Northlight Theatre Opens 2011-12 Season With Snapshots


Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans announce the first show of Northlight's 2010-2011 season, Snapshots, a new show described by the authors as a "musical scrapbook," that includes some of the best-loved music and lyrics by the creator of Wicked, Godspell, Pippin! and Working. Snapshots, with book by David Stern, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, direction by Ken Sawyer, musical staging by Karl Christian, and musical supervision and arrangements by Steve Orich, will run at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie, September 16 - October 23, 2011.

Snapshots will open the 2010-2011 season. The remainder of the season will be announced soon.

Blending together some of the best-loved music with some of the genuinely wonderful lesser known gems of renowned Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz, this touching romantic comedy exposes a marriage at a crossroads. Newly adapted, this musical reveals the humorous twists and unexpected turns of a middle-aged couple's reminiscence of how love brought them together and why life pushed them apart. Mr. Schwartz has rewritten many of the lyrics to even the most familiar songs, to stay true to the fascinating story and characters of this new work. Funny and bittersweet, Snapshots brings into focus all the wonders and frustrations of trusting your heart and believing your memories.

"Stephen Schwartz is one of the greats of American Musical Theatre. Bringing Snapshots, which includes some of his favorite compositions, to Northlight is an honor and a truly special treat for our audiences. What a tremendous way to kick off our season!," says Artistic Director BJ Jones. "Snapshots is the next step in Northlight's ongoing dedication to new work and long-standing commitment to new musicals, including the world premieres of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, A Marvelous Party, Studs Terkel's ‘The Good War', and most recently, Daddy Long Legs."

Relevant Theatricals and Cardboard Belt Productions have been developing this project for the past several years and most recently worked on the musical with David Stern, Stephen Schwartz and the creative team in preparation for its Chicago premiere.

"Relevant Theatricals and our partner Cardboard Belt Productions have been working with Stephen for some time now on this new musical. His work is unparalleled and, Snapshots, in particular, is a beautiful piece of musical theatre that features many of his best-loved songs. I couldn't be more thrilled about Northlight wanting to bring Snapshots to Chicago audiences," says Relevant producer Gigi Pritzker.

Stephen Schwartz (Composer/Lyricist) has contributed music and/or lyrics to Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker's Wife, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags, Children Of Eden and the current Broadway hit, Wicked. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein's Mass and wrote the title song for the play and movie Butterflies Are Free. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, Captain Louie and My Son Pinocchio. For films, he collaborated with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney's Enchanted as well as the animated features Pocahontas and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and wrote the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince Of Egypt. He has released two CDs of new songs entitled Reluctant Pilgrim and Uncharted Territory. His first opera, Seance on a Wet Afternoon, premiered with Opera Santa Barbara in the fall of 2009. A book about his career, "Defying Gravity," has recently been released by Applause Books. Under the auspices of the ASCAP Foundation, he runs Musical Theatre Workshops in New York and Los Angeles, and is currently the President of the Dramatists' Guild. Mr. Schwartz has recently been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Other awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and a tiny handful of tennis trophies.

David Stern (Book Writer) began his career working on the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, Nick & Nora and Big. He then wrote the plays Dreams & Stuff and Finders of Lost Luggage. After a small detour into directing with the NY revival of Starting Here, Starting Now and a stint with The American Project at Circle in the Square, he wrote for NPR's The 1990's Radio Hour and a Half. David then migrated west where has written numerous movies, including: Geppetto for the Wonderful World of Disney (nominated for four Emmy Awards), Open Season 2 (nominated for an Annie Award), Open Season 3 as well as the upcoming The Hotel Transylvania, and Henry & Me. He recently finished the stage adaptation of Geppetto entitled My Son, Pinocchio, and is currently writing and producing Turkeys - an animated feature starring Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson (due in theaters Thanksgiving 2012).

Ken Sawyer (Director) most recently directed the world premiere of Lovelace: A Rock Opera at the Hayworth Theatre, winning the LA Weekly Award for Best Director of a Musical. He directed Dracula (Winner 2 LA Ovation Awards, nominated Drama Critics and LA Weekly Awards) at NoHo Arts Center. His LA production of Woman in Black ran for over a year, setting box office records and winning five Ovation Awards and four Drama Critics Circle Awards. Other noteworthy productions include the new musical One Red Flower at Carnegie Mellon University and a subsequent production in LA starring Maureen McGovern, Hunter Parrish, David Burnham and Levi Kreis; and the LA premiere of Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus' adaptation of Crime & Punishment. As an accomplished sound designer, he has created original scores for most of the plays he has directed, including The Woman in Black, for which he won the Ovation and the Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Sound Design. Ken is a BFA graduate of The Juilliard School. He is also an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab West and the LaMama Italy International Directors Workshop.

Northlight Theatre aspires to promote change of perspective and encourage compassion by exploring the depth of our humanity across a bold spectrum of theatrical experiences, reflecting our community to the world and the world to our community.

Now in its 36th season, the organization has mounted over 165 productions, including more than 33 world premieres. Northlight has earned 145 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 28 Awards. As one of the area's premier theatre companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality.

Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; ComEd, An Exelon Company; Edgerton Foundation for New American Plays Award; Ernst & Young; Harris Bank; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Kirkland & Ellis Foundation; The Lehman Family American Experience Series; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; MetLife Foundation;; McKinsey & Company; National Endowment for the Arts; North Shore Center for the Performing Arts Foundation; Nuveen Investments; The Pauls Foundation; Sanborn Family Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; Shubert Foundation; Sullivan Family Foundation; and the Theatre Communications Group.

Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy

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