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Black Button Eyes Productions Presents CORALINE, Now thru 9/6

Black Button Eyes Productions presents the Midwest Premiere of "Coraline," a musical by Stephin Merritt and David Greenspan, adapted from the novel by Neil Gaiman, at City Lit Theater in Chicago, at 1020 W Bryn Mawn Ave, today, August 8 - Sept 6. "Coraline," directed by Edward Rutherford with music direction from Nick Sula, begins previews August 8, press opening is August 9; show runs through September 6. For more information, visit

"I'm a tremendous fan of Neil Gaiman's work," said Director Edward Rutherford, "and Stephin Merritt and David Greenspan's adaptation has a spare and story theater-influenced approach that makes it a perfect piece to bring to Chicago's storefront theater scene. With a dynamite cast and Nick Sula on board to guide us through the show's unique score, I'm eager for us to begin rehearsals and start tackling this darkly entertaining script. While the story is about a little girl, it's definitely not children's theater."

Adapted from the beloved fantasy novel Coraline by Neil Gaiman, this original musical by Stephin Merritt & David Greenspan tells the story of Coraline Jones, a young girl who has just moved with her parents into a new flat in an old house. Bored by her colorless surroundings and her busy parents, she goes exploring and discovers a door unlike any in the house - a magic door that, when unlocked, reveals a passage to a strange world like her own, but with one key difference: all the grownups have black buttons for eyes. This new world seems to offer all she wants: parents who are keenly interested in her, toys that sing and dance, neighbors who get her name right. But as this parallel world becomes increasingly unsettling, Coraline must learn the true meaning of bravery to save her parents and herself.

"The score Stephin Merritt composed is singular," said Music Director Nick Sula, "It's composed for three different types of piano. Whenever Coraline sings, the score is written for multiple toy pianos, and we also have an upright piano for whenever the grownups sing in the real world. For the Other World, Merritt has written music for a specially 'prepared' baby grand piano, with various foreign objects inserted or attached between the piano strings. There's no other musical quite like it."

The cast for Coraline includes Sheridan Singleton (Coraline), Ryan Lanning (Other Mother), Kevin Webb (Cat), Kevin Bishop (Miss Forcible), Caitlin Jackson (Miss Spink), Justin Kimrey (Father / Other Father), Jeffrey Bouthiette (Mr. Bobo), Jennifer T. Grubb (Mother).

The creative team for Coraline includes Edward Rutherford (Director), Nick Sula (Music Director), Beth Laske-Miller (Costume Designer), Chazz Malott (Lighting Designer), Ryan Emens (Set Design), Cate Gillespie (Dialect Coach), Nathaniel Nesheim-Case (Stage Manager) and Kate Merena (Marketing Director), with additional staff to be announced.

Notable recognition for cast and team include:

Nick Sula - 2010 non-equity Jeff Award nomination for Music Direction for Bohemian Theatre's The Glorious Ones

- 2005 non-equity Jeff Award Winner for Music Direction for White Horse Theater's Merrily We Roll Along

Derek Van Barham - 2014 non-equity Jeff Award nomination for Director - Musical or Revue for Pride Films & Plays' Songs From An Unmade Bed

Ryan Lanning - 2013 Broadwayworld Chicago award for Best Actor in a Musical or Revue in Haven Theater's Hedwig and the Angry Inch

- 2006 non-equity Jeff Award Winner for Actor in a Principal Role - Musical or Revue in Bailiwick Repertory's Kiss of the Spider Woman

Kevin Webb- April 2014 non-equity Jeff Award nomination for Actor in a Principal Role - Musical or Revue in Pride Films & Play's Songs from an Unmade Bed

Jennifer T. Grubb - 2011 non-equity Jeff Award nomination for Actress in a Principal Role - Musical for City Lit Theater's Oh Boy!

Beth Laske-Miller - April 2014 Jeff Award nomination for Costume Design for Promethean Theatre Ensemble's A Study in Scarlet

Tickets are $25 general admission and are available at

For details and more information visit

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