'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for January 22nd, 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
Overheard last weekend under the showtune
video screens at Sidetrack and The Call:
Because of the short, limited runs of most Chicago theatrical endeavors, the gods of musical theater and the rights houses in New York (their agents on earth) sometimes accidentally conspire together with Chicago artistic directors to produce unofficial mini-festivals of the work of particular musical theater creatives. Such is the case this spring, when we will have a Stephen Sondheim fest on our hands. Not surprising? Well, it's certainly welcome.
The deck is stacked in the legendary composer-lyricist's direction due to Gary Griffin and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The successful director and the multiple award-winning productions of Sondheim he has helmed for ChiShakes will be extending their grip on Navy Pier with two coordinated Sondheim productions, one the very first Sondheim show to play Broadway, and the other the very last to open in New York, albeit off-Broadway. And the twin productions are in rehearsal now.
As I've mentioned before, "Gypsy" will star "Mamma Mia!" star Louise Pitre as the legendary Rose Hovick, in the show scheduled from February 6-March 23 in the mainstage Courtyard Theater. I for one and looking forward to Rhett Guter's Tulsa, Barbara E. Robertson's Tessie Tura, and Mitzi Hamilton's choreography. This is a very highly anticipated production, and it won't last forever!
"Road Show," known previously as "Gold," "Wise Guys" and "Bounce," has a long, twisted creative history, which includes our Goodman Theatre. But now, in one of the first post-New York productions of the story of the Mizner brothers, Griffin will direct Michael Aaron Lindner, Anne Gunn, Larry Adams, McKinley Carter, Matt Deitchman, Jim DeSelm, Derek Hasenstab and more, in the March 13-May 4 production in the Upstairs Theater. Michael Mahler will musical direct, with costumes by BroadwayWorld Chicago Award winner Mara Blumenfeld ("The Jungle Book"). Don't miss it!
Sondheim's last Broadway musical, winner of the 1994 Tony Award for Best Musical, was "Passion," and Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre will produce the tale of love and obsession March 7-April 27 at its home in the No Exit Café. Jeff Award winners Danni Smith and Peter Oyloe will portray the sickly Fosca and her handsome soldier, Giorgio, with Jeff nominee Colette Todd as Clara, John Leen as Colonel Ricci and Sean Knight as Ludovic. Artistic director Fred Anzevino directs, with music direction by Kory Danielson.