'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for July 13, 2011
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:
It's a midsummer party! Tonight is the "Broadway Rocks" concert at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavillion, featuring Christiane Noll, Capathia Jenkins, Rob Evan, the Grant Park Orchestra and the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus. It's at 6:30, and I will see you there! Afterwards, you are all invited to come on up to The Call nightclub in Andersonville (1547 W. Bryn Mawr, at Clark Street) for an Afterparty hosted by me and BroadwayWorld Chicago contributor Misha Davenport (also a CGMC member). We'll get rolling by 10:00, I expect. And at midnight tonight, it becomes my 50th birthday! You know I'll be in the mood to have a good time. And I hope you all are! (Of course, it's 21 and over only.) Michael Hogan spins the most diverse set of Showtune videos in town, and always has a surprise or two up his sleeve. So, let's hit the town with Broadway in our ears and a good time to be had by all. See you tonight!
Broadway Rocks! | The Grant Park Music Festival
It seems to be golden time in Chicago for children's theater musicals. TYA (Theater For Young Audiences) is always important, and usually popular, but July seems to be the sweet spot for the bigtime versions of these shows. Check it out! This week, the world premiere of a new musical based on an old tale, "The Adventures Of Pinocchio," begins performances at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. And this is no by-the-numbers kid's show. It's by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill, the guys behind "The Story Of My Life," that two-man musical which ran on Broadway at the depth of the economic melt-down in 2009 and tried for a rejuvenation last Christmas at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater. Chicago Shakes commissioned this work from the pair, and hired Rachel Rockwell (fresh from the Marriott Theatre's rejuvenated "Shout!") to direct it. Heidi Kettenring, Don Forston, Melody Betts, Ron Rains and Derek Hasenstab are among the local actors appearing in the show (July 13-August 28), with newcomer Skyler Adams in the title role.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater's ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO
Not too far away, under the watchful eyes of tourists on the Magnificent Mile, our very own Emerald City Theatre has hit the equivalent of the TYA jackpot with the remount of their version of the recent Off-Broadway musical "Pinkalicious," picked up for a commercial run by Broadway In Chicago for its Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. It runs July 8-September 3, and by most accounts is as sweet as can be. Its previous run at the Apollo Theater was pretty darn successful, and now the stage is even more prominent. It's nice when work gets noticed.
Chicago Pinkalicious 2011 Tickets | Broadway in Chicago
Speaking of the Marriott Theatre, they have a TYA musical at the moment as well, and it's a well-known title, "Aladdin." Not just any "Aladdin," mind you, but the Walt Disney one, with a score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. It starts tomorrow and runs through August 14 up in Lincolnshire. Jameson Cooper stars as the titular boy hero, with Christine Bunuan as Jasmine, Karl Hamilton as Razoul, Dieterich Gray as Jafar and Bernie Yvon as the Genie, filling those big Robin Williams shoes. Theatrical observers know that a full-length version of this show was just introduced at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle (staged by "The Book Of Mormon"'s Casey Nicholaw), with plans to enter the Disney Theatricals performing rights catalog for adult companies to book. With two versions of the successful movie available, is it "A Whole New World" for flying carpet designers?
KINKY BOOTS vs. MATILDA for Best Musical 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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