Photo Flash: Chicago's Children Theatre Presents LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

Chicago Children's Theatre's much anticipated 2017-18 season finale has arrived, and it's the hip-hop, heart-thumpin', toe-tappin' joy ride Last Stop on Market Street, a world premiere musical based on the 2016 Newbery-winning, Caldecott-honored children's book by Matt de la Peña.

Countless kids, parents and teachers know and love Peña's warm-hearted story about 7-year-old CJ and his wise Nana who teaches him to find beauty on a Sunday afternoon bus ride through the city.

Nationally acclaimed playwright Cheryl L. West (Akeelah and the Bee) has adapted Peña's multiple award-winning book for the stage, a co-commission and rolling world premiere with Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis that is already attracting national attention, including this feature in American Theatre Magazine.

But stop! In the name of love! Because Motown legend Lamont Dozier and his son Paris Ray Dozier, the duo behind the music in Chicago Children's Theatre 2014 smash hit. Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, are returning to create their second original score for CCT with Last Stop on Market Street.

Henry Godinez, resident artistic associate at Goodman Theatre, has been tapped to direct the Chicago world premiere, and the play's subsequent debut at Children's Theatre of Minneapolis. Godinez is a respected veteran director and actor who has worked at all of Chicago's major stages, including Chicago Children's Theatre where he staged the company's very first production in 2006, A Year with Frog and Toad.

Jump on this bus Chicago theater lovers, because Last Stop on Market Street stars musical theater legend E. Faye Butler in her Chicago Children's Theatre debut as Nana. Alejandro Medina, an 11-year old actor from Oak Park, and Kei Rawlins, 10-years old from Chicago's River North neighborhood, will rotate in the role of CJ.

The Last Stop cast also features Melanie Brezill, Jesse Bhamrah, Brian Keys, Kirra Silver and Breon Arzell. The production team includes Andra Velis Simon (music director), Stephanie Paul (choreographer), John Musial (scenic design), Izumi Inaba (costume design), Alex Ridgers (lighting design), Ray Nardelli (sound design), Eleanor Kahn (properties design) and Ari Clouse (stage manager).

Last Stop on Market Street runs April 24-May 27 at Chicago Children's Theatre, The Station, 100 S. Racine Avenue in Chicago's West Loop. Show times are Saturday at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

April 28 at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. or 3 p.m., or Sunday, April 29 at 10:30 a.m.or 12:30 p.m. School matinees are Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m., and Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. and Noon.

Last Stop on Market Street is recommended for ages 6 and up. Single tickets are $35 including fees. For subscriptions, single tickets and information on group rates, visitchicagochildrenstheatre.org or call Chicago Children's Theatre Guest Services, (312) 374-8835.

Photo credit: Charles Osgood Photography

high res photos

Photo Flash: Chicago's Children Theatre Presents LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET
(from left) Alejandro Medina and E. Faye ButlerPhoto Flash: Chicago's Children Theatre Presents LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET
Alejandro Medina and CompanyPhoto Flash: Chicago's Children Theatre Presents LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET
(from left) Alejandro Medina and E. Faye Butler

Photo Flash: Chicago's Children Theatre Presents LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET
E. Faye Butler, Alejandro Medina

Photo Flash: Chicago's Children Theatre Presents LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET
E. Faye Butler

Photo Flash: Chicago's Children Theatre Presents LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET
(from left) Alejandro Medina and E. Faye Butler

Photo Flash: Chicago's Children Theatre Presents LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET
(from left) Kirra Silver, Jesse Bhamrah, Alejandro Medina (as CJ, kneeling), Breon Arzell and E. Faye Butler

Photo Flash: Chicago's Children Theatre Presents LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET
(from left) Kirra Silver, Melanie Brezill, E. Faye Butler (as Nana), Kei Rawlins (as CJ) and Jesse Bhamrah

Photo Flash: Chicago's Children Theatre Presents LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET
E. Faye Butler as Nana, Alejandro Medina as CJ, Breon Arzell as Mr. Dennis the bus driver and Jesse Bhamrah as Blind Man

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