Chicago Shakespeare Theater Develops
New Musicals—Three Premieres Scheduled
Funk It Up About Nothin' Opens Six-Week Australian Tour Tomorrow Night
Immediately Followed by London Premiere at Theatre Royal Stratford East
Murder for Two Premieres May 12 Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare
The Adventures of Pinocchio Premieres July 13 in CST's Courtyard Theater
ChicagoFebruary 22, 2011Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) continues its commitment to the development of new musicals in 2011 with two productions premiering at its home on Navy Pier, and one of its most successful musical commissions launching an international tour. On CST's stages, the musical murder mystery Murder for Two runs from May 12 to October 16, 2011, and the puppet-infused family musical The Adventures of Pinocchio joins the CST Family Series from July 13 to August 28, 2011. Overseas, CST's acclaimed Funk It Up About Nothin' opens a six-week Australian tour tomorrow night, immediately followed by its London debut at Theatre Royal Stratford East beginning April 8, 2011.
At the helm of Chicago Shakespeare's commitment to fostering the talents of musical theater writers, Creative Producer Rick Boynton has been instrumental in developing Murder for Two and The Adventures of Pinocchio, both premiering on CST's stages after workshops at the Theater over the past season. These productions follow on the heels of Chicago Shakespeare's acclaimed "hip-hoptation" Funk It Up About Nothin', which was developed by The Q Brothers in collaboration with Boynton and opens a six-week Australian tour tomorrow night before making its London debut at Theatre Royal Stratford East beginning April 8, 2011.
Murder for Two creators Joe Kinosian (music/book) and Kellen Blair (lyrics/book) met in the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, where they are advanced members. The BMI workshop has been home to many award-winning musical writers, including Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Avenue Q), Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), and Edward Kleban (A Chorus Line). Chicago Shakespeare Theater held the first developmental workshop for Murder for Two in May 2010 and has shepherded its creation, leading to its premiere at CST. Staged by CST veteran director David H. Bell, this Agatha Christie-like whodunit tells the story of a heinous murder, with a twist: one actor investigates the crime, the other plays all 13 suspects, and they both play the piano! Murder for Two is presented by special arrangement with Jayson Raitt. Tickets for Murder for Two Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare from May 12 through October 16, 2011, are $25–$30, with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more. All patrons receive a 40% parking discount at Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
Commissioned by Chicago Shakespeare, Neil Bartram (music/lyrics) and Brian Hill (book) have created an inventive puppet-infused family musical with The Adventures of Pinocchio, which makes its world premiere at CST. Bartram and Hill garnered four Drama Desk Award nominations for The Story of My Life, which premiered on Broadway in 2009, and have collaborated on a number of other musicals, including Somewhere in the World, The Nightingale and the Rose and Not Wanted on the Voyage. Chicago Shakespeare held developmental workshops for The Adventures of Pinocchio in December 2010 and January 2011, and will turn its Courtyard Theater stage into a larger-than-life, European-style marionette theater for the production's world premiere this summer. Based on Carlo Collodi's classic tale of a wooden puppet yearning to be a real boy, the production is staged by Rachel Rockwell, who returns to Chicago Shakespeare after staging the CST-commissioned world premiere family musical The Emperor's New Clothes last summer. Tickets for The Adventures of Pinocchio in CST's Courtyard Theater from July 13 to August 28, 2011, are $18–$25, with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more. All patrons receive a 40% parking discount at Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
International programming at Chicago Shakespeare Theater is supported, in part, by the Julius Frankel Foundation.
American Airlines is the official airline of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
ComEd is the official lighting design sponsor of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Programming in the Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare is made possible through generous support from Hyatt Hotels Corporation.
Land O'Frost is a proud sponsor of the 2010/11 Subscription Series at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Mainstage artistic productions in the Courtyard Theater are supported, in part, through a generous grant from the McCormick Foundation.