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Showing posts with label now playing. Show all posts

Saturday, September 2, 2017


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Chicago Premiere!
Route 66 Theatre Company Presents
By Halley Feiffer
Directed by Keira Fromm 

August 24 – September 23, 2017 at The Den Theatre

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're looking forward to catching what's arguably the longest titled show currently running in the entire city of Chicago. This Sunday we'll be ChiILin' at Chi, IL's Den Theatre for Route 66 Theatre's Chicago premiere of the dark comedy we'll nickname "A Funny Thing". In case you're not familiar, The Den is a multilevel, multi theatre, multi bar marvel in Wicker Park that we adore. In case you DO know The Den and you're thinking of hiring a Sherpa for the narrow, steep, stair climb to the upper theatres, The Den's Bookspan space is only up a few steps and is more or less on the first floor. Check back soon for our full review. 

Route 66 Theatre Company is pleased to conclude its ninth season with the Chicago premiere of Halley Feiffer’s dark comedy A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT MEMORIAL SLOAN-KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY, directed by Keira Fromm, playing August 24 – September 23, 2017 at The Den Theatre’s new Bookspan Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. 

A FUNNY THING… features Judy Lea Steele, Meg Thalken, Stef Tovar and 
Mary Williamson.

A foul-mouthed twenty-something comedienne and a middle-aged man embroiled in a nasty divorce are brought together unexpectedly when their cancer-stricken mothers become roommates in the hospital. Together, this unlikely duo must negotiate some of life’s biggest challenges... while making some of the world’s most inappropriate jokes. Can these two very lost people learn to laugh through their pain and lean on each other when all they really want to do is run away?

The Den Theatre’s Bookspan Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Regular run: Thursday, August 31 – Saturday, September 23, 2017
Curtain Times: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm & 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm

Tickets: $35 adults; $20 students. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are currently available at

Director Keira Fromm comments, "A Funny Thing… is a play about the ways we use humor as both a balm and a barrier to protect us from the litany of life's discomforts. I'm drawn to plays about the ways in which we cope with life. When those plays involve surviving spiky family relationships, I'm all in. Halley Feiffer is no-holds-barred when it comes to showing extremely flawed individuals at their messiest. She's also completely fearless when it comes to exposing the raw spots that result from the friction of our most fragile family relationships. This play is unbelievably funny one moment and moving in the most throat-grabbing of ways the next. I can't wait to dig in."

Artistic Director Stef Tovar adds, “This play was a hit in New York last summer at MCC and the Geffen Playhouse in LA is producing it right after we open with Halley Feiffer playing the role of Karla... so for a theater company our size to secure the Chicago premiere is huge for us. We're so grateful to Halley for trusting us with her incredible script and this dynamite group of ladies are going to kill it. I can't wait to get started."

The production team team for FUNNY THING… includes: Courtney O’Neill (scenic design), Mieka Van der Ploeg (costume design), Claire Margaret Chrzan (lighting design), Christopher Kriz (sound design), Amanda Hermann (properties design), Sasha Smith (intimacy choreographer), Catherine Allen (production manager), Helen Lattyak (stage manager) and Matthew Bonaccorso (asst. stage manager)

Creative Team Bios
Halley Feiffer (Playwright) is a writer and actress. Full-length plays include I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic Theater Company, dir. Trip Cullman; OCC Nom. John Gassner Playwriting Award) A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City (MCC Theater, dir. Trip Cullman) and How To Make Friends And Then Kill Them (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, dir. Kip Fagan). Her plays have been developed by Second Stage, New York Theatre Workshop, the O’Neill and elsewhere; they are published by Dramatists Play Service and Overlook Press. Her work has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theater Festival and three times by Manhattan Theater Club. She teaches Playwriting at NYU. 

Ms. Feiffer’s acting credits include the Broadway revival of The Front Page (dir. Jack O’Brien) and 
The House of Blue Leaves (dir. David Cromer; Theater World Award), Tigers Be Still (Roundabout, dir. Sam Gold; Drama League Nom.), HBO’s Bored to Death and the films The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding (dir. Noah Baumbach) and He’s Way More Famous than You (dir. Michael Urie), which she also co-wrote. She currently writes for the upcoming Starz series The One Percent (co-created by Alejandro Iñárritu), the upcoming Showtime series Purity (based on the novel by Jonathan Franzen) and is developing two original television projects with Scott Rudin Productions. 

Keira Fromm (Director) is a Jeff Award-nominated director, a casting director and a teacher based out of Chicago. Favorite recent directing credits include: the Chicago premiere of Bright Half Life (About Face) Theatre), the Chicago premiere of The Columnist (with American Blues Theatre); How the World Began (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble,) A Kid Like Jake (About Face Theatre,) Luce (Next Theatre,) Charles Ives Take Me Home (Strawdog,) The How and the Why (TimeLine Theatre,) Broadsword (Gift Theatre) and Fallow (Steep Theatre). Keira is an Artistic Associate with About Face Theatre. She received her MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University and is a proud member of SDC. She is a frequent guest director at DePaul as well as the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Route 66 Theatre Company
Route 66 Theatre Company develops, produces and exports plays, musicals and concerts for the stage that embrace the American spirit of exploration and risk.

The Road Begins when our Chicago Premieres head west and are given an advocate for further regional productions along the road less traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles. Since the company’s founding, Route 66 has produced eight Equity full productions in both Chicago and LA, including an Off-Broadway premiere, has been nominated for five Jeff Awards and won two. The company is also the recipient of the 2017 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theatre Award. Route 66 is a resident company at The Den Theatre. For additional information, visit

Route 66 is Stef Tovar, Founder and Artistic Director; Rachel Wendte, Managing Director; Matthew Bonaccorso, Company Manager and Kelly Parker, Casting Director

Route 66 Theatre Company Artistic Associates: Brian Sidney-Bembridge, Audrey Billings, Johnny Clark, Brandon Dahlquist, Raymond Fox, Damon Kiely, Ron Klier, Jenni Lamb, Tyler Meredith, John Mohrlein, Kelly Parker, Geoff Rice, Emily Rohm, Tricia Small, Jeremy Sonkin, Alex Stage, Nancy Staiger, Erica Stephan, Bethany Thomas, Rita Vreeland, Steven Wilson, Rachel Wendte and Emily Woods.

Route 66 Theatre Company Board of Directors: Jennifer Baumann, President; Deborah Haimes, Vice-President of Communications; Nicholas Stone, Treasurer; Molly Crabtree, Secretary; Elizabeth Derrico, David and Monica Byrd, Lee Dickson, Laurie Hamilton, Tammy Rosenzweig, Pat Turnbull and Robert Veasey.

Route 66 Theatre Company’s 9th Season is presented by generous grants from MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency and DCASE CityArts. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

REVIEW: Three's Company, 3C's Chaos at A Red Orchid Theatre

A Red Orchid's latest, 70's era jiggle show lampoon, Apartment 3C, is cringeworthy in the best way. Every character is fatally flawed, empty inside, and utterly recognizable. As we left the theatre, one patron practically ran over us, and couldn't exit fast enough. We overheard him mutter "Candidate for the worst play of the year." In my book, if a cast can evoke such a strong, visceral reaction, even a negative one, they're doing something right. If you're not disturbed by this production, you're not paying attention. 

All production photos by Michael Brosilow

3C brings to stage the familiar archetypes of the blonde bimbo, androgynous girl, and gay Vietnam vet, with fabulously funny, over the top caricatures, with dark undercurrents of alcoholism, sex addiction, closeted homosexuality, poverty, and more. The lecherous landlord and his flakey wife are also exaggerated and taken to the next disturbing level of actual molester, hitting on his young female and male tenants alike, and suicidal stress ball, too neurotic to stay on her meds, and depressed by her abusive train wreck of a marriage.

Jennifer Engstrom, Christina Gorman

The jokes are truly tasteless and offensive, as is the in your face abuse. And that's really the point. As a society, we've become immune to mild mannered sexism and gay bashing comedy, merrily laughing along, while these portrayals in real life and on popular shows seep into our collective unconscious causing bias among even the best intentioned. Come meet the shopping and sex addicted preacher's kid with an abusive past who just wants to feel beautiful and ends up more alone and unhappy than ever, the androgynous alcoholic who may be in love with her female roommate, the closeted gay boy forced to pretend to be a straight boy pretending to be a gay boy, the shallow swinger friend he's in love with, and the landlords from hell.

Steve Haggard, Lawrence Grimm

Sometimes it takes an over the top, black comedy to wake us up to how absurd and awful it truly is to stereotype others and treat them with an utter lack of respect, and how psychologically damaging it can be to hide your true self and not seek help for crippling issues. We live in a sick society when LGBT sexual identity, naïveté, mental illness, physical traits beyond our control, abusive marriages and addictions become the butt of jokes for our consumption. And not much has changed in four plus decades.

Sigrid Sutter, Nick Mikula

Sutter, Gorman, Engstrom, Mikula, Grimm (standing)

This show is well worth seeing, with high energy performances by the entire cast and creative directing choices by the infamous Shade Murray. Just don't let the disco dancing, psychedelic kaftan, and polyester suits lull you into expecting a lighthearted retro comedy. The first half was laugh out loud funny, with loads of innuendo and bumbling physical comedy, but it turns black fast. This show takes a while to process and it was still consuming my thoughts a day later. I was left musing whether the show would come across as even darker and more disturbing with a ubiquitous 70's sitcom laugh track. Come check out the California dystopian flashback that is 3C for yourself. Recommended. 

APRIL 20 – JUNE 4, 2017

Inspired by 70’s sitcoms and the political incorrectness of "jiggle television," 3C is a hilarious and horrifying look at identity and what lies beneath the homogeneous perky veneer. Brad lands in L.A. to start a new life. A wild night of partying finds him passed out in Connie and Linda’s kitchen and the three strike a deal that raises the suspicions of the landlords. Complications spiral out of control, taking the show from farce to something... unexpected. 

Red Night Opening: Friday, April 28, 2017 at 8 p.m.

Regular Run: April 29 – June 4, 2017

Schedule:  Thursdays: 8:00 p.m.
 Fridays: 8:00 p.m.
 Saturdays: 8:00 p.m.  
                 Sundays: 3:00 p.m. (except April 23).

Location:A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells Ave.

Tickets: $30-$35 ($30 Thurs, $35 Fri, Sat, Sun)

Box Office: Located at 1531 N. Wells Ave, Chicago, (312) 943-8722; or online 

The cast of 3C includes Ensemble Members Jennifer Engstrom (Mrs. Wicker), Lawrence Grimm (Mr. Wicker) and Steve Haggard (Terry), with Christina Gorman (Linda), Nick Mikula (Brad) and Sigrid Sutter (Connie). 
The creative team includes Sarah Fabian (Set Designer), Myron Elliott (Costume Designer), Rachel Levy (Lighting Designer), Brando Triantafillou (Sound Designer), Lydia Hanchett (Props Designer) and Jon Martinez (Choreography). The Production Stage Manager is Christa van Baale. 

About A Red Orchid
A Red Orchid Theatre has served as an artistic focal point in the heart of the Old Town community of Chicago since 1993 and was honored this year with a 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Over the past 23 years, its Resident Ensemble has welcomed into its fold an impressive array of award winning actors, playwrights and theatre artists with the firm belief that live theatre is the greatest sustenance for the human spirit. A Red Orchid is well known and highly acclaimed for its fearless approach to performance and design in the service of unflinchingly intimate stories. In addition to its professional season, the company also produces an annual OrKids (youth) project and hosts The Incubator (providing artists with space and time to explore new work, new forms and new artistic collaborations). 

A Red Orchid Theatre is: Lance Baker, Kamal Angelo Bolden, Dado, Mike Durst, Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joseph Fosco, Steve Haggard, Mierka Girten, Larry Grimm, Karen Kawa, Karen Kessler, Danny McCarthy, Shade Murray, Brett Neveu, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers and Natalie West.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

GIVEAWAY: WIN A Pair of Tickets To First Folio Theatre's Captain Blood ($58 value)

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

“Captain Blood!”
presented by First Folio Theatre
now through Feb. 26
(Best Enjoyed By Ages 14+)

ChiIL Live Shows is partnering up with First Folio Theatre once again for a great giveaway.

through midnight Sunday, February 5th for your shot at a pair of free tickets good for any Wednesday or Thursday performance of Rafael Sabatini's Captain Blood! through February 19th. $58 value. Shows are at Mayslake Peabody Estate 1717 W. 31st Street in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Sundays and Thursdays: 3 p.m.
Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays: 8 p.m.
Plus Saturdays, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25: 4 p.m.

Unjustly sentenced to slavery on a Caribbean island, the bold Dr. Peter Blood falls in love with the lady of the plantation, the lovely Arabella Bishop. When Blood escapes and takes up the life of a pirate, it appears fate has separated them forever — or has it? Filled with sword fights and pirate battles, love and treachery, and even a song or two, this adventure is perfect for the whole crew! 

Recommended for Ages 14 and up; under 18 with an adult. $22 – $39 per person. Purchase tickets HERE or at (630) 986-8067.

OPENING: THE BODYGUARD at Oriental Theatre Staring Deborah Cox Through Feb 12

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


THE BODYGUARD will play the Oriental Theatre (24 W. Randolph) for a limited two-week engagement January 31 through February 12, 2017.

Based on the smash hit film, the award-winning musical will star Grammy® Award-nominee and R&B superstar DEBORAH COX! 

Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A breathtakingly romantic thriller, THE BODYGUARD features a host of irresistible classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the biggest selling songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.

Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. film and adapted by Academy Award-winner (Birdman) Alexander Dinelaris, THE BODYGUARD had its world premiere in London’s West End where it was nominated for four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and won Best New Musical at the Whatsonstage Awards.

Tickets for THE BODYGUARD at the Oriental Theatre range from $19-$85. A select number of premium tickets are available for many performances. Group tickets for 10 or more are available by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at

Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 16 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country.  A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining well up to 1.7 million people annually in five theatres.  Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including The PrivateBank Theatre, the Oriental Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

For more information, visit

Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ● Instagram @broadwayinchicago ● #broadwayinchicago

Thursday, October 6, 2016

REVIEW: Rabe World Premiere, Visiting Edna Personifies TV and Cancer

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:



Visiting Edna has a slow narrative arc without much action or plot. Still, there are nuggets of dialogue that are pure gold and Debra Monk gives an excellent performance carrying the brunt of the dialogue in what almost amounts to a one woman show. We enjoyed David Rabe's clever construct of personification for both cancer and the TV. This enables some dark humor and inner dialogue with a deadly disease that's amusing yet uniquely disturbing. The TV as constant companion and distraction manages to amplify the loneliness of families scattered by distance and lack of deep communication even when they are together.

Although the rapport is decent between characters, the big reveal about the reason for the rift in the mother/son relationship was anticlimactic. Compared to Rabe's other productions, particularly Good for Otto at The Gift Theatre last season, Visiting Edna is a bit underwhelming, yet still worth a look. Recommended. 

Steppenwolf Theatre Company launches its 41st season, the first curated by Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro, with the moving and enthralling world premiere of Visiting Edna by renowned American playwright David Rabe (Streamers, Good for Otto). Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro (Mary Page Marlowe, August: Osage County) directs this powerful play about the enduring connection between a mother and her son. The cast features Tony and Emmy Award winner Debra Monk as Edna and ensemble member Ian Barford as her son, Andrew. Ensemble members Tim Hopper and Sally Murphy form a supporting trio with Michael Rabe

The production runs through November 6, 2015 in the Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Tickets ($20 - $89) are available through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 and 

Edna has suffered a number of losses as she has aged, and now faces the stealthy advance of cancer embodied by an intimate figure that she could do without. Home for a visit, Edna’s son Andrew tries to bridge the gulf between the childhood love they shared and the aggressively polite but baffling relationship they now live with. Mother and son stumble toward honesty as they wrestle with the distractions–-both mundane and profound—that keep us from real connection. 

“Steppenwolf is thrilled to bring David Rabe back on our stage after last producing his play Streamers in 1985. Mr. Rabe, along with being a lion of the American Theatre, has impacted every generation of Steppenwolf’s ensemble. With his form-pushing narratives and deeply complex character construction, he has, decade by decade, created a sweeping body of work that represents everything Steppenwolf aspires to be: truthful, brave, original and vital,” shares Director Anna D. Shapiro

Visiting Edna marks Mr. Rabe’s 18th play and signals yet another chapter in his own formidable journey as an artist and we are deeply honored that he has chosen Steppenwolf as his partner for this next chapter,” adds Shapiro. 
Visiting Edna features three Steppenwolf ensemble members—Ian Barford, an original cast member of August: Osage County, who performed at Steppenwolf last season in Mary Page Marlowe; Tim Hopper, most recently seen in 2015’s critically acclaimed Between Riverside and Crazy; and Sally Murphy, also an original cast member of August: Osage County, who was last on the Steppenwolf stage in 2012’s Time Stands Still

Debra Monk’s stage accolades include a Tony Award for her performance in Redwood Curtain, an Obie award for The Time of the Cuckoo, two Drama Desk Awards for Curtains and Oil City Symphony, and most recently a 2012 Tony Award nomination for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Monk has appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Devil's Advocate, Center Stage and currently both TV series, Mozart in the Jungle and Mercy Street. Michael Rabe was last seen in The Future is Not What It Was at New York’s Kindling Theatre Company and makes his Steppenwolf debut with Visiting Edna

David Rabe
(Playwright) is an acclaimed American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. He completed his graduate studies in theatre after serving in the army (1965–67), and his experiences as a draftee assigned to a hospital-support unit in Vietnam provided a key influence on his early career as a playwright. Four dramas, later collected in The Vietnam Plays (1993), include his first play, The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (1971); Sticks and Bones (1972; film 1973), the first of David’s plays to be mounted on Broadway and which won a Tony Award for Best Play; Streamers; and The Orphan (1975), a contemporary reworking of Aeschylus’s Oresteia trilogy. Subsequent plays include In the Boom Boom Room (1975); Goose and Tom Tom; Hurlyburly (1985; film 1998); Those the River Keeps (1991); A Question of Mercy (1998); The Dog Problem (2002); The Black Monk (2004), based on a Chekhov short story; and An Early History of Fire (first performed 2012). Rabe wrote the film adaptations of Streamers and Hurlyburly. He also contributed screenplays for the movies I’m Dancing As Fast As I Can (1982) and Casualties of War (1989). His fiction includes A Primitive Heart (2005), a collection of his short stories and the novels Recital of the Dog (1993); Dinosaurs on the Roof (2008); and Girl by the Road at Night (2010). Most recently, Chicago’s The Gift Theatre produced the world premiere of Good for Otto in 2015 to critical acclaim. 

Anna D. Shapiro (Director) has directed many notable productions with Steppenwolf, including most recently Mary Page Marlowe by ensemble member Tracy Letts. She won the 2008 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Director August: Osage County, also by Letts. In 2011 she received a Tony Award nomination for her direction of The Motherf**ker with the Hat, which she also directed at Steppenwolf. Broadway credits include Larry David’s Fish in the Dark, the revival of Steppenwolf’s production of This Is Our Youth and the Broadway revival of Of Mice and Men, which National Theatre Live selected as the first American production to be broadcast to over 700 cinemas across the US and Canada. Additional Steppenwolf directing credits include A Parallelogram, Up, The Unmentionables, The Pain and the Itch (also at Playwrights Horizons), Tracy Letts’s Man from Nebraska, (named by TIME Magazine as one of the Year’s Top Ten of 2003), Side Man (also in Ireland, Australia and Colorado), among others. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and Columbia College and the recipient of a 1996 Princess Grace Award, as well as the 2010 Princess Grace Statue Award. Shapiro began working with Steppenwolf in 1995 as the original director of the New Plays Lab, joined the ensemble in 2005 and became Artistic Director at the start of the 2015/16 Season. 

Visiting Edna by David Rabe opens 41st season (Sept 15 – Nov 6) Page 3 of 4 
Visiting Edna production team includes David Zinn (scenic design), Linda Roethke (costume design), Marcus Doshi (lighting design), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (original music and sound design). Additional credits include Jonathan Berry (artistic producer), JC Clementz and Tam Dickson (casting) and Christine D. Freeburg (stage manager) and Brian Maschka (assistant stage manager). 

Single tickets
to Visiting Edna are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and Regular Run: $20 – $89. Prices subject to change. 20 for $20: twenty $20 tickets are available beginning at 11am on the day of each performance (1pm for Sunday performances). Rush Tickets: half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show. Student Discounts: a limited number of $15 student tickets are available online. Limit 2 tickets per student; must present a valid student ID for each 
ticket. Group Tickets: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season, 

Subscriptions: Season Subscriptions available through mid-October for audiences who like to lock in dates and secure seats in advance. Black and Red Card Memberships: Card memberships are for audiences interested in extreme flexibility with six tickets for use any time for any production. The credits are valid for one year with the option to add additional credits as needed. Perks include easy and free exchanges, access to seats before the general public, savings on single ticket prices and bar and restaurant discounts for pre- and post-show socializing. To purchase a 2016/17 Subscription or Membership, visit Audience Services at 1650 N Halsted St, call 312-335-1650 or visit
Accessible Performances include Sunday, October 16 at 7:30pm (ASL Interpretation); Saturday, October 29 at 3pm (Open-captioned); Sunday, October 30 1:30pm touch tour with 3pm audio-described performance. 
Full performance schedule included at end of the release. Curtain Times are Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3pm; Wednesday matinees at 2pm on October 19, October 26, and November 2. 

Lead support for Visiting Edna is provided by the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation and Northern Trust is the Corporate Production Sponsor. 
Major support for Steppenwolf’s New Play Development Initiative is provided by The Davee Foundation and the Zell Family Foundation. 

2016/17 SEASON 
Steppenwolf’s 2016/17 Season also includes the world premiere of The Fundamentals by Erika Sheffer, directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov (November 10 – December 23, 2016); the Chicago premiere of The Christians by Lucas Hnath, directed by ensemble member K. Todd Freeman (December 1, 2016 – January 29, 2017); the Chicago premiere of Straight White Men, written and directed by Young Jean Lee (February 2 – March 19, 2017); the world premiere of Linda Vista by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by Dexter Bullard (March 30 – May 21, 2017); and the Chicago premiere of Hir by Taylor Mac, directed by Hallie Gordon 

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is America’s longest standing, most distinguished ensemble theater, producing nearly 700 performances and events annually in its three Chicago theater spaces—the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 46 actors, writers and directors. Artistic programming includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a new multidisciplinary performance series. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Steppenwolf has the distinction of receiving the National Medal of Arts, in addition to numerous other prestigious honors including an Illinois Arts Legend Award and 12 Tony Awards. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Nora Daley is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. 

For additional information, visit, and 

Monday, August 22, 2016


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


  **Note: For adult audiences only. Contains sexual content and partial nudity.**

All photos by Matthew Gregory Hollis

(from left) Isabella Karina Coelho, Michael Buono and Dawn Bless in Cor Theatre's The Good Person of Szechwan

Cor Theatre, the bold new Chicago storefront company hailed for "Most Promising Debut" last season by Time Out Chicago, continues its 2016 season with a scorching new production of Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Szechwan. We've been booked so solid this summer here at ChiIL Live Shows

Cor company member Ernie Nolan directs Tony Kushner's translation of Brecht's popular parable of good and evil. Fellow Cor ensemble member Will Von Vogt plays the title role of the good hearted prostitute, Shen Te, just one example of non-traditional, color and gender-blind casting in what promises to be one of the most talked about Chicago theater offerings this summer.

Performances of Cor Theatre's The Good Person of Szechwan are now through September 11, 2016 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells Street in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood. 

Performances run through September 11: Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25; $10 students and industry. Tickets go on sale July 1. For tickets and information, visit or call (866) 811-4111

"Our theater must stimulate a desire for understanding, 
a delight in changing reality." 
~Bertolt Brecht

Chris Brickhouse is Sun/Husband and Will Von Vogt plays the good hearted prostitute, Shen Te, in Cor Theatre's The Good Person of Szechwan.

In The Good Person of Szechwan, three gods are on a journey to find out if there are any good people left on earth. Only Shen Te, a kind and generous prostitute, offers them shelter. With the money they give her she opens a tobacco shop. At once everyone needs her help. Her livelihood is in danger. Worse, she is falling in love with Sun, a pilot, who is robbing her blind. Her hard hearted cousin, Shui Ta, arrives to protect her. Who is he and how can good people stay good in a world of poverty and cruelty?

Cor's epic production is set in a multicultural, urban environment on the brink of change, much like Chicago. Infused with hot hip hop beats, Cor's new "Brecht meets Empire" take on Good Person will remind audiences that Brecht was not only one of the greatest theatrical thinkers of the last century, but entertainers as well.

"Brecht's brilliant play, which grapples with themes of income and gender inequality, poverty and urban decay, seems just as relevant today, if not more so, than it did when he completed it in 1940," said director Ernie Nolan. "As the nation debates issues of sex and gender identity, as our presidential race is speeding up, and with our presidential candidates asking us to consider why they are 'good' for the job, Good Person examines Shen Te's struggle to be 'good' in a world where goodness isn't exactly in demand." 

(from left) Jos N. Banks, Aida Delaz and Ben Chang in Cor Theatre's The Good Person of Szechwan

In addition to Von Vogt as Shen Te, Cor's 12-person cast for Good Person reflects the diversity of Chicago: Dawn Bless as Wang the Watercarrier, Chris Brickhouse as Sun/Husband, Niko Kourtis as Shu Fu/Wife, Jeri Marshall as Mrs. Shin, Lea Pascal as Mrs. Mi Tzu, Narciso Lobo as Policeman/Mrs. Yang/Unemployed Man, Ben Chang as God 3/ Grandfather/Old Prostitute, Jos N. Banks as God 2/Sister in Law/Guard, Aida Delaz as God 1/Carpenter/ Guard, Michael Buono as Nephew/Male Vocal and Isabella Coelho as Niece.

Designers are Stefin Steberl (set and props), Alarie Hammock (costumes), Claire Chrzan (lights), Matt Reich (sound), Adam Gutkin (technical director), Tosha Fowler (movement), Elyse Cowles (production manager) and Meredith Matthews (production stage manager.) Tosha Fowler is Producing Artistic Director of Cor Theatre.

Ernie Nolan is an award winning director and playwright who received the Illinois Theatre Association's 2014 award for Excellence in Theatre for Young Audiences. He is a company member of Cor Theatre and last year he directed Love and Human Remains which New City named one of the "Top Five Dramas of 2015." For Chicago Playworks he has directed The BFG, The Giver, The Witches, A Wrinkle in Time, Number the Stars, and The Day John Henry Came to School. His work at The Broadway Playhouse includes A Charlie Brown Christmas, Fancy Nancy The Musical, Pinkalicious, The Cat in the Hat, Cinderella, Charlotte's Web and the world premiere of Hansel and Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat with Justin Roberts. Nolan's playwriting has been produced nationally and at such theatres as The Coterie, First Stage, Walnut Street, Orlando Rep and Children's Theatre of Charlotte. He has written commissions for Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, MD, La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, CA, The Milwaukee Zoological Society, and his latest commission, My Broken Doll, for the Institute for Holocaust Education and The Circle Theatre in Omaha, Nebraska. Also a resident artist of The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, MO, he has directed and choreographed world premieres by such Tony­-nominated artists as Willy and Rob Reale, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, and Bill Russell and Henry Krieger Nolan is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies at The Theatre School at DePaul University as well as the Vice President of Theatre for Young Audiences USA. He is a graduate of both the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Program (BFA Musical Theatre) and The Theatre School at DePaul University (MFA Directing).

Will Von Vogt (Shen Te) is an ensemble member at Cor, where he co-starred earlier this season in Christina, The Girl King, and in last season's A Map of Virtue. Other credits include The Other Theatre Company's revival of Bent, along with Romeo and Juliet, The Heidi Chronicles, Blur, The Altruists, Empire Falls (HBO), Google Me Love (produced by the Wachowskis) and serving on the producing team of Salonathon                                                                          
Tony Kushner (translator) is the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, screenwriter, and author whose works have played everywhere from Broadway to HBO. His play Angels in America earned him the Pulitzer Prize, among many other awards. His other acclaimed plays include Slavs, Homebody/Kabul and Caroline, or Change

German playwright, poet and director Bertolt Brecht (playwright, 1898-1956) established himself as a playwright during the 1920s and early 1930s with plays such as Baal, Man is Man, The Threepenny Opera and The Mother. In 1933, as Hitler came to power in Germany, he fled to Scandinavia before settling in the U.S. During the war years, he wrote many of his best known plays including The Life of Galileo, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Mother Courage and Her Children and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

The Good Person of Szechwan, Brecht's parable of good and evil, was first performed in 1943 and remains one of his frequently produced plays worldwide. 

Cor Theatre ensemble member Will Von Vogt (center) plays the title role of the good hearted prostitute, Shen Te, in Cor Theatre's The Good Person of Szechwan.

About Cor Theatre
Cor Theatre ( debuted in September 2012 with a vision to create theatrical experiences that are rarely presented in Chicago by artists who seek to defy expectation. Cor's mission is to explore the inner truth of the human experience through storytelling that defies convention, and to engage audiences by telling stories that take courage to tell.

Cor's first production, Skin Tight by Gary Henderson, produced by Tosha Fowler and Victoria Delorio in 2012 at A Red Orchid, was rewarded with enthusiastic audiences, critical acclaim and made just enough money to establish a not-for-profit corporation. The company subsequently named itself Cor Theatre, deriving its name from the Latin root of courage - meaning heart.

In 2015, Cor expanded to a two-show season launching with an acclaimed production of Erin Courtney's A Map of Virtue, named Most Promising Debut by Time Out Chicago, and nominated for several Time Out Chicago Theatre Awards including Best Supporting Actress (Scottie Caldwell) and Best Design (Tierra G. Novy, set; Stefin Steberl, costumes and props; Eric Vigo, lights; and Jeffrey Levin, sound.)

Cor's second 2015 production, Love and Human Remains, the first professional staging of Brad Fraser's controversial play in Chicago in 20 years, was directed by Ernie Nolan, played to numerous sold-out houses and was listed as one of the top plays to see by Windy City Times and New City.

To kick off its 2016 season this past spring, Cor staged a daring U.S. debut of Christina, The Girl King, Linda Gaboriau's translation of French playwright Michel Marc Bouchard's 2012 play Christine, la reine-garcon, based on the true life of the 17th century's Queen Christina of Sweden. In response, New City reiterated its praise for Cor, calling the company "trailblazing," a "gifted and brave collection of artists," adding "It is one thing to be captivated or even moved by theater. Yet, to be excited or energized are experiences far more rare. These are reactions spurred from witnessing originality and fearlessness."

Today, Cor is proud to be one of Chicago's newest and most ambitious Chicago professional theatre companies with a growing board and strong experience behind it. Company members are Tony Bozzuto, Chris Brickhouse, Elyse Cowles, Tosha Fowler, Adam Gutkin, Alarie Hammock, Topher Kielbasa, Jeffrey Levin, Claire Meyers, Ernie Nolan, Stefin Steberl, Eric Vigo and Will Von Vogt

For more information, visit, like Cor Theatre on Facebook, follow the company on Twitter, @CorTheatre, or call (866) 811-4111.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

WIN A Pair of American Theater Company's XANADU Tickets ($116 Value) Via ChiIL Live Shows

‘80s date night ticket giveaway: 
ATC's Jeff Recommended XANADU

Photo Credit for all production photos: Michael Brosilow

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're absolutely elated to be partnering up with American Theater Company on a fabulous ticket giveaway. One of our lucky readers will win 2 tickets ($116 value) to American Theater Company's Jeff Recommended production of the musical comedy Xanadu. 

Tickets are good for the winner's choice of one of the following performances: June 24 at 8 p.m.; June 26 at 2 p.m.; June 29 at 8 p.m. or June 30 at 8 p.m. 

ENTER HERE for your chance to WIN!
Enter early and often through midnight June 21st. 

American Theater Company’s production of the musical comedy Xanadu turns the theater’s warehouse space into a roller disco. This spoof of the 1980's camp classic film features Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) songs including “Evil Woman” and “All Over the World.” Don’t forget your leg warmers!

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar
Check out our full review below:

Ah Xanadu. The high art of 80's neon, leg warmers, rainbow unicorns and roller disco lives on! American Theater Company's scrappy little musical deserved their unanimous standing ovation for this one. Don't be fooled by the storefront aesthetic. This cast is full of powerhouse vocalists and quadruple threat pros who not only sing, dance and act, but do it on roller skates! 

Photo Credit for all production photos: Michael Brosilow

I'm still grinning ear to ear from this hilarious and heartfelt parody. And I'm dazed and amused they managed to transform their storefront into a full on mini roller rink and theatre in the round! This sweet setup makes for intimate staging, and provides some great audience interaction laughs, and in your face (or your lap) physical comedy.

One line from the show keeps coming back to me, "It's like children's theatre for gay 40 year olds." Yes... Yes it is. This campy comeback is sure to steal hearts. It's wittier and far funnier than the movie it sprang from, with the original pop hits and absurd premise intact, and the addition of better tunes, too. Lili-Anne Brown (Director) has guided this production to the height of hilarity. Landree Fleming (Kira) is a stellar stand out. The quick pacing and impeccable comedic timing of the entire ensemble makes this show a true treat. 

Gone are the peasant blouses and billowing skirts of the movie version of Kira, though the muses do have modified 70's versions of toga like robes in the form of maxi dresses and parachute pants. We dig Kira's ultra 70's costume choices of a terrycloth jumpsuit, leg warmers and giant pompons on the skates. Sonny was a vision of the past in tube socks, head band, cut offs and neon. 

The casting of several of the muse sisters as men added extra levels of fun to this production, and they camped it up classically. We also loved the gentle and too true digs on the whole 80's aesthetic, and on Olivia Newton John's Australian accent and affectations. They even snuck in a nice little Singin' in the Rain tribute for Gene Kelly, who was also in the original 1980 movie. The muses have a much bigger role in the stage version, including an overt plot to hex Kira and make her fall in love with a mortal. 

I prepped for the opening with a family XANADU movie night with my husband, who vaguely remembered it, and my teens who had never seen it. XANADU came out when I was 13 and my husband was 15 -- exactly the ages our kids are now. It was a fun trip through the waaaaay back machine, especially since the movie recreates both the 40's and 80's. ATC's musical version stands alone as a fun romp through the decades, whether you've seen the movie or not, but if you have seen the movie (especially recently) the stage show lampooning is far funnier.

It's tough to strike a balance between parody and snark and ATC's XANADU rocks that balancing act with panache. This is an absolute must see and fun for all ages. This ATC tribute is performed in memory of one of their inspirations, former artistic director, PJ Paparelli, who's untimely death last year shook the company and sent ripples through Chicago's theatre community. It's so great he can be remembered for his driving, documentary style productions on social problems, like Chicago's public housing crises, and also in a playful, high camp way, with XANADU. Maybe he's hangin' on the other side with Zeus and the muses today?! I wouldn't be surprised. At any rate, his life, and work, and even his silly film favorites continue to inspire ATC and Chicago's creative scene.


Xanadu takes place in VeniceCalifornia in 1980. Struggling artist Sonny Malone seeks to create his own version of the American dream by renovating an abandoned warehouse into a venue for world-class entertainment – a roller disco! A hilarious and modern update of the1980’s camp classic, Xanadu celebrates the artist’s muse, even when it comes from the most unlikely of places.

Xanadu Performance Schedule:
Regular Run: June 7–July 17: Tuesday–Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

American Theater Company (ATC) opened musical comedy Xanadu, the final production of its Legacy Season, Sunday, June 5. Presented as a tribute to ATC’s late Artistic Director PJ Paparelli—a not-so-secret fan of this camp classic—Xanadu is directed by Lili-Anne Brown and runs at ATC now through July 17, 2016. The production has music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar and a book by Douglas Carter Beane, based on the 1980 Universal Pictures film of the same title.

Single tickets for Xanadu range from $48-$58. Student tickets are available for $15 with valid student ID in-person at the Box Office. More information and tickets are available by visiting the ATC Box Office at 1909 W. Byron Street, by calling 773-409-4125 or visiting 

The cast for ATC’s tribute production of Xanadu includes Missy Aguilar (Calliope), Kasey Alfonso (Erato) Karla L. Beard (Melpomene), Jim DeSelm (Sonny), Landree Fleming (Kira), Aaron Holland (Danny Maguire, Zeus), Michelle Lauto (Kira U/S & Swing), Hanah Rose Nardone (Euterpe), James Nedrud (Terpsichore/Sonny cover), Daniel Spagnuolo (Thalia/Danny cover), and Cameron Turner (Swing).

Missy Aguilar (Calliope) most recently appeared as Baby Rose in Babes in Arms, Oolie/Donna in City of Angels with Porchlight Music Theatre and U/S Ivy (performed) in The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes with Mercury Theatre. Last spring and summer she was happy to spend on the pier at Chicago Shakespeare Theater with Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Atina/Ensemble, U/S Ursula), and Sense and Sensibility: A New Musical (U/S Fanny/Mrs. Jennings, performed). Ms. Aguilar’s other recent Chicago area credits include: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Ivan’s Concierge, U/S Lucia) and The Beverly Hillbillies (Cousin Pearl/Gloria) with Theatre at the Center; Les Miserables (Ensemble & U/S Mdme. Thenadier) with Drury Lane; Nunsense (Sister Hubert) with Fox Valley Repertory; and In The Heights (Ensemble & U/S Abuela Claudia) with Paramount Theatre.

Kasey Alfonso (Erato) makes her ATC debut. Chicago credits include: West Side Story, Rent and In The Heights (Paramount Theatre); Seussical (Chicago Shakespeare); Iphegenia in Aulis (Court Theatre); Wonderland (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Carrie: The Musical (Bailiwick Chicago); and Smokey Joe’s Café (Theo Ubique). She also stars as Kid Zhuyin in the web series The Adventures of Jacketmen. Ms. Alfonso is a proud graduate of the Chicago College of Performing Arts.

Karla L. Beard (Melpomene) returns to ATC after appearing in Rent. She has appeared in Second City productions of What the Tour Guide Didn’t Tell You in the Up theatre, Soul Brother, Where Art Thou, Rush Limbaugh! The Musical, The Absolute Best Frigging Time of Your Life on the ETC stage, an assortment of Second City BizCo productions, several episodes of Chicago Live! and briefly in The Second City Guide to the Opera and Let Them Eat Chaos. TV/Film credits: Chicago PD, Empire, Mind Games and a variety of commercials. Other credits include: Mamma Mia! (National Tour); Doubt and Little Shop of Horrors (Peninsula Players); Sunday in the Park with George, Anyone Can Whistle and Princess and the Black-eyed Pea (Ravinia); The Amen Corner (Goodman Theatre and Huntington Theatre); The Piano Lesson (Madison Repertory Theatre; artist and music director); Miss Saigon and Hot Mikado (Marriott Lincolnshire); Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Arkansas Repertory); and Ragtime (Porchlight Theater). Ms. Beard received Jeff Nominations for her portrayals of the title character in the Midwest premiere of Dessa Rose, TiMoune in Once on This Island and Young Barbara Jordan in Voice of Good Hope at Victory Gardens.

Jim DeSelm (Sonny) makes his ATC debut. Chicago area credits: West Side Story and Beaches (Drury Lane Oakbrook); Road Show (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); James Joyce’s The Dead (Court Theatre); Fiddler on the Roof (Paramount Theatre); South Pacific (Marriott Theatre); Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar (Theatre at the Center); Juno (TimeLine Theatre Company); A Catered Affair (Porchlight Music Theatre); Parade and Floyd Collins (Boho Theatre; Jeff Award Nomination - Actor/Musical); The Mikado (The Hypocrites); The Last Five Years (Kokandy Productions, Jeff Award Nomination - Actor/Musical); and Pump Boys & Dinettes (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, Jeff Nomination - Music Direction). Regional Credits include: Snapshots (Village Theatre/Arizona Theatre Company); Oklahoma!, Once Upon A Mattress and Plain & Fancy (Round Barn Theatre). Television credits include Chicago P.D. (NBC) and Double Cross (Investigation Discovery).

Landree Fleming (Kira) makes her ATC debut. She was most recently seen as Penny in Hairspray (Paramount Theatre). Other Chicago credits include: Seussical (Marriott Theatre); Spelling Bee (Drury Lane Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Theatre at the Center); Gypsy (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Godspell (Theatre at the Center); She Kills Monsters (u/s, Buzz22); Reefer Madness (Circle Theatre, Jeff Nomination - Best Actress); and The Giver (Adventure Stage Chicago). Ms. Fleming is a member of musical sketch comedy group Off Off Broadzway. She is represented by Gray Talent.
Aaron Holland (Danny Maguire, Zeus) returns to ATC. Recent Chicago credits include: SISTER ACT! (Marriott); Seussical! (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Hair (American Theater Company); The Color Purple (Mercury Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre); Goodnight Moon and Dot & Ziggy (Chicago Children’s Theatre); and Passing Strange (Bailiwick Chicago). TV credits: Chicago Med. Mr. Holland received a BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Michelle Lauto (Kira U/S & Swing) makes her ATC debut. Favorite credits include the Chicago premieres of Murder Ballad (Bailiwick Chicago), 35mm (Circle Theatre) and The Boy From Oz (Pride Films & Plays). Ms. Lauto is a proud graduate of The Second City Training Center Conservatory.

Hanah Rose Nardone (Euterpe) makes her ATC debut. Chicago credits include: Bye Bye Birdie and White Christmas (Drury Lane Oakbrook); The Little Mermaid (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); and The Wild Party, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Ripper and Spring Awakening (CCPA at Roosevelt University). Regional credits include: 42nd Street, Big River, Legally Blonde and The Sound of Music (The Little Theatre on the Square); Guys and Dolls, Boeing Boeing, Footloose and Cabaret (Timber Lake Playhouse). Ms. Nardone recently received her BFA in Musical Theatre from The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

James Nedrud (Terpsichore/Sonny cover) makes his ATC debut. Recent credits include: Angry Fags (Pride Films and Plays at the Steppenwolf Garage); Mary Poppins (Paramount Theatre, Aurora); Les Miserables (Drury Lane Theatre, Oak Brook); Applause (Porchlight Revisits); WOZ: A Rock Cabaret (Kim Lawson at Victory Gardens); Three Little Pigs (Emerald City); and Under a Rainbow Flag (Pride Films and Plays; Jeff nomination for best supporting actor in a musical). He has also worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, About Face Theatre and Bohemian Theatre Ensemble, among others. Mr. Nedrud is a proud graduate of the Chicago College of Performing Arts and member of Pride Films and Plays.

Daniel Spagnuolo (Thalia/Danny cover) has worked at The Paramount Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, ProfilesTheatre, Boho Theatre Ensemble, The Little Theatre on the Square, and Light Opera Works. Danny’s choreography credits: Rent (Theo Ubique Cabaret); The Full Monty (Kokandy Productions; Non-Equity Jeff Award Nomination); Godspell and A New Brain (Brown Paper Box Co.; Broadway World Nominations); The Little Mermaid (Drury Lane Oakbrook); and Ruthless (Big Noise). Mr. Spagnuolo has served as assistant choreographer on such productions as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Porchlight Music Theatre) and American Idiot (The Hypocrites).
Cameron Turner (Swing) makes his ATC debut. He is a Chicago-based actor/director/choreographer and proud graduate of The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Previous performance credits include: Jesus Christ Superstar (Theo Ubique Cabaret); DamnYankees and Annie Get Your Gun (Light Opera Works); and Les Miserables and A Chorus Line (Timber Lake Playhouse). Other Chicago credits include: 35MM: A Musical Exhibition (Director/Choreographer - Circle Theatre); The Boy From Oz (Choreographer - Pride Film & Plays); Jesus Christ Superstar (Asst. Choreographer - Theo Ubique Cabaret); and The Wild Party (Asst. Choreographer - Bailiwick Chicago).

Douglas Carter Beane’s (Playwright) plays include: The Nance, The Little Dog Laughed (Tony, Olivier nominations; GLAAD Media Award), Mr. & Mrs. Fitch, As Bees in Honey Drown (Outer Critics Circle, Gassner Playwriting awards), Advice From a Caterpillar, The Country Club, Music From a Sparkling Planet, The Cartells.  Musicals: Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella(Tony nom.), Sister Act (Tony nom.), Lysistrata Jones (Tony nom.), Xanadu (Tony nom.; Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle awards). Revues: White Lies; Mondo Drama; The Late, Late Show. Opera: Die Fledermaus (Met). Screenplays: To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar; Advice From a Caterpillar (Best Feature, Aspen Comedy Festival).  Producer: 21 plays as founder and artistic director of New York’s Drama Dept. Member of the Dramatists Guild and is on the Playwrights Walk of Fame at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.
Jeff Lynne (Music and Lyrics) is a founding member of the Electric Light Orchestra, or ELO, whose discography includes five platinum-selling albums: Face the Music, A New World Record, Out of the Blue, Discovery, and Xanadu. In addition to his recording work with the ELO, Lynne co-produced studio albums by George Harrison (Cloud Nine), Roy Orbison (Mystery Girl), Tom Petty (Full Moon Fever), Ringo Starr (Time Takes Time), and Paul McCartney (Flaming Pie). He co-founded the "supergroup," the Traveling Wilburys, with Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, and George Harrison. Lynn co-wrote and produced the track "Let It Shine" for Beach Boy Brian Wilson's debut solo album in 1988.

John Farrar (Music and Lyrics) is a music producer, guitarist, singer, and former member of the British rock group, The Shadows. He worked extensively with Olivia Newton-John, producing fourteen of her albums and writing many of her hit singles, including "You're the One That I Want" (Golden Globe nom.), "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (Academy Award nom.), and "Have You Never Been Mellow." He co-wrote with Tim Rice songs for the 1995 musical, Heathcliff, and collaborated with Francis Ford Coppola to create songs for a new musical, Gidget.

Lili-Anne Brown (Director) is the Artistic Director of Bailiwick Chicago. She received the Joseph Jefferson Award in 2014 (Direction of a Musical) for her direction of Ahrens & Flaherty's Dessa Rose. Other directing credits include: Michael John LaChiusa's See What I Wanna See (Steppenwolf Theatre Garage Rep), the critically acclaimed Chicago premiere of Passing Strange (BTA Award for Best Director of a Musical, Jeff Award nomination for Best Director of a Musical), and the world premiere of Princess Mary Demands Your Attention by Aaron Holland, for Bailiwick Chicago; On the Boards and Hearts of Darkness at Roosevelt University; and Hairspray, Unnecessary Farce, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, all at Timber Lake Playhouse, where she is an Artistic Associate. Upcoming next season: American Idiot at Northwestern University and Jabari Dreams of Freedom by Nambi Kelley at Chicago Children's Theatre. She works as an actor, director and educator, both locally and regionally, and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, and an associate of SDC. Lili-Anne is a Northwestern University graduate (Performance Studies), and a proud native Chicagoan.

About American Theater Company
American Theater Company (ATC) challenges and inspires its community by exploring stories that ask the question, "What does it mean to be an American?" ATC’s Ensemble includes Patrick Andrews, Kareem Bandealy, Jaime Castañeda, Kelly O’Sullivan, Tyler Ravelson, and Sadieh Rifai.

American Theater Company is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and CityArts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, and the Shubert Foundation.

Disclosure: Thanks to American Theater Company for providing one of our lucky readers with 2 tickets ($116 value) to their Jeff Recommended production of the musical comedy Xanadu. I have also been given a pair of tickets for the press opening to facilitate my review. As always, all opinions are my own.

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