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2009 Summer Music Theater Festival Calendar

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July 7, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Theatre and Interpretation Center and American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University will present the 2009 Summer Music Theatre Festival (June 24 to Aug. 9), featuring new works and old favorites performed by both Broadway stars and Northwestern music theatre students.

The productions will be performed at various Evanston campus venues, including the Josephine Louis Theatre, 20 Arts Circle Drive; the Hal and Martha Hyer-Wallis Theatre, 1949 Campus Drive; the Ethel M. Barber Theatre, 30 Arts Circle Drive; and Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, as noted below.

The festival will begin with “A Centennial Celebration of Johnny Mercer” (June 24 to 27) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mercer, master of the American song. The weeklong celebration is presented by AMTP in partnership with The Johnny Mercer Foundation. The week will include a Master Teacher Cabaret (June 24), Songwriters Showcase (June 26) and the annual “Johnny Mercer Celebration Concert” (June 27), featuring Broadway stars Liz Callaway and Capathia Jenkins and award-winning songwriters Lin-Manuel Miranda, Craig Carnelia and Lari White. All Johnny Mercer Centennial Celebration events are available on a single-ticket basis only.

The 2009 Summer Music Theatre Festival will continue with the new musical “Girls vs. Boys” (July 10 to Aug. 2), developed in partnership with the AMTP and The House Theatre of Chicago; the Broadway musical hit “Bye Bye Birdie” (July 24 to Aug. 9); and two exclusive evenings of song by three of Chicago’s top music theatre divas in “Diva! Diva! Divas!” (Aug. 3 and 4).

The festival will conclude with a first reading of a new musical by Tony Award-winning composer and Northwestern alumnus Sheldon Harnick, adapted from the Moliere comedy “The Doctor in Spite of Himself” (Aug. 8). This exclusive, behind-the-scenes event will be available to festival subscribers only.

Subscriptions and single tickets for the Summer Music Theatre Festival season are on sale now. Subscription pricing is $68 for the general public; $61 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $24 for full-time students. This reflects a decrease in subscription pricing from last summer and a 20 percent discount on single-ticket prices. Single-ticket prices are noted below. For more information, call (847) 491-7282 or visit http://www.tic.northwestern.edu.

2009 SUMMER MUSIC THEATRE FESTIVAL CALENDAR

A Centennial Celebration of Johnny Mercer, Master Teacher Cabaret, 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive. An intimate evening of song featuring the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project 2009 Master Teachers: Craig Carnelia, Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist of “Sweet Smell of Success”; Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony Award-winning creator of “In the Heights”; and Lari White, three-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter. Tickets are $10.

A Centennial Celebration of Johnny Mercer, Songwriters Showcase, 8 p.m. Friday, June 26, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive
. An audience favorite, this evening of original music features the works of emerging songwriters from across the country who represent the fields of pop, music theatre, folk, Latin and country music. Tickets are $10.

A Centennial Celebration of Johnny Mercer, Johnny Mercer Celebration Concert with guest artists Liz Callaway and Capathia Jenkins, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 27, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive.
A special one-night-only concert featuring Broadway stars Liz Callaway (“Merrily We Roll Along,” “Baby”) and Capathia Jenkins (“Caroline, or Change,” “Dreamgirls”) and celebrating the centennial of Johnny Mercer’s birth. The evening also features performances by Tony Award-nominated composer/lyricist Craig Carnelia, Tony Award-winning composer/performer Lin-Manuel Miranda and Grammy Award-winning Nashville singer/songwriter Lari White, as well as talented young songwriters participating in the Mercer Songwriters Project. Dominic Missimi, the Joseph Jefferson Award-winning director of the Music Theatre Certificate Program at Northwestern, will direct the program. Tickets are $30 for festival subscribers and $35 for the general public; $10 tickets for full-time students will be available the day of the show only.

“Girls vs. Boys,” a new musical directed by Nathan Allen, 8 p.m. Friday, July 10; 9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11; 2 p.m. Sunday, July 12; 8 p.m. Thursday, July 16; 8 p.m. Friday, July 17; 6 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 18; 2 p.m. Sunday, July 19; 8 p.m. Thursday, July 23; 8 p.m. Friday, July 24; 6 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 25; 2 p.m. Sunday, July 26; 8 p.m. Thursday, July 30; 8 p.m. Friday, July 31; 6 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, Hal and Martha Hyer-Wallis Theater, 1949 Campus Drive.
Love doesn’t hurt. It kills. “Girls vs. Boys” plunges you into an all-out war of the sexes. Brother and sister find themselves thrust into a perilous, modern-day “Lord of the Flies” -- playing a game with rules they don’t fully understand. The acclaimed creative team of “The Sparrow,” along with Northwestern students, has created a story of high-stakes relationships with even greater consequences, challenging the storybook ideal of love in an amped up, exhilarating new musical. “Girls vs. Boys” contains strong language, violent themes, partial nudity and loud music. Developed in partnership with the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University and the House Theatre of Chicago, and directed by Nathan Allen, “Girls vs. Boys” will feature book and lyrics by Chris Mathews, Jake Minton and Nathan Allen; music by Kevin O’Donnell with Nathan Allen; and choreography by Tommy Rapley. Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $10 for full-time students.

“Bye Bye Birdie,” directed by Dominic Missimi, 8 p.m. Friday, July 24; 8 p.m. Saturday, July 25; 2 p.m. Sunday, July 26; 8 p.m. Thursday, July 30; 8 p.m. Friday, July 31; 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1; 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2; 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6; 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7; 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive.
Set in the world of soda fountains and “getting pinned,” Elvis and “The Ed Sullivan Show,” this Tony Award-winning musical turns a small town upside down when the hip-thrusting superstar Conrad Birdie arrives in Sweet Apple, Ohio, to give “one last kiss” before induction into the Army. Filled with classic songs like “Put on a Happy Face” and “The Telephone Hour,” this beloved American musical is a hilarious send-up of 1950s culture and a reminder that parents will never understand their crazy “kids.” Originally starring Dick Van Dyke and Chita Rivera, “Bye Bye Birdie” took Broadway by storm in the early 1960s and has become an exhilarating mainstay of stages around the world. Directed by Dominic Missimi, the show will also feature choreography by Rachel Rockwell, one of Chicago’s most popular directors and choreographers. Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $10 for full-time students.

“Diva! Diva! Divas!” 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3, and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive.
These two exclusive evenings of song will feature Chicago’s top musical-theatre divas -- Hollis Resnik, Alene Robertson and Paula Scrofano -- directed by Dominic Missimi and featuring Joseph Jefferson Award-winning Northwestern alumnus and music director Doug Peck. Single tickets are $35 for the general public; $27 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $10 for full-time students.

“The Doctor in Spite of Himself,” first reading, 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive. This ultimate backstage experience will feature the first reading of a new musical by Tony Award-winning composer and Northwestern alumnus Sheldon Harnick (“Fiddler on the Roof”). Composed and adapted by Harnick, the piece is based on Moliere’s “Le Medecin malgre lui” with a book by J.B. Poquelin. This event is part of the American Music Theatre Project’s OutLOUD Series. Admission is free and available only to festival subscribers. Reservations are required. For reservations, call (847) 491-7282.