Photo Flash: First Look at Mercury Theater's THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER

The much beloved Chicago tradition of the presentation of THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER returns to Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport, opening Wednesday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m., and running through December 29, 2013. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!

The whole family will enjoy this heart-warming musical story of the first Christmas tree ship and the family who risked their lives to fill Chicago with the Christmas spirit. The production features a powerful, moving story, an exquisite score of original music and traditional holiday favorites, and a company of 25 actors and musicians. The production is helmed by the Jeff-award winning team of L. Walter Stearns (Director), Eugene Dizon (Musical Director) and Brenda Didier (Choreographer).

The shipwreck of the Rouse Simmons, known as 'The Christmas Tree Ship,' served as inspiration for THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER. Her captain and crew risked the notoriously violent winter lake to bring Christmas trees from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Chicago's German immigrants. Each year, Captain Herman Schuenemann would sell trees right off of the ship at the Clark Street Docks, and was known to give free trees to the needy. On November 23 1912, the ship was swept up in a terrible storm. It was not until 59 years later that she was discovered, lying in 170 feet of water. Today the Rouse Simmons and her cargo of 5,500 well stacked trees remain preserved in the cold, fresh waters of Lake Michigan and her legend has grown to mythical proportions. The Blaine Nickelodeon - the silent film theater that now houses the Mercury - opened that very same year.

THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER has entertained audiences in hundreds of productions including a twelve year run at Chicago's Bailiwick Repertory Theatre. A timely and uplifting tale of love, THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER is a poignant ode to the rich legacy of Chicago and a reminder of our responsibility to celebrate the living while honoring our heritage. In 2011, Mercury Theater Chicago revived THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER with a full orchestra and an all-star cast, garnering a "Best Production" nomination for the 2012 Jeff Awards.

THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER is written by John Reeger (book) and Julie Shannon (music and lyrics) and stars returning cast members Karl Hamilton as "Peter Stossel," Jeff Award winner Cory Goodrich as "Alma Stossel," and James Wilson Sherman as "Gustav Stossel." Rounding out the crew on this year's schooner voyage are Kelly Anne Clark, Brennan Dougherty, Jaclyn Dougherty, Elizabeth Haley, Sage Harper, Christian Libonati, Leah Morrow, Michael Pacas, Eric Parker, Thom Shea, Travis Taylor and Sean Thomas.

The scenic design is by Jacqueline and Richard Penrod, with costume design by Carol Blanchard and lighting design by Jason Epperson.

Mercury Theater Chicago is an intimate jewel-box in the heart of a sophisticated neighborhood of restaurants and shopping just steps from Wrigley Field. It adjoins two restaurants; Cullen's Bar and Grill and Deleece, who offer dining and libations before and after the show.

Performances are now through December 29, 2013. The schedule is: Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2pm. There are additional performances on November 29 at 2pm, December 23 at 7:30 p.m. and December 24 at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $55. For group discounts, tickets and information contact the Mercury Theater at 773-325-1700 or www.mercurytheaterchicago.com.

Photo Credit: Brett Beiner

high res photos

Photo Flash: First Look at Mercury Theater's THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER
he cast of the beloved Chicago production of THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER

Photo Flash: First Look at Mercury Theater's THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER
Jim Sherman (Gustav Stossel) and Karl Hamilton (Peter Stossel)

Photo Flash: First Look at Mercury Theater's THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER
Karl Hamilton stars as Peter Stossel

Photo Flash: First Look at Mercury Theater's THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER
Karl Hamilton (Peter Stossel) and Cory Goodrich (Alma Stossel)

Photo Flash: First Look at Mercury Theater's THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER
Sage Harper (Mary Claire Daugherty), Jim Sherman (Gustav Stossel), and Jaclyn Dougherty (ensemble)

Photo Flash: First Look at Mercury Theater's THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER
Sage Harper (Mary Claire Daugherty) and Karl Hamilton (Peter Stossel)

Photo Flash: First Look at Mercury Theater's THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER
Sean Thomas, Eric Parker, Travis Taylor, Michael Pacas, and Tom Shea surround Christain Libonanti

Photo Flash: First Look at Mercury Theater's THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER
Sean Thomas, Karl Hamilton, Jim Sherman, and Tom Shea arrive in Chicago

Photo Flash: First Look at Mercury Theater's THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER
The cast of the beloved Chicago production of THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER

high res photos




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