Music Theater Works Presents THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE

Music Theater Works Presents THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE

Music Theater Works (formerly Light Opera Works) presents the Gilbert and Sullivan classic, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, June 9 through 17. A 26-piece orchestra accompanies such well-known songs as "Poor Wand'ring One," "Oh, Better Far to Live and Die" and "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General."

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE is directed by Music Theater Works artistic director Rudy Hogenmiller, conducted by Linda Madonia and choreographed by Clayton Cross.

The cast includes James Harms (Major-General Stanley), Larry Adams (Pirate King), Ben Barker (Frederic), Cecilia Iole (Mabel), Nancy Hays (Ruth), and PJ Wilborn (Sergeant of Police).

The design/production team is Joe Schermoly (scenic), Jana Anderson (costume), Andrew H. Meyers (lighting), Aaron Quick (sound), Sean McStravick (stage manager) and Katie Beeks (production manager).

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE is sponsored by The Pauls Foundation, with additional support from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation. The opening night reception is sponsored by Prairie Moon Restaurant in Evanston.

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE is Music Theater Works' first production of 2018. The season will continue with Cole Porter's ANYTHING GOES (August 18-26), Judy Garland: COME RAIN OR COME SHINE starring Angela Ingersoll (October 5-14) and Stephen Sondheim's INTO THE WOODS (December 22-31).

Discounted season ticket packages are still available.

Ticket prices for THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE begin at $34. Ages 25 and younger are half price. To order tickets, or for more information, call the Music Theater Works box office at (847) 920-5360 or order online 24 hours a day at

Director/Music Director/Choreographer Biographies

Rudy Hogenmiller (Director), artistic director of Music Theater Works, has directed or directed and choreographed many productions for the company including PETER PAN, Duke Ellington'S GREATEST HITS, GYPSY, CANDIDE, DIE FLEDERMAUS, LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU: Jule Styne'S GREATEST HITS, MAME, MY FAIR LADY, GUYS AND DOLLS, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE FANTASTICKS, THE MERRY WIDOW, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, H.M.S. PINAFORE, OLIVER!, MAN OF LA MANCHA, CAMELOT, BRIGADOON, HELLO, DOLLY!, THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, KISS ME, KATE, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE MIKADO and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Hogenmiller was seen on the Music Theater Works stage in 2014 as Mr. Applegate in DAMN YANKEES, and as the Emcee in CABARET in 2013. He has directed and choreographed for many other companies, including Northlight Theatre, Chamber Opera Chicago, Pegasus Players, Theatre at the Center and Marriott Theatre. He has been recognized with six Joseph Jefferson Awards and 17 nominations for best direction and choreography in Chicago, and has been a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers for more than 35 years.

Linda Madonia (Music Director and Conductor) was music director for the concerts LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU: Jule Styne'S GREATEST HITS and HOLLYWOOD'S GREATEST SONG HITS, and served as assistant music director and pianist on many other Music Theater Works productions. She recently conducted PERSUASION for Chamber Opera Chicago, performing the last two summers in Scotland and England. Other credits include BILLY ELLIOT, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM and DOUBLE TROUBLE at Porchlight Music Theatre (where she serves as an artistic associate), LEO ON ICE! for Leo Burnett at the Chicago Theatre, Forbidden Broadway: SVU at the Royal George Theatre, and many productions with Theatre at the Center, including A CHORUS LINE, SHE LOVES ME and ME AND MY GIRL. Madonia owns and regularly performs with American Eagle Productions, a touring theater company that has taken shows and workshops directly into schools for 25 years. For the past 11 years she has also been the music director for Chicago's Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards.

CLAYTON CROSS (Choreographer) choreographed PETER PAN, GYPSY, CANDIDE, MAME, MY FAIR LADY and GUYS AND DOLLS at Music Theater Works, where also played the Mute in THE FANTASTICKS and was a featured dancer in DAMN YANKEES. Cross served for five years as artistic advisor, board member and choreographer for Renegade Dance Architects, and continues to consult and contribute choreography to the Capitol One Bowl's ALL AMERICAN HALFTIME SHOW. He is a master teacher for M.A. Dance, a Texas-based traveling convention circuit, where he has worked and judged for the past 18 years. Throughout his 20-year career as a dancer, Cross has worked with Robert Battle, Fernando Bujones, Frank Chaves, Paul Taylor, and Ann Reinking. He was featured in EVERY DANCER HAS A STORY, a PBS special about the River North Chicago Dance Company, where he was a company member for nine seasons and toured nationally and internationally. Originally from Midland, Texas, Cross received his early training from La Petite Dance Company, Coleman Academy, and the Midland Community Theatre. He holds a BFA in ballet and modern dance from Texas Christian University.

Cast Biographies

James Harms (Major-General Stanley) reprises this role with Music Theater Works, having performed it in the 2009 production. He has also been seen in THE FANTASTICKS (Henry), Cole Porter'S GREATEST HITS, H.M.S. PINAFORE (Sir Joseph Porter), OLIVER! (Fagin), MAN OF LA MANCHA (Don Quixote), and IOLANTHE (Lord Chancellor) at Music Theater Works, as well as directing BITTER SWEET. At the Goodman Theater he appeared in Kander and Ebb's THE VISIT with Chita Rivera, THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST, and THE ICEMAN COMETH with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy (including the recent revival at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music). In 1976, he received his first of eight Joseph Jefferson Awards, for playing Henry in THE FANTASTICKS at the Forum Theater in Summit, Illinois. Further associations with the show include the 30th Anniversary tour with Robert Goulet, two tours of Japan, including a recording of that company, and directing it for Pegasus Players, which toured Egypt and had a run at the Mercury Theater in Chicago. As a member of Actors' Equity Association since 1963, he has played most of the area theaters and toured nationally and internationally in EVITA and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT.

Larry Adams (Pirate King) was last seen at Music Theater Works as Mr. Darling/Captain Hook in PETER PAN. Other appearances with the company include LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU: Jule Styne'S GREATEST HITS, SOUTH PACIFIC (Emile de Becque), THE MERRY WIDOW (Danilo), KISS ME, KATE (Fred Graham), 110 IN THE SHADE (Starbuck), THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Captain von Trapp), THE MUSIC MAN (Harold Hill), A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (Fredrik), and I DO! I DO! (Michael). Chicago credits include Drury Lane, Goodman, Marriott, Writers Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Paramount, Theatre at the Center, and Victory Gardens. Regionally, he performed at Fulton Theatre in SWEENEY TODD, on Broadway in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and off-Broadway in THE HUNCHBACK VARIATIONS and PHOTO-OP. Adams was honored by Chicago magazine in its "Best of Chicago" issue. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison, and a proud member of Actors' Equity.

Ben Barker (Frederic) returns to Music Theater Works, after his debut last season in the title role of CANDIDE. A graduate of Northwestern University, he has been seen at Marriott Theatre in SPRING AWAKENING (Moritz) and OCTOBER SKY (O'Dell), Paramount Theatre in LES MISERABLES, Porchlight Music Theatre in SWEENEY TODD and as an understudy for Writers Theatre in ARCADIA. Regional credits include Montana Shakespeare in the Parks' A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, TWELFTH NIGHT, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS and RICHARD III and the Palace Theater in the Dells' A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

Cecilia Iole (Mabel) returns to Music Theater Works, where she debuted as Cunegonde in CANDIDE last season. She played Johanna in both Theo Unique Cabaret Theater and Paramount Theatre's productions of SWEENEY TODD. Other Chicago credits include THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (Olive) at Steel Beam Theatre and A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Ghost of Christmas Past) at Quest Theatre Ensemble. Regional credits include THE LITTLE MERMAID (Ariel), LES MISERABLES (Cosette), and TITANIC: THE MUSICAL (Caroline) at Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre. She is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Music Theater Works (formerly Light Opera Works) is a resident professional not-for-profit theater in Evanston, founded in 1980. The company's mission is to produce and present musical theater from a variety of world traditions. All productions are presented in English, with foreign works done in carefully edited modern translations. Maximum scholarship is employed to preserve the original vocal and orchestral material as well as the spirit of the original text whenever possible. Audiences know that at Music Theater Works they will experience repertoire often unavailable on the stages of commercial theaters and opera houses, in modern productions with professional artists and full orchestra.

Gilbert and Sullivan's THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE at Music Theater Works, June 9-17, 2018, at Cahn Auditorium, Evanston, IL.

Related Articles View More Chicago Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You