La Red Musical Theatre Hosts '48 Hour Musicals: Famous Last Words' August 10-11

Back by popular demand, La Red Music Theatre, a not-for-profit professional theatre company, is pleased to announce its latest version of The 48 Hour Musicals: Famous Last Words, which draws upon the last words and ruminations of famous historical figures. The 48 Hour Musicals: Famous Last Words will be presented on August 10th and 11th at 7:30 P.M., at the Highland Park Community House, 1991 Sheridan Road in Highland Park, Illinois.

The unique format has gained popularity for the spontaneous creativity it inspires in both the actors, and the writing teams. An assortment of Chicago's brightest young musical theatre creators generate a series of mini-musicals from a single source of inspiration, all in the span of two days.

The writer or writing team has 24 hours to create a 15-minute musical with the quote as the final moment of the piece. The actors rehearse for another 24 hours, thus creating four fifteen-minute musicals written and rehearsed in 48 hours.

"Community members had such fun last year and emailed asking for an encore! This year, quotes will be chosen at random from a book of historical figures' ‘fond farewells, deathbed diatribes and exclamations upon expiration," says Artistic Director Jessica Redish. "It's an exhilarating process where all artists involved are thrust into the crisis of creating and rehearsing, with little time to think or plan."

La Red will also present a staged reading of Summertime, a sweet, sophisticated musical adapted by Jessica Redish and Alan Schmuckler, with music and lyrics by Alan Schmuckler, based on the play by Charles L. Mee. Summertime which includes themes of love, heartache, passion, betrayal, mothers, daughters, affairs and maids will be presented on Monday, August 17 at 7:30pm at the Highland Park Community House. "Alan Schmuckler's score is thrilling. We're excited to be adapting Chuck Mee's luscious play and premiering this musical with Chicago's finest music theatre talent," says Redish.

LA RED MUSIC THEATRE is a not-for-profit organization sponsored, in part, by The Highland Park Cultural Arts Commission. It is comprised of Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York-based creative professionals dedicated to the creation of vibrant new musicals, presented annually in a summer festival in Highland Park, IL.

Jessica Redish, Founding Artistic Director of La Red Music Theatre, is a New York-based director/choreographer and a Highland Park native. New York credits include: Movement Director for the Lortel Award-winning Adding Machine, A Musical, Director of green eyes at the New York International Fringe Festival, Director/Choreographer for Maccabeat, and choreographer for The Family Fiorelli and Oedipus for Kids! at the New York Music Theatre Festival, Moving Forward, Looking Back by Michael Mahler (co-Conceiver) at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Regional: And the World Goes 'Round (ariZoni Nomination for Choreography) and Oklahoma! with Festival 56. Chicago credits: And The World Goes 'Round and What u Will both with La Red Productions, and Falsettos at Northwestern University, her alma mater, where she served on the Music Theatre Faculty. Jessica has assisted David Cromer, Michael Grief, Christopher Gattelli and at Paper Mill Playhouse. She is a member of SDC and AEA.

La Red Music Theatre's 48 Hour Musicals are also comprised of local talent including Elana Ernst of Highland Park, Justin Stein of Glencoe, Northwestern University Graduates Andrew Keltz (of Chicago) and Laura Scheinbaum (of Highland Park), and Emily Thompson, Matthew Amador and Tia deShazor of Chicago. Composers are Bobby Cronin, J. Oconer Navarro, Will Reynolds, Jeffrey Thomson and Jordan Mann, all of New York.

Summertime features talent including Niffer Clarke, Rebecca Finnegan, Terry Hamilton, Andrew Keltz, Johanna Mckenzie Miller, Mary Poole, James Rank, Peggy Roeder, Emily Thompson, and Bernie Yvon. The creative team includes music, lyrics and adaptation by Alan Schmuckler and direction and adaptation by Jessica Redish. Will Buck serves as Associate Music Director and Mackenzie Brown is the Stage Manager.

Tickets for The 48 Hour Musicals are $25 and $15 for students with ID. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit: Seating for Summertime can be reserved free on a first come, first serve basis. Email Managing Director Jessica Puller at to reserve your seat.


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