Photo Flash: Chicago Shakespeare's ROAD SHOW Begins Tonight
Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) presents an unprecedented pairing of productions that will illuminate the work of composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim: Gypsy (CST's Courtyard Theater, February 6-March 23) and Road Show (Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, tonight, March 13-May 4), both directed by CST Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin. With Sondheim's characteristic depth and musicality, Gypsy and Road Show each explore the ambitious pursuit of the American Dream during the defining period in our nation's history between the two world wars. Scroll down for a look at the cast of ROAD SHOW!
The stories behind Gypsy and Road Show first captivated Sondheim's interest at the same time early in his career, although audiences have only recently come to know his newest musical Road Show. Gypsy, for which he wrote the lyrics, received its Broadway premiere in 1959; whereas most of the music and lyrics he wrote for Road Show initially appeared under different titles in 1999 (Wise Guys) and 2003 (Bounce). Sondheim's lasting fascination with the themes and time period present in both works has intrigued Griffin, and suggests that the pairing could allow the musicals to inform one another and shed new light on each piece.
Road Show, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman, is based on the true story of colorful and charismatic Mizner brothers-the ambitious Addison Mizner, performed by Michael Aaron Lindner, and his squandering younger brother Wilson Mizner, performed by Andrew Rothenberg. Wheeling and dealing their way across North America, the brothers travel from the Alaskan gold Rush to the Florida real estate boom, all while reinventing themselves, separating and reuniting.
The cast of Road Show also features: Robert Lenzi (Hollis Bessemer), Anne Gunn (Mama Mizner) and Larry Adams (Papa Mizner). The ensemble includes McKinley Carter, Matt Deitchman, Jim DeSelm, Derek Hasenstab, Regina Leslie, Jake Mahler, and Bri Sudia. The creative team includes Music Director Michael Mahler, Scenic Designer Scott Davis, Costume Designer Mara Blumenfeld and Lighting Designer Greg Hofmann. In addition to lending their talents to Gypsy, Sound Designer Ray Nardelli and Wig and Make-up Designer Melissa Veal also designs for Road Show.
Road Show features the same Sondheim-Weidman writing partnership behind Pacific Overtures (2001), the first Sondheim musical at CST directed by Griffin, which began the Theater's exploration of Sondheim's work more than a decade ago. That production went on to win the Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best Production and Best Director and transferred to the Donmar Warehouse in London where it was recognized with three Laurence Olivier Awards, including Outstanding Production of a Musical. Since that first, storied production, Griffin's interpretations of Sondheim at CST have included Sunday in the Park with George (2012, 2002), Follies (2011), Passion (2007) and A Little Night Music (2003).
Road Show runs today, March 13 through May 4 in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Tickets start at $48 with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more, as well as CST for $20 tickets available for patrons under 35. All patrons receive a 40% discount on guaranteed parking in Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets or a season subscription, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow