'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for May 23rd, 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:
EPIC! Monday night, May 21, 2012, was the night when not one, not two, but THREE contemporary pop-rock musical Theater Productions from the Chicago area held a joint public relations appearance at Sidetrack, for six songs and thirty minutes of showtune joy in the heart of the Showtune Mosh Pit. Social media had been abuzz all afternoon about the event, but details were sketchy until About Face Theatre Artistic Associate Scott Duff took the stage to announce the proceedings. And what proceedings they were! Unprecendented (at least in recent memory) and unforgettable.
First up was the well-received Porchlight Music Theatre production of Jonathan Larson's "tick, tick…BOOM!," now playing at Stage 773 through June 10th. The complete cast (Adrian Aguilar, Jenny Guse and Bear Bellinger) hit the stage with high energy, and performed the opening number, "30/90," followed by the closing number, "Louder Than Words," accompanied at the keyboard by musical director Diana Lawrence (herself flanked by Porchlight's Artistic Director, Michael Weber).
Then came the male half of the cast of Northlight Theatre's "[title of show]" by Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell, playing at the North Shore Center For The Arts through June 9th. Accompanied by musical director Doug Peck, Matthew Crowle and Stephen Schellhardt performed "Untitled Opening Number" and "An Original Musical," complete with sandwich board.
And last, but certainly the most eagerly awaited of the night, was the joint About Face Theatre/American Theater Company co-production of Jonathan Larson's "Rent," the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner. The show is playing until June 17th at ATC's facility on Byron Street. Stars Alan Schmuckler and Derrick Trumbly performed "What You Own," preceeded by Schmuckler and Lili-Anne Brown (newly-named Artistic Director of Bailiwick Chicago, btw) performing "Tango: Maureen." Musical director Timothy Splain accompanied.
Can you say, "Awesome?" The large crowd was very enthusiastic and appreciative, and partied on into the night. Awesome. Awesome!