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Showing posts with label shows on our radar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shows on our radar. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

New Release: Chicago duo DRAMA'S DANCE WITHOUT ME Available February 14, 2020

DANCE WITHOUT ME 
OUT FEBRUARY 14TH 
ON GHOSTLY INTERNATIONAL 
HEADLINE TOUR SET FOR UK, EUROPE & NORTH AMERICA 


Photo by Zoe Rain 

We do like to show our locals some love here in Chi, IL, particularly since 2020 Is The Year of Chicago Music. Chicago duo DRAMA have their highly anticipated album out THIS FRIDAY.



DRAMA is a great example of a Chicago success story. After moving to Chicago in 2010, Rosa connected with THEMPeople, a collective at the center of the city’s sprawling hip-hop scene. Shehade who was born in Chicago to immigrant parents, fell in love with DJ culture as a kid and took up music production and engineering; his interest eventually led to professional opportunities, including early studio work with Chance the Rapper, Kanye West, and music projects for MTV and Bravo. 

After a number of chance meetings they decided to collaborate and the great music followed quickly. Described as "electro-soul" but so much more the new album is definitely not one to sleep on. They will also be playing April 3rd at The Metro. 

DRAMA is the multicultural collaboration between producer Na’el Shehade’s chic Chicago house-infused production style, and vocalist Via Rosa whose soulful delivery is inspired by the improvisational nature of jazz and playful patterns of hip-hop and bossa nova. The duo play to the complementary dynamics of their unlikely pairing by blurring the lines between R&B and dance-pop, heartbreak and bliss. 




They have shared the first video from their brilliant debut album Dance Without Me—out February 14 via Ghostly International—for new single “Years.” Watch the video, directed by Adam Chitayat via Complex: 



"This track is a bittersweet song about the conflict of wanting to let go but still hold onto someone you love, but you know they’re not right for you,” Via Rosa notes. “It’s about knowing you should walk away but also wanting to confess your unconditional and eternal love." Regarding the video, director Adam Chitayat adds, "Filmed practically, we set out to create a series of otherworldly, constantly transitioning spaces for DRAMA to perform through. Emotions can feel like they take us on a ride, floating us forward and bringing us towards things we need to tackle in our lives. The floating and the spaces seek to represent the themes of the song - speaking to your own heart, confronting your past and opening yourself back up to vulnerability."

Dance Without Me is a refined collection that recasts romantic tragedy as moonlit self-acceptance, as heard on previous singles “Hold On,” “Gimme Gimme” and “Nine One One.” It’s a remarkably refined album for a young band, with Rosa’s lyrical candor creating expressionistic narratives about interpersonal intricacies all finessed for the club by Shehade. As a lyricist, Rosa takes her blues and makes them vibrant — rather than wallow alone. There is lush lovelorn affliction blended into the tracks on Dance Without Me, which can be pre-ordered here: https://drama.ffm.to/dancewithoutme. 

Since a chance meeting in 2014 lead to the creation of DRAMA, the Chicago-based duo has bootstrapped a subtle rise on their own terms, self-releasing several EPs and mapping multiple tours with Midwestern grit. Rosa & Na'el announced an extensive North American, UK & European headline tour, kicking off in the UK later this month. See dates below and be sure to see them for a taste of their gorgeous new music.




DRAMA 2020 TOUR DATES
01.29 Manchester, UK @ Night and Day Cafe
01.30 London, UK @ Heaven
02.01 Paris, FR @ Le 1999
02.02 Brussels, BE @ Le Botanique (Witloof Bar)
02.04 Hamburg, DE @ Nochtwache
02.05 Cologne, DE @ Studio 672
02.06 Berlin, DE @ Kantine Am Berghain
02.07 Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso - SOLD OUT
02.08 Rotterdam, NL @ Rotown 
02.26 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
02.27 San Diego, CA @ Music Box
02.28 Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
02.29 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
03.03 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent - SOLD OUT
03.04 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
03.06 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
03.07 Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
03.18 Detroit, MI @ Marble Bar
03.19 Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground
03.20 Montréal, QC @ Le Ministère
03.21 Boston, MA @ Great Scott
03.26 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
03.27 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's
03.28 Washington, DC @ Union Stage
04.03 Chicago, IL @ Metro
04.28 Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5
04.30 Dallas, TX @ Three Links
05.01 Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
05.02 Austin, TX @ Barracuda

Album Pre-Order / Pre-Save: https://drama.ffm.to/dancewithoutme

FOLLOW DRAMA 
Website * Instagram * Facebook * Twitter 



Thursday, November 14, 2019

3rd Annual Slackfest Featuring The Slackers Returns To Reggie's Rock Club November 14-16, 2019

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar
17+
Join Us For a 3 Night Ska Bonanza


Last year I had 1 night press/photo credentials. We had so much fun that this year we sprung for two 3-day tickets. Can't wait to catch them live again.

Check out all my Slackfest 2018 live show shots of The Slackers here then come on out this week and catch them live!
(Sunday, December 2, 2018: 2nd Annual Slackfest)

The Circle City Demons 
(direct support for The Slackers: Slackfest 2018)


2019 Three Nights with The Slackers with Three different sets…

Thursday, November 14 – Play Deep Cuts: support by Mephiskapheles, The Drastics and DJ Chuck Wren

Friday, November 15 – Play Love and War: support by Pinata Protest, The Scotch Bonnets and DJ Chuck Wren

Saturday, November 16 – Play Big Tunes: support by Green Room Rockers & special guests, The Prizefighters and DJ Chuck Wren

THE SLACKERS
The Slackers have spreading their gospel of “Jamaican Rock N Roll” for 21 years now. While they have been influenced, and even personally taught by Jamaican ska/reggae originators, like the Skatalites and the Upsetters (Original backing band for the Wailers) they play it with a decidedly American accent. Basically, this band is equally appreciative of old blues, country, 60s soul, rock, and Rnb as it is of reggae, rocksteady, dub, and Ska. It is as if the Rolling Stones or the Yardbirds had grown up on Bob Marley as well as Muddy Waters.

Smashing the stereotypes of “ska” as happy, uptempo, and shallow music, the Slackers play with an aggressive edge and their songs veer in themes from the personal to the political. Back in 1996, the NY Times declared the Slackers to be part of “the sound of New York”, a mantle they haven’t given up since. Ten years later, Alternative Nation stated that their music is “protest music made for dim, sweaty basements.



Friday, October 18, 2019

SAVE THE DATES: Broken Nose Theatre Announces Eighth Season, “Change The Rules”

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar


World Premiere!
PEG
By Liam Fitzgerald
Directed by Artistic Director Elise Marie Davis
A Co-Production with The New Colony

U.S. Premiere!
LABYRINTH
By Beth Steel
Directed by Spenser Davis

World Premiere!
THIS IS ONLY A TEST
By Eric Reyes Loo
Directed by Toma Langston

BECHDEL FEST 8
BNT’s Perennial Feminist Play Festival


PHOTO CREDIT: Broken Nose Theatre’s 2019-20 season playwrights and directors include (top, l to r) Liam Fitzgerald, Beth Steel, Eric Reyes Loo and Michael Turrentine with (bottom, l to r) Elise Marie Davis, Spenser Davis, Toma Langston and Cassandra Rose.

Broken Nose Theatre is pleased to announce its Eighth Season, exploring the theme “Change the Rules,” with two world premieres and one U.S. premiere to be presented at BNT’s resident home, The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

This fall, BNT joins forces with The New Colony to present the world premiere of Liam Fitzgerald’s sexually charged comedy PEG, directed by Broken Nose Artistic Director Elise Marie Davis. PEG will feature Stephanie Shum and Gage Wallace.

Next winter, the 2019-20 season continues with the U.S. premiere of Beth Steel’s propulsive financial drama LABYRINTH, directed by Spenser Davis.

In spring 2020, BNT presents the world premiere of Eric Reyes Loo’s terrifyingly timely drama THIS IS ONLY A TEST, directed by Toma Langston.

The season concludes next summer with BECHDEL FEST 8, BNT’s annual feminist festival, featuring a full slate of new short plays with all female-identifying casts. Playwrights, directors and casting will be announced in 2020.

During its eighth season, BNT will also provide institutional support to two outside playwrights through The Paper Trail – its new play development program. This season’s playwrights include Cassandra Rose and Michael Turrentine.

Comments Artistic Director Elise Marie Davis, “As conversations around concepts like gender roles, class divides and gun safety continue on a national scale, the rules regarding how and when we talk about these issues are also changing. With this upcoming season – my second as Artistic Director – the Broken Nose family is thrilled to bring two world premieres and one U.S premiere to Chicago audiences, stories that illustrate the ways in which societal limits are tested and reset, with a variety of outcomes. Along with these three mainstage productions will be our eighth annual Bechdel Fest and two playwrights whose new work we'll be developing over the course of the season, making this one of our most ambitious years yet. We'll see you at the theater!”

Tickets for all Broken Nose Theatre productions are available on a “pay-what-you-can” basis, allowing patrons to set their own price and ensuring theatre remains economically accessible for all audiences. Tickets for all productions will go on sale at a later date. For additional information, visit www.brokennosetheatre.com.

Broken Nose Theatre’s Eight Season includes:

November 13 - December 14, 2019
PEG – World Premiere/Co-Produced with The New Colony
By Liam Fitzgerald
Directed by Artistic Director Elise Marie Davis
Featuring Stephanie Shum and Gage Wallace

Peg is excited. Steve is nervous. Sure, they've opened a nice bottle of wine, dinner smells delicious... but the brand-new strap-on they ordered has just arrived, and tonight's plan is to flip the script. Peg wants to peg Steve. And even though he was all for it initially, his last-minute hesitation will force this ordinary couple to face their kinks, quirks and societal conditioning, as they're quickly reminded that gender politics follow them everywhere - including the bedroom.

January 31 - February 29, 2020
LABYRINTH – U.S Premiere!
By Beth Steel
Directed by Spenser Davis

New York City, 1978. Having just landed his dream job as a Wall Street banker, John Anderson finds himself swept off on luxurious trips to Latin America with only one goal: selling loans to the region’s developing nations eager to borrow. But as the banks’ excessive lending strategy starts pushing whole countries toward the brink of bankruptcy, and the biggest credit bubble in history threatens to burst, John and his colleagues must come to terms with the true price of chasing their fortunes.

May 1 - May 30, 2020
THIS IS ONLY A TEST – World Premiere!
By Eric Reyes Loo
Directed by Toma Langston

Nowadays, it could happen anywhere, at any time, and the faculty at Washington High have decided to take "being prepared" to a whole new level: through a series of cutting-edge Active Shooter Drills, their students will be trained on how to fight back, just in case their school is the next to hit the news cycle. But as they’re asked to quell violence by responding violently, four teenagers begin to wonder: if we’re so prepared, why do we feel even more unsafe?

Summer 2019
BECHDEL FEST 8

BNT'S perennial favorite feminist festival returns! As with the past seven iterations, BECHDEL FEST 8 will feature an ensemble of female-identifying and nonbinary artists performing new short plays written and directed by some of Broken Nose's favorite artists – and all passing the Bechdel-Wallace Test. Created by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, the Bechdel Test asks whether a work of entertainment features two non-male characters talking about something other than men. Playwrights, directors and casting to be announced in 2020.

About the Artists

Liam Fitzgerald (Playwright, Peg) is a Chicago-based writer, director and producer. He holds a BFA from the University of Miami and an MFA from Northwestern University. His work has been performed and developed in Chicago and nationally with theaters including Stage Left, Broken Nose Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Theatre Masters and the Campfire Theatre Festival. He is a resident designer at Links Hall and has worked for the production departments of Chicago Children’s Theatre, Red Theatre, Theatre Wit, Strawdogs, Pegasus Players, Chicago Dramatists and WildClaw theatre. 

Elise Marie Davis (Director, Peg) is entering her second year as Artistic Director of Broken Nose Theatre, where she has performed in the award-winning productions of Girl in the Red Corner, Plainclothes and At The Table, as well as My First Time, several iterations of Bechdel Fest, and her own play A Phase. She is also an ensemble member with The Factory Theater, where she was onstage for the world premieres of Adventures of Spirit Force Five and Zombie Broads. Other Chicago acting credits include Blue Stockings (Promethean Theatre), Baby With the Bathwater (Eclipse Theatre), Pine (Uncommon Ground), Hot Pink (New American Folk Theatre), Kin Folk and Here After (The New Colony), A Funny Thing… (Route 66, u/s), Speech & Debate (Brown Paper Box), as well as work with Lyric Opera, Strawdog, Artemisia, Midsommer Flight, American Blues and Pride Films and Plays, among others. She recently appeared in Squid, a short-form comedy series now released on Amazon Prime. As a playwright, she has had her work performed at Steppenwolf 1700, First Floor Theater, Broken Nose and Arc Theatre, while her play A Phase has been taught at the University of Chicago. She is represented by Big Mouth Talent Agency.

Beth Steel (Playwright, Labyrinth) is U.K.-based playwright. She was awarded the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Her first play Ditch premiered at the HighTide Festival, transferred to the Old Vic Tunnels and was shortlisted for the John Whiting Award. Wonderland, Steel's critically acclaimed second play, was directed at Hampstead Theatre by Edward Hall; it was broadcast live worldwide through the Guardian website and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, an award for best new play in the English language by a female playwright. Labyrinth is her third play; it had its world premiere at Hampstead Theatre in 2016, with Anna Ledwich directing. This marks the play's U.S. premiere.

Spenser Davis (Director, Labyrinth) is Director of Programming for Broken Nose Theatre, where his directorial credits include At The Table (Jeff Awards – Best Director, Production, Ensemble), his own play Plainclothes (Jeff Award – Best Ensemble), A Phase, From White Plains and several iterations of Bechdel Fest. Other credits include Blue Stockings (Promethean Theatre); May the Road Rise Up and Adventures of Spirit Force Five (The Factory Theater, ensemble member); Bachelorette (Level 11); the upcoming world premiere of Under The Tree with The New Colony; as well as readings, workshops and festivals with American Blues Theater, A Red Orchid, Hell in a Handbag, ATC, Strawdog, Otherworld, First Floor and Pride Films and Plays, to name a few. As a playwright, his play Plainclothes received the 2019 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award from the American Theatre Critics Association and was named a finalist for the 2019 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. He is currently adapting his first play Merge as a pilot for television. He is a series writer-director on Squid, a short-form comedy series on Amazon Prime. He is proud to be represented by William Morris Endeavor.

Eric Reyes Loo (Playwright, This is Only a Test) is a Los Angeles-based playwright and television writer. He writes for the upcoming Netflix series A.J. & the Queen. Eric’s plays have been developed at LA theatres including Rogue Machine, Moving Arts and East West Players. Eric helps run new play development at Chalk Repertory Theatre, where he is also a company member. His play, Death and Cockroaches was produced by Chalk Rep in Fall 2018. Eric received an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and attended undergrad at Santa Clara University. His mother would want you to know that he’s a product of a prestigious Jesuit education. 

Toma Langston (Director, This is Only a Test) is a freelance theater director. Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre: Hedwig and The Angry Inch. The New Colony: The Light (2018 Joseph Jefferson Nomination for Director – Play). Victory Gardens: 2015 Directors Inclusion Initiative Director Fellowship (Assistant Director) Sucker Punch. Jackalope Theatre: (Assistant Director) 1980 (or Why I’m Voting for John Anderson). Sideshow Theatre: (Assistant Director) truth and reconciliation and Give It All Back. Other directorial credits include The Last Five Years, The Shadow Box, For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf. 



About Broken Nose Theatre:

Broken Nose Theatre is a Pay-What-You-Can theatre company. Founded in 2012, BNT was the 2018 recipient of the Emerging Theater Award, presented by the League of Chicago Theatres and Broadway in Chicago. The company has produced and developed 20 full-length plays (including 12 Chicago or world premieres) and over 50 new short plays through our annual Bechdel Fest. We strive to spark conversation, cultivate empathy, and amplify underrepresented voices, and are committed to making new, exciting and relevant theatre that is economically accessible to all audiences. For more information, please visit www.brokennosetheatre.com.



Tuesday, August 13, 2019

SAVE THE DATES: Underscore Theatre Company's 2019-20 Season

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
Underscore Theatre Company's 2019-20 Season:


PHOTO CREDIT: Underscore Theatre Company’s 2019-20 season will feature musicals by (left to right) Alexander Sage Oyen, Rachel Franco, Austin Regan and Annabelle Revak.


Non-Equity World Premiere!
PROXY
By Alexander Sage Oyen, Rachel Franco and Austin Regan
Directed by Stephanie Rohr


World Premiere!
NOTES & LETTERS
Book, Music & Lyrics by Annabelle Revak

 The 6th Annual
CHICAGO MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL
Full Line-Up Announced!


Underscore Theatre Company is pleased to announce its full 2019-20 Season, featuring two fully-produced musicals, plus the 6th annual CHICAGO MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL. The season kicks off this fall with the non-Equity world premiere of PROXY by Alexander Sage Oyen, Rachel Franco and Austin Regan, a story of journalistic and personal integrity set to a punk rock score, directed by Stephanie Rohr.

This winter, Underscore is pleased to present its 6th annual CHICAGO MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL, created to showcase and support the growing field of musical theatre creators from Chicago and beyond. After receiving more than 35 submissions, Underscore has chosen eight new musicals for this year’s Festival to be presented in full productions. (see full line-up below!)

Underscore’s 2019-20 Season will conclude next spring with the world premiere NOTES & LETTERS featuring book, music and lyrics by Annabelle Revak, based on the author's great-great grandfather's letters sent to his family upon his immigration to Chicago. 

PROXY and NOTES & LETTERS will play at Underscore’s new permanent home, The Understudy, 4609 N. Clark St. in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. The CHICAGO MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL will be performed simultaneously on two stages at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway (The Broadway stage) and 1133 W. Catalpa Ave. (The Off-Broadway stage) in Chicago Edgewater neighborhood.

Tickets for the mainstage season are currently available at underscoretheatre.org. Tickets for CHICAGO MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL will go on-sale at a later date.

Comments Underscore Theatre Artistic Director Whitney Rhodes, "I am sparked by the theme of ‘choice’ in our shows this season, particularly the two mainstage pieces. It's fascinating to see how two very different shows in sound and style explore the similar idea of how we make choices, especially when we aren't ready yet to make them."



Underscore Theatre Company’s 2019-20 Season includes:

October 18 – November 24, 2019
PROXY – Non-Equity World Premiere!
Book by Austin Regan
Music and Lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen
Lyrics and additional Book by Rachel Franco
Directed by Stephanie Rohr
at The Understudy, 4609 N. Clark St., Chicago
Press opening: Tuesday, October 22 at 7:30 pm

Fifteen years ago, when she was a kid, Vanessa was almost murdered by her best friend. Now she is an investigative journalist in a bind, and she decides to do what anyone would do – exploit her personal story by disguising herself and interviewing her childhood best friend and attempted murderer. Vanessa must navigate her estranged family and confront her trauma in the age of going viral. Who has the right to tell our story? When we have been traumatized, how do we pass that pain onto others – and can we ever really heal?


April 10 – May 17, 2020
NOTES & LETTERS – World Premiere!
Book, Music and Lyrics by Annabelle Revak
at The Understudy, 4609 N. Clark St., Chicago
Press opening: Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30 pm

NOTES & LETTERS follows Joe’s journey from war-torn Prague to Williams Piano Shop in Chicago in 1917. He quickly befriends the owner Charlie, his girlfriend Nora, and composer Olivia. The foursome become inseparable – until World War I hits the U.S. Businesses, relationships and lives are put to the test. Based on a true story and set to a jazz-contemporary score, four young people struggle to make choices amid complete chaos.


February 3 – 23, 2020
The 6th annual CHICAGO MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL
at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway (The Broadway stage) and 1133 W. Catalpa Ave. (The Off-Broadway stage).

The full-line up includes:

On the Broadway stage:
WONDER WOMEN THE MUSICAL
Book, Music and Lyrics by Gregory Becker

WONDER WOMEN THE MUSICAL is an inspiring Golden Age-style musical comedy that tells the true story of the birth of the 1941 classic comic book character, Wonder Woman®. This hilarious upbeat show follows three women who lived in a clandestine four-way polyamourous relationship with the scientist who invented the lie detector. We see how this group overcame the discrimination, misogyny, and sexual taboos of the day and eventually became a ‘family’. Working together, they fused their individual passions for reproductive rights, gender psychology, equal rights, and BDSM and gave the world a superhero who would defeat ignorance using the powers of love and acceptance,and ignite humanity’s inner desire for a matriarch.


DOUBLE VISION
Book, Music and Lyrics by Olivia Popp

Astrophysics PhD student Luke needs to prove his theory of parallel universes for his dissertation. Rising young filmmaker Sam needs to salvage her latest script for a chance at a big break. When Luke successfully opens a wormhole and finds Sam on the other side, the two discover that they can help each other more than they think. DOUBLE VISION is an original sci-fi comedy musical by Olivia Popp about science (well, sort of), love (okay, kind of), relationships (in more ways than one), and the power of seeking something new.


MOBY DICK – A MUSICAL
Book and Lyrics by Ed Bryan, Music by William Berry

The story of MOBY DICK is a headlong race into the jaws of death. Those on land wait, worry and go about their lives while Captain Ahab and the crew of the Pequod sail inexorably toward a tragic fate.  Honorable Starbuck, carefree Stubb, practical Flask, heroic Queequeg, mysterious Fedallah and the rest of the crew: all are lost to Ahab’s fanatical obsession as he hurls himself against the will of God and the harsh divinity of nature. From the rowdy hijinks of “The Great Leviathan” to the cheeky high spirits of “Nantucket Girls” to the poignant reverie of Ahab’s “What Price I Paid”, the music weaves a haunting spell around a diverse cast of characters who live and die by the dictates of the sea.  Ishmael, alone, lost and adrift on Queequeg’s coffin, survives to tell the tale and turn, at last, towards the comforts of hearth and family.


PAPER SWORDS
Book by Kelsey Tharp, Music and Lyrics by Matt Day

PAPER SWORDS is a romantic comedy musical, focusing on two groups of live action role-players (LARPers) as they navigate adolescence. When the king announces his retirement, the teenagers and the kingdom of Eloren are thrown into shambles. To determine the next ruler of the land, the knights of competing teams Ferndrey and Silvermore must battle one another for the throne. Full of young love, heartbreak, awkwardly-long high fives, nostalgia and wonderfully catchy tunes, PAPER SWORDS will have you in tears (from laughing and/or crying) as you exit the theatre.


BILLY AND THE POTATO POWERED TIME MACHINE
Story and Lyrics by Lawrence Adelson and Keith Gatchel, Music by Alex Chauncy and Nick Davio 

Two kids, Billy and Jamie, have been taken by their mom to live at their grandmother’s house while she starts a divorce with their dad. In the basement, they discover a time machine powered by potatoes. Billy uses it to make honor roll and defeat the school bully. But, when things go wrong, Billy and his mother need to try and find a better way to change the future in this rock and roll fairy tale for kids.


On the Off-Broadway Stage:
BAKED! THE MUSICAL
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jordan Liu and Deepak Kumar

When she doesn’t receive the scholarship that would send her to her dream school, habitual overachiever Jane Huang, with the help of her best friend, joins forces with the class degenerate to build the greatest drug empire ever run by high schoolers. Kept in the dark are Jane’s parents, whose inability to cope with their daughter leaving for college while maintaining a profit at their struggling Chinese bakery drives them pry and potentially unravel Jane’s web of lies.



BAKED! THE MUSICAL is a reflection on perfectionism, self-worth, and the question of what we owe the people we love. It features an all Asian-American cast, and the themes are born out of the writers’ own experiences growing up as the children of immigrants in the US.


VERVE
Book and Lyrics by Fran Zell, Music by Karena Mendoza

Five women at a gym lose the fat fetish and find friendship. Each focuses on her weight and appearance, while harboring a secret she is afraid to share. During the course of a weight loss contest and a rigged game of Truth or Dare, everyone has the opportunity to come clean and test her own capacity for friendship.


ADIRA
Book by Brittany Handler, Music by John Love, Lyrics by Brittany Handler

Adira is a musical satire that tells the story of one princess who must rescue her kingdom. After learning of a terrible curse, Adira runs away to find herself and to break the spell. Along her journey, she encounters a series of new characters, both friend and foe who teach her things that she never knew, including a troll and his bridge, some magic mushrooms and an evil sorcerer. With the help of some dancing dildos and her singing vibrator sidekick, Adira has some big O! moments and learns that she is stronger and more capable than she ever knew.


About the Artists

Alexander Sage Oyen (Music and Lyrics, Proxy) is an NYC songwriter with over five million plays on Spotify. He is the recipient of the 2017 Lotos Foundation Prize in Arts and Sciences for his lyrics and the 2014 ASCAP Foundation’s Lucille and Jack Yellen award for lyricists. His musicals include DIVA: Live From Hell (available for licensing through DPS- Director Daniel Goldstein, Book and Characters S.P. Monahan), Tethered (Book by Rachel Franco), Proxy (Book by Austin Regan, Co-lyrics and additional book by Rachel Franco), Discount Ghost Stories (world premiere 2019 Local Theatre Co., Boulder, CO. Directed by Austin Regan book by Pesha Rudnick and Rob Wright), Outlaws (Goodspeed Fest. New Musicals 2015- book by James Presson, dir. Noah Himmelstein), Archie’s Final Project (Book by James Presson and David Lee Miller), and Moment by Moment (Production at Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand 2015. Available on Spotify/Apple Music). He was awarded the 2013-14 Dramatist Guild Fellowship and his musical Outlaws was featured in the 2014 ASCAP Workshop. He’s been named one of Playbill’s “Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers You Should Know,” and was selected for the 2014 Johnny Mercer Songwriter’s Project. Additionally, he was a 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist. His music has been heard at Lincoln Center, Goodspeed Opera House, Symphony Space, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Playwrights Horizons, The Signature Theatre, New World Stages, The Laurie Beechman Theatre and venues in Thailand, London, The Netherlands and all across the world. Proud member of ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild. 

Rachel Franco (Lyrics and Additional Book, Proxy) is an actor/writer in NYC. She’s written two musicals, the book for Tethered (SCRT Writing Retreat, 2018. Music and Lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen) and co-lyrics and additional book for Proxy (Book by Austin Regan, Music and Co-Lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen). As an actor she has been seen Off-Broadway in Nibbler (The Amoralists, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre) and F**k Marry Kill (Less Than Rent, The New Ohio Theatre). BFA Tisch at NYU.

Austin Regan (Book, Proxy) is a NYC-based writer and director. His other writing includes The Adventures of Pericles, adapted from Shakespeare, as co-composer and lyricist with Christy Altomare. He is currently developing The Valley, a new musical, with composer/lyricist Peter Lerman. As director: Rigoletto at Minnesota Opera ("a scorching take on politics, patriarchy, and power" – Minneapolis Star Tribune), Discount Ghost Stories at Local Theatre Company in Boulder, CO ("hauntingly beautiful" – Boulder Daily Camera), The Trojan Women (The Hangar Theatre), Mad Libs (New World Stages); Well Worn Words (Ars Nova), The Blind (The Flea Theater), Three Decembers (FM Opera). As assistant/associate director: four Broadway shows and the Metropolitan Opera. Drama League Fellow, LCT Directors Lab, MTF Founding Member, and former Resident Director at the Flea Theater. 

Annabelle Revak (Book, Music and Lyrics, Notes & Letters) is a composer, music director, arranger, and pianist. Cabaret: Antithesis (The Understudy); Keeper of the Keys (Davenport’s), TSCS (The Understudy). Arrangements/Orchestrations: Take Me (Strawdog Theatre), Wife Material (Underscore Theatre), Make Me Bad (Columbia College Chicago). MD: The Last Five Years (JPAC), The Ballad of Lefty and Crabbe (asst., Underscore Theatre), The Incredible 6,000-ft. Ladder, Something Blue, The Bone Harp (CMTF 2019), High Fidelity (Columbia College Chicago). BA in Music Composition & BA in Musical Theatre at CCC. 


About Underscore Theatre Company
Founded in 2011, Underscore Theatre Company is a team of producing artists dedicated to exploring stories of power and resonance through a musical lens; fostering the development of new musicals; and bolstering Chicago’s role as a national leader in musical theatre. Since its creation, Underscore has produced or co-produced 65 new mainstage and workshop musicals in Chicago. Underscore is proud to be Chicago's home for new musicals.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

GIVEAWAY AND REVIEW: WIN a Pair of Tickets $120 Value/ 2 Winners To The Midwest Premiere Of DARLING GRENADINE at Marriott Theatre through August 18th

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
DARLING GRENADINE 


Heath Saunders, Paul the Dog and Phillip Huber 
Photo Credit for all Production Photos: Liz Lauren


Katherine Thomas and Heath Saunders 

Enter Below Through Midnight August 1st 
For Your Chance To WIN
a Pair of Tickets $120 Value/2 winners To 
DARLING GRENADINE at Marriott Theatre 
Valid for any performance through August 18, 2019 
(pending availability)


REVIEW:
by bonnie kenaz-mara


It was my great pleasure to catch opening night of Marriott Theatre's Darling Grenadine with a couple of friends. This powerful production is a must see for anyone who has loved and lost a person, a pet, a childhood friend, or a dream. It's a passionate love story, with surprising depth and insight about addiction, the travails of making a living as a creative artist in our society, the pain of selling out, and the joys and risks of putting your heart and your true self out there, for the world. 

The true charm of Darling Grenadine is in the details. All the little moments of playful banter, finding joy in the daily mundane, the changing of season, and fabulously flawed humans just being, are where this show shines. This isn't a happily ever after. Rather, Darling Grenadine is the painful process of growing and becoming. It's mistakes, missteps, failures and foibles, sexy and sad. What a true joy to see such stellar storytelling. The entire cast is crazy talented and Paul the Dog and his puppeteer/creator are something to see. The dog's vocalizations are cleverly "voiced" by trumpet by Mike Nappi.  

Paul the Dog and Phillip Huber 

Mike Nappi 

This pup's mannerisms, size, and look are modeled after legendary puppeteer, Phillip Huber's own Golden Lab with an intentionally open/mesh body design (Ala "War Horse") to both represent an unfinished story and to give the audience a bit of emotional cushion from becoming too attached. I'm not sure the latter helped much, as the entire audience bonded with this captivating canine from the opening scene.

ChiIL Mama ChiILin' with Paul the Dog and Phillip 

Paul Photos Below by B. Kenaz-Mara









It was truly a treat to hang with Paul the Dog at the opening night, post show party. We had a fascinating talk with Huber about his creative process, that my friend, Kathy Roman video taped on her phone. Check it out here.

This is not your typical lighthearted summer fare, or fluff piece musical. Darling Grenadine's dark undertones lend authenticity and realism to these characters and scenarios, sorely lacking in most musical theatre. The script is phenomenal and utterly relatable. 


Despite a hopeful ending, by the close of the second act, there were few dry eyes in the house. One of my friends was so emotionally devastated by this production, that she was still pretty undone well into the afterparty. Knowing the impact, be forewarned this production may be triggering for dog lovers and those who have struggled with alcoholism or addiction issues in family, friends and loved ones. Still, the message of second chances, growing into your potential and new beginnings is worth the emotional rollercoaster ride. Don't miss this. Highly recommended.

Nick Cosgrove


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). 

 


Terry James, Executive Producer
Aaron Thielen, Lead Artistic Director
Andy Hite, Artistic Director

Present the Midwest premiere of this boldly unique, bittersweet new musical
DARLING GRENADINE 



With its surprising melding of off-beat, whimsical humor and serious themes of denial and loss, DARLING GRENADINE makes its Midwest premiere, running June 26th through August 18th, at Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. Featuring an eclectic score and stirring book and lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik, DARLING GRENADINE takes audiences on an emotional journey of highs and lows, where old meets new and romance meets reality. Directed by Jeff Award winner Aaron Thielen, with musical direction by Jeff Award winner Ryan T. Nelson, this exhilarating show continues Marriott Theatre’s long tradition of presenting new musicals.






“We are thrilled to be bringing this new musical to life,” says Director Aaron Thielen. “It is an honor to be entrusted with Daniel’s words and music, and we look forward to the opportunity to take audiences on the journey of this vibrant, fresh show.”



Harry is a charming songwriter whose fanciful view of the world rivals the Technicolor of any MGM classic. But as Harry floats through the kind of Manhattan life that dreams are made of, he suddenly finds himself confronted with the idea that a dream may be exactly what it is. And reality isn’t nearly as beautiful. Told with a rich contemporary score, DARLING GRENADINE peels away the layers of musical comedy tropes to explore the friction between romance and reality, joy and heartbreak. This bittersweet new musical brings us something magical, moving, and unique.





DARLING GRENADINE was originally staged in concert form at Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Angeles, and further developed at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals where it debuted on the Norma Terris Theatre stage. Now in a Midwest Premiere at Marriott Theatre, the musical stars Heath Saunders as “Harry” (Marriott Theatre debut! Broadway: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812; Lyric Opera of Chicago: Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar; MCC Theater: Alice by Heart), Katherine Thomas as “Louise” (Marriott Theatre: Ragtime; Arena Stage: Jubilee; Milwaukee Rep: The All Night Strut) and Nick Cosgrove as “Paul” (Broadway: Jersey Boys; Marriott Theatre: Footloose, Oklahoma!, The Bridges of Madison County). DARLING GRENADINE also stars Phillip Huber, Mike Nappi, Allison Sill, and Brandon Springman, with understudies Laura Brennan, Adam LaSalle, Jeff Pierpoint, Jaq Seifert, Elizabeth Telford, and Patrick Michael Tierney.

The production features set design by Jeffrey D. Kmiec, media design by Anthony Churchill, lighting design by Jesse Klug, sound design by Robert E. Gilmartin, properties design by Sally Zack, orchestrations by Matt Moisey, and musical supervision by Patti Garwood. The production will also feature costume design by Theresa Ham. Marionette created, built, and provided by The Huber Marionettes.

The performance schedule for DARLING GRENADINE is Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., with select Thursday 1:00 p.m. shows. Ticket prices range from $50 to $60, excluding tax and handling fees. Call for student, senior, and military discounts. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings there are a limited number of dinner-theatre packages available for purchase through the Marriott Theatre Box Office. 

To make a restaurant reservation, please call 847.634.0100. Reservations strongly recommended. Free parking is available at all performances. To reserve tickets, please call The Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or go to www.ticketmaster.com. Visit www.MarriottTheatre.com for more information.




Enter HERE Through Midnight, August 1 
For Your Chance To WIN
a Pair of Tickets $120 Value/2 Winners To 
DARLING GRENADINE at Marriott Theatre 
Valid for any performance through August 18, 2019 

(pending availability)



Friday, July 12, 2019

OPENING: Beyond Therapy Via Eclipse Theatre Company at The Athenaeum July 14 – August 18, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

The 2019 Christopher Durang Season continues with the farcical comedy, 
Beyond Therapy
 July 14 – August 18


*Beyond Therapy runs approximately two hours, with one ten-minute intermission.*

The 2019 Christopher Durang Season continues with the farcical comedy, Beyond Therapy. Bruce and Prudence are deeply into therapy. Prudence’s macho therapist is urging her to be more assertive, while Bruce’s wacky female therapist wants him to meet women by placing a personal ad. She does not fully comprehend that Bruce has a male lover who is not pleased by Bruce’s desire to date a woman. Bruce doesn’t know how to handle poor, nervous Prudence, and Prudence doesn’t know what to make of her unpredictable new boyfriend. They do learn to live beyond therapy in this comedic play.

The cast includes Eclipse Ensemble Member Joe McCauley (Stuart). Guest Artists Lynne Baker (Charlotte), Siddhartha Rajan (Bob), Nick Freed (Bruce), Devi Reisenfeld (Prudence), Alex Rocha (Waiter), Kathy Burke (Understudy), Kevin O’Connell (Understudy), Glenn Garrabrant (Understudy), Jordan Tragash (Understudy), Elizabeth Wigley (Understudy) and Brandon Boler (Understudy).

Eclipse Theatre Company, the only Midwest theatre company to feature one
playwright in one season, will continue their 2019 Christopher Durang Season this summer with a production of Beyond Therapy, with Rachel Lambert directing.

Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657

Some street parking; Wellington El stop (Brown). Pay and Display parking at Saint Alphonsus Catholic Church lots on Southport and on Oakdale. Disability accessible.

Opening: 
Sunday, July 14, 2019, 3 p.m. (reception following)
Previews Thursday-Saturday, July 11-13, at 7:30 p.m.

Runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Closes Sunday, August 18, 2019

TICKETS:     
773-935-6875, Athenaeum Box Office (open noon to last curtain, Wednesday-Sunday)

Online tickets at www.eclipsetheatre.com 

$30 for all regular performances (half-price rush tickets available)
$20 for previews; $10 for industry members at previews with headshot/card
$20 for each ticket in groups of ten or more, and for seniors (with ID)
$20 for students (with ID)    


             
CAST:           
Eclipse Ensemble Member Joe McCauley (Stuart).

Guest Artists Lynne Baker (Charlotte), Johnard Washington (Bob), Nick Freed (Bruce), Devi Reisenfeld (Prudence), Alex Rocha (Waiter), Kathy Burke (Understudy), Kevin O’Connell (Understudy), Glenn Garrabrant (Understudy), Jordan Tragash (Understudy).
STAFF:         
Eclipse Ensemble Members Zach Bloomfield (Casting Director), Ashley Bowman (Production Manager), Rachel Lambert (Director), 

Kevin Scott (Managing Director), Zach Wagner (Costume Designer).

Guest Artists Kaycee Filson (Props), Matt Sharp (Lighting Designer), Sam Rausch (Set Designer), Corey Bradberry (Stage Manager), Sam Meyers (Assistant Stage Manager) and Alec Dickson (Sound Designer)


NEXT:          
The 2019 Christopher Durang Season will finish with Why Torture is Wrong, and the People who Love Them, directed by Eclipse Ensemble Member Steve Scott, opening in November 2019.


FUNDERS:   The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T.

MacArthur Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and Eclipse Theatre’s many individual donors.

INFO: Eclipse Theatre Company presents the work of one playwright each season. Eclipse offers the audience an opportunity, unique in the Midwest, to journey through the playwright's works. Join Eclipse in exploring the breadth and depth of one playwright's artistic worlds.

One playwright, one season, one illuminating journey.
Eclipse Theatre Company, 312-625-0422
info@eclipsetheatre.com, www.eclipsetheatre.com


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Midwest Premiere of Grace, or the Art of Climbing Via Brown Paper Box Co. at Stage 773

Brown Paper Box Co. presents the Midwest Premiere of
Grace,
or the Art of Climbing 
by L M Feldman


Thursday, June 6-Sunday, July 8, 2019
at Stage 773

Fresh off their Jeff Award nomination for Little Women the Musical and community-focused Holding On cabaret, tickets are now on sale for Brown Paper Box Co.’s Midwest premiere of Grace, or the Art of Climbing by L M Feldman running June 6-July 8, 2019 at Stage 773.

Faced with a painful chapter in her life and fighting the inertia of depression, Emm decides to enter the world of competitive rock-climbing. Her quest through the rugged and humorous terrain of physical training and personal relationships charts the journey of a young woman suspended between love and loss, strength and fear, fathers and daughters, and the ardor and grace of being human. Brown Paper Box Co. is proud to present the Midwest premiere of this Barrymore Award Best New Play nominee and Kilroys List honorable mention. For additional information, performance times, artists’ bios, and tickets, please visit www.BrownPaperBox.org.
“In this beautiful play, L M Feldman amplifies the complexities of mental illness without ever dismissing our lead character as a victim, allowing those of us who struggle with depression to see ourselves represented on stage as fully human,” says director Erin Shea Brady. “We recognize Emm's challenges as our own as she navigates heartbreak and loss, finding her footing in an unpredictable and ever-changing world. Feldman's story is unique, harnessing the power of physical theater to illustrate the importance of trust — in ourselves, in our bodies, and in the people around us.”

The cast for Grace, or the Art of Climbing features Alex Molnar (Emm), Graham Carlson (Sam), James Lewis (Mick), Lynnette Li (Ky), Greg Mills (Abe), Elissa Newcorn (Dell), and Joshua Zambrano (Sims) with Cathleen Brumback and Jonathan Wilson as Understudies.

The staff and design team includes Erin Shea Brady* (Director), Liz Cooper (Lighting Designer), Blake Cordell (Sound Designer), Zach Dries* (Photographer/Videographer), Evan Frank (Scenic Designer), Berit Godo (Assistant & Movement Director), Kaitlyn Guerrieri* (Front of House Manager), Adrian Hadlock (Props Designer), Jeremy Hollis* (Production Manager), Mary-Catherine Mikalayunas (Stage Manager), Charlie Sheets* (Graphic Designer), Kristi Szczepanek* (Casting Associate), and Jonathan Wilson (Climbing Consultant).
* denotes Brown Paper Box Co. members

About Brown Paper Box Co.
Based in Chicago, Brown Paper Box Co. produces theatre that connects audiences to the heart of the story and to our shared human experience. By combining smart, simple design with clear storytelling, we make traditional pieces relevant and new work accessible.

Erin Shea Brady* (Director) is thrilled and grateful to be directing Grace, or the Art of Climbing. Directing credits include: Everybody (Brown Paper Box Co.) and Cabaret, Annapurna (staged reading) and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (No Stakes Theater Project). Assistant Directing and Dramaturgy credits include productions at the Goodman, Jackalope, TimeLine, A Red Orchid, Northlight, and Remy Bumppo. Erin is a graduate of the directing program at Columbia College Chicago, and participated in the internship program at Steppenwolf, Jackalope's Playwright's Lab, and Goodman's Criticism in a Changing America bootcamp. Erin is a company member with BPBCo. & is currently pursuing her MSW at Loyola. She is a contributing writer & critic at PerformInk & Newcity Stage.

L M Feldman (Playwright) is a queer, feminist playwright (and circus artist) who pens plays that are wildly theatrical but deeply intimate. Her plays include THRIVE, OR WHAT YOU WILL (Page 73 Residency, New Georges Audrey Residency); ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE (Magic Theatre Virgin Play Festival, PlayPenn Conference, Playwrights Realm Fellowship, FEWW Prize Honorable Mention); AMANUENSIS (Georgetown University); A PEOPLE (Orbiter 3, Jewish Plays Project); THE EGG-LAYERS (Jane Chambers Honorable Mention, New Georges/Barnard College commission); GRACE, OR THE ART OF CLIMBING (Denver Center, Art House Productions, Nice People Theatre, ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Nomination, Barrymore Nomination); ensemble-devised works, including GUMSHOE (New Paradise Labs + Free Library of Philadelphia + Rosenbach Museum), WAR OF THE WORLDS: PHILADELPHIA (Swim Pony + Drexel University), AND IF YOU LOSE YOUR WAY, OR A FOOD ODYSSEY (The Invisible Dog, New York Innovative Theatre Award Nomination), and others; and a baker's dozen of short plays. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, L is also a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a devised-work collaborator, a teacher of playwriting (Bryn Mawr College, Lantern Theatre/Jefferson Medical School, PlayPenn), and a freelance dramaturg. L has lived in seven cities and is now based in Philly – where she is an InterAct Core Playwright and a proud member of Orbiter 3.

Who:  Brown Paper Box Co.
What:  Midwest Premiere of Grace, or the Art of Climbing by L M Feldman
When:  Thursday, June 6-Sunday, July 8, 2019
Where: Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont Ave. Chicago, IL 60657
Previews: Thursday, June 6, 2019 @ 7:30PM and Friday, June 7, 2019 @ 7:30PM

Opening Performance: Saturday, June 8, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Press Performance: Sunday, June 9, 2019 @ 2:30PM (matinee) and Monday, June 10, 2019 @ 7:30PM

Regular Run: Friday, June 14, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Saturday, June 15, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Sunday, June 16, 2019 @ 2:30PM (matinee)
Monday, June 17, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Thursday, June 20, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Friday, June 21, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Saturday, June 22, 2019 @ 2:30PM (matinee)
Saturday, June 22, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Sunday, June 23, 2019 @ 2:30PM (matinee)
Thursday, June 27, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Friday, June 28, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Saturday, June 29, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Sunday, June 30, 2019 @ 2:30PM (matinee)
​Friday, July 6, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Saturday, July 7, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Sunday, July 8, 2019 @ 2:30PM (matinee)

Tickets: On sale now at www.BrownPaperBox.org                                                                   

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