SHOCKHEADED PETER and 'NEVERMORE' Slated for Black Button Eyes' 2017-18 Season

Black Button Eyes Productions is pleased to announce its 2017-18 season, kicking off in late summer 2017 with the Chicago storefront premiere of SHOCKHEADED PETER, the silly and sinister musical based on Heinrich Hoffmann's popular German children's book The Struwwelpeter.

Directed by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford with music direction by Jeff Bouthiette, SHOCKHEADED PETER was created for the Stage by Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott with original music and lyrics by The Tiger Lillies.

The season continues in winter 2018 with the Chicago premiere musical NEVERMORE: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe with book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Christenson. Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford directs this moving life story of the iconic American writer told through haunting music, poetic storytelling and stunning stagecraft.

SHOCKHEADED PETER will be staged at The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave, in Chicago. Ticket are currently available at, by calling (773) 935-6875 or in person at The Athenaeum Theatre Box Office SHOCKHEADED PETER will be staged at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at

Black Button Eyes Productions' 2017-18 Season:

August 11 - September, 17, 2017

SHOCKHEADED PETER - Chicago Storefront Premiere!

Created for the Stage by Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott

Original Music & Lyrics by The Tiger Lillies

Adapted from Heinrich Hoffmann's The Struwwelpeter

Directed by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford

Music Direction by Jeff Bouthiette

at The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago

Press opening: Saturday, August 12 at 7:30 pm

A sinister but incompetent master of ceremonies leads the audience through the tale of a childless couple that has their fondest wish granted in the most delightfully dreadful way imaginable, accompanied by vignettes in which the hilariously horrible fates that befall naughty children everywhere are brought to darkly comedic life.

SHOCKHEADED PETER was originally conceived and produced by Michael Morris for Cultural Industry, London and devised in rehearsal by Julian Bleach, Anthony Cairns, Tamzin Griffin, Jo Pocock and Graeme Gilmour.

January 5 - 28, 2018

NEVERMORE: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe - Chicago Premiere!

Book, Music & Lyrics By Jonathan Christenson

Directed by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford

at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway, Chicago

Press opening: Friday, January 5 at 7:30 pm

Edgar Allen Poe's life reads like one of his short stories: an unrelenting tale of misery and woe. His death is also shrouded in mystery. Was he just spectacularly unlucky, or did a supernatural shadow fall over his life? This Chicago premiere weaves fact and fiction into a tapestry of music and poetry.

Ed Rutherford (Director, Shockheaded Peter & Nevermore) most recently directed the Jeff-Recommended production of Paula Vogel's The Baltimore Waltz at Brown Paper Box Co. For Black Button Eyes, his latest directing project was the Chicago premiere of Amour, preceded by Goblin Market and the Midwest Premiere of the musical Coraline. A proud graduate of Northwestern's theater program, he also directed his own adaptation of the Peter S. Beagle fantasy novel The Last Unicorn with Promethean Theatre Ensemble, where he is an artistic associate. In addition for Promethean he has directed Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle, their inaugural production, Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy, and will direct the David Ives translation of Corneille's The Liar this spring. As an actor, he has performed with Drury Lane Oakbrook, Porchlight, Theater Wit and many others. He is currently pursuing his MBA at Kellogg.

Jeff Bouthiette (Music Director, Shockheaded Peter) has been an actor, writer, and music director in Chicago for over a decade. Recent music direction includes BITE: A Pucking Queer Cabaret (Pride Films and Plays) and Goblin Market (Black Button Eyes). He also wrote music and lyrics for PLANTED: A Song Cycle (Chicago Musical Theater Festival 2016) and for countless sketch comedy shows at the Second City Training Center, where he is Head of the Music Program. Some favorite roles include Mr. Bobo in Coraline (Black Button Eyes), Bernard in Fanatical: The Musical (American Demigods) and Montel/Jesus in the American premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera (Bailiwick Repertory). He is also a founding ensemble member of The Improvised Sondheim Project, and a proud graduate of the Academy at Black Box Acting.

The 2017-18 season continues Black Button Eyes Productions' mission to bring to Chicago premieres and seldom-seen works containing elements of fantasy, in which the magical and surreal invade reality. The company was founded in 2014 with the acclaimed Midwest Premiere of the musical Coraline, and continued in 2015 by producing the musical Goblin Market in its first Chicago production in over 15 years, attended by the author, Chicago native Polly Pen. Most recently, the company presented the Chicago premiere of the musical Amour.

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