BoHo Theatre presents Striking 12, Opens 12/16


Looking for something different this holiday season? Need a break from seeing A Christmas Carol or It's a Wonderful Life yet again? BoHo Theatre has the cure for your winter blues with Striking 12, the clever and inventive concert-musical from funk-rock trio GrooveLily and Rachel Sheinkin, the Tony-award winning writer of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Striking 12 runs December 16, 2010 through January 8, 2011 at the Heartland Studio at 7016 N Glenwood Avenue. Striking 12 is directed by Lara Filip and features performers Eric Laughlin, Mallory Nees, Amy Steele, and Dustin Valenta.

Striking 12 is "a cross between a rock concert and a holiday show for people who don't like holiday shows." Featuring four talented actor/musicians, Striking 12 is the story of a grumpy, recently-single guy who stays at home on New Year's Eve, until a chance encounter with a door-to-door light bulb salesgirl inspires him to read Hans Christian Anderson's "The Little Match Girl," and the combination of the two of them changes his life. Frank Sheck of The New York Post described Striking 12 as "a holiday show that has more heart and fun than most of the manufactured entertainments competing for your consumer dollars." Charles Isherwood of The New York Times praised the show as "touching and poignant while at the same time lighthearted and funny." The show was nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, and won the Bay Area Theatre Critic's Choice Award.

BoHo Theatre is known for their highly lauded musical productions, such as the recent Big River (at Theater Wit) and The Glorious Ones (at Theater on the Lake), but this is the first time the company has brought their immersive artistic aesthetic to a holiday season show. The choice of Striking 12 as the company's first non-mainstage production was easy: the show is an uplifting combination of music, art, performance, and celebration that embodies the four BoHo pillars of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love in equal parts. Striking 12 is the perfect way to spend a cold winter night in Chicago this holiday season.


Striking 12

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Brendan Milburn, Rachel Sheinkin, and Valerie Vigoda
Directed by Lara Filip
Scenic and Lighting Design by Sally Weiss
Eric Laughlin (keyboard), Mallory Nees (guitar, bass), Amy Steele (violin), Dustin Valenta (percussion)

December 16, 2010 - January 8, 2011
Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays at 7:30pm and 10:00pm
Sundays at 5:00 p.m.
Note: there are no shows on December 24th or 25th

Heartland Studio
7016 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago

For tickets, call Ovation Tix at 866-811-4111 or visit
Tickets on sale now!
Ticket price: $15


Brendan Milburn (Co-Author - Book, Music and Lyrics) graduated from Pomona College and NYU's MFA program in Musical Theatre Writing. He does a lot of arranging for GrooveLily, and he's an accomplished record producer as well. Brendan's music and/or lyrics have been/will be featured in a growing number of off/on-Broadway shows, and he's always on the lookout for new projects/productions which will add more slashes ("/") to his bio/credits. Along with his wife and longtime collaborator Valerie Vigoda, Brendan is a 2009 winner of the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, as well as a two-time winner of the Jonathan Larson Award for Excellence in Writing for the Theatre.

Valerie Vigoda (Co-Author - Book, Music and Lyrics) is the founding member of the band GrooveLily. Originally from McLean, VA, Valerie is a classically-trained musician, honors graduate of Princeton University, and former Army lieutenant. She has toured the world with Cyndi Lauper (opening for Tina Turner and Cher), Joe Jackson and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Along with her husband and longtime collaborator Brendan Milburn, Valerie is a 2009 winner of the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, as well as a two-time winner of the Jonathan Larson Award for Excellence in Writing for the Theatre.

Rachel Sheinkin (Co-Author - Book and Lyrics) won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book for a Musical for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee . Other plays include Blood Drive (O'Neill National Music Theatre Conference) and Serenda (Baryshnikov Arts Center). She has been a Manhattan Theatre Club playwriting fellow and is currently an adjunct faculty member at NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Lara Filip (Director) previously adapted and directed BoHo Theatre's production of Sophocles' Electra. Other directing credits include projects for Theatre-Hikes, Ouroboros Theatre Company (where she was the founding Artistic Director), Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, Theatre Building Chicago, The Morton Arboretum and many independent new musical workshops. Lara is also a playwright, actor and singer/songwriter. She has performed onstage at The Marriott Theatre, Drury Lane, The Royal George, Ravinia Music Festival, Porchlight Music Theatre (where she is also an Artistic Associate), and in several National tours. Her band, Birdie Wing is currently recording its debut album.

Eric Laughlin (Keyboard) moved to Chicago from Buffalo, NY, and has spent time in the city working as both an actor and a musician. Recent roles include Manuel Martinez in Jedlicka Performing Arts Company's production of The Magical Ice Cream Suit, as well as Orpheus in Moon Come for Simple Theatre's K.I.S.S. Fest in August. As a pianist, Eric had the opportunity to play piano for Bootstraps Comedy Theatre's production of The Better Doctor, a live silent movie fully underscored with music. Eric has been playing and studying piano for 15 years, mostly in the area of jazz and blues. He is also a graduate of Northern Illinois University, where he majored in Theatre.

Mallory Nees (Guitar, Bass) is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul, and since graduation has with several great theater companies, including Theatre-Hikes (Sleepy Hollow, also directed by the lovely Lara Fillip), Strawdog (The Good Soul of Szechuan), Rivendell (Mercury 13), The (a)Symmetry Cycle (blindsight), 16th Street (Menorca), and Lifeline Theatre (Dooby Dooby Moo, The Last of the Dragons, The Blue Shadow, Mrs. Caliban, Neverwhere, and Click, Clack, Moo.) If you're dying to hear more from Mallory or her purple concertina squeezebox, you can catch them both this spring in Theatre Mir's Caucasian Chalk Circle, directed by Jonathan Berry.

Amy Steele (Violin) is a graduate of Indiana University with her degree in vocal performance. Favorite Chicago credits include: Godspell (Provision Theatre), Urinetown (Mercury Theatre), Doubt (Steel Beam Theatre), The American Girl Revue (American Girl Place), Tortoise and the Hare (Chicago Kids Company) and Shout! The Mod Musical (Drury Lane Water Tower).

Dustin Valenta (Percussion) most recently was a part of the core artistic team behind Redmoon Theatre's multimedia spectacle, The Astronaut's Birthday, which performed at the MCA this fall. And over the summer, Dustin toured Brazil--also with Redmoon--performing in the acclaimed production of The Cabinet. In addition to a number of other Redmoon collaborations, Dustin has worked with Mary Arrchie, Emerald City, and the Inconvenience, as well as the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, and the Flynn Theatre in Burlington, VT. He holds a BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. With the other minutes in the day, Dustin teaches yoga, makes music, and enjoys running around, jumping, and generally embracing expression through movement.


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