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Photo Flash: American Blues Theater Presents THE SPITFIRE GRILL


American Blues Theater presents the Chicago revival of The Spitfire Grill, based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff, with book by James Valcq and Fred Alley, lyrics by Fred Alley and music by James Valeq. The Spitfire Grill, directed by Tammy Mader with music direction by Malcolm Ruhl, runs July 12 - August 17, 2019 at Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont Ave in Chicago.

A feisty parolee follows her dreams, based on a page from an old travel book, to a small town in Wisconsin and finds a place for herself working at Hannah's Spitfire Grill. The New York Times calls THE SPITFIRE GRILL "a soul of theatrical resourcefulness" and The Wall Street Journal heralds its "soaring melodies".

"After many male-driven musicals, we wanted to showcase strong female characters and voices, particularly in today's state of declining women's rights and equity," notes Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside. "In addition, these gorgeous songs and rich folk music offer a needed respite from the 24-hour news cycle, constant alerts, alarms, and notifications. For a short while, you'll receive a break from the fast-paced world as you enter this small town. The Spitfire Grill cooks up a recipe of judgment, forgiveness, and redemption. The dessert is a warm helping of self-reflection. What is your moral code? How do you begin anew? Where do you go to rejuvenate?"

The cast of The Spitfire Grill includes Dara Cameron* (Shelby Thorpe), Ian Paul Custer* (The Visitor), Karl Hamilton (Caleb Thorpe), Donterrio Johnson (Sheriff Joe Sutter), Jacquelyne Jones (Percy Talbott), Gabrielle Lott-Rogers (Effy Krayneck), and Catherine Smitko (Hannah Ferguson).

The creative team for The Spitfire Grill includes Sarah E. Ross* (scenic design), Jared Gooding* (lighting design), Lily Grace Walls (costume design), Rick Sims* (sound design), Mary O'Dowd (props design), Shandee Vaughan* (production manager), and Kate Ocker (stage manager).

Musicians include Ian Paul Custer* (piano), Greg Hirte (violin), Malcolm Ruhl (accordion), Scott Sedlacek (guitar / mandolin), and Magdalena Sustere (cello).

*American Blues Theater Ensemble and Artistic Affiliates.

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