Black Button Eyes Productions' EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL Comes to Pride Arts Center

Black Button Eyes Productions' EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL Comes to Pride Arts Center

Black Button Eyes Productions concludes its 2018-19 season with the Chicago storefront premiere of EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL, a parody of Sam Raimi's classic Evil Dead horror films, with book and lyrics by George Reinblatt and music by Christopher Bond, Frank Cipolla, Melissa Morris and George Reinblatt. Directed by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford with music direction by Oliver Townsend and choreography by Derek Van Barham, the spooky send-up will play January 11 - February 16, 2019 at Pride Arts Center (The Broadway), 4139 N. Broadway in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at or The press opening is Friday, January 18 at 7:30 pm.

EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL will feature Kirby Gibson, Jordan Dell Harris, Caitlin Jackson, Josh Kemper, David Lipschutz, Stevie Love, Robert Quintanilla and Shane Roberie.

It just wouldn't stay dead. Black Button Eyes Productions brings this loving musical parody of Sam Raimi's classic Evil Dead films back to the city for its Chicago storefront premiere! When a group of fresh-faced college kids go to a cabin in the woods for spring break, it's only a matter of time before spells are spoken and demonic possession begins. Take in the horror and hilarity in the gritty storefront setting where this show belongs!

The production team for EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL includes: Jeremiah Barr (scenic, props and puppets design, technical director), Rachel Sypniewski (costume design), Liz Cooper (lighting design), Robert Hornbostel (sound design), Jon Beal (fight choreographer, gore consultant) David Lipschutz (assistant director), Christopher Young (assistant choreographer), Melanie Thompson (assistant props design) Lexi Berkowitz (stage manager) and Beth Weinstock (assistant stage manager).

About the Artists:

Ed Rutherford (Director) Directing for Black Button Eyes: Nightmares & Nightcaps: The Stories of John Collier (World Premiere), Nevermore (Chicago premiere), Shockheaded Peter, Amour (Chicago premiere), Goblin Market and Coraline (Midwest Premiere). He is an artistic associate with Promethean Theatre Ensemble, where he directed The Liar, his own adaptation of the 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.

Oliver Townsend (Music Director) is pleased to have the opportunity to work on Evil Dead the Musical with Black Button Eyes Productions. Most recently, he was the Associate Music Director for the National Tour of Disney's The Little Mermaid. Preceding that, he was the Cast Music Supervisor for Carnival Cruise Lines, overseeing the performances on various ships. He has played the keyboard for artists including Lorna Luft, Il Divo, The Foundations and Marvin Hamlisch. Other credits include various productions of Wicked (he started at age 20 and is the youngest pianist perform the show to date!), Legally Blonde at the Paramount Theatre, The Color Purple at The Mercury Theatre, Disaster at Chicago Theatre Works, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (the show's composer/lyricist, William Finn, praised Oliver's interpretation of the score) and playing in the final band for the Gold Unit of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Derek Van Barham (Choreographer) 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) and 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), Miracle! by Dan Savage, Skooby Don't (Hell in a Handbag), and HOT PINK (New American Folk Theatre). He was named one of Windy City Times 30 Under 30, recognizing Chicago's LGBTQ+ community.

About Black Button Eyes Productions

The 2018-19 season continues Black Button Eyes Productions' mission to bring to Chicago premieres and seldom-seen works containing elements of fantasy, in which the magical and surreal invade reality. The company was founded in 2014 with the acclaimed Midwest premiere of the musical Coraline, and continued in 2015 by producing the musical Goblin Market in its first Chicago production in over 15 years, attended by the author, Chicago native Polly Pen. In the past few seasons, the company has produced the Chicago premiere of the musical Amour, the Chicago storefront premiere of Shockheaded Peter, the Chicago premiere of the musical Nevermore - The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe and the world premiere of Nightmares and Nightcaps: The Stories of John Collier.

Photo: Caitlin Jackson in in a publicity image for Black Button Eyes Productions' Chicago storefront premiere of EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL. Photo by Cole Simon.

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