Coming Up This Week in Theatre - 7/22/2008

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Below is's Upcoming Events calendar updated on 7/22/2008. For the complete calendar of upcoming events, concerts, openings, closings and more, visit's Event Calendar.

Lucky Star – Madonna at 50: A Birthday Celebration - 7/22/2008

Lucky Star – Madonna at 50: a birthday celebration-
Original Takes on an Original Artist

Melissa Young goes from "Redheaded Broadway" to "Blonde Ambition!"

Melissa Young in Lucky Star – Madonna at 50: A Birthday Tribute- Original takes on an original artist at Davenports Piano Bar and Cabaret located at 1383 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Thursdays August 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2008 at 8:00PM and Saturday April 16 at 8 PM at the Duplex Piano Bar and Cabaret in New York City.

Melissa Young, has been performing in and around Chicago for over 11 years and is delighted to be presenting her newest solo cabaret performance about the woman who has taught her time and again about breaking the societal mold of what a female should and can be. Learning to make her own rules and follow in her idols foot steps is where Melissa's passion originated and for that, she always gives credit to MaDonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. Brass, sass, and a willingness to show her ass, as she did this past June for a Season of Concern benefit concert, is how Melissa Young lives... thanks to inspiration from Madonna.

In Lucky Star – Madonna at 50: A Birthday Tribute, Young performs the music of America's most original artist, Madonna, in celebration of her 50th birthday on August 16 of this year. Over 20 of Madonna's songs get a musical makeover through American musical idioms. Lucky Star is a tribute show that dares to ask such musical questions as: What if Madonna met Disney to revamp "Papa Don't Preach?" or if the next hit show on Broadway was Material Girl: the musical? Jazz, Country, Swing, and even Raggae all meet Madonna, America's most loved and hated pop icon. Darly Nitz, co-creator of the longest running cabaret show in Chicago history (The Nitz & Howe Experience) as well as the "best party in town" directs, with Mark Burnell, a long-time Chicago pianist–in and out of the jazz and cabaret world–plays and musical directs.

Nick Green of The Chicago Reader has said "Melissa Young ensures that the show is open, inviting and an awful lot of fun." Kennette Crockett of the Windy City Times has said of Melissa's performance in BackStage Theatre Company's dirty summertime revue Everything's Sexy, "Melissa Young possesses all the passion and sharpness that one expects of the work." Interviewed many times over by Lawrence Bommer and Nina Metz for The Chicago Reader, The Chicago Sun Times and The Chicago Tribune, Melissa Young repeatedly woos Chicago audiences with her wit and fast paced humor.

Melissa Young, a proud member of the Chicago Cabaret Professionals, has had the pleasure of working with many off-loop theater companies, as well as starred with 1981 Miss America Susan Powell and Broadway's Nat Chandler in Show Stoppers at the Valentine Theater in Toledo, Ohio.

Tickets for Lucky Star at Davenports are $15 with a 2 drink minimum. For information and reservations, call (773) 278-1830. More information can also be found at

Winners of Drama Desk Awards to Receive Trophies - 7/22/2008

Winners of DRAMA DESK AWARDS for the 2007/2008 New York theater season will receive their engraved trophies at a cocktail reception in their honor on Tuesday, July 22, 2008, from 4:00 to 6: 30 PM, at Tony's DiNapoli Restaurant, 147 W. 43rd St, it was announced by Robert R. Blume, Executive Producer of the Drama Desk Awards show, and Bruce Dimpflmaier, General Manager, of Tony's Di Napoli Restaurant. For a complete list of the 2008 Winners please click HERE.

The Drama Desk Awards, which celebrate excellence in all sectors of New York's theater world, took place on Sunday, May 18, 2008, at the F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center. The awards ceremony, hosted by the cast of [tile of show], was webcast with live streaming video from 9:00 PM to its conclusion by, and broadcast live in its entirety on XM Satellite Radio's Broadway Channel 28, hosted by John von Soosten and Valerie Smaldone.

"This will be the third time we have scheduled a cocktail reception to distribute the trophies at Tony's Di Napoli," said Robert R. Blume. "The past two year's events were so successful that both Bruce and I decided to do it again. We expect that most of the winners who are still in New York City will attend the event on July 22nd to pick up their trophies."

"Tony's Di Napoli is honored to be co-hosting this special event celebrating New York theater with Drama Desk Executive Producer Robert R. Blume," said restaurant general manager Bruce Dimpflmaier. "We are very supportive of New York theater and are proud to continue our association with the Drama Desk."

In addition to honoring creative artists and stage productions in multiple categories, the Drama Desk annually presents scholarships to worthy seniors in the Drama Department of the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts who are planning careers in the theater. Last year the Drama Desk also presented four public seminars with leading theater personalities as panelists.

The Drama Desk was founded in 1949 to explore key issues in the theater and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theater in New York. The organization began presenting its awards in 1955, and it is the only critics organization to honor achievement in the theater with competition between Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions in the same categories.

Drama Desk Award recipients invited to the Trophy Presentation event include: special award winners James Earl Jones and playwright Edward Albee; actors Patti LuPone,Laura Benanti and Boyd Gaines, all of whom are in Gypsy; Paulo Szot (South Pacific); Mark Rylance (Boeing-Boeing); Laurence Fishburne (Thurgood); Deanna Dunagan (August: Osage County); Conleth Hill (The Seafarer); Linda Lavin (The New Century); the casts of The Dining Room and The Homecoming; the cast and producers of The 39 Steps; directors Anna D. Shapiro (August: Osage County) and Bartlett Sher (South Pacific); choreographer Rob Ashford (Cry-Baby The Musical); composers Stew and Heidi Rodewald (Passing Strange); musical book writer Douglas Carter Beane (Xanadu); orchestrator Jason Carr (Sunday in the Park with George); set designers Scott Pask (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) and Michael Yeargan (South Pacific); costume designer Katrina Lindsay (Les Liaisons Dangereuses); lighting designer Kevin Adams (The 39 Steps); sound designer Scott Lehrer (South Pacific); and projection and video designers Timothy Bird and The Knifedge Creative Network (Sunday in the Park with George).

Also, playwright Tracy Letts and the producers of August: Osage County; the creators and producers of Passing Strange; the producers and creators of Boeing-Boeing; the creators and producers of South Pacific; the producers and creative team of Forbidden Broadway: Rude Awakening; and the artistic directors of special award winners, 59East59 Theaters and Playwrights Horizons.

Lights and Music - 7/22/2008

John MacDonald & Maggie Maes present Lights and Music by Patrick C. Letterii, directed by Jeremy Quinn, starring Haley Rawson, Lindsay Teed, John MacDonald, Patrick C. Letterii and Nicholas Bonnar

After a sold-out run at the Producer's Club Theatre, "Lights & Music" is going Off-Broadway for a limited run at the 45th Street Theatre.

Lights & Music is a new play about an emerging generation. Written and produced exclusivly by young people (with guidence from well seasoned professionals) with the intent to create theatre that brings a message to their peers.

"Four disenfranchised youths struggle with love, friendship & the absurdity of life in their small apartment microcosm. LIGHTS & MUSIC deals with a lost generation growing up in a chaotic post 9/11 world. The only thing protecting them from the outside world is their apartment. But when the world comes to them, they are forced to make a difficult decision in order to discover their place in all of this."

July 22nd-August 3rd at the 45th street theatre, NYC

For tickets, info and more visit

On Stage With Susan Werner - 7/23/2008

On Stage With Susan Werner

Susan Werner Sings the Susan Werner Songbook

Wednesday, July 23, 7:30 p.m.

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University

50 E. Congress Parkway

Price: $75 (VIP); $50

Reservations: (312) 922-2110 x 300

Susan Werner, an On Stage With… favorite who has been participated in the Auditorium Theatre's cabaret series each year since its inception, has been hailed for breathing new and brilliant life into the popular song tradition. Werner's original songs are a pastiche of folk, jazz and pop, and her sassy, witty lyrics contain many references to her life in Chicago. With six albums under her belt, an active touring career, and a string of accolades from the likes of The Washington Post, The Village Voice and The New Yorker, Werner has been hailed as "one of the most innovative songwriters working today" by the Chicago Tribune.

For more information on Susan Werner's upcoming performance at the Auditorium Theatre, please visit

The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University's "On Stage With…" Summer Cabaret Series offers unique, up-close-and-personal concerts that allow audiences to enjoy the rare experience of sitting on the stage of the legendary Auditorium Theatre while enjoying some of the nation's most talented cabaret stars. Subscriptions and single show reservations for the "On Stage With…" Summer Cabaret Series concerts are available now by calling 312.922.2110 ext 300. Seating is very limited. Subscriptions range in price from $160 to $240; single show reservations are $75 for the first two rows of tables and $50 for the rest of the stage.

The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, located at 50 E. Congress Parkway, is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural and community programming to Chicago, and to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark Auditorium Theatre. For more information about programming, volunteer and donor opportunities or theatre tours, call (312) 922-2110 or visit, now featuring Chicago's Landmark Stage, a comprehensive online history of the Auditorium from 1889 through today, made possible by the generous support of the American Express Performing Arts Fund.

Pursued By Happiness, Perfect Mendacity & Fair Use - 7/23/2008

Steppenwolf Presents
4th Annual First Look Repertory of New Work:
Pursued By Happiness, Perfect Mendacity & Fair Use
July 23 – August 10, 2008

Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the 4th annual First Look Repertory of New Work, featuring three developmental productions of new plays presented in rotation and accompanied by a series of events around the development of new work. First Look Repertory of New Work runs July 23 – August 10, 2008 in The Merle Reskin Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted St. All tickets are $20.

The First Look Repertory of New Work 2008 productions are:

Pursued by Happiness
By Keith Huff
Directed by ensemble member Tim Hopper
Featuring Thomas Joseph Carroll (Howard/Ted), Kat McDonnell (Julie) and Paul Noble (Frank) and Barbara E. Robertson (Liz/Alice).
Wednesday, July 23, 2008 – Sunday, August 10, 2008

An unexpected meeting between two 40-something biochemists touches off a whirlwind romance. But when it's time to meet the parents, a series of shocking revelations test the new couple's relationship in this dark comedy from the author of A Steady Rain.

Keith Huff, a resident playwright with Chicago Dramatists, is the author of A Steady Rain, which enjoyed a successful run at The Royal George Theatre and is slated to premiere Off-Broadway this fall.

Ensemble member Tim Hopper directed the world premiere of Mia McCullough's play Taking Care in the Garage Theatre. He has appeared in 16 Steppenwolf productions including The Crucible, The Violet Hour and Hedda Gabler.

Perfect Mendacity

By Jason Wells
Directed by David Cromer
Featuring Scott Aiello (Dr. Doll), Tim Curtis (Roger Stanhope), Matt DeCaro (Walter Kreutzer), Aaron Todd Douglas (D'Avore Peoples) and Liza Fernandez (Samira Kreutzer).
Thursday, July 24, 2008 – Sunday, August 10, 2008

When a top secret, internal memo from a scientific research facility is leaked to the media, Dr. Walter Kreutzer is forced to take a lie detector test about its origins. With his career on the line, Walter gets tangled up in investigations of bioterrorism and racially motivated killings. As suspicions escalate that Walter's wife is involved, the play's riveting plot twists uncover the insidious hypocrisy of government sanctioned discrimination.

Jason Wells' previous play, Men Of Tortuga, was produced in First Look 2005, and subsequently at Asolo Rep in Sarasota, Florida.

David Cromer has received accolades for his direction of Next Theatre's production of The Adding Machine, which transferred to Off-Broadway. He also directed and appeared in The Hypocrites' production of Our Town. At Steppenwolf, he directed the world premiere of ensemble member Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow and Richard Greenberg's The Dazzle.

Fair Use

By Sarah Gubbins
Directed by Meredith McDonough
Featuring Michele Graff (Madi), Brian King (Christopher), Steven Marzolf (Don McCorkle), Kelli Simpkins (Sy) and Halena Starr Kays (Bec).
Friday, July 25, 2008 – Sunday, August 10, 2008

A plagiarism case involving a famous author is the backdrop for this romantic comedy set in a high-poweRed Law firm. A series of questionable love letters fuel this breezy cross-examination of modern dating and relationships.

Sarah Gubbins recently completed her MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage at Northwestern University. Fair Use was named one of the finalists in this year's Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition.

Meredith McDonough has directed new plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Public Theatre, LAByrinth Theatre Company, and also was the New Works Program Director for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. She is currently a member of the Women's Project Director's Lab.

The designers for all three First Look productions are: Kevin Depinet (sets), Debbie Baer (costumes), Charles Cooper (lights) and Joseph Fosco (sound).mThe dramaturgs for First Look are Kimberly Senior (Pursued by Happiness), Jennifer Shook (Fair Use) and Rachel Walshe (Perfect Mendacity).
Jonathan Templeton is the Lead Stage Manager. Stage Managers include Kathleen Petroziello and Cassie Wolgamott. Edward Sobel is the Program Director. Whitney Dibo is the Program Assistant.

The First Look Repertory of New Work also includes First Look 101, a three-month experience providing rare access to the new play development process leading up to the 4th annual First Look Repertory of New Work. First Look 101 runs May 19 – August 10, 2008.

First Look Repertory of New Work is a developmental process that culminates in performance before an audience, rather than in a staged reading or workshop presentation. Scripts undergo significant revision during the workshop/rehearsal process and may be revised even after being publicly presented during First Look Repertory of New Work. The intent is to develop the plays for future production at Steppenwolf and other theaters across the country.

First Look has gained both local and national recognition since its inception in 2005. Six of the nine plays developed during First Look's first three seasons have enjoyed subsequent productions at other theaters, including: Men of Tortuga by Jason Wells produced by Asolo Repertory Theatre in Florida; Butcher of Baraboo by Marisa Wegrzyn produced by 2econd Stage Theatre in New York; 100 Saints You Should Know by Kate Fodor produced by Playwrights Horizons in New York; Spare Change by Mia McCullough produced by Stage Left Theatre in Chicago; Gary by Melinda Lopez produced by Boston Playwrights' Theatre in Massachusetts; and When The Messenger is Hot by Laura Eason produced by 59E59 Theaters in New York.

First Look 101 takes enrolled members on a one-of-a-kind backstage journey through Steppenwolf's new play development process. The program is open to anyone interested in, and wanting to know more about, creating new plays. Space is limited to 101 members.

Individual tickets to First Look Repertory of New Work cost $20. A First Look Pass to all three plays is available for $45. Tickets are available at or by calling Audience Services at 312-335-1650.

Political Idol - 7/23/2008

Hot off sold-out runs in Washington D.C., Chicago and New York, "Political Idol," a hilarious spoof of the upcoming presidential elections returns to Off-Broadway's Triad Theatre opening on Wednesday, July 23 (7PM) for a four week run. In this new updated version, presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain hold auditions to select Vice Presidential running mates, while at the same time sparring with each other over the economy and foreign policy. Produced by the FREEDOM TOAST company, the shows plays to sold-out houses and keeps the audience in stitches!

New this summer, Broadway performer Frank Harts joins the Political Idol cast in the roles of Barack Obama, Charlie Rangle, Condoleeza Rice and others. Noted for his portrayal of George Murchison opposite Sean "Diddy" Combs in the Tony Award-winning revival of A Raisin In The Sun, the Julliard alum is also featured in the new Che Guevara biopic Guerrilla, and has numorous television credits, including the voice of Diddy on MTV TV "Funhouse."

Political Idol is based on the parodies of Marc Emory, muse and founder of The Freedom Toast, who originated the idea at a Renaissance Weekend gathering (the annual retreat for innovative leaders from diverse fields) where he was encouraged to record some of his twisted takes on popular songs. "It just became this thing that we kept doing, that kept getting bigger," says Emory, son of longtime Washington newspaper correspondent and former Gridiron Club president, Alan S. Emory. Robert Yarnall is co-author of the book and lyrics.

Armed with irreverence, wit, and spot-on impressions of Barack Obama, John McCain, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, George and Laura Bush, Charlie Rangle, Mitt Romney and Dick Cheney, this quartet of seasoned entertainers turn familiar songs into show-stopping political parodies. Directed by Julie Blanciak the company features: Lara Buck, Joseph DiSalle, Frank Harts and Robert Yarnall. Chris Berg will serve as musical director.

The show features almost 2 dozen lyrically altered songs, from Obama singing "Change Is Cool" (Chain of Fools) to McCain singing "John McCain" (Purple Rain), to Ricky Martin and Charro singing "Lovin' Barack Obama," sung to the tune of Ricky Martin's Livin' La Vida Loca. Other stand-outs include "We're Bringin' Ronnie Back" (Justin Timberlake's Sexy Back) and "Give My Regards To Bagdad" (Give My Regards To Broadway).

Three CDs of The Freedom Toast songs are available on iTunes, including "Sing Along with the Candidates 2008," "Sing Along with the Democrats" and "Sing Along with the Republicans."

"Political Idol" will play Sunday's and Wednesday's at 7PM through August 13th at The Triad Theatre (158 West 72nd Street ~ between Broadway & Columbus Avenue). There is a $15 Food/Drink minimum and a $25 music charge. For tickets and reservations call TheaterMania (212) 352-3101 or online

John Barrowman to Sign Autobiography in LA - 7/23/2008

John Barrowman will autograph copies of his new autobiography, "Anything Goes," July 23 in Los Angeles.

The 7 PM event will be held at Book Soup, which is located at 8818 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, CA.

"From his Glaswegian childhood and American adolescence to his starring role in the 'Doctor Who' spinoff 'Torchwood,' this memoir traces the life and career of actor John Barrowman," according to "Anything Goes" press notes. "John made a name for himself with remarkable West End achievements, including an Olivier Award nomination and success in the movies 'The Producers' and 'De-Lovely.' Television success was also assured when 'Torchwood' won a Best Drama BAFTA. John also lays bare his personal life: his emigration as a child, coming out to his family, turning down a job at Disney, and his civil partnership with long-term partner Scott Gill. Revelatory and insightful, told with real heart and characteristic Barrowman charm, this is a wonderful tale of how one boy achieved his dreams."

"Anything Goes" is $29.95. Visit for more information.

Gurland and Farley Sing Rodgers and Hammerstein - 7/23/2008

David Gurland and Brian Farley sing the Music and Lyrics of Rodgers and Hammerstein Thursday's July 24th and July 31st at 7 PM at the West Bank Cafe.

Award winning vocalists Brian Farley and David Gurland team up for their first full show together.- An evening of RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN, accented by edgy humor, great stage presence, medley's galore and gorgeous harmonies. Already great interpreters of the American Popular songbook, this will be the pair's first foray into the catalog of arguably the greatest songwriting team in history. Featuring songs from Carousel, The Sound of Music, The King and I, this years' biggest Broadway hit South Pacific, and many more. Musically directed by Tracy Stark.

Broadway in Bryant Park Continues July 24th - 7/23/2008

The "106.7 Lite fm Presents Broadway in Bryant Park 2008" series continues with the casts of The Lion King, Vanities, Hairspray, Forbidden Broadway, Godspell performing on Thursday July 24th, 12:30 pm at Bryant Park Lawn, 6th Avenue between 40th & 42nd St, NYC. Presented by Bank of America, this FREE lunchtime series takes place over six consecutive THURSDAYS: July 10, 17, 24, 31 and August 7, 14. The FREE annual event will be hosted by WLTW's on-air personalities and feature live performances from the hottest on and off-Broadway shows! Log onto for the performance listings, schedule updates, and the chance to win FREE Broadway tickets!

Performers include:           

The Lion King- Dashaun Young, Sophia N. Stephens
Vanities, - Lauren Kennedy
Hairspray- Ashley Parker Angel, Marissa Perry, Tevin Campbell
Forbidden Broadway

'Ragtime' Opens at Cape Rep. July 24th - 7/23/2008

Cape Rep will stage Ragtime, the musical by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens in its Indoor Theater on 3299 Rte. 6A in East Brewster. Ragtime opens July 24 and continues through August 23. Performances run Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8pm.  Reserved seating tickets are $28.  For tickets and reservations, call (508) 896-1888 or purchase tickets on line at

Ragtime is an unforgettable, epic story set in America at the beginning of the 20th Century. The Tony Award Winning Score with music by Stephen Flaherty and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens features some of the most thrilling music in Broadway theatre history. Book is by Terrence McNally based on the novel "Ragtime" by E.L. Doctorow. Elizabeth Lucas Directs with Musical Direction by Scott Storr.

The Top notch creative team consists of Set Design by David Eisler, Lighting Design by Susan Nicholson, Costume Design by Robin McLaughlin. Victoria Flores will serve as Stage Manager.

The  Cast includes Susan Molloy, Andrew Arrow, JillIan Watson, Vicki Summers-Christopher, Susan Terner, Huling Foster, Lauren Lambert, Kaitlin Varkados, Chris Kolb, Barbara Rosser, Glenn Wall, Jared Hagan, Matt Caffoni, Stephanie Diaz, Adam Goddu, Julienne Touafec, Daniel Greenwood, Julian Miller, Miriah Burns, Cody Beltis and Jody Fish.

The Third Step - 7/24/2008

A.M.L. Entertainment is proud to present the world premiere of The Third Step, a new play by Anthony Michael Laura.

"The Third Step is a story of family, hope, and coming to terms with life. The drama is set around a young girl who awaits the results of a grave disease and is being driven crazy by her overtly controlling mother Wendy. As her father tries to hold the house together, Wendy invites the entire Wilson family home to cheer Natalie up. As themes of jealousy, family values, and infidelity are explored, they find the only solace they have is each other. The Third Step takes us on a humorous and poignant journey with a family that we can only be glad isn't our own," describe press notes.

Performances are Thursday, July 24 at 8PM; Friday, July 25 at 8PM; Saturday July 26 at 2PM & 8PM; Sunday July 27 at 2PM & 8PM.

Tickets available online at The Sargeant Theater at The American Theater of Actors is located 314 West 54th Street (between 8th Ave. and 9th Ave). Box Office: 212-581-3044.

Last Gas - 7/24/2008

CCTP is proud to commission a new comedy from John Cariani, the author of the hit comedy ALMOST, MAINE. This riotous new work follows the hapless story of two wildly different brothers in a gas station in northernmost Maine. at 7 Highfield Dr. Falmouth, MA 7/24-7/26 8pm CCTP is dedicated to the development of new American plays. This year from July 10-Aug 2 professional playwrights directors and actors will come to Falmouth to develop and perform staged readings of new works. The audience is invited to discuss the play after each performance.

Dangerous Beauty - 7/24/2008

The world premiere musical of "Dangerous Beauty" is a blend of passion, poetry and politics with an original score inspired by the best of Renaissance, rock 'n roll and classical music. This is the fifth full production to be developed by Northwestern University's American Music Theatre Project (AMTP).

Performances will be held from July 25 through Aug. 17 at the Ethel M. Barber Theatre, 30 Arts Circle Drive, on the University's Evanston campus. (The official press opening is Aug. 1.) The production also is the third presentation of Northwestern's Summer Music Theatre Festival 2008.

"Dangerous Beauty" features book and verse by Jeannine Dominy, music by Michele Brourman, lyrics by Amanda McBroom, direction by Sheryl Kaller and choreography by Robert La Fosse. It was inspired by the scholarly book "The Honest Courtesan" by Margaret Rosenthal and the 1998 New Regency motion picture "Dangerous Beauty" screenplay by Dominy.

"'Dangerous Beauty' is the perfect challenge for our development initiative," said AMTP Artistic Director Stuart Oken. "It combines history, culture, music and dance into a seamless blend of unconventional theatricality."

Set in the city of Venice as the Renaissance gives way to the Inquisition, "Dangerous Beauty" tells the tumultuous tale of Veronica Franco, a notorious courtesan and 16th century poet who recognized that only as a courtesan could she retain access to an education and a place in the cultural and political life of her beloved city.

The stage production will feature two remarkable actresses with ties to the Chicago area. Northwestern alumna Jenny Powers has had major roles in the Broadway productions of "Little Women" and "Grease." Hollis Resnik, an eight-time Joseph Jefferson Award winner, has performed on virtually every major stage in Chicago.

Four other professional actors in the 17-member cast are Jeffrey Baumgartner, Peter Kevoian, Peter Oyloe and Chris Sullivan. The balance of the cast is made up of students in the Northwestern Music Theatre Certificate Program, including Nina Dante, Rebecca Davis, Seth Dhonau, Anna Eilinsfeld, Jefferson Grubbs, Jason Heymann, Laura Huizenga, Tate Jorgensen, Jessica Kingsdale, Emma Rosenthal and Chris Strauss.

The AMTP core funding sponsors are Barbara and Garry Marshall, John and Patricia Shields and William Donnell. The "Dangerous Beauty" senior honorary producers are Christine Meyers; and Susan Dietz, Paula Holt, Barbara Manocherian and Tara Smith. "Dangerous Beauty" honorary producers are Marian and Richard Bott and Barbara Whitman and David Carlyon. "Dangerous Beauty" junior honorary producers are Beverly and Staman Ogilvie.

Book and verse author Jeannine Dominy's screenplay "The Honest Courtesan" was her first to reach production, released in 1998 by Warner Bros. as the film "Dangerous Beauty." Dominy was a finalist for The Don & Gee Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting for her original screenplay "God's Mistress" that also won a Laurel Screenwriting Award and is being produced by Tiara Blu Films. Dominy writes for numerous studios and independent film companies. She is working on the project "Peony" for Everest Productions and "Newtonian Casino" for Trademark Films.

Composer and Northwestern School of Music alumna Michele Brourman is a winner of the Johnny Mercer Award for "Emerging American Songwriter." Her songs have been recorded by Olivia Newton-John, Michael Feinstein, Donny Osmond, Cleo Laine, and others. They also have been featured in television and film. She composed the dance and incidental music for "Working" on Broadway. Brourman and lyricist Amanda McBroom have written songs for 12 animated features for Universal Studios, garnering nominations for ANI and DVD Premier Awards. As a pianist, Brourman has played for diverse artists, including Bernadette Peters and Bob Dylan.

Lyricist Amanda McBroom came to the attention of the public when Bette Midler's version of McBroom's song "The Rose" hit number one worldwide in 1979. She won a Golden Globe award for Best Song in 1980. Her compositions have been recorded by artists Judy Collins, Barbara Cook, Barry Manilow and The Manhattan Transfer. She composed songs for the television series "Cop Rock." She has recorded eight compact discs on her own label, Gecko Records, and has performed in concerts at celebrated venues worldwide, including The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and, most recently, at the Adelaide Fine Arts Centers in Australia with Michele Brourman. Her first original musical, "Heartbeats," has been performed around the country, including the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, and her original one-woman musical, "A Woman of Will" opened off-Broadway in October 2005.

Director Sheryl Kaller most recently directed "The Alarm" by Frank Pugliese at New York Stage and Film. Additional credits include "The Molly Maguires," music and lyrics by Sid Cherry and book by Bill Strzempeck, at the Berry Center for the Performing Arts (in New York); "Adrift in Macao," music by Peter Melnick and book and lyrics by Christopher Durang at Primary Stages; "Jayson With A Y" by Darci Picoult at The New Group; and "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater," music by Alan Menken and book and lyrics by Howard Ashman at The New York Theater.

Choreographer Robert La Fosse has danced for American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet as a principal dancer. Throughout his career, he performed in works by Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Bob Fosse and Twyla Tharp. He also starred in the Broadway productions of Bob Fosse's "Dancin'" and "Jerome Robbins' Broadway," for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor. He has choreographed more than 75 dances for the ballet, opera, ice skating, film and television. For musical theater, he has created the dances for "Carousel," "Lady in the Dark" (Barrymore Award nomination), "Splendor," "Anyone Can Whistle," "A Child's Garden," "Positive Me" and "Pippin," which he also directed.

Six additional artists round out the "Dangerous Beauty" creative team.

Costume Designer Virgil Johnson, a Northwestern professor emeritus whose work has received acclaim for numerous Chicago, regional and international theatre productions, is the recipient of three Joseph Jefferson Awards and the 2001 Michael Merritt Award for design and collaboration

Set Designer Collete Pollard recently received her MFA in scenic design from Northwestern and has taught design at Columbia College. Her designs have been seen at Chicago theatre companies, including The House Theatre of Chicago, Next Theatre and Steppenwolf.

Lighting Designer Michelle Habeck is the 2002 recipient of the Michael Merritt Emerging Artist Award and her lighting design credits include such theatres as Center Stage, Alliance Theatre Company, The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, The Court Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre, among others.

Musical Director Doug Peck is a Northwestern alumnus with numerous Chicago and regional theatre credits. He received the Joseph Jefferson Award for "Man of La Mancha" (Long Wharf Theatre and Court Theatre) and also has received four Joseph Jefferson nominations, a Jeff citation and an After Dark Award.

Sound Designer Josh Horvath is the recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Award for "Electricidad" at The Goodman Theatre and also has received four Jeff nominations. He currently teaches sound design at Northwestern.

Fight Choreographer Matt Hawkins' recent credits include "Richard III" for Strawdog Theatre. His fight choreography for "Curse of the Crying Heart" at the House Theatre of Chicago received a Joseph Jefferson nomination (2005).

"It's wonderful to have a group of distinguished artists take up residency at Northwestern for AMTP projects, but it is even more exciting for us when it is a homecoming for our alums -- like composer Michele Brourman and our leading lady, Jenny Powers," said AMTP Executive Director Dominic Missimi.

Under the leadership of Oken and Missimi, AMTP is dedicated to nourishing the vitality of American music theatre through the development and production of new musicals by music theatre's leading artists; increasing opportunities for education and training with Northwestern's theatre, dance and opera programs; and initiating a broad range of interdisciplinary research projects. AMTP was introduced in May 2005 by Northwestern University's School of Communication, in collaboration with the School of Music, Kellogg School of Management, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School.

Single tickets to "Dangerous Beauty" are $30 for the general public; $27 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for students.

For ticket information, call (847) 491-7282. Online ticket sales are available at

A Perfect Specimen of Femininity - 7/24/2008

The sins of the parents leave a lasting impression, as shown in Lisa Dominique's semi-autobiographic solo work A PERFECT SPECIMEN OF FEMININITY. Written and performed by Dominique, this comedy/drama is as uncomfortable as it is hilarious, cataloging the parental abuse, adolescent angst, and subsequent rebellion of a young woman who runs from a distorted family life only to find herself drawn to the same dysfunctions in her love life. Poignant and bittersweet, the show is directed by Matt Hoverman and begins performances on July 24th at Stage Left Studio, located at 438 West 37th Street, as part of the Ninth Annual Midtown International Theatre Festival.

For Lisa, a Queens girl carrying the weight of a tragic and unhappy marriage between her Sri Lankan father and Trinidadian mother, the answers to life's questions are nowhere to be found. Forced to turn her feelings of isolation and fear inward, she comes into young adulthood riding a wave of depression, anxiety, low-self esteem and self-destruction. While Lisa finds her own special clique of "dysfunctionals" to hang out with in high school, more often than not she's compulsively tearing it up - from shoplifting and underage clubbing, to seeking revenge on the one "who failed to live up to his function."

Dominique plays multiple roles in this look back at her turbulent youth, including a physically abusive father with a pornography fetish and a psychologically manipulative mother whose greatest joy is being able to pass for white. Add in her high school hooligans: a wild, self-obsessed Italian beauty; a blonde-haired, blue eyed walking sexual fantasy; and a girl obsessed with the late Brian Jones, former lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, and you've got the makings of serious trouble.

From the moment where she died inside to a progression of gradually uncovered truths, Lisa struggles to find a way out of her home and her own self-hatred to reach a place where she can begin to become something more than her parents' legacy. Told with sensitivity, humility, grit, and a tremendous sense of humor, Lisa takes you on the ride of her life to find a kind of perfection that can only come from within.

Lisa Dominique (actress/writer) has been working steadily in New York since finishing a two-year Meisner Program with Richard Pinter of the Neighborhood Playhouse. She has appeared in several industrials, commercials, films (including the lead in the independent film Crazy Street) and off-Broadway productions (such as the lead in The Public Theatre's Family Portrait). She is a former member of the bi-coastal improv group The Improvables and has also performed her stand-up act all over the metro New York area. She has been developing A Perfect Specimen of Femininity with Matt Hoverman for the last year. The play premiered at the Wonder Woman Festival in December 2007 on Solo Sisters Night. She is currently working on the screenplay version.

Matt Hoverman (director) is an award-winning playwright (2006 FringeNYC Award for Best Playwrighting), actor (Yale Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, The Acting Company, Late Night w/Conan O'Brien) and a director/teacher of solo shows. Through his popular "Create Your Own Solo Show" Workshops, Matt has midwived the creation of and/or directed over a hundred solo shows since 2001, including the 2005 FringeNYC Best Solo Show Award-winner, Bridezilla Strikes Back by Cynthia Silver. This summer alone, 4 of his students are performing their solo shows in the FringeNYC, 3 are in the Midtown International Theatre Festival, 2 are in the Manhattan Rep Summerfest, 1 is in the Estrogenius Sola Voce Festival, 1 is in the Six Figures Theatre Company's Artist of Tomorrow Series, 3 were in the Emerging Artists "One Woman Standing" Festival and 1 was in the EAT "One Man Talking" Festival. For more info:

Running through July 27th, A PERFECT SPECIMEN OF FEMININITY will be performed at Stage Left Studio, located at 438 West 37th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues), Suite 5A, as part of the Ninth Avenue Midtown International Theatre Festival. Show times are Thursday, July 24th at 6:30pm, Saturday, July 26th at 6pm and Sunday, July 27th at 4:30pm. Tickets are $18.00, $15.00 for students and seniors. Reservations: 212-279-4200 or Information:

Lina Koutrakos @ Metropolitan Room - 7/24/2008

The multi-MAC Award-winning singer Lina Koutrakos is bringing back "Torch," her darkly modern re-interpretation of the classic torch song, for a two-week engagement at The Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, beginning Thursday July 24. Rekindling her partnership with music director Rick Jensen, the combustible Koutrakos, whose kudos collection includes awards for both singing and
directing (she got a Best Major Artist MAC in 2007), performs "Torch" Thursday and Friday July 24 & 25, and Friday and Saturday August 1 & 2, all at 7:30pm.

Directed by Mark Waldrop, the smolderingly passionate "Torch" played the Metropolitan Room on various late-nights over an 8-month stretch last year. In "Torch" Koutrakos, who plays clubs like Joe's Pub and BB King Blues Club with her eponymous blues-rock band, rubs together her vast piano bar experience (she began to hone her talents in the early 80's) with her new identity as an earthy
blues-rock goddess for the baby boomer set. The sparks that result are sultry, intelligent and illuminating.

"Torch's" smoky song list includes edgy, downtown interpretations of theclassics "Y

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From This Author Rachel Schwartz