Photo Flash: THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER 'Sails' Back Into Chicago
THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER brings holiday cheer to the Mercury Theater (3745 N. Southport, Chicago), from November 16 through December 31, 2011. The press opening will be on Monday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m. The whole family will enjoy this heart-warming story of the first Christmas tree ship, and the family who risked their lives to fill Chicago with the Christmas spirit. A favorite musical tradition for many years, this all-new production is helmed by the award winning team of L. Walter Stearns (director), Eugene Dizon (musical director) and Brenda Didier (choreographer).
THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER is based on a beloved Chicago story. The ‘Rouse Simmons’, a Great Lakes schooner, was known as “The Christmas Tree Ship.” Its captain risked life and limb to transport fir trees from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Chicago's German immigrants during the late 19th century. A timely and stirring tale of love and loss, THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER reminds us of tradition, and our responsibility to celebrate the living while honoring our heritage.
THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER is a powerful, moving story with an exquisite score by Chicago favorites, John Reeger (book), and Julie Shannon (music and lyrics). The musical has entertained audiences in hundreds of productions including a twelve year run at Chicago’s Bailiwick Repertory Theatre. It has been called “a grand family tradition” by the Chicago Tribune. The Chicago Sun-Times raved, “A touching slice of life that is an inheritance to be treasured.”
THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER stars Jeff Award winner Cory Goodrich as “Alma Stossel,” Karl Hamilton as “Peter Stossel” and Jeff Award winner Jim Sherman as “Gustav Stossel.” The production also features Kelly Anne Clark as “Caitlain,” Daniel Coonley as “Karl Stossel,” Dina DiCostanzo as “Olive/Rose,” John Finley (male ensemble), Elizabeth Haley as “Martha/Kate,” Ronald Keaton as “Oskar,” Caroline Kobylarz as “Enid,” Mark Kosten as “Karl Stossel,” Benjamin Magnuson as “Steve,” Isabelle Roberts as “Mary Claire Daugherty,” Thomas Shea as “Rudy,” and Ryan Westwood as “Hans/Officer Wells.”
This all-new production is being reconceived by the Jeff-award winning team of L. Walter Stearns (director), Eugene Dizon (musical director) and Brenda Didier (choreographer). The scenic design is by Jacqueline and Richard Penrod, with costumes designed by Carol Blanchard and lighting designed by Jason Epperson.
The Mercury Theater is an intimate jewel-box of a theatre in the heart of a sophisticated neighborhood of restaurants and shopping. It adjoins two restaurants; Cullen’s Bar and Grill and Deleece, who offer pre and post show dining packages.
Performances are from November 16 to December 31, 2011. The schedule is: Wednesdays at 3pm and 7:30pm, Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets range from $30 to $49.50 with dinner packages ranging from $15 to $25. Groups of 10 or more receive discounts of up to 50%. For tickets and information contact the Mercury Theater at 773-325-1700 or www.mercurytheaterchicago.com.
Isabelle Roberts and Catherine Stegemann