'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for August 29th, 2012
THE LATEST IN UNAUTHORIZED GOSSIP AND BUZZ
FROM THE HEART OF CHICAGO'S SHOWTUNE VIDEO BARS,
AND MUSICAL THEATER NEWS FROM CHICAGO TO BROADWAY
by Paul W. Thompson
Overheard last weekend under the showtune
video screens at Sidetrack and The Call:
Just when you thought it was safe to start betting on the winners of the 2012 Joseph Jefferson Awards, Equity wing, news came last week that the original press release and list of nominees from the Jeff Awards committee accidently left a category off! “Director – Revue” was a casualty of a hugely long list of nominees, apparently, but somebody caught it within about a day. So, the directors of the two shows nominated for “Production – Revue,” “Putting It Together” from Porchlight Music Theatre and “We’re All In This Room Together” from The Second City e.t.c., Brenda Didier and Ryan Bernier, respectively, reportedly received apologetic, confirmatory phone calls from Jeff and a flood of social media responses from relieved friends and family. It brings PIT up to five nominations in all, with three for WAITRT. Winners will be announced October 15, 2012 at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace. Break a leg, Brenda and Ryan!
Click Here for the Complete List of Nominees
As we all must know by now, Chicago really is a hotbed of new musical theater work. And there are several examples of this on display in the coming months. This weekend and next is the Chicago Fringe Festival, and therein the performance troupe Terra Mysterium is presenting the original musical “The Alembic,” by Amy Christensen. The cast of five is directed by Matthew Ellenwood, Terra Mysterium’s artistic director. The Festival is centered in the Pilsen neighborhood this year, and “The Alembic,” described as a “Steampunk musical tale,” will be performed August 31-September 9 at the Dream Theatre on 18th Street.
Now in rehearsal for its run from September 12-November 11, 2012 at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place is “I Love Lucy Live On Stage,” brought here by Broadway In Chicago after a very successful and BroadwayWorld Award-winning run in Los Angeles. The setting is the Desilu Soundstage, and the time is 1952. You, the studio audience, will witness the “filming” of two classic episodes of “I Love Lucy,” entertained by “The Ricky Ricardo Orchestra” and “The Crystaltone Singers” in the process. I understand that three LA cast members are here, but that the rest of the ensemble is Chicago talent. The original production staff has Chicago ties as well. But why can’t I find a press release? It’s almost opening night!
I Love Lucy Live On Stage
The weekend of October 12-14 will see the world premiere satire, “Showgirls The Musical,” starring ELiza Morris, Jamie Finkenthal and Joe Zordan. The brainchild of John-Ryan Griggs and Chad Comer, and based on the legendarily disastrous 1995 movie musical of the same name with Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan and Gina Gershon, the musical stage show will play at Stage 773 in the heart of Lakeview. The ambitious young producers got some capital via Kickstarter, and intend to grow the show from humble beginnings into something, well, less humble.
WICKED vs. THE BOOK OF MORMON for Best Revival of a Play and More...
Past Articles by This Author:
Paul W. Thompson, a contributor to BroadwayWorld.com since 2007, is a Chicago-based singer, actor, musical director, pianist, vocal coach, composer and commentator. His career as a performer, teacher and writer is centered at Paul W. Thompson Music, located in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building, where he teaches the great songs of Broadway to the next generation of musical theater performers. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Paul was raised in a family of professional musicians and teachers, steeped in classical, gospel, country, pop, sacred and show music. Dubbed a “thin, winsome lad” at the age of 13 by a critic for the Nashville Banner, he earned two degrees in musical theater (a B.F.A. with Honors from Baylor University and an M.M. from the University of Miami, Florida), plus an M.B.A. with Distinction from DePaul University. Paul’s memberships include Actors’ Equity Association, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (proud voter for the Grammy Awards!), the National Association of Teachers of Singing and New York’s Drama League.|
Moving easily between the worlds of classical music, religious music, classic pop and musical theater, Paul has appeared onstage or in the orchestra pit in concerts, musicals, operettas and operas in 30 states and in Europe, in a career spanning more than 35 years. His Chicagoland stage credits include “Forever Plaid” at the Royal George Theater and twenty mainstage productions at Light Opera Works. Paul joined the Chicago Symphony Chorus in 1995 (he was Tenor I Section Leader for four years and sings on two Grammy-winning recordings), and is one of Chicago’s foremost liturgical singers, marking 20 years as a member of the choir at St. James Cathedral (Episcopal) in 2011.He has composed and arranged a number of anthems, hymns and songs for worship and concert use, and collaborates on the creation of new works of musical theater. Paul can be found on Monday nights watching showtune videos at the world-famous Sidetrack nightclub, the inspiration for his weekly column, “The Showtune Mosh Pit.” His proudest achievement is that he has seen the original Broadway production of every Tony Award-winning Best Musical since “Cats.” No, really. Since “Cats!”
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