'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for March 2nd, 2011
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:
As March dawns, and spring slowly awakens, there sure seems to be a heck of a lot going on at Broadway In Chicago! For one, the highly anticipated production of "Working" that has New York, Chicago and the nation talking opens tonight at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. Word has it that this production will be the model for all future productions of the now-revised 1978 tuner. Does this mean there will be a commercial recording of the show (and its two new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda) by the Chicago revisal cast? Who knows. But Studs Terkel's work is firmly rooted here, and this musical based on the late author and interviewer's best known book is now firmly rooted here as well, and hoping for a significant run. Let's hope the hype was worth it!
Last week, BIC announced a new Facebook-oriented ticket offer, whereby select seats for select performances of select shows will be available to Facebook fans of Broadway In Chicago for $25 each, only on the 25th day of each month. That's mildly creative, and Mosh Pit peeps approve. "Working" was the beneficiary of the first such offer.
Also going on as of this writing is the availability (as of last week) of single-ticket sales for the VERY highly anticipated national tour of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical "next to normal," running April 26-May 8, 2011 at the Bank Of America Theatre. This Friday, March 4, tickets for the return engagement of the Tony Award-winning "Spring Awakening" will be on sale. And did we somehow miss the announcement that yet another return of "Beauty And The Beast" is happening, and this time for six weeks! This show business legend will park itself at the Ford Center For The Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre for six weeks, beginning June 29. Amazing.
Oh, the Oscars were last Sunday. Yay, Randy Newman. Moving on from that (lol).....
There is significant showtune news coming out of a somewhat unlikely local source--Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier. They actually have compiled an impressive track record of musical productions out there, but the name still throws people off in this regard. However, check it out! They are mounting two new musicals in the coming months, "Murder For Two" by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, directed by David H. Bell (May 12-June 19), and "The Adventures Of Pinocchio" by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill ("The Story Of My Life"), directed by Rachel Rockwell (July 13-August 28). "Murder For Two" is an intimate affair, wherein two actors play all the parts of a murder mystery, and play the piano as well. "Pinocchio" is designed to be a major draw for family audiences in summertime on the Pier. They both sound lovely to me.
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