WOLF PLAY, now slated for July 11 – August 18, 2019. Directed by guest artist Jess McLeod, WOLF PLAY will be presented at The Gift’s home at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood.

The Gift Theatre’s 2019 season opened with an all-ensemble production John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning drama DOUBT: A PARABLE, directed by ensemble member John Gawlik. DOUBT played February 27 – March 31, 2019 at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre.

Two-show subscriptions are currently available at www.thegifttheatre.org or by calling (773) 283-7071.


About KENTUCKY

Two Sisters, Eccentric Parents, A Chatty Cat, And A Born-Again Wedding...What Could Go Wrong?

Hiro is a self-made single, almost 30 woman making it in New York while estranged from her dysfunctional family who lives in Kentucky. When her sister, a born-again Christian, decides to marry at 22, Hiro decides to do whatever she can to stop the wedding and salvage her sister's future. The themes of identity, religion and love collide in this unique coming-of-age story. 


About the Artists
Leah Nanako Winkler (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright from Kamakura, Japan and Lexington, Kentucky. Her plays include God Said This (Winner: 2018 Yale Drama Series, World Premiere: Humana Festival, Off Broadway Premiere: Primary Stages/Cherry Lane), Kentucky (2015 Kilroys List/World premiere: Ensemble Studio Theatre in coproduction with Page 73 and the Radio Drama Network. West Coast Premiere: East West Players) Two Mile Hollow (2017 Kilroys List, simultaneous world premiere with Artists At Play in La, Mixed Blood/Theater Mu in Minneapolis, First Floor Theater in Chicago and Ferocious Lotus in SF), Death For Sydney Black (terraNova Collective, Thinking Cap Theater, 2014 Kilroys Honorable Mention) Diversity Awareness Picnic (Clubbed Thumb/Playwrights Horizons Superlab, 2014 Kilroys Honorable Mention), Double Suicide At Ueno Park (EST/Marathon 2015), Linus and Murray (EST/Marathon 2017) and more.

Chika Ike (Director) is an ensemble member with the Gift Theatre Company, where she is also the Director of the 4802 Residency. She has worked with Public Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens, About Face Theatre Company, Chicago Inclusion Initiative, Chicago Dramatists, and Prologue Theatre Company. Fellowships: Gielgud Directing Fellowship, the Bret C. Harte Directing Fellowship and Victory Garden’s Directors Initiative. Recent productions: A Swell in the Ground (The Gift Theatre), In the Blood (Red Tape Theatre), No Child (Definition Theatre Company), Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea (First Floor Theatre) and Franklinland (Jackalope Theatre Company).  


About The Gift Theatre
Since 2001 and over 70 productions, The Gift Theatre has pioneered the frontiers of the American theatre via the most intimate professional Equity theatre in the country, leading to national acclaim and a cultural revolution on Chicago’s northwest side.

The Gift’s 18th season includes a revival of John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning drama Doubt: A Parable, directed by Ensemble Member John Gawlik at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre (February 27 – March 31); the world premiere of Hansol Jung’s Wolf Play, directed by guest artist Jess McLeod at The Gift Theatre (July 11 – August 18) and Leah Nanako Winkler’s Chicago Premiere KENTUCKY directed by Ensemble Member Chika Ike at Theater Wit (October 17 – November 17). Season subscriptions are available for as little as $75. The Gift subscribers ("Gifters") receive admission to three shows, free parking at Gale Street Inn, free admission to all Wednesday night “Natural Gas” improv shows and invitations to special subscriber-only special events. Subscribe at www.thegifttheatre.org or by calling (773) 283-7071.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

OPENING: CHICAGO PREMIERE OF ADMISSIONS AT THEATER WIT MARCH 21-MAY 12, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

WHITE LIBERALS FORCED TO DEFEND THEIR
WHITE PRIVILEGE IN 
ADMISSIONS


THEATER WIT TO PRESENT CHICAGO PREMIERE OF JOSHUA HARMON’S NEW CONTEMPORARY SATIRE, 
MARCH 21-MAY 12

Racial diversity in private schools. College apps and quotas. White liberal guilt. Playwright Joshua Harmon takes aim at all of this along with political correctness of all kinds in his newest play, Admissions.

Theater Wit, Chicago’s “smart art” theater, is excited to announce it will present the Midwest premiere of Admissions, Harmon’s hilarious and scathing family drama, sure to press audience members’ buttons as it tackles hallowed, yet thorny, contemporary issues, skewering them with Harmon’s signature humor and satiric wit.

Performances are March 21-May 12, 2019: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at
8 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m. Press opening is Monday, April 1 at 7 p.m. No show April 4.

Theater Wit is located at 1229 N. Belmont Ave., in the Belmont Theatre District in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Tickets start at $12 and go on sale February 4. For tickets and information, visit TheaterWit.org or call the Theater Wit box office, (773) 975-8150.

Meet Bill and Sherri Mason, the headmaster and head of admissions respectively of Hillcrest, a second-tier New Hampshire boarding school. When this very liberal, very progressive couple arrived 15 years ago, the student population at Hillcrest was 94 percent white. Deeply committed to diversity, Sherri has boosted the number of students of color from six to 18 percent, a figure she still considers embarrassingly low.

However, Bill and Sherri’s dedication to diversity is put to the test when their son Charlie, an outstanding Hillcrest student who has dreamed of attending Yale since he was a child, learns his application has been deferred.

Complicating matters, Charlie’s classmate and best friend Perry, whose father is African-American, has been admitted to Yale even though his academic and extracurricular achievements are nowhere near Charlie’s.

Convinced that Yale based its decisions on race, Charlie claims to be a victim of reverse discrimination. And as their son lashes out, Sherri and Bill are forced to examine just how far their commitment to diversity goes. Are they true disciples? Or total hypocrites.

When Admissions premiered last year at Lincoln Center Theater, The New York Times called it “an extraordinarily useful and excruciating satire - of the left, by the left, for the left - for today.”

The Hollywood Reporter pegged Harmon’s newest play as “a smart, provocative drama with a rich vein of humor that pulls the rug out from under liberal white America.”

Indeed, Admissions is funny, sharp-witted, devastating and shockingly blunt, much like Harmon’s earlier plays Bad Jews, the most successful production in Theater Wit history, which ran an unprecedented eight months in 2015, and Significant Other, a Wit co-production with About Face Theater in 2017.

Admissions is also seductive - and, perhaps, controversial - as it splays open issues that have rarely been explored in the theater, at least not in Harmon’s comedic and biting manner.

"There's only one author who consistently makes me laugh helplessly and flinch in terror simultaneously. Joshua Harmon has done that to me twice now—first with Bad Jews and again when I read Admissions,” explains Jeremy Wechsler, Artistic Director at Theater Wit, who will also stage Wit’s production of Admissions. “Once again, Joshua’s immense compassion and wicked sense of humor is deployed to illuminate some of the key stresses of contemporary life: the intersection of diversity issues, white liberal guilt and privilege in education. His newest work is a keen satire, equally merciless and kind. As such, I hope Admissions sparks the same level of conversation that made our previous collaborations such deep, memorable experiences for our audience."

Theater Wit’s cast and production team for Admissions are to be announced.



About Theater Wit

Theater Wit, Chicago’s “smart art” theater, is a major hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene, where audiences enjoy a smorgasbord of excellent productions in three, 99-seat spaces, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.

Currently on stage at Theater Wit is the company’s acclaimed co-production of Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses with Shattered Globe Theatre, now through March 9. Try and keep up with the Joneses as they muddle through the small beauties, immense fears, and amazing moments of each day. Time is short but there are gift certificates to enjoy, tiny fireworks to light and another perfect summer evening to take for granted. “Very Funny! ★★★ Director Jeremy Wechsler’s production grounds the flightier aspects of the play in a Chicago-style reality,” wrote the Chicago Tribune. “★★★1/2 Sublime! Endless profundity (and marvelous wit),” said the Chicago Sun-Times.


To purchase tickets, a Theater Wit Membership or to inquire about Flex Pass options, visit TheaterWit.org or call the Theater Wit box office, 773.975.8150.


Biographies



Joshua Harmon’s plays include Bad Jews (Roundabout Theatre Company), Significant Other (Roundabout Theatre Company; Broadway/Booth Theatre), Admissions (Lincoln Center Theater); Ivanka (staged readings across the country on Election Eve, 2016) and Skintight (Roundabout Theatre Company). Bad Jews is one of the most produced plays in the United States of the last few years and has received international productions in Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, South Africa and London’s West End, following sold-out runs at Theatre Royal Bath and the St. James. Fellowships include the MacDowell Colony, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and NNPN. Harmon is an associate artist at Roundabout Theatre Company and under commission from Manhattan Theatre Club. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School. 




Theater Wit’s 2015 hit production of Harmon’s Bad Jews (which featured, from left)
Laura Lapidus, Ian Paul Custer and Erica Bittner. Credit: Charles Osgood



Jeremy Wechsler (director) most recent directing credits at Theater Wit include Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses, Eric John Meyer’s The Antelope Party, Mitchell Fain’s This Way Outta Santaland, Anne Washburn’s 10 Out of 12, and Mat Smart’s Naperville. Other directing credits include the company’s election night reading of The Trump Card by Mike Daisey, The New Sincerity by Alena Smith, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence by Madeleine George, Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, Madeline George’s Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, and that show’s summer remount at Art Square Theatre in Las Vegas. Wechsler also staged Wit’s acclaimed Completeness and The Four of Us (Itamar Moses), Tigers Be Still (Kim Rosenstock), This (Melissa James Gibson), Spin (Penny Penniston), Feydeau-Si-Deau (Georges Feydeau), Men of Steel (Qui Nguyen), Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) (Will Eno), Two for the Show (James Fitzpatrick and Will Clinger) and The Santaland Diaries. A veteran director in Chicago with over 50 productions, his work has been nominated for and won multiple awards for design, performance, adaptation and best new plays.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

OPENING: Chicago Premiere of The Father Via Remy Bumppo Theatre Company at Theater WIT January 31 – March 3, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

The Father
Chicago Premiere! 
by Florian Zeller
directed by Kay Martinovich
January 31 – March 3, 2019


Florian Zeller’s internationally acclaimed and award-winning hit, is both a puzzle box mystery and a deeply poignant look at family, aging, and the limits of love.

2016 Tony Nominee for Best Play

Running Time: 1 hour 35 minutes with no intermission
There is no late seating available for this production.

I'll be out for the press opening February 5th, so check back soon for my full review.  

A multi-award-winning hit in Paris, London, and New York, Florian Zeller’s The Father is both a tragi-comic mystery and a deeply poignant, unsentimental look at the cruelties of love, the limits of patience, and the unsettling process of mental decay. January 31 - March 3, 2019.


PHOTO CREDIT: The cast of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s production of THE FATHER (Top row, L to R) David Darlow, Alys Dickerson, Linda Gillum, (2nd row, L to R) Anish Jethmalani, Laura Resinger, Bobby Wilhelmson.


CAST
David Darlow – André
Alys Dickerson – Laura
Linda Gillum – Anne
Anish Jethmalani – Pierre
Laura Resinger – Woman
Bobby Wilhelmson – Man

PRODUCTION
Director – Kay Martinovich
Assistant Director – Eileen Vorbach
Stage Manager – Tina M. Jach
Assistant Stage Manager – Kaitlyn Broyles
Dramaturg – Robert Schneider
Production Manager – Ellen Willett
Technical Director – Joe Schermoly
Scenic Designer – Yu Shibagaki
Costume Designer – Jeremy Floyd
Assistant Costume Designer – Elizabeth Galba
Lighting Designer – Brandon Wardell
Original Music and Sound Design – Christopher Kriz
Properties Designer – Jamie Karas




Remy Bumppo Theatre Company is pleased to announce casting for the second show of its 2018 – 2019 season, THE FATHER, playing January 31 – March 3, 2019 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. Florian Zeller’s internationally acclaimed and award-winning hit makes its way to Chicago for the first time and will be directed by Kay Martinovich. 

THE FATHER, both a puzzle box mystery and a look at family, aging, and the limits of love, will feature Remy Bumppo Core Ensemble Members David Darlow and Linda Gillum along with Alys Dickerson, Anish Jethmalani, Laura Resinger, and Bobby Wilhelmson. Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s production of THE FATHER will be performed January 31 – March 3, 2019 at Theater Wit. 

Stage Manager: Tina M. Jach Assistant Director: Eileen Vorbach Dramaturg: Robert Schneider Scenic Designer: Yu Shibagaki Costume Designer: Jeremy Floyd Lighting Designer: Brandon Wardell Original Music and Sound Design: Christopher Kriz Properties Designer: Jamie Karas 

Cast (in alphabetical order): David Darlow (André), Alys Dickerson (Laura), Linda Gillum (Anne), Anish Jethmalani (Pierre), Laura Resinger (Woman), and Bobby Wilhelmson (Man). 

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60657 Dates: 

Previews: Thursday, January 31 at 7:30pm, Friday, February 1 at 7:30pm, Saturday, February 2 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, February 3 at 2:30pm 
Press Opening: Tuesday, February 5 at 7:00pm 
Regular Run: Thursday, February 7 – Sunday, March 3, 2019 Curtain Times: Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2:30pm Matinee Performances (other than Sundays): Saturday, February 23 at 2:30pm and Thursday, February 28 at 2:30pm 

Audio Description/Touch Tour Performance: Saturday, February 23 (Touch Tour starts at 1:00pm, and the performance starts at 2:30pm) Open Captioned Performances: Wednesday, February 13 at 7:30pm and Thursday, February 28 at 2:30pm Tickets: Previews: $37.75 Regular Run: $37.75 - $62.75 Industry Tickets: $20.00, available Wednesdays – Fridays Student Tickets: $15.00, available day of only Group Discounts: Available for parties of 10 or more, call 773.975.8150

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company is an ensemble based theatre company that believes in the power and beauty of language, the emotional effects of timeless ideas, and conversation as an agent of change. As our motto think theatre suggests, the plays we produce will make you think - actively - about the complex issues we face as people, as a community, and as humankind. Since its inception in 1996, the Company has produced a blend of modern classics, new adaptations, and complex contemporary works, all presented in an intimate setting with clarity, wit and passion. We invite audiences to engage directly with the art through conversation with the artists.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.





Wednesday, January 23, 2019

REVIEW: Chicago Premiere of THE REALISTIC JONESES Via Shattered Globe Theatre and Theater Wit Through March 9, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Chicago Premiere!
Shattered Globe Theatre and Theater Wit present
a co-production of
THE REALISTIC JONESES
By Will Eno
Directed by Jeremy Wechsler




Through March 9, 2019 at Theater Wit


Review:
by bonnie kenaz-mara

Everyone's familiar with the concept of "keeping up with the Joneses", but what happens when the Joneses in question aren't particularly healthy, wealthy or wise? In this fabulously funny comedy, two pairs of Joneses end up as neighbors and hilarity ensues, amid heart wrenching conditions. 

(left to right) Joseph Wiens, Cortney McKenna, H.B. Ward and Linda Reiter in Shattered Globe Theatre and Theater Wit’s Chicago premiere of THE REALISTIC JONESES. All Photos by Evan Hanover.

These 4 Joneses are collectively dealing with a fatal illness, insomnia, and a host of fears, phobias, quirks, and idiosyncracies ranging from anxiety to nymphomania. Despite their physical and social problems, underemployment, and issues, this foursome bonds, producing some of the funniest one liners and tenderest moments of commiseration. 

(left to right) Cortney McKenna and Joseph Wiens 

(left to right) Joseph Wiens and Linda Reiter 

(left to right) Cortney McKenna and H.B. Ward 

As they navigate dramas ranging from squirrel corpses to the public death of an acquaintance during a dinner out, these Joneses endear themselves to the audience. This slice of life comedy doesn't stray far from the back patio, but encompasses a world of possibilities. I thoroughly enjoyed this microcosm of human interaction, as 4 strangers become friends that I could see myself keeping up with. Highly recommended.



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


 (left to right) Linda Reiter and H.B. Ward 


Shattered Globe Theatre and Theater Wit are pleased to present the Chicago premiere of Will Eno’s heartbreaking new comedy THE REALISTIC JONESES, directed by Theater Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler, who has directed the Chicago premieres of four of Eno’s plays. This breakout Broadway work of unspoken love and possibility will play January 10 – March 9, 2019 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Single tickets are currently available at www.shatteredglobe.org or theaterwit.org, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. 



THE REALISTIC JONESES features SGT Ensemble Members Cortney McKenna*, Linda Reiter* and Joseph Wiens* with H.B. Ward.

Meet Bob and Jennifer Jones. And their new neighbors, John and Pony Jones. These two couples have more in common than a last name in Will Eno’s funny, quirky and compassionate look at how marriage might be both everything and not nearly enough.  

Join the Joneses as they muddle through the small beauties, immense fears, and amazing moments of each day. Time is short but there are gift certificates to enjoy, tiny fireworks to light and another perfect summer evening to take for granted.

 (left to right) H.B. Ward and Linda Reiter 

Comments Director and Theater Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler, “This production marks my fifth collaboration with Will Eno, who I consider one of the most graceful and insightful playwrights in America. Will and I are looking forward to bringing one of his most popular works to Chicago, a city whose acting talents are nationally recognized. Along those lines, I am particularly excited to work again with the Shattered Globe ensemble, where I last directed A Taste of Honey, long before Theater Wit was founded. I know them as a sharp and uniquely Chicagoan acting troupe; together, we hope to bring Will’s truly hilarious and touching play to vivid life.”

The production team for THE REALISTIC JONESES includes: Jack Magaw (scenic design), Hailey Rakowiecki^ (costume design), John Kelly (lighting design), Christopher Kriz^ (sound design), Vivian Knouse* (props design), Ellen White (production manager), Katie Klemme (stage manager) and Devonte Washington^ (assistant stage manager).

Cast (in alphabetical order): Cortney McKenna* (Pony), Linda Reiter* (Jennifer), H.B. Ward (Bob) and Joseph Wiens* (John).



Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Thursday, January 10 at 8 pm, Friday, January 11 at 8 pm, Saturday, January 12 at 8 pm, Sunday January 13 at 2:30 pm, Thursday, January 17 at 8 pm, Friday, January 18 at 8 pm, Saturday, January 19 at 8 pm and Sunday, January 20 at 3 pm.

Regular Run: Thursday, January 24 – Saturday, March 9, 2019

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will be added performances on Monday, February 4 at 7:30 pm and Wednesday, March 6 at 8 pm.

Running time: 100 minutes, no intermission.

Touch Tour/Audio Description Performance: Friday, February 8, 2019 – 6:30 pm touch tour, 8 pm performance with audio description.

Industry Night: Monday, February 4 at 7:30 pm. $12 (headshot/resume required)

Global Perspectives: SGT will be hosting post-show discussions immediately following 2:30 pm performances on Sundays.

Tickets: Previews: $12 – $18. Regular Run: $24 - $74. Student Rush tickets available day of performance for $15. $15 industry tickets on Thursdays with code “INDUSTRY.” Single tickets are currently available at www.shatteredglobe.org or theaterwit.org in person at the Theater Wit Box Office or by calling (773) 975-8150. Group discounts are currently available by contacting groupsales@shatteredglobe.org or by calling (773) 770-0333.

*Denotes SGT Ensemble Member  ^Denotes SGT Artistic Associate


(left to right) H.B. Ward and Joseph Wiens

About the Artists:
Will Eno (Playwright) is a Residency Five Fellow at the Signature Theatre. The Realistic Joneses had its premiere at the Yale Repertory Theatre. The Realistic Joneses was recently named as one of the “25 Best Plays Since Angels in America” by the New York Times and The Realistic Joneses and Title and Deed (Signature Theater) were both onThe New York Times "Best Plays of 2012" list. Gnit, an adaptation of Ibsen's Peer Gynt, premiered at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2013. Middletown, winner of the Horton Foote Award, premiered at the Vineyard Theatre and was subsequently produced at Steppenwolf Theatre. Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Jeremy Wechsler (Director) is the Artistic Director of Theater Wit where he has directed the Chicago premieres of The Antelope Party, 10 Out of 12, Naperville, The New Sincerity, The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence (Best of 2015 – Chicago Sun Times), Bad Jews (Best of 2015 – New City), Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Time Out Peoples’ Choice Award for Direction, Best of 2015), Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England (Chicago Sun Times – Best of Year 2014), Completeness, Tigers Be Still, This, The Four of Us, Feydeau-Si-Deau, Men of Steel, Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) (Jeff Award – Best Solo Performance), Two for the Show and annual favorite The Santaland Diaries. Under Jeremy’s leadership, Theater Wit has emerged as the go to destination for cutting edge contemporary work, gaining national recognition for excellence. He has directed over sixty shows in the last twenty years at various theaters, including Tragedy a Tragedy, The Flu Season, A Taste of Honey (“U.S. Best of 2008” in The Wall Street Journal), Now Then Again (Jeff Award – Best New Work), The Play About the Squirrel, The White Devil, This Is Not a Play About Cancer, Peer Gynt, The Real Thing, Szinhaz, The Duchess of Malfi, Tragedy a Tragedy, Titus Andronicus, The Roaring Girl, Flight, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, This Is the Rill Speaking, Hay Fever, A Month in the Country, Europe, Henry VI: Blood of a Nation, The Promise, Spin, Un Robot, Horror Academy, Kind Lady, Playing by the Rules, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Solitaire, The Coarse Acting Show, Life is a Dream, The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Cabaret and The Threepenny Opera. His productions have been nominated for and won multiple awards for design, performance, adaptation and best new work.

About Shattered Globe Theatre
Shattered Globe Theatre (Sandy Shinner, Producing Artistic Director; Doug McDade, Managing Director) was born in a storefront space on Halsted Street in 1991. Since then, SGT has produced more than 60 plays, including nine American and world premieres, and garnered an impressive 42 Jeff Awards and 106 Jeff Award nominations, as well as the acclaim of critics and audiences alike. Shattered Globe is an ensemble driven theater whose mission is to create an intimate, visceral theater experience that challenges the perspective of audience and artist alike through passionate storytelling. Shattered Globe is inspired by the diversity of our city and committed to making the theater available to all audiences. Through initiatives such as the Protégé Program, Shattered Globe creates a space which allows emerging artists to grow and share in the ensemble experience.

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

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


About Theater Wit

Theater Wit, Chicago’s “smart art” theater, now in its 15th year of operation, is a major hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene, where audiences enjoy a smorgasbord of excellent productions in three, 99-seat spaces, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.

“A thrilling addition to Chicago’s roster of theaters” (Chicago Tribune) and “a terrific place to see a show” (New City), Theater Wit is now in its eleventh season at its home at 1229 N. Belmont Ave., in the heart of the new Belmont Theatre District in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. In 2014, Theater Wit was awarded the National Theatre Award by the American Theatre Wing for strengthening the quality, diversity and dynamism of American theater.
                                           
The company’s most recent hits include Women Laughing Alone with Salad by Sheila Callaghan, The Antelope Party by Eric John Meyer, This Way Outta Santaland by Mitchell Fain, 10 Out of 12 and Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, Naperville by Mat Smart, The New Sincerity by Alena Smith, Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence and Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George and Completeness and The Four of Us by Itamar Moses. 

Visit TheaterWit.org or call the Theater Wit box office, (773) 975-8150, to purchase a Membership, inquire about Flex Pass options or to buy single tickets.  To receive an “artisanal selection of consonants and vowels from Theater Wit,” sign up at TheaterWit.org/mailing for exclusive updates, flash deals and behind-the-scenes production scoop every few weeks.

(left to right) Cortney McKenna, Joseph Wiens, H.B. Ward and Linda Reiter in Shattered Globe Theatre and Theater Wit’s Chicago premiere of THE REALISTIC JONESES. Photo by Evan Hanover.


Friday, October 26, 2018

OPENING: Chicago Premiere of THIS BITTER EARTH Via About Face Theatre November 1 – December 8, 2018

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Chicago Premiere!
About Face Theatre Presents 
THIS BITTER EARTH
By Harrison David Rivers
Directed by Mikael Burke
November 1 – December 8, 2018 at Theater Wit


(left to right) Daniel Desmarais and Sheldon Brown in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s Chicago premiere of THIS BITTER EARTH. Photo by Anna Gelman.

About Face Theatre is pleased to launch its 2018-19 season with the Chicago premiere of the poetic and political romance THIS BITTER EARTH by award winning playwright and McKnight Fellow Harrison David Rivers, directed by Mikael Burke, recipient of the 2017 Princess Grace Award in Theatre. THIS BITTER EARTH will play November 1 – December 8, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. 

THIS BITTER EARTH features Sheldon Brown and Daniel Desmarais.

This Bitter Earth reveals a deep love challenged by divisive political realities. Jesse, an introspective black playwright, finds his choices called into question when his boyfriend, Neil, a white Black Lives Matter activist, calls him out for his political apathy. As passions and priorities collide, this couple is forced to reckon with issues of race, class and the bravery it takes to love out loud.

Comments Artistic Director Megan Carney, “Harrison’s brilliant play resonates so powerfully at this moment. This story reveals one distinct couple in a relationship shaped and propelled by both massive love and devastating violence. They are grappling with this mad world and fighting for their very lives. Harrison captures the intricacies of identities and impact with humor and passion. I can’t imagine a better pairing that Harrison and Mikael to bring this work to life in Chicago.”

Adds Director Mikael Burke, “This Bitter Earth is a beautiful and unflinching play about race and relationship in contemporary America – about the need for connection and the apparent differences that hold us back. Jesse is black, Neil is white, and against a backdrop of police shootings and Black Lives Matter rallies, this tale of interracial love and heartache asks us: How do we save one another in this tumultuous world? How do we save ourselves? How do we navigate love in a world with so much hate? What do we carry in order to survive that we must learn to let go of in order to live?”

The production team for THIS BITTER EARTH includes: Joe Schermoly (scenic design), Bob Kuhn* (costume design), John Kelly (lighting design), Eric Backus (sound design), Emma Cullimore (props design), Sasha Smith (intimacy design), Catherine Allen (production manager), Helen Lattyak (stage manager) and Andrea Enger (assistant stage manager),

*Denotes AFT Artistic Associate


Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, November 1 at 7:30 pm, Friday November 2 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, November 3 at 7:30 pm, Sunday November 4 at 3 pm and Wednesday November 7 at 7:30 pm.

Regular run: Friday, November 9 – Saturday, December 8, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Thursday, November 22 at 7:30 pm (Thanksgiving); there will be added performances Saturday, November 24 at 3 pm and Saturday, December 8 at 3 pm.

Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $20-$38. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at Theater Wit Box Office.

Artist Biographies
Harrison David Rivers (Playwright, he/him/his) resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he was recently named one of City Pages’ Artists of the Year. His plays include: When Last We Flew (GLAAD Media Award, NYFringe Excellence in Playwriting Award, NYFringe), Sweet (AUDELCO nomination for Best Play, NBT), And She Would Stand Like This (20% Theatre Company, The Movement Theatre Company), Where Storms Are Born (Berkshire Theatre Award nomination for Best New Play, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, Williamstown), A Crack in the Sky (History Theatre), Five Points (Theatre Latte Da) and This Bitter Earth (New Conservatory Theatre Center, Penumbra). Harrison has received McKnight and Many Voices Jerome Fellowships, a Van Lier Fellowship, an Emerging Artist of Color Fellowship and New York Stage & Film’s Founders’ Award. He was the 2016 Playwright-in-Residence at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Harrison is an alumni of the Public Theater's Emerging Writers' Group, Interstate 73, NAMT and The Lincoln Center Directors' Lab. He is a NYTW Usual Suspect and a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center where he is also a member of the Board of Directors. Harrison received his BA from Kenyon College and MFA from Columbia School of the Arts. www.harrisondavidrivers.com

Mikael Burke (Director, he/him/his) is a Chicago-based director, deviser and educator. He serves as Creative Director of the Indianapolis-based Young Actors Theatre, and previously served as Associate Artistic Director of Indianapolis’ NoExit Performance. Michael is a 2017 Princess Grace Award Winner in Theatre and a recipient of the 2012 Robert D. Beckmann Emerging Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. He has most recently worked with American Theatre Company, Strawdog Theatre Company and About Face Theatre in Chicago, and elsewhere with Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida, GEVA Theatre Center in Rochester, New York and the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis, to name a few. Michael received his MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago. Recent directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, Native Son by Richard Wright, adapted by Nambi E. Kelley, Stupid F##king Bird by Aaron Posner, Still by Jen Siverman, Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen and Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl.

About Face Theatre creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous theatre and educational programming that advances the national dialogue on sexual and gender identity, and challenges and entertains audiences in Chicago and beyond.
 
(left to right) Sheldon Brown and Daniel Desmarais in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s Chicago premiere of THIS BITTER EARTH. Photo by Anna Gelman.

Monday, May 28, 2018

OPENING: World Premiere of BURNHAM’S DREAM: THE WHITE CITY Via Lost and Found Productions at Theater Wit June 2 – July 1, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Lost and Found Productions Presents the 
World Premiere of
BURNHAM’S DREAM: THE WHITE CITY 
Book and Lyrics by June Finfer
Music and Lyrics by Elizabeth Doyle 
Directed by Erik Wagner 
Music Direction by Paul W. Thompson
Choreography by Jessica Texidor 
June 2 – July 1, 2018 at Theater Wit


Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're eager to catch Lost and Found Productions' World Premiere of BURNHAM’S DREAM: THE WHITE CITY. Chicago wouldn't be the city it is today without the legendary architect, so we're ready to geek out on some architectural history in musical form, and enjoy this slice of Chicago's past. I'll be ChiILin' at Chi, IL's Theater Wit for the press opening June 5th, so check back soon for my full review.

The story of visionary architect Daniel H. Burnham and Chicago’s great World’s Fair comes to life in Lost and Found Productions’ world premiere musical BURNHAM’S DREAM: THE WHITE CITY, with book and lyrics by June Finfer, music and lyrics by Elizabeth Doyle, direction by Erik Wagner, music direction by Paul W. Thompson and choreography by Jessica Texidor. Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the 1893 World’s Fair, this lively new musical will play June 2 – July 1, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.theaterwit.org, by calling (773) 975-8150, or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. 


BURNHAM’S DREAM: THE WHITE CITY will feature Pavi Proczko as Daniel Burnham, Sam Massey as John Root, Laura Degrenia as Margaret Burnham, Genevieve Thiers as Bertha Palmer, Daniel Leahy as Louis Sullivan, Chase Wheaton-Werle as Michael O’Malley, Arielle Leverett as Ida B. Wells, Michael Kingston as Lyman Gage and Stein, Rob Brady as Richard Hunt and Harlow Higinbotham and Jacob Fjare as Bobbie and Patrick.

When Chicago wins its bid to host a great World’s Fair to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the New World, ambitious architect Daniel Burnham fights to win the job of building it.  But challenged by time, fate and Louis Sullivan, he’s forced to confront immigrants, women, and African-Americans who fight to be included in the Fair. Business leaders, workers and architects face looming deadlines to welcome millions of visitors to the Columbian Exposition. This new musical traces Burnham’s journey from an ambitious promoter to a visionary urban designer who would later direct the master plan for the future of Chicago’s development.

About Daniel H. Burnham
Daniel Burnham was eight when his family moved to Chicago from a failed farm in New York. The city of Chicago was 18 years old. He and the city grew up together. In 1871, after the Great Fire destroyed most of the center of the city, young Burnham told his mother he wanted to help rebuild it and “be the greatest architect in the world.” Failing college entrance exams, he tried other roads – unsuccessfully mining for silver in Nevada, and losing a bid for public office there. Returning to Chicago, he landed a job as a draftsman in an architect’s office, where he met brilliant architect and engineer John Root. The two became partners, and after ten years became the busiest architectural firm in the city, building the tallest skyscrapers and largest mansions. Inspired by his work planning the Fair, Burnham went on to direct the 1909 Plan of Chicago.

BURNHAM’S DREAM: THE WHITE CITY is endorsed by the State of Illinois Bi-Centennial Committee. 



The production team for BURNHAM’S DREAM: THE WHITE CITY includes: José Manuel Díaz-Soto (scenic designer), Alaina Moore (costume designer), Joseph A. Burke (lighting and projection designer), Tim McNulty (sound designer), Christina Casano (assistant director), Andy Lynn (production manager), Endia Brown-Bey (assistant costume designer), Erin Pleake (assistant lighting and projection designer), Nikki Marquardt (stage manager) and Molly Gloeckner (assistant stage manager).

Cast (in alphabetical order): Rob Brady (Richard Hunt, Harlow Higinbotham), Laura Degrenia (Margaret Burnham), Jacob Fjare (Bobbie, Patrick), Michael Kingston (Lyman Gage, Stein), Daniel Leahy (Louis Sullivan), Arielle Leverett (Ida B. Wells), Genevieve Thiers (Bertha Palmer), Sam Massey (John Root), Pavi Proczko (Daniel Burnham) and Chase Wheaton-Werle (Michael O’Malley).

Musicians: Annabelle Revak (conductor/pianist).

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago.
Dates: Previews: Saturday, June 2 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, June 3 at 3 pm and Monday, June 4 at 7 pm

Regular run: Thursday, June 7 – Sunday, July 1, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets: Previews $30. Regular run $42. Students & seniors $37 ($25 previews). Discounts available for groups of 10 or more.
Tickets are currently available at www.theaterwit.org, by calling (773) 975-8150, or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office.

About the Creative Team:
June Finfer (Book, Lyrics) is a Chicago playwright and documentary filmmaker, president of Lost and Found Productions. Her play about Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, The Glass House, premiered in New York City’s Theatre Row, starring Harold Uhlin. Her adaptation of a novel by Shirley Jackson featuring Estelle Parsons was directed for American Playhouse by Joanne Woodward. She has written and produced numerous documentaries about architecture, which are distributed throughout the world. Her screenplay, Jersey Justice: The Trenton Six, was a Finalist in the 2017 Big Break Final Draft Screenplay Competition. She holds a B.A. in Theater from Northwestern University and a M.A. in Literature from the University of Chicago, as well as graduate studies in photography and film at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America, East. 

Elizabeth Doyle (Music, Lyrics) is a singer, pianist, composer and music director. She has written music for several musicals, including Sleepy Hollow, which has had multiple productions in the Midwest and California and was featured in the Los Angeles' Disney/ASCAP workshop; along with Duo, Fat Tuesday, Alice in Analysis and The Virginian. She was a featured guest on legendary Marian McPartland's National Pubic Radio Show, Piano Jazz, and the magnet for many years at Chicago's famed Pump Room, Swiss Hotel, Drake Hotel, Palmer House and Fairmont Metropole. She has performed in two ASCAP new music showcases in New York, and had her material featured in the Chicago Humanities Festival, at Park West, Drury Lane Water Tower, Bailiwick, Maxim’s, Victory Gardens and in a Preston Bradley program honoring Chicago songwriters. Her original songs have been featured on BBC Radio, at U.S. theaters, museums and art centers as well as at the first Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion in Paris last September. 

Erik Wagner (Director) is an Adjunct Professor at Elmhurst College, recently directing The Burnt Part Boys and Thark. Other recent productions include a piece he created with Shakespeare All-Stars, Shakespeare’s Revisionist Historie, as well as God of Carnage, 24 Words, Xanadu, Jane Eyre, Kimberly Akimbo, A Year with Frog and Toad, Shakespeare’s R & J, Next Fall and Orpheus Descending. He earned his MFA in Theatre Directing from Western Illinois University. 

Paul W. Thompson (Music Director): For the past 35 years, MD for shows like My One and Only (Bucks County Playhouse), Kiss Me Kate (Naples Dinner Theatre) and Rent (Dominican University); MD and Ensemble Member: The Improvised Sondheim Project (Chicago, Cincinnati and NYC). Actor: Forever Plaid at the Royal George Theatre, 20 productions with Light Opera Works. Singer: 23 seasons with the Grammy-winning Chicago Symphony Chorus, 27 years at St. James Cathedral. Teacher: music improv at The Second City, piano at the Des Plaines School of Music, voice at Chicago’s Fine Arts Building (current President, Chicago chapter, National Association of Teachers of Singing). Writer: co-author of a musical version of The Great Gatsby, Editor of BroadwayWorld Chicago for 8 years (authored the weekly column, The Showtune Mosh Pit). Degrees: musical theatre from Baylor University (BFA) and University of Miami (MM). Member, AEA, AGMA. 

Jessica Texidor (Choreographer) works in Chicagoland theatre and theatre education with several companies in many capacities. For Artreach/Spotlighttheatrix, Jessica is an associate producer and instructor, with American Eagle Productions she serves as choreographer, instructor and performer. Jessica has been a teaching artist for Raven Theatre, resident choreographer for The Round Barn Theatre, director and choreographer for Princess Cruise Lines Alaska with Little Pyramid Productions, and has performed in musicals throughout the country. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from Loyola University. 


About Lost and Found Productions
Lost and Found Productions creates thought provoking films and plays about the arts, including architecture for a wide audience, especially the work of Chicago area visionaries like Mies van der Rohe and Daniel Burnham. Lost and Found Productions is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, charitable organization. June Finfer is President and Executive Producer. For additional information, visit www.lostandfoundproductions.org or www.whitecitymusical.org. 

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