Steppenwolf & Second City Team for Shakespeare 400 Chicago with THE PEOPLE VS. FRIAR LAURENCE

Steppenwolf's LookOut and Second City Theatricals have teamed up to re-create a staged-reading of the smash hit musical, "The People vs. Friar Laurence, the Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet" as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago tonight, June 25 and tomorrow, June 26 at 8:00pm.

This musical is a hilarious re-telling of Shakespeare's most famous love story. This rowdy re-dux of the legendary tale lays the ultimate blame for Romeo and Juliet's fated demise at the feet of Friar Laurence. Grilled, Court TV-style by an aggressive Prince Escalus, the clergyman is forced to recount the entire tale of the star-crossed lovers in an effort to prove his innocence. Chris Jones of The Chicago Tribune writes "laughs come thick and fast in this Shakespeare parody...In short, it's a blast."

Ron West returns to the helm as Director and Bruce Green reprises his role as Friar Laurence. Lisa McQueen joins the cast as Musical Director. "The People vs. Friar Laurence, the Man Who Killed Romeo & Juliet" is written by Ron West with music and lyrics by Ron West and Phil Swann. Ron West is also confirmed to direct "The Second City's Twist Your Dickens" at the Goodman Theatre this winter as well as the national tour. A complete list of tour dates will be released this summer.

About the Creative Team:

Ron West - After originating Twist Your Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge at the Kirk Douglas Theater in Los Angeles in 2012 and 2013, Ron directed the show at Portland Center Stage in Oregon. Lately, he and Catherine Butterfield have been working on honing their adaptation of Anthony Trollope's novel The Way We Live Now. With Phil Swann, he has written the musicals The People Vs. Friar Laurence, deLEARious, Vocal Arrangement, Christmas Eve of Destruction, and Shakespeare's Greatest Hits. He won the 2008 Jeff award for his adaptation of The Comedy of Errors at Chicago Shakespeare and a 2002 Jeff for directing Second City's Curious George Goes to War. He sometimes appears on television as someone whose first name is Doctor. He hit .602 in 63 games last year.

Phil Swann - Phillip Swann's career in the entertainment industry has spanned over 30-years as a performer, songwriter, producer, author & teacher. His songs have been heard in television, film and have been recorded by numerous recording artists including: Clay Aiken, Lee Ann Womack, Josh Strickland, Blake Shelton, Neal McCoy, Rodney Atkins, Eamonn McCrystal and Lee Greenwood, to name only a few.

A former staff songwriter and producer for DreamWorks, Swann's production credits include: Helen Slater, The Good Mad, Laura Hall, Kelly McCleod, Danielle Kuri, Roberta Duchak, Dave Aguallo and Dan Nahmod. Solo projects by Swann include, the critically acclaimed jazz recording, Stale Scotch and Cheap Cigars, and the pop EP, Age of Opportunity.

For the theatrical stage, Swann is the composer of the hit Off-Broadway musical, Play It Cool, Outer Critics Circle nominee for best new off-Broadway musical; The People vs. Friar Laurence, the Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet, nominated for three Jeffrey Joseph Awards including Best New Musical, published by Samuel French; and, DeLEARious, Garland Award winner for Best New Score. Other musicals by Swann include, Neil Simon's Musical Fools, In A Booth at Chasen's, Trombone, Shakespeare's Greatest Hits and It Had To Be You, a musical based on the life and songs of the famed lyricist, Gus Kahn.

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