'HANK WILLIAMS', SIDE MAN & More Set for American Blues Theater's 2014-15 Season

'HANK WILLIAMS', SIDE MAN & More Set for American Blues Theater's 2014-15 Season

Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside announces the American Blues Theater's Season 29 "Lost & Sound" at the "Blue Bash," their annual fundraiser, Thursday, Feb. 27 from 5:30 - 9 p.m., at the office of Seyfarth Shaw, Suite 2400, 131 S. Dearborn. Complete performance schedules, venues, casting and ticket information will be announced at a later date. Flex passes for Season 29 "Lost & Sound" are available now. Details on each production are included in this release. For more information on the current and next season's productions visit americanbluestheater.com.

Season 29 includes:

Main Stage:
Hank Williams: Lost Highway, July 25 - August 31, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Richard Wright's Native Son, Fall production dates TBA, at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.;
It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, November 21 - December 28, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Yankee Tavern, February 20 - March 22, 2015, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Side Man, April 24 - May 24, 2015, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.

Additional American Blues Theater Offerings:
Ripped: The Living Newspaper Festival, spring 2015
The Lincoln Project, throughout the year, at Chicago Public Schools.

"Season 29 'Lost & Sound,' truly represents the mission and vision of American Blues Theater, from remounts of our hit productions, to the co-production of the American classic and socially relevant Native Son with Court Theatre to our 2015 productions, the controversial Yankee Tavern and Side Man, which stars Broadway performers and American Blues Ensemble members Kate Buddeke and Jim Ortlieb. In addition to what's happening on our main stage, American Blues continues to work with communities throughout Chicagoland with our extensive outreach programs. We are long time fans and thrilled to work with directors Joanie Schultz and Jonathan Berry!" said Whiteside.

MORE INFORMATION ON SEASON 29 "LOST & SOUND"

Hank Williams: Lost Highway
Written by Randal Myler and Mark Harelik
Directed by Damon Kiely
Music Direction by Malcolm Ruhl
July 25 - August 31
Press Night: TBA
Greenhouse Theatre Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Performance schedule: Previews: begin July 25 Performance schedule: Wednesdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
Ticket Price: $19-$49.

Hank Williams: Lost Highway returns to the Greenhouse Theatre after a sold-out run in September 2013. Hank Williams follows Williams' rise from his humble beginnings to his triumphs on the Grand Ole Opry stage, to his self-destruction at the age of twenty-nine. This unforgettable tribute includes more than 20 Williams hits, such as "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," "Move It on Over," "Hey, Good Lookin'", and "Jambalaya." The critically-acclaimed cast features Ensemble members Matt Brumlow as Hank Williams, Austin Cook, James Leaming, Michael Mahler, Suzanne Petri, Artistic Affiliate Dana Black, and guest artists John Crowley, John Foley, Greg Hirte, and Cora Vander Broek.

Native Son
WORLD PREMIERE co-production with Court Theatre
Based on the novel by Richard Wright
Adapted by American Blues Ensemble member Nambi E. Kelley
Fall 2014
Press Night: TBA
Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.
Performance schedule: TBA
Ticket Price: TBA

Wright's Native Son is a landmark in 20th century literature and widely acclaimed as one of the finest books ever written on class division and race. Native Son is the story of a young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. The story, still relevant almost 75 years after it was originally published, is an unflinching portrait of what it means to be black in America and the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the United States.

It's A Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!
Based on Frank Capra's film from a short story by Philip Van Doren Stern
Directed by Ensemble member Marty Higginbotham
November 21 - December 28
Press Night: Sunday, Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m.
Greenhouse Theatre Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Performance schedule: Previews: Friday, Nov. 21 and Saturday, Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. Performance schedule: Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Additional holiday performances will be announced later.
Ticket Price: $19 - $49

For 13 years, the American Blues Ensemble has treated Chicagoland audiences to holiday classic featuring Clarence, George, and the delightful characters of Bedford Falls. They once again take you back to a 1940s radio broadcast of Frank Capra's holiday classic It's A Wonderful Life: Live In Chicago! in a full-scale production with Foley sound effects, an original score, and a stellar cast of eight. After each performance, milk and cookies are served. Featuring the entire cast of the sold-out hit including Ensemble members Dara Cameron, Kevin Kelly, Michael Mahler, John Mohrlein, Gwendolyn Whiteside, Artistic Affiliates Ian Paul Custer, James Joseph and guest artist Shawn Goudie.

Yankee Tavern
CHICAGO PREMIERE
Written by Steven Dietz
Directed by Joanie Schultz
February 20 - March 22, 2015
Press Night: February 26, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Greenhouse Theatre Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Performance schedule: Previews: Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 at 7:30pm, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015 at 2:30pm. Performance schedule: Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
Ticket Price: $19 - $49

The jukebox inside the Yankee Tavern stopped in the middle of "Bye, bye, Miss American Pie" as the first hijacked plane impacted the north tower of the World Trade Center on September 11. Inside the walls of this crumbling New York tavern, a young couple finds themselves caught up in conversations of what happened that day and who is telling the truth. Dietz's acclaimed and dramatic thriller is a fierce, funny and ultimately mind-bending work of theatrical power that grips the audience until the final word. Creative team to be announced.

Side Man
TONY AWARD FOR BEST PLAY
Written by Warren Leight
Directed by Jonathan Berry
Featuring Broadway actors and Ensemble members Kate Buddeke and Jim Ortlieb
April 24 - May 24, 2015
Press Night: April 30, 2015 at 7pm
Greenhouse Theatre Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Performance schedule: Previews: Friday, April 24, 2015, Saturday April 25, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. Performance schedule: Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
Ticket Price: $19 - $49

Spanning three decades, Side Man is the heartbreaking story of a splintered family as told through the eyes of Clifford, the only son of Gene, a jazz trumpet player, and Terry, an alcoholic mother. Alternating between their New York City apartment and a smoke-filled music club, Clifford narrates the story of his broken family and the decline of jazz as popular entertainment. Featuring Broadway actors and Ensemble Kate Buddeke and Jim Ortlieb.

ADDITIONAL AMERICAN BLUES THEATER PROGRAMMING:
Ripped: The Living Newspaper Festival

Spring 2015
Written and Directed by various Chicago artists
Greenhouse Theatre Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Performance schedule: TBD
Ticket Price: TBD
Based on the 1930's WPA era program that brought Orson Welles, Arthur Miller, Richard Wright, and Clifford Odets into public attention, our playwrights use inspiration ripped from today's headlines to create stories.

Education Outreach in Schools
The Lincoln Project

In conjunction with the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District
Adapted by Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside from Artistic Affiliate James Still's Pulitzer-nominated "The Heavens Are Hung in Black"
American Blues Theater's innovative and adaptive program aligns with Illinois Core Curriculum standards to engage 5th-10th graders about the life of Abraham Lincoln, specifically the events surrounding the "Emancipation Proclamation." Students read Still's script and the American Blues Theater study guide, watch scenes using professional actors, and participate in discussions. As part of this program, students also write and perform scenes inspired from current events.

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