'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for September 26th, 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:
It’s finally time! The number one most anticipated show of this Super September, as voted on by you, the readers of BroadwayWorld Chicago, begins performances today, September 26, 2012, and runs through November 4. Stephen Sondheim’s and James Lapine’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “SUNDAY IN THE Park With George,” directed by Gary Griffin for Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier (as a follow-up to his last year’s smash hit production of “Follies” in the same venue), stars Broadway’s Jason Danieley and Carmen Cusack in the roles originated by Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters. Others in the dripping-with-talent cast include McKinley Carter, Sean Fortunato, Kevin Gudahl, Rachel Cantor, Derek Hasenstab, Heidi Kettenring, Ora Jones, Linda Stephens, Travis Taylor, Michael Aaron Lindner, Benjamin Magnuson and Elizabeth Lanza (a top-notch group, to be sure), with young Madison Olszewski as Louise. Surely you are familiar with the gems in this score, right? “Move On,” “Finishing The Hat,” “Children And Art,” and “Putting It Together” have all had their day in the sun. And of course, the song “Sunday” is as moving a first act finale as Broadway has ever given us. If you don’t believe me, check out the online video of this cast performing it at the Art Institute Of Chicago, home of the painting by Georges Seurat upon which The show is based. It was a PR person’s dream!
SITPWG at ChicagoShakes
Your second most anticipated show of the month was “A Class Act” at Porchlight Music Theatre. And did you see the reviews this production received? Director Stacey Flaster and star Bill Larkin (and Mister Subject Matter, the late Ed Kleban) all came off pretty stellarly. It must be a pretty spectacular outing. And Porchlight must be flying high after last weekend’s visit by co-author and original director and star Lonny Price. Way to go, you guys! (Now through October 7th.)
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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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