Route 66 Theatre Company has announced the details of their newest world premiere collaboration, a one-of-a-kind original musical by local sensation Diana Lawrence (of Diana and the Dishes, and currently musical director of TICK, TICK, BOOM at Porchlight Music Theatre). NEXT STOP runs Monday and Tuesday nights at 7:30pm, June 18-26, at Theater Wit, 1229 West Belmont Ave, Chicago IL.
The book for NEXT STOP is written by ALICE AUSTEN (LA MUSICA, WATER, CHERRY ORCHARD MASSACRE), Aaron Carter (Steppenwolf Theatre COMPANY’S Literary Manager), IKE HOLTER (HIT THE WALL), ALEX LUBISCHER (THE XYLOPHONE WEST), BRETT NEVEU (MEGACOSM, OLD TOWN, THE EARL), and Caitlin Montanye Parrish (Route 66’s hit production of A TWIST OF WATER, which is headed Off-Broadway this fall).
NEXT STOP is directed by Erica Weiss (A TWIST OF WATER, Associate Artistic Director, Route 66), and features Adrian Aguilar (TICK, TICK…BOOM!, HAIR, THE ORIGINAL GREASE), Harmony France (VIOLET, RISE OF THE NUMBERLESS), Emjoy Gavino (HAIR, WORKING), ZACH KENNEY (THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION, WAITING FOR LEFTY), Geoff Rice (SENSE AND SENSIBILLITY, BARREL OF MONKEYS), and Blair Robertson (THE SNOW QUEEN, MCMEEKIN FINDS OUT).
NEXT STOP is a new musical created by six Chicago-affiliated playwrights and one sensational Chicago singer-songwriter. The show begins with a greyhound bus escape from a small town to Chicago, and then takes us on a journey around the city, each story taking place off a different El Stop. From a jog along Lakeshore Drive to a campaign office in the Loop, to a wedding celebration by Michigan Avenue, Route 66 continues our commitment to celebrating the Windy City through innovative storytelling.
Route 66 Artistic Director Stef Tovar says of NEXT STOP: “Diana has worked with Route 66 for years now and I absolutely love her music and lyrics. She’s a perfect fit to write a musical theatre piece. She’s got a flair for writing in character and clever lyrical turns of phrase in addition to writing beautiful, catchy melodies. The engine behind this collaboration comes from Erica’s idea of mutual inspiration: she would inspire six very different writers by exposing them to Diana Lawrence’s music, which in turn would inspire Diana to create new songs for their plays. I’d never heard of anyone creating a musical like this, and I saw a perfect opportunity with the talent and passion of Erica, these writers, performers, and fantastic composer.”
Diana Lawrence (Composer) is a Chicago songwriter, singer, pianist and music director. Diana's work has been performed by the musical theatre department at Roosevelt University, and later this summer, she will be writing for Music Theatre Company's 48 Hour Musicals festival. Her band, Diana & the Dishes, released their debut album in 2010, and she will be releasing and touring her second solo EP this summer. As a music director and pianist, Diana has worked for organizations such as The Second City, Porchlight Music Theatre and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. She first worked for Route 66 Theatre as assistant music director for HIGH FIDELITY, and she is thrilled that they have chosen to produce and co-create her first full-length musical theatre piece. dianalawrence.com
Alice Austen (Playwright) Alice's plays have been produced and performed at theatres around the country and in Europe, including Chicago Dramatists (Water, Jeff Award Nominee for Best New Work), Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Theatre 503 (London), Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, The Irish Theatre Company (Brussels), Famous Door Theatre, Stage Left Theatre, The New Plays Festival, and the Milwaukee Rep. Alice is a playwright in residence at Hangar Theatre for summer 2012, a recipient of a Residency from The Royal Court Theatre (London), a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and a member of Shanghai Low Theatricals. Her translation of La Musica by Marguerite Duras had its critically acclaimed world premiere production in Chicago this spring (Salomee Speelt), Best of All Possible Worlds will be seen at Steep Theatre Company this summer, Plaza Hotel Ballroom will receive a staged reading at the Hangar Theatre in July. Alice has recently written two novels, The Geometry of Chance and 41, and is currently finishing her new film, Don't Let Go. Alice is a graduate of Harvard University and a member of the Dramatists Guild.