Route 66 Theatre Company is pleased to announce the line-up for its 6th annual Mile Markers Benefit Concert: REVOLUTION: SONGS OF PROTEST AND EMPOWERMENT on Friday, March 10, 2017 at Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave. in Chicago. Tickets for MILE MARKERS are currently available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2879219.
Featuring performances and music direction by acclaimed composer/lyricist Michael Mahler and directed by Tammy Mader, this year’s concert will also feature Missy Aguilar, Audrey Billings, Brianna Borger, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis, Dara Cameron, Vasily Deris, Devin DeSantis, Dina DiCostanzo, Don Forston, Lara Filip, Sophie Grimm, Heidi Kettenring, Diana Lawrence, Adam Michaels, Andrew Mueller, Matthew Mueller, Malcolm Ruhl, Stephen Schellhardt, Bethany Thomas, Stef Tovar, Keely Vasquez and Byron Willis. The all-star band includes Jim Barclay, Liam Davis, Bob Gilmartin and Scott Stephenson.
Door open at 7 pm for a cash bar, light bites, silent auction and raffle followed by a night filled with music from the '60s through today. Mile Markers is the cornerstone of Route 66 Theatre Company’s fundraising efforts and directly supports the 2017 season.
Title: REVOLUTION: SONGS OF PROTEST AND EMPOWERMENT
Music Director: Michael Mahler
Director: Tammy Mader
Date/Time: Friday, March 10 at 8 pm. Doors open at 7 pm for cash bar, light bites, silent auction and raffle.
Location: Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave, Chicago
Tickets: General Admission: $45 (Balcony or Main Floor SIDE seating includes ONE standard drink ticket). Reserved Seating: $60 (Main Floor CENTER seating includes ONE standard drink ticket) Premium VIP Booth Seats $400 (includes 4 seats and 8 standard drink tickets and valet parking).Tickets are currently available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2879219.
Michael Mahler (Concept and Music Direction) is the Jeff Award-winning composer/lyricist of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, October Sky, The Man who Murdered Sherlock Holmes, Hero, Wonderland: Alice's Rock & Roll Adventure, Something in the Game, and others. He contributed additional lyrics to the new Broadway production of Miss Saigon and created the original English libretto for Boublil and Schönberg's La Revolution Francaise. Michael is a Jeff-Nominated actor most recently seen as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors at American Blues, and he plays guitar in his band The Lincoln Squares. www.michaelmahler.com
Tammy Mader (Director) occasionally puts her musical theatre foot into the waters of rock & roll, mostly directing Route 66 Mile Marker concerts, which include Joshua Tree, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Jagged Little Pill (+redux), The Nightmare Before Christmas and Purple Rain. Other rock & roll endeavors: directed and choreographed Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at Drury Lane Theatres in Oakbrook and Water Tower Place; directed and choreographed the musical Hairspray; belted out some ‘60s girl group ditties in Shout!; roller-skated in spandex & leather while singing Olivia Newton John hits in Xanadu; collected enough tip money during Pump Boys And Dinettes to buy beer for the company for the entire run; played Ernie the Keebler Elf in a rock-opera called Leo On Ice for the annual Leo Burnett Breakfast at the Chicago Theatre; played a ukulele in a band called Ethyl & The Mermen.
Route 66 Theatre Company
Route 66 Theatre Company introduces, develops, produces, and exports new work for the stage. The road begins with our new play development process and reaches west, where our World and Chicago Premiere shows are given an advocate for further regional productions along the road less traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles. Since the company’s founding, Route 66 has produced 10 productions, 2 in two cities including an Off-Broadway premiere, been nominated for ten Jeff Awards and won two. Route 66 is now a resident company of The Den Theatre. www.route66theatre.org
Route 66 is Stef Tovar, Founder and Artistic Director; Rachel Wendte, Managing Director; Deborah Blumenthal, Director of New Play Development; Alana Parvey-Zalas, Business Manager; Matthew Bonaccorso, Company Manager and Kelly Parker, Casting Director
Route 66 Theatre Company Artistic Associates: Brian Sidney-Bembridge, Audrey Billings, Johnny Clark, Brandon Dahlquist, Raymond Fox, Damon Kiely, Ron Klier, Jenni Lamb, Tyler Meredith, John Mohrlein, Kelly Parker, Geoff Rice, Emily Rohm, Tricia Small, Jeremy Sonkin, Alex Stage, Nancy Staiger, Erica Stephan, Bethany Thomas, Rita Vreeland, Steven Wilson, Rachel Wendte and Emily Woods.
Route 66 Theatre Company Board of Directors: Jennifer Baumann, President; Deborah Haimes, Vice-President of Communications; Nicholas Stone, Treasurer; Molly Crabtree, Secretary; Elizabeth Derrico, David and Monica Byrd, Lee Dickson, James Frenzel, Laurie Hamilton, Tammy Rosenszweig, Pat Turnbull and Robert Veasey.
Route 66 Theatre Company’s 9th Season is presented by generous grants from MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency and DCASE CityArts.
American Blues Theater, under the continued leadership of Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside, announces the lineup for its 2017 – 2018 Season, “The Beat Goes On.” American Blues’ 32nd Season will include the World Premiere of Six Corners by Keith Huff, directed by Gary Griffin; the Chicago Premiere of Beauty’s Daughter by Dael Orlandersmith, directed by Ron OJ Parson; the 16th annual production of It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! from Frank Capra’s film, directed by Gwendolyn Whiteside; and Buddy – the Buddy Holly Story by Alan Janes, directed by Lili-Anne Brown with musical direction by Ensemble member Michael Mahler. All performances in the 2017-2018 Season will take place at Stage 773, located at 1225 W Belmont Ave, Chicago.
“From the lyric beats of a poet, the heartbeat of a family man, the patrol beat of a Chicago cop, to the inimitable beat of Buddy Holly & the Crickets, we’re thrilled with the rich and varied stories offered for our audiences,” notes Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside. “We’re honored to have such extraordinary talent on the American Blues stage.”
The 2017-18 American Blues Theater Season up close:
The Chicago Premiere of
by Dael Orlandersmith
directed by Ron OJ Parson
July 7 – August 5, 2017
Press Opening: July 13, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
This Obie Award-winning play by Dael Orlandersmith depicts one woman’s journey through life’s obstacles in an East Harlem neighborhood. Artistic Affiliate Wandachristine takes on 6 different characters during the course of this solo play—some broken, some on the way down, but all memorable.
16th Anniversary Production of
It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!
from Frank Capra’s film
directed by Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside
November 17 – December 30, 2017
Press Opening: November 19, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.
For 16 years, the American Blues Ensemble has treated Chicago audiences to a live 1940s radio broadcast of holiday favorite It’s a Wonderful Life. The incredible cast recreates the entire town of Bedford Falls with Foley sound effects, an original score and holiday carols. The Bedford Falls “residents” extend their hospitality after every performance when audiences are treated to milk and cookies served by the cast.
The World Premiere of
by Keith Huff
directed by Gary Griffin
February 16 – March 25, 2018
Press Opening: February 22, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Late one night, two burnt-out violent crimes unit detectives try their damnedest to close the puzzling murder of a CTA employee. What should be a simple open-and-shut case, however, evolves into a horrifying mystery and unearths a legacy of violence stretching back years.
The Chicago Revival of
Buddy – the Buddy Holly Story
by Alan Janes
directed by Lili-Anne Brown
musical direction by Ensemble member Michael Mahler
April 27 – May 26, 2018
Press Opening: May 3, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Before the Beatles or the Rolling Stones ever played a note, rock & roll was forever changed by the bespectacled kid from Texas. BUDDY tells the true story of Buddy Holly through his short yet spectacular career and features the classic songs "That’ll be the Day", "Peggy Sue", The Big Bopper’s "Chantilly Lace", Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba" plus many more.
Additional 2017-2018 Programming
Ripped Festival: Edition 16
Written and direction by various Chicago artists
Since 2009, American Blues Theater has produced 135 short plays in the RIPPED: the Living Newspaper series. Based on the 1930’s WPA era program that brought Orson Welles, Arthur Miller, Richard Wright and Clifford Odets into public attention, playwrights use inspiration ripped from today’s headlines to create stories performed live on stage.
Arts Education in Chicago Public Schools
The Lincoln Project
Conceived and Adapted by Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside from Artistic Affiliate James Still’s Pulitzer-nominated The Heavens Are Hung in Black
American Blues Theater’s innovative and adaptive program aligns with Illinois Learning Standards to engage 5th-10th graders about the life of Abraham Lincoln, specifically the events surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation. Students watch scenes performed by professional actors, participate in discussions, and most importantly, write their own plays. Since the program’s launch in 2013, over 5,500 students have participated in the program.
All main stage performances take place at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. The Blue Card – the most affording ticketing offer the 2017-2018 season are available now at www.AmericanBluesTheater.com or by calling 773.654.3103.
About American Blues Theater
Winner of the American Theatre Wing’s prestigious 2016 National Theatre Company Award, American Blues Theater is a premier arts organization with an intimate environment that patrons, artists, and all Chicagoans call home. American Blues Theater explores the American identity through the plays it produces and communities it serves.
The diverse and multi-generational artists have established the second-oldest professional Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago. The 37-member Ensemble has 530+ combined years of collaboration on stage. As of 2016, the theater and artists received 186 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations that celebrate excellence in Chicago theater and over 31 Black Theatre Alliance Awards. The artists are honored with Pulitzer Prize nominations, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades.
The American Blues Theater Ensemble includes all four Founders Ed Blatchford, Rick Cleveland, James Leaming, and William Payne with Dawn Bach, Matthew Brumlow, Manny Buckley, Kate Buddeke, Sarah Burnham, Dara Cameron, Casey Campbell, Darren Canady, Brian Claggett, Dennis Cockrum, Austin Cook, Laura Coover, Ian Paul Custer, Lauri Dahl, Joe Foust, Cheryl Graeff, Marty Higginbotham, Jaclyn Holsey, Lindsay Jones, Nambi E. Kelley, Kevin R. Kelly, Steve Key, Ed Kross, Warren Levon, Michael Mahler, Heather Meyers, John Mohrlein, Christopher J. Neville, Suzanne Petri, Carmen Roman, Editha Rosario, Sarah E. Ross, and Gwendolyn Whiteside.
American Blues Theater programs and activities are made possible, in part by funding by The MacArthur Funds for Arts & Culture at Prince, the Shubert Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, SMART Growth Grant, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Anixter Foundation, Actors’ Equity Foundation, and the Chip Pringle Fund. ComEd is the Season Lighting Sponsor.
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