Black Button Eyes Productions Announces 2019-20 Season; GHOST QUARTET and More

Black Button Eyes Productions Announces 2019-20 Season; GHOST QUARTET and More

Black Button Eyes Productions is pleased to announce its 2019-20 Season, featuring two Chicago premiere musicals! The season kicks off this summer with GHOST QUARTET by Broadway composer Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812). This intriguing and entertaining song cycle is directed by Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, with music direction by Nick Sula and choreography by Derek Van Barham.

Next winter, Black Button Eyes concludes its season of "Ghost Stories" with WHISPER HOUSE featuring music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and book and additional lyrics by Kyle Jarrow, also directed by Rutherford.

GHOST QUARTET will be presented at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets ($30) go on sale Friday, March 1, 2019 at, in person at the Stage 773 box office or by calling (773) 327-5252. WHISPER HOUSE will be staged at The Athenaeum Theatre (Studio Two), 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Tickets ($30) will go on sale at a later date.

Black Button Eyes Productions' 2019-20 Season:

July 12 - August 17, 2019

GHOST QUARTET - Chicago Premiere!

Book, Music and Lyrics by Dave Malloy

Directed by Ed Rutherford

Music Direction by Nick Sula

Choreography by Derek Van Barham

at Stage 773 (The Box), 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Chicago

Press opening: Friday, July 19, 2019 at 7:30 pm

From the mind of Broadway composer Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812) comes a musical ghost story of four friends who love each other, kill each other, and drink whiskey across centuries and lifetimes. GHOST QUARTET delightfully mashes up Grimms' fairy tales, Edgar Allan Poe, Arabian Nights, Sondheim, Thelonious Monk and more.

January 10 - February 15, 2020


Music and Lyrics by Duncan Sheik

Book and Additional Lyrics by Kyle Jarrow

Directed by Artistic Director Ed Rutherford

at The Athenaeum Theatre (Studio Two), 2639 N. Southport Ave.

Press opening: Friday, January 17, 2020 at 7:30 pm

When Christopher's father is shot down in the Pacific during World War 2, the young boy is sent to live with his foreboding aunt in her very remote - and very haunted - lighthouse. Despite any lurking spirits, the most fearsome demons Christopher will need to confront lie within.

About the Artists:

Ed Rutherford (Director, Ghost Quartet & Whisper House) Directing credits for Black Button Eyes include Evil Dead the Musical, Nightmares & Nightcaps: The Stories of John Collier, Nevermore, Shockheaded Peter, Amour, Goblin Market, and Coraline. He is an artistic associate with Promethean Theatre Ensemble, where he directed The Liar, his own adaptation of Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn, Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle and the company's inaugural production, Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy. Directing with Brown Paper Box Co: The Baltimore Waltz. As an actor, he's performed with Drury Lane Oakbrook, Porchlight, Theater Wit and many others. A graduate of Northwestern's theater program, he recently completed his MBA at Kellogg.

Nick Sula (Music Director, Ghost Quartet) Nick is a pianist, arranger and award-winning music director for theater and cabaret. He is proud to return to Black Button Eyes Productions, where he was music director for Coraline, Amour and Nevermore. Other music direction credits include productions with Porchlight Music Theatre, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble, Pride Films and Plays, Chicago Theatre Workshop, Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. Nick performs with vocalists at theaters and cabaret venues such as Davenport's, Petterino's, Drew's on Halsted, Stage 773, Victory Gardens, and the Park West. He is an instructor, music director and vocal coach at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Derek Van Barham (Choreographer, Ghost Quartet) is the Producing Artistic Director of Kokandy Productions, and a member of the Red Tape Theatre ensemble. He previously served as Associate Artistic Director of Pride Films & Plays. For PFP, he directed Perfect Arrangement, Angry Fags (Steppenwolf Garage), Songs from an Unmade Bed (Jeff nomination), and (co-directed) PRISCILLA, Queen of the Desert. Choreography credits include The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier and BITE (PFP), all Black Button Eyes productions, and Salonathon. Other directing credits include The View Upstairs (Circle Theatre), Three Days of Rain (Boho), and Miracle! by Dan Savage (Hell in a Handbag). He was named one of Windy City Times 30 Under 30, recognizing Chicago's LGBTQ+ community.

Photo: Anthony Whitaker, Kat Evans, Gwen Tulin and Pavi Proczko in Black Button Eyes Productions' 2017 Chicago storefront premiere of SHOCKHEADED PETER. Photo by Cole Simon.

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