Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Refuge Theatre Project's 2018 - 2019 Season Includes THE LAST SESSION and HANDS ON A HARDBODY

Refuge Theatre Project's 2018 - 2019 Season Includes THE LAST SESSION and HANDS ON A HARDBODY Refuge Theater Project has announced its 2018 - 2019 season including The Last Session, October 25 - December 2 and Hands on a Hardbody, March 29 - May 5, 2019. Artistic Director Christopher Pazdernik will direct both productions. Tickets are $30 each and are now on sale at RefugeTheatre.com. Details on each production are included below.

The Refuge Theatre Project's 2018 - 2019 Season includes:
The Last Session
Book by Jim Brochu
Music and lyrics by Steve Schalchlin, with additional lyrics by John Bettis and Marie Cain
Directed by Refuge Theatre Project
Artistic Director Christopher Pazdernik
October 26 - December 2
Location: Atlas Arts Studio, 4809 N Ravenswood Ave.
Previews: Thursday, Oct. 25 and Friday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.
Schedule: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m.
Tickets: Previews: $15 Regular Performances: $30
Tickets for The Last Session go on sale Saturday, Sept. 1.

Nominated for Best Musical by the New York Drama League and the New York Outer Critics Circle and written as musical therapy, in real time, to songwriter Schalchlin's own AIDS diagnosis and subsequent battle on the deathbed, The Last Session, an off-Broadway hit in its original run in 1997, reunites a group of singers, friends and band mates to record one final album, except for the unexpected arrival of a guest singer who spoils what was supposed to be a nice, quiet goodbye party. All of them are deeply connected yet are unaware that their host carries a big secret: that he plans to end his struggle with AIDS after the session.

The New York Times called this gospel/rock/pop infused musical "Exquisite" and The Los Angeles Times named it a "Critics Choice" and raved, "screamingly funny, yet love is everywhere. Written from the heart, Schalchlin's gospel tinged pop tunes exert a rare emotional pull and Brochu's story telling allows them to emerge realistically out of the action. Again and again, a fierce drive takes overtakes the tunes melodic strains. It's life taking hold again - hope rising on powerful wings."

Hands on a Hardbody CHICAGO PREMIERE
Based on S.R. Bindler's documentary film "Hands on a Hardbody"
Book by Doug Wright
Music by Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green
Lyrics by Amanda Green
Directed by Refuge Theatre Project
Artistic Director Christopher Pazdernik
Music Directed by Jon Schneidman
March 22 - May 5, 2019
Previews: Friday, March 22 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 23 at 8 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday, March 24 at 6 p.m.
Schedule: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m.
Tickets: Previews: $15 Regular Performances: $30
Tickets for Hands on a Hardbody go on sale Friday, Feb. 1, 2019

Nominated for Best Musical by the New York Drama League and inspired by true events, the hilarious and hopeful Hands on a Hardbody features a book by Doug Wright (Pulitzer Prize winner, I Am My Own Wife), lyrics by Amanda Green (Bring it On: The Musical) and music by Trey Anastasio (Phish) and Green and is based on the acclaimed 1997 documentary of the same name by S.R. Bindler, produced by Kevin Morris and Bindler. Only one winner can drive home the American Dream and 10 hard-luck Texans all want the keys. Under a scorching sun for days on end, they will each fight to keep at least one hand on a brand-new truck in order to win it.
Hands marks the third collaboration between Director Pazdernik and Music Director Schneidman at Refuge. They previously worked together on the Jeff-Award winning High Fidelity and last season's Jeff-Award nominated Spitfire Grill. New York Magazine said Hands on a Hardbody is "Hands down ... musical theater heaven!" and The New York Times said, "You can hear the voice of America singing in this daring new musical."

Refuge Theatre Project strives to foster a broader, more accessible theatre community. They promote the production of under-produced, under-appreciated musical theatre in traditional and non-traditional theatrical spaces creating a unique, affordable, only-in-Chicago theatrical experience.


Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles View More Chicago Stories

More Hot Stories For You