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Northwestern University 2011 Summerstage Sizzles

TIC kicks off summer season with Broadway stars Christine Ebersole and Charles Strouse

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May 20, 2011 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Star-studded performances by top Broadway and Chicago-area artists and a concert celebration of the music of Charles Strouse are all part of the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University ’s 2011 SummerStage season.

The season will begin June 24 and 25 with “The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project: Applause! Applause! A Celebration of Charles Strouse,” featuring performances by the Tony Award winner himself and Broadway star Christine Ebersole; and world premiere choreography in a two-performance only “Jump Rhythm Jazz Project” event. The series also includes Northwestern’s 40th anniversary production of Stephen Schwartz’s musical “Godspell” and Suzan Zeder’s play “The Edge of Peace.” Concluding the season will be “Some Enchanted Broadway Evening,” a two-part exploration of the American musical created and directed by Dominic Missimi and respectively featuring Heidi Kettenring and Hollis Resnik.

The series will be unveiled at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, during a free SummerStage 2011 preview held at the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. Hosted by TIC Artistic Director Henry Godinez, and American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) Executive Director Dominic Missimi and AMTP Producing Director Heather Schmucker, the kick-off will feature selections performed by Northwestern student artists, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project Artistic Director Billy Siegenfeld and award-winning alumna Kettenring. The free 90-minute peek at TIC’s summer season is open to the public. Seating is limited and advance reservations are recommended. For reservations, visit the TIC website at www.tic.northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-7282.

All 2011 SummerStage events will be held in venues on the University’s Evanston campus, at the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive; Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive; or Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, as noted.

Season subscribers have the option of purchasing tickets to two special add-on events: an early evening discussion and light meal with Missimi prior to the Aug. 1 “A History of the American Musical” at the Barber Theater and advance tickets to the Oct. 22 and 23 “The Second City Does Northwestern” at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St.

The 2011 SummerStage single ticket prices are listed below. Ticket discounts are available for groups of 8 or more.

2011 SUMMERSTAGE EVENTS

• The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project/Songwriters Showcase, 8 p.m. Friday, June 24, Louis Theater. This annual celebration of emerging songwriters will feature original pop, music theatre, hip-hop, folk, Latin and country music. Single tickets are $10.

• The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project/Applause! Applause! A Celebration of Charles Strouse, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 25, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The second annual star-studded evening celebrates the Tony Award-winning talents of Charles Strouse (“Annie,” “Bye Bye Birdie”) and his mentorship of young songwriters in the tradition of the late Johnny Mercer. Presented by the American Music Theatre Project in association with The Johnny Mercer Foundation, the program will feature performances from Strouse’s landmark shows by guest artists Craig Carnelia, Marcy Heisler and Lari White, as well as the North Shore’s very own Tony Award-winning Christine Ebersole (“Grey Gardens”) and Strouse himself. Single tickets are $40.

• Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 25, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 26, Louis Theater. This energy-rich evening of rhythmic dance will feature three world premieres, as well as audience favorites from the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project repertory. The Saturday performance will include a free pre-show discussion at 7 p.m. with Siegenfeld and Chicago dance critic Lucia Mauro followed by a “Jump Rhythm” on-stage anniversary toast after the show. Single tickets are $10 to $20.

• ”Godspell” with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by John-Michael Tebelak, from 8 p.m. Thursday, July 7 through 2 p.m. Sunday, July 24, Barber Theater. Combining parables from the Gospel of St. Matthew with lyrics from traditional hymns set to an eclectic score fusing gospel, rock, folk and pop, the Tony Award-winning musical will be directed by Joseph Jefferson (“Jeff”) Award-winning Dominic Missimi for a limited three-week engagement. TIC’s summer production celebrates the 40th anniversary of this larger-than-life musical, which will feature choreography by Matt Raftery and music direction by Ryan T. Nelson. The July 21 evening performance will be sign-interpreted. Single tickets are $10 to $25.

• “The Edge of Peace” by Suzan Zeder, 8 p.m. Thursday, July 28; 8 p.m. Friday, July 29; and 2 p.m. Saturday, July 30, Barber Theater. As the final piece in playwright Zeder’s popular trilogy (“Mother Hicks,” “Taste of Sunrise”), a young boy struggles to make sense of a world at war, where women are left behind, big brothers fight overseas, friends are isolated by deafness and life-changing events unfold far away. Directed by TIC Artistic Director Henry Godinez, “The Edge of Peace” examines the physical and emotional distance that separates those leaving home, coming home and staying home in the last days of World War II. Zeder’s play is presented in conjunction with the American Alliance for Theatre and Education’s national conference and is sponsored by the Edward F. Harris Family Foundation. The July 30 matinee performance will be sign-interpreted. Single tickets are $10 to $15.

• ”The Golden Age: The Classic American Musical,” 8 p.m. Monday, July 18; 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 19 and 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1, Barber Theater. The first event in TIC’s “Some Enchanted Broadway Evening” series, created and directed by Dominic Missimi, is a three-performance-only exploration of the classical canon of American musical theatre. Headlined by award-winning actress and Northwestern alumna Heidi Kettenring, it will feature songs from some of the most beloved musicals, including “Oklahoma” and “Cabaret.” Single tickets are $10 to $30.

• The New Age: Cabaret and Beyond, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 31; 8:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1; and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, Barber Theater. The second event in TIC’s “Enchanted Broadway Evening” series is a hot mix of songs from America’s contemporary musicals and features diva Hollis Resnik, one of Chicago’s great music theatre talents. Single tickets are $10 to $30.

SPECIAL ADD-ONS

• A History of the American Musical, 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1, Barber Theater. A one-evening-only discussion for series subscribers on the history of the American musical, hosted by American Music Theatre Project Executive Director Dominic Missimi is followed by back-to-back “Some Enchanted Broadway Evening” performances and a light meal. Single tickets are $25 for the general public.

• “The Second City Does Northwestern,” 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, Cahn Auditorium. SummerStage subscribers will have the first chance to purchase tickets to a WildCat-centric revue, “The Second City Does Northwestern.” The heart and soul of Chicago comedy, The Second City is traveling to Evanston for a no-holds-barred event satirizing everything purple. This event is presented in partnership with the Northwestern University Office of Alumni and Development, Homecoming and Reunion Weekend. Single tickets for the general public are $25.

SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGE PRICING

Audiences may select from two different packages. The “Ultimate Package” guarantees a seat to all six events of the season, plus an invitation that is limited to the first 300 “Ultimate Package” subscribers to be TIC’s guest at the June 24 Songwriters Showcase. Subscriptions range from $72 to $128.

The “Premium Package” guarantees a seat to four events (limited only to “Applause! Applause! A Celebration of Charles Strouse,” “Godspell” and the two “Some Enchanted Broadway Evening” concerts) in the festival season. Subscriptions range from $72 to $100.

TICKETS

Subscriptions are currently on sale. Single tickets to all events, including “Second City” will go on sale May 25. To order, phone (847) 491-7282 or visit www.tic.northwestern.edu.