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Musical Theater in Chicago: A Complete Summer List!


In case you missed it in the "Showtune Mosh Pit" column last week, here is my full listing of musical theater shows (plus three special concert events) happening in Chicago this summer. Click on the name of each show for a link to more information. And enjoy!

American Theater Company  (Chicago)

RENT (Now through July 1) ATC and About Face Theatre bring us the Pulitzer Prize-winner, directed by MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant winner and former Columbia College Chicago faculty member David Cromer. It's a new look at a piece many of us know a little too well, directed by Jessica Redish and starring Alan Schmuckler, Derrick Trumbly and Grace Gealy.

Athenaeaum Theatre (Chicago)

Hank Williams: LOST HIGHWAY (June 8 through July 8) This musical portrait of the highly influential country-western superstar, who died in the back of a car in the middle of the night before he even reached the age of thirty, comes to Lakeview courtesy of the Filament Theatre Ensemble.

Apollo Theater (Chicago)

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET (Open Run) Chicago's hit production about the night in 1956 when Elvis, Johnny, Jerry Lee and Carl played together in a Memphis recording studio has now outlasted the New York production it inspired. Well over three years later, crowds are still packing the Apollo to hear the hits.

Black Ensemble Theater (Chicago)

THE Marvin Gaye STORY (Now through July 19) Subtitled, "Don't Talk About My Father Because God Is My Friend," this musical biography of the late rhythm and blues star who was shot and killed by his own father on April 1, 1984 has been written and directed by BET founder and artistic director Jackie Taylor. Her repertory company of actors and instrumentalists, musicians all, do the honors in front of a fiercely loyal sequence of audiences.

Bohemian Theatre Ensemble (Chicago)

FLOYD COLLINS (June 15 through July 15) BoHo presents the landmark musical by Adam Guettel and Tina Landau at Theater Wit's facility in Lakeview, directed by Peter Marston Sullivan and musical directed by Alan Buckowiecki. A Kentucky spelunker's tragic misadventure becomes a media frenzy and a contemporary meditation on death and life.

BrightSide Theatre (Naperville)

MY WAY: A TRIBUTE TO Frank Sinatra (June 15 through July 1) The new BrightSide Theatre, on the cusp of its second season, presents its first musical, a revue of the songs of Ol' Blue Eyes, in Meiley-Swallow Hall on the campus of North Central College.

Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (Chicago)

ROCK OF AGES (June 5 through August 5) Just days before the debut of the Hollywood adaptation of this Broadway jukebox show featuring all things hair and head-band, the national tour of the Tony-nominated show set up shop for two months of fun in our neck of the woods, just steps from the tourist-friendly Magnificent Mile and featuring hit songs by Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Poison, Whitesnake and more.

Cadillac Palace Theatre (Chicago)

Kristin Chenoweth (June 16) For one night only, the Tony and Emmy-winning star of "Wicked," "Glee" and the current TV series "GCB" will reign at the Palace with a concert of songs from her most recent album as well as from her multi-faceted stage and screen career.

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Paul W. Thompson Paul W. Thompson, a contributor to since 2007, is a Chicago-based singer, actor, musical director, pianist, vocal coach, composer and commentator. His career as a performer, teacher and writer is centered at Paul W. Thompson Music, located in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building, where he teaches the great songs of Broadway to the next generation of musical theater performers. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Paul was raised in a family of professional musicians and teachers, steeped in classical, gospel, country, pop, sacred and show music. Dubbed a “thin, winsome lad” at the age of 13 by a critic for the Nashville Banner, he earned two degrees in musical theater (a B.F.A. with Honors from Baylor University and an M.M. from the University of Miami, Florida), plus an M.B.A. with Distinction from DePaul University. Paul’s memberships include Actors’ Equity Association, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (proud voter for the Grammy Awards!), the National Association of Teachers of Singing and New York’s Drama League.

Moving easily between the worlds of classical music, religious music, classic pop and musical theater, Paul has appeared onstage or in the orchestra pit in concerts, musicals, operettas and operas in 30 states and in Europe, in a career spanning more than 35 years. His Chicagoland stage credits include “Forever Plaid” at the Royal George Theater and twenty mainstage productions at Light Opera Works. Paul joined the Chicago Symphony Chorus in 1995 (he was Tenor I Section Leader for four years and sings on two Grammy-winning recordings), and is one of Chicago’s foremost liturgical singers, marking 20 years as a member of the choir at St. James Cathedral (Episcopal) in 2011.He has composed and arranged a number of anthems, hymns and songs for worship and concert use, and collaborates on the creation of new works of musical theater. Paul can be found on Monday nights watching showtune videos at the world-famous Sidetrack nightclub, the inspiration for his weekly column, “The Showtune Mosh Pit.” His proudest achievement is that he has seen the original Broadway production of every Tony Award-winning Best Musical since “Cats.” No, really. Since “Cats!”

Sleeping Beauty in ChicagoSleeping Beauty
(Runs 4/15 - 4/25)
Once Upon a Mattress in ChicagoOnce Upon a Mattress
(Runs 4/25 - 4/26)
Jesus Christ Superstar in ChicagoJesus Christ Superstar
(Runs 4/18 - 4/26)
State Fair in ChicagoState Fair
(Runs 4/24 - 4/26)
Side Effects May Include in ChicagoSide Effects May Include
(Runs 4/26 - 4/26)
The Sound of Music in ChicagoThe Sound of Music
(Runs 4/25 - 4/26)
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
(Runs 4/18 - 4/27)

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