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Michael Shannon and Billy Dec Host A Red Orchid Theatre's 2013 Gala Tonight


A Red Orchid Theatre's (AROT) Board of Directors and Ensemble, together with Rockit Ranch Productions, announces the 2013 A Red Orchid Gala. The 2013 Gala will celebrate 21 years of creating exceptional, ensemble-based theater in Chicago. The event will be held tonight, November 9, 2013 at Sunda New Asian restaurant, 110 W. Illinois, with a cocktail party and auction to follow at The Underground, 56 W Illinois. The evening will be co-hosted by A Red Orchid Co-founder and Academy Award Nominee, Michael Shannon and Emmy Award winning television contributor and Rockit Ranch Productions CEO, Billy Dec.

The Gala evening will take place in two of Chicago's hottest venues, beginning with a VIP Dinner at Rockit Ranch's Michelin-recommended Sunda New Asian and continuing with a cocktail party and auction at The Underground, Rockit Ranch's buzzing River North nightclub. The VIP Dinner will feature live performances from the company's upcoming season, performed by members of the AROT Ensemble.

Each year A Red Orchid's critically acclaimed theatrical productions attract diverse audiences from across the country. With the funds raised through the event, AROT will advance its commitment to creating exceptional Ensemble-based theatre and fostering new theatrical works, both at home in Chicago and on the national stage.

The Gala Committee is led by Board Event Chairs Ann McCartney and Mollie Stromberg and AROT Development Director Jennifer Sultz, Managing Director Rebecca Eaton and Artistic Director Kirsten Fitzgerald.

The Presenting Sponsors include Sunda New Asian, The Underground, Rockit Ranch Productions, Grey Goose and Terlato Wines.

A Red Orchid Board of Directors includes Christian Chadd Taylor, Michael Fatall, Darren Guccione, Pam Harrington, Mary Gail Fitzpatrick, Ann McCartney, Rebecca Mills, Michael Shannon, Giulia Sindler, Tamara Solarich, Mollie Stromberg and Guy Van Swearingen.

Michael Shannon, an Ensemble Member of A Red Orchid Theatre since 1993, currently plays the role of Agent Nelson Van Alden on HBO's celebrated drama "Boardwalk Empire." Michael recently starred in Man of Steel as General Zod, and in the award winning film Take Shelter. Michael was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in Revolutionary Road. Michael originated the role of Peter in Tracy Letts' Bug, which had its Chicago Premiere at A Red Orchid before playing off-Broadway and being adapted into a major motion picture, also starring Shannon. He has performed on numerous Chicago stages and appeared in Uncle Vanya at New York's Soho Rep. In the fall of 2012 he performed in the Broadway production of Grace, a play written by fellow Red Orchid Ensemble Member Craig Wright, and recently appeared in AROT's critically-acclaimed production of Sam Shepard's Simpatico.

Billy Dec is an Emmy Award-winning TV Personality on ABC TV's "Windy City Live!" and CEO/Founder of Rockit Ranch Productions, which owns and operates award winning venues Rockit Bar & Grill, The Underground, Sunda New Asian, Rockit Burger Bar, Dragon Ranch Moonshine & BBQ and ¡AY CHIWOWA!.

Dec is an alumnus of Chicago-Kent College of Law and The Harvard Business School. He's received numerous awards including the "Excellence in Business Award" from the State of Illinois and the Community Service Award from the Cook County State's Attorney's office. Dec is a fervent supporter of philanthropic organizations including the Make a Wish Foundation, Lookingglass Theatre, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. When not entertaining on TV or in his venues, Dec can be found sharing amazing stories and experiences with a dynamic social media following on his blog, &

The event will take place on Saturday, November 9, 2013, with the VIP Dinner at Sunda New Asian, 110 W. Illinois, 6:30 - 9:00pm; Cocktail Party at The Underground, 56 W. Illinois, 9:00 - 11:00pm (21 yrs and over). Tickets: VIP Dinner Tickets $275 ($250 if purchased by 10/10/13). Includes admission to the Benefit Cocktail Party at The Underground. VIP Dinner ticket deadline 10/28/13. Limited capacity. Cocktail Party Tickets $100 ($75 if purchased by 10/10/13). Space is limited, so order tickets now for this exclusive event by calling A Red Orchid Theatre at (312) 943-8722 or online at

About A Red Orchid Theatre: A Red Orchid Theatre has long served as an artistic focal point in the heart of the Old Town community of Chicago. Chicago Magazine named Red Orchid Chicago's Best Theatre Company of 2010. Over the past 20 years, its Resident Ensemble has welcomed into its fold an impressive array of award winning actors, playwrights and theatre artists. A Red Orchid is well known for its highly-acclaimed experimental and cutting edge productions. In addition to its professional season, the company also now maintains an exciting youth programming wing.

About Sunda New Asian: Sunda, Chicago's comfortably stylish New Asian restaurant led by executive chef Jess DeGuzman, offers contemporary interpretations of traditional dishes from Japan, China and the Southeast Asian Island region. It is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner Sunday throughWednesday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight. Sunday brunch is available from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Valet parking is available during all hours of operation. For more information or reservations, call 312.644.0500 or visit

About The Underground: The Underground, located in River North, has elevated Chicago nightlife to unprecedented heights and is Chicago's premiere nightclub. The Underground attracts a rotating guest list of who's who of Chicago notables, celebrities, international DJ's, celebrity live acts including Katy Perry, John Mayer, Kanye West and more. After six months of extensive renovations, The Underground has debuted a new look, with updated interiors featuring newly renovated spaces, sleek décor, updated tech elements and an elevated food and beverage program. The Underground was named "Hottest Club" by Entertainment Weekly and "Best in the U.S." by Nightclub and Bar Magazine.

The Underground is open on Thursday and Friday from 10pm - 4am, Saturday from 10pm - 5am, and on Sunday from 10pm - 4am. Valet parking is available during all hours of operation. For more information, call (312) 644-7600 or visit

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