Pride Films And Plays To Produce Chicago Premiere A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
Pride Films and Plays will stage the first Chicago production in more than a decade of A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, the heartwarming musical created by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Terrence McNally, the team that wrote RAGTIME and ANASTASIA. A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE is based on a 1994 film starring Albert Finney as a Dublin bus conductor and features a gorgeous Irish-influenced score. Donterrio Johnson, the Jeff award-winning actor who directed PFP's BUYER AND CELLAR earlier this year and is currently appearing in THE SPITFIRE GRILL with American Blues Theater, will direct. Music direction is by Robert Ollis, who most recently music directed SOUTHERN COMFORT for Pride Films and Plays and was a 2019 Jeff nominee for his music direction of HAYMARKET: A NEW FOLK MUSICAL. Ollis was Music Director for the 2008 production of A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, which earned five Jeff Award nominations for Bailiwick Repertory.Alfie Byrne is a middle-aged, unmarried bus conductor who idolizes Oscar Wilde and harbors a secret crush on his handsome young co-worker Robbie Fay. Much of the musical's comedy comes from Alfie's determined efforts to stage a production of Wilde's SALOME with his quirky community theater group. Director Johnson says "I find A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE to be above all, a story about community and how art is keeping this particular community together. I'm very honored to be bringing A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE back to Chicago with this unbelievable and diverse cast of actor/musicians. This is a show I've always had an affinity for, and to be given the chance to retell this story about acceptance and the power of the theatre will be an awe-inspiring experience for the cast and audiences alike."Johnson's cast will be led by Ryan Lanning as Alfie. Lanning appeared as Robbie Fay in the 2008 production. Lanning is a Jeff Award winner for his Molina in Bailiwick's KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN and his leading roles on Chicago stages also include the title roles in CANDIDE for Porchlight and HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH for Haven Theatre. Robbie Fay will be played by Steven Romero Schaeffer, whose recent credits include PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES (Troupe America National Tour), BIG RIVER (Theatre at the Center) and ALTAR BOYZ (Theo Ubique). Also featured in Johnson's diverse cast are Ciera Dawn (of THE LITTLE MERMAID and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Paramount and WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT.... at Steppenwolf) as Adele Rice, Sarah Beth Tanner (of HAYMARKET for Underscore Theatre and TWELFTH NIGHT for Midsommer Flight) as Lily Byrne, and Jeff Award-winner Tommy Bullington (who most recently played Pseudolus in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM at Metropolis Arts Center) as William Carney.Also in the cast are Ryan Armstrong (Ernie, Rasher Flynn), Tiffany Taylor (Mrs. Patrick), Ian Rigg (Father Kenny), Kimberly Lawson (Mrs. Grace), Jessica Lauren Fisher (Miss Crowe), Christopher Davis (Baldy), Orlando Shelly (Peter), Jenny Rudnick (Mrs. Curtin),, Thomas Tong (Sully O'Hara), Kevin O'Connell (Brenton Beret, Oscar Wilde), Patrick O'Keefe (Swing) and Jenni Carroll (Swing). The production team includes Robert S. Kuhn (costume design), Evan Frank (scenic design), Mike McShane (lighting design), Allison Petrillo (assistant director), Emily Marrazzo (stage manager), and Justus Wright (sound engineer).A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE will be staged in the 85-seat Broadway Theatre of the Pride Arts Center and will open to the press on Monday, October 14 following previews from Thursday, October 10. It will play through Sunday November 10. Tickets will be on sale soon at www.pridefilmsandplays.com.