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'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for February 5th, 2014

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:

The Tony Award-winning Best Musical of 1978, "Ain't Misbehavin'," began lighting up Stage 773 last week, and this week the Fats Waller musical officially opens, bringing Porchlight Music Theatre into 2014 with a splash. Robin DaSilva, Sharriese Hamilton, Donterrio Johnson, Lina Wass and Lorenzo Rush, Jr., are the cast, backed by a five-piece band under the musical direction of Jaret Landon and the piano lead of Austin Cook. Multiple award-winning director-choreographer Brenda Didier does those honors here. The show runs through March 9, and the advance word is very positive. Apparently during the first preview, the piano broke or something, and the cast improvised in Waller's style until Cook fixed the problem! Nothing like a cast that has thoroughly internalized their material....

First-Look-at-Porchlight-Music-Theatres-AINT-MISBEHAVIN

Director Stacy Flaster's cast for the highly regarded "Ragtime" has been announced at Big Noise Theatre Company in northwest suburban Des Plaines. The Flaherty/Ahrens masterwork runs April 25-May 11, starring David Simmons as Coalhouse, Amanda Horvath as Mother, David Lundholm as Tateh, Sydney Charles as Sarah, Kevin Kirkpatrick as Father, Ryan Dooley as Mother's Younger Brother, Marian Kaderbek as Emma Goldman, Maddy LaRoche as Evelyn Nesbitt and Kris Hyland as Houdini. There's a big supporting cast, too, all under the musical direction of Robert Deason. It's "Ragtime!" A show frequently produced here, with good reason.

http://www.bignoise.org/ragtime.html

A world premiere musical aimed at the younger set will bow in March at Lifeline Theatre in Rogers Park. It's "Lyle Finds His Mother," based on the book by Bernard Waber, adapted by Jessica Wright Buha, with music and lyrics by Michael James Brooks. Lyle, the Crocodile, will be portrayed by Anthony Kayer, alongside performers Linsey Falls, Deanna Myers, Erin O'Shea and Brian Tochterman, Jr. The show runs March 22-April 27, directed by Lifeline Theatre's artistic director, Dorothy Milne.

Lifeline-Theatre-to-Stage-World-Premiere-of-LYLE-FINDS-HIS-MOTHER

A well-established children's title with a Chicago pedigree will play up in Lake County at the Marriott Theatre from February 28-May 4. It's "Schoolhouse Rock Live!," based on the ABC-TV cartoon series of the 1970s that taught a generation of kids basic math, grammar, politics and more. One of the show's original creators, George Keating, will direct a cast that includes Brian Bohr, Jackson Evans, Zachary Gray, Holly Stauder, Rose Le Tran and Brandi Wooten. "Conjunction Junction," anyone?


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Paul W. Thompson Paul W. Thompson, a contributor to BroadwayWorld.com since 2007, is a Chicago-based singer, actor, musical director, pianist, vocal coach, composer and commentator. His career as a performer, teacher and writer is centered at Paul W. Thompson Music, located in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building, where he teaches the great songs of Broadway to the next generation of musical theater performers. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Paul was raised in a family of professional musicians and teachers, steeped in classical, gospel, country, pop, sacred and show music. Dubbed a “thin, winsome lad” at the age of 13 by a critic for the Nashville Banner, he earned two degrees in musical theater (a B.F.A. with Honors from Baylor University and an M.M. from the University of Miami, Florida), plus an M.B.A. with Distinction from DePaul University. Paul’s memberships include Actors’ Equity Association, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (proud voter for the Grammy Awards!), the National Association of Teachers of Singing and New York’s Drama League.

Moving easily between the worlds of classical music, religious music, classic pop and musical theater, Paul has appeared onstage or in the orchestra pit in concerts, musicals, operettas and operas in 30 states and in Europe, in a career spanning more than 35 years. His Chicagoland stage credits include “Forever Plaid” at the Royal George Theater and twenty mainstage productions at Light Opera Works. Paul joined the Chicago Symphony Chorus in 1995 (he was Tenor I Section Leader for four years and sings on two Grammy-winning recordings), and is one of Chicago’s foremost liturgical singers, marking 20 years as a member of the choir at St. James Cathedral (Episcopal) in 2011.He has composed and arranged a number of anthems, hymns and songs for worship and concert use, and collaborates on the creation of new works of musical theater. Paul can be found on Monday nights watching showtune videos at the world-famous Sidetrack nightclub, the inspiration for his weekly column, “The Showtune Mosh Pit.” His proudest achievement is that he has seen the original Broadway production of every Tony Award-winning Best Musical since “Cats.” No, really. Since “Cats!”


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