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Midwest New Musicals Presents MRS. MAGI

Midwest New Musicals continues Words and Music, its concert reading series of original musicals, with MRS. MAGI by Charmaine Spencer and Karena Mendoza on Monday, December 19, at 7:30 pm at the Light Opera Works Second Stage at 1420 Maple (at Lake) in Evanston. Tickets are $15 (age 15 and younger are free), available by phone at (847) 920-5360 or at the door.

MRS. MAGI is a modern musical adaptation of the beloved O. Henry short story especially for family audiences. It's Christmastime on Chicago's west side. Nine-year-old C.J. and ten-year-old Natalie each have a special wish, but little hope of its being granted. Then they meet a magical street peddler, go looking for a missing cat and learn that the boy around the corner isn't some weird character, he's hearing impaired, and that Christmas giving isn't about money, it's about communication, imagination and friendship. The musical is directed by Denise Blank and music directed by Philip Seward. Stage manager is Dylan S. Roberts. Midwest New Musicals is lead by workshop director John Sparks.

Charmaine Spencer (book, lyrics), as a puppeteer and resident playwright, has been writing for young audiences for almost 30 years. Her play Fireflies, about the young artists of Terezin Concentration Camp, premiered in San Diego and Be My Love, an Evening with Mario Lanza, was twice produced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is currently at work on a musical about a Niagara Falls daredevil and another based on the lives of the Ringling brothers.

Karena Mendoza (music) is an award-winning vocalist and composer. Her children's CD On-The-Loose Dreams ( has won the Gold Parent's Choice Award, among others. In 2004, she won Best Song Writing at the New York International Fringe Festival. In 2007, she was commissioned to compose music for Dario Fo's Archangels Don't Play Pinball at North Park University. Current collaborations include Marcie the Marvelous Tree, a children's environmental musical; Requiem for a Refugee, a choral work; and Verve, a musical about the developing friendships of five women at a weight-loss club.

The Midwest New Musicals writers workshop and the new Words and Music series are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The ASCAP Foundation and The Dramatist Guild Fund. Most of the new musicals in the Words and Music series are written by members of the Midwest New Musicals writers workshop and have been developed in the workshop Core Curriculum and development process.

Midwest New Musicals is an ongoing forum where lyricists, composers and book writers create and discuss their work. Divided into three levels, workshop members meet 10 times per year for intensive weekend sessions. Since 2009, Midwest New Musicals has been a resident arm of Light Opera Works, Chicago's specialists in operetta and musical theater. With the Midwest New Musicals, Light Opera Works is able to expand its programming and service to the field by providing an outlet for writers and for new works of musical theater.

Midwest New Musicals
In association with Light Opera Works

Words and Music, a concert reading series of new musicals in progress, presents MRS. MAGI by Charmaine Spencer and Karena Mendoza

Monday December 19 at 7:30 pm

Light Opera Works Second Stage at
1420 Maple (at Lake), Evanston, IL

(847) 920-5360

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