Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN

What price the perfect tomato? In this new musical with book and lyrics by Christine Hodak and music by Scott Lamps, an impatient 11-year-old girl named Camina learns that success takes time and teamwork - and isn't worth much if you lose your friends along the way. Quest Theatre Ensemble will present the World Premiere of The People's Tomato Queen, with performances beginning Friday, February 20, 2015. In Tomato Queen, Camina is sent by her parents to "Mr. Bogs' Commercial Success Camp," where Camp Director Bogs pushes her to use whatever means necessary to develop bigger, better and juicier tomatoes, rewarding her with the title of "Tomato Queen" at his new theme park when she succeeds. Together with her new friend DoOrmouse, Camina battles homesickness, a humongous Hornworm, and an evil scientist bent on destruction. This original musical gently pokes fun at parents and their expectations of their children as well as the obsessive and impatient pursuit of success in modern society. It suggests that humans, like tomatoes, grow into their best selves with patient love and unconditional acceptance.

The world of the greenhouse comes to life with Quest's signature large-scale puppetry. This original musical for all ages includes an original score of over 30 songs by Hodak and Lamps, backed by a live band. Tomato Queen is directed by Quest Theatre Ensemble Artistic Director Andrew Park, with choreography by Dennis J. Murphy and musical direction by Ellen Morris. Park says, "Tomato Queen features live music, a tremendous cast and large-scale puppetry including a Chinese dragon-sized Hornworm operated by three performers. Quest prioritizes new work, and this new musical will delight audiences of all ages. It has a wisdom and charm that I think adults will find fascinating and poignant, and a magical fairy tale quality that will delight children."

The cast includes Nate Buursma, Kent Joseph, Taylor Keenan, Molly LeCaptain, Vincent Lonergan, Kirk Osgood and Brett Taylor. The design team and crew include Nick Rupard (scenic and property design), Megan Hovany (puppet design), Eric Vigo (lighting design), Whitney Masters (costume design), Sam Silva (sound design), Julie Taylor (scenic art), Blair Rath (technical director), Joaquin Gomez (stage manager), Emily Kefferstan (assistant production manager) and Justin Burns (assistant stage manager).

Performances will begin February 20, 2015 and continue through March 29, 2015 at Quest's home venue of The Blue Theater, 1609 W. Gregory Avenue, Chicago. Curtain times are Fridays at 8 pm., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm. Press is invited to the performance on Friday, February 28 at 8 pm. Tomato Queen will play in repertory with The People's by special reQuest, a music revue featuring favorite songs from Quest productions from its 13-year history. by special reQuest will be performed Saturdays at 8 pm from February 28 through March 28th.

Quest's shows are always free (though donations are welcomed), but reservations are highly recommended. Reservations can be made by calling 312-458-0895. For more information, visit www.questensemble.org

Photos by Brixton Black

high res photos

Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN
Molly LeCaptain, Kirk Osgood, Kent Joseph

Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN
Molly LeCaptain, Kirk Osgood

Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN
Vince Lonergan, Hornworm

Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN
Molly LeCaptain, Kirk Osgood, Kent Joseph

Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN
Molly LeCaptain, Vince Lonergan

Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN
Kent Joseph

Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN
Molly LeCaptain, Kirk Osgood

Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN
The Hornworm

Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN
Nate Buursma

Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN
Taylor Keenan, Brett Taylor, Molly LeCaptain

Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN
Molly LeCaptain, Vince Lonergan

Photo Flash: First Look at Quest Theatre Ensemble's TOMATO QUEEN
Taylor Keenan, Brett Taylor



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