'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for August 15th, 2012
THE LATEST IN UNAUTHORIZED GOSSIP AND BUZZ FROM THE HEART OF CHICAGO'S SHOWTUNE VIDEO BARS, AND MUSICAL THEATER NEWS FROM CHICAGO TO BROADWAY
by Paul W. Thompson
Overheard last weekend under the showtune video screens at Sidetrack and The Call:
Ask and ye shall receive! We’ve been dying for fall casting news, and finally, we got a lot! In the last week or so, a great deal became clear about what’s going on in Chicago musical theater for the fall. So, let’s get to all the latest news about Super September!
The greatly anticipated production of Stephen Sondheim and George Lapine’s “Sunday In The Park With George” at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier has come through with a very exciting cast. Broadway star Jason Danieley (from the original casts of “The Fully Monty,” “Curtains” and the Hal Prince revival of “Candide”--plus he appeared in “Next To Normal” opposite his wife, Marin Mazzie) will star as Georges/George in the musical inspired by the painting “A Sunday On La Grand Jatte--1884” by Georges Seurat, the centerpiece of the Permanent Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. This production is the most significant Chicago mounting of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1984 musical in 25 years, since its 1987 Goodman Theatre production, starring John Herrera and Paula Scrofano, directed by Michael Maggio and conducted by Kevin Stites (in the old Goodman Theatre, essentially in the basement of the Art Institute!).
This time, Gary Griffin directs (no doubt hoping to repeat the magic of last season’s “Follies”at ChiShakes, which snapped up every award in sight, including at our own BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards). Brad Haak and Ryan Nelson will handle the music duties. Up and coming New York actress Carmen Cusack will co-star as Dot/Marie, and a whole bevy of top Chicago talent rounds out the cast, including Sean Fortunato, Kevin Gudahl, Heidi Kettenring, Ora Jones, Linda Stephens, McKinley Carter, Derek Hasenstab, Michael Aaron Lindner and William Travis Taylor. The show is currently announced for a limited five-week engagement, September 26-November 4, 2012. Go!!!
We all learned that week that the winner of the Best Musical Tony Award in 1980, “42nd Street” will be on the boards at Theatre At The Center in southeast suburban Munster, Indiana this fall, from September 13-October 21, directed by the legendary William Pullinsi and choreographed by Sean Fortunato’s wife, Linda Fortunato (talent runs in families!). Heading the cast will be two Chicago theater veterans, Larry Adams as Julian Marsh and the aforementioned Paula Scrofano as Dorothy Brock. Nicole Miller will play understudy-to-star Peggy Sawyer, assisted by Dale Benson, Nathan Mittleman, David Besky, Amy Brophy, Jenny Guse and more. William Underwood is musical director.