'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for December 18th, 2013
THE LATEST IN UNAUTHORIZED GOSSIP AND BUZZ
FROM THE HEART OF CHICAGO'S SHOWTUNE VIDEO BARS,
AND MUSICAL THEATER NEWS FROM CHICAGO TO BROADWAY
Overheard last weekend under the showtune
video screens at Sidetrack and The Call:
We're looking ahead in the Mosh Pit this week!
And the first thing we see is the opening of Light Opera Works' holiday production of Irving Berlin's "Annie Get Your Gun," which begins this Saturday and runs through New Year's Eve (Dec. 21-31) at Evanston's Cahn Auditorium. Colette Todd stars as the real-life star of the "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" shows, with friend-of-the-Mosh-Pit James Rank as Frank Butler. Both are Light Opera Works veterans, as are Jim Heatherly and Jenny Lamb (Charlie Davenport and Dolly Tate). Rudy Hogenmiller directs and choreographs the 1946 Ethel Merman tuner, with music direction by Roger L. Bingaman. There's no business like show business, you know. It's wonderful, so they say. You get the sun in the morning and the moon at night, and you might get lost in his arms--even though you can't get a man with a gun. Ah, life lessons from Golden Age musical theater!
The Paramount Theatre in Aurora is following its very well-received production of "Miss Saigon" with "42nd Street," running January 15-February 9 at the remarkable, renovated movie palace "on the island" in downtown Aurora. Rachel Rockwell directs and choreographs. And yes, there's a full orchestra there, too. Come and meet those dancin' feet!
Hot on the heels of the universal rave reviews that this year's production of "The Christmas Schooner" has received, Mercury Theatre Chicago announced its 2014 season, which of course will end with another reprise of John Reeger and Julie Shannon's heartwarming tale, based on the true story of Chicago's beloved "Christmas tree ship." Starting off the season on Southport will be a guest production, Stephen Sondheim's much-loved "Into The Woods." (Can you wait another year until the Meryl Streep-starring film version is released?) The Mercury's production will be supplied by The Hypocrites, whose production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado" is still packing them into the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre through December 29. ITW by The Hypocrites will be in residence at the Mercury from February 6 through March 30. Between it and the return visit of the "Schooner," the Mercury will mount the first local Equity productions of two 21st century Broadway titles, "Avenue Q" (April through June) and "The Addams Family" (September through November). "Avenue Q," you'll remember, was co-written by Robert Lopez, as was the Walt Disney animated film "Frozen," whose power ballad "Let It Go" wowed the crowd at Sidetrack this past Monday night. See how I did that?