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Kokandy Productions Announces Tenth Anniversary Season

Kokandy Productions will toast its tenth anniversary with two fully produced musicals, plus a celebratory concert of the company's greatest hits.

Kokandy Productions Announces Tenth Anniversary Season

Kokandy Productions will toast its tenth anniversary with two fully produced musicals, plus a celebratory concert of the company's greatest hits.

It's a cruel summer as Kokandy goes all the way with flirty fun and '90s nostalgia in the Chicago storefront premiere of Cruel Intentions: The '90 Musical, directed by Artistic Associate Adrian Abel Azevedo. This "fun, sexy, and seductive" show (laced with hits from No Doubt, Jewel, Britney Spears, Garbage and more) will have audiences grooving along to the infamous bittersweet symphony.

Traveling from Fifth Avenue to Fleet Street, Kokandy then honors Stephen Sondheim and sinks its teeth into Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, directed by Producing Artistic Director Derek Van Barham. Just in time for Halloween, the Chopin basement will be transformed into 19th century London, daring audiences to attend this haunting, harrowing tale.

Kokandy's tenth season will also include a celebratory concert of greatest hits, welcoming back artists from previous productions and inviting audiences to raise a glass to our first decade (date TBA). The 2022 season will be produced at The Chopin Theater, 1543 W Division St. in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Single tickets will go on sale at a later date at

Executive Producer Scot Kokandy comments, "It is unbelievable to think 10 years have passed since our first production in the summer of 2012. I am so thankful for the time and talent of the artists who have worked with us and the support of our audiences and donors during the last 10 years. To be a small part of the Chicago theater community and especially the musical theatre scene is such a treat and I look forward to the next 10 years."

Producing Artistic Director Derek Van Barham adds, "In 2022, we're asking 'how far can we go?' We're curious about discoveries in the flexible Chopin space, and we are challenging ourselves to push the boundaries (in every aspect) to create unique, enthralling experiences for our audience. With Cruel Intentions and Sweeney Todd, we are back in person, exploring humanity at its most corporeal. These are shows of the flesh, of mouths and throats, of sweat and blood. These worlds are thirsty, hungry. While we explore how far we can go, the devilish duos in these two shows go further to ask 'How far will we go?' They make the bet. They make the pie. They give us a taste, and make us ask for more."

Kokandy Productions' Tenth Anniversary Season includes:

June 9 - August 7, 2022

Cruel Intentions: The '90 Musical

Created by Jordan Ross, Lindsey Rosin & Roger Kumble

Based on the film by Roger Kumble

Directed by Artistic Associate Adrian Abel Azevedo

Press opening: Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 5 pm

Based on the acclaimed hit film starring Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar, Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical is the ultimate throwback party. Rulers of their elite Manhattan prep school, Sebastian and Kathryn have placed a mischievous bet. As their vengeful crusade wreaks havoc on the students at Manchester Prep, the two devilish step-siblings become entangled in their own web of deception and unexpected romance in this raucous jukebox throwback, featuring fresh takes on familiar '90s jams from No Doubt, *NSYNC, Garbage, Goo Goo Dolls and more.

September 8 - November 6, 2022

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Hugh Wheeler

Directed by Producing Artistic Director Derek Van Barham

Press opening: Sunday, September 11, 2022 at 5 pm

Sweeney Todd has become a bloody, worldwide success since being awarded eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical for its Broadway premiere. An infamous tale, Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, returns to nineteenth century London, seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop. Mrs. Lovett's luck sharply shifts when Todd's thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London hungry for more. Stephen Sondheim's and Hugh Wheeler's tasty, thrilling, theatrical treat has simultaneously shocked, awed and delighted audiences around the world.

About the Directors

Originally from Southern California, Adrian Abel Azevedo (he/him) is a freelance director, producer and teaching artist in the Chicagoland area. He has worked in this community for over 10 years and is an Artistic Associate with Kokandy Productions. He is an alumni of Columbia College Chicago. He has directed, produced and taught for Chicagoland theatre companies including Goodman Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Steep Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Kokandy Productions, Teatro Vista and Music Theatre Works. Upcoming: Zorro the Musical at Music Theatre Works, the world premiere of Aztec Human Sacrifice at CityLit Theatre, RENT at Porchlight Music Theatre. Follow him on IG: @adrian_abel_directs

Derek Van Barham (he/him) is the Producing Artistic Director of Kokandy Productions. He previously served as Associate Artistic Director of Pride Films & Plays and Artistic Director of The Ruckus. Directing credits include Head Over Heels (Kokandy); The View Upstairs (Circle Theatre); Three Days of Rain (Boho Theatre); Miracle by Dan Savage, Poseidon, Skooby Don't (Hell in a Handbag); Hot Pink, TRASH (New American Folk); Taylor Mac's A Walk Across America for Mother Earth (CCPA); From These Fatal Loins (The Ruckus); Homos, or Everyone in America, Perfect Arrangement, Angry Fags in Steppenwolf Garage Rep, Songs from an Unmade Bed (Jeff nomination), and PRISCILLA, Queen of the Desert (PFP). He was named one of Windy City Times 30 Under 30, recognizing individuals from Chicago's LGBTQ community. MFA: Chicago College of the Performing Arts (CCPA) at Roosevelt University. IG: @dvbarham

Founded in 2010, Kokandy Productions seeks to leverage the heightened reality of musical theater to tell complex and challenging stories, with a focus on contributing to the development of Chicago-based musical theater artists, and raising the profile of Chicago's non-Equity musical theater community.

The company's artistic staff is comprised of Derek Van Barham (Producing Artistic Director), Scot T. Kokandy (Executive Producer), Jeff Meyer (Webmaster/Graphic Designer), Adrian Abel Azevedo and Leda Hoffmann (Artistic Associates).

For additional information, visit

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