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Summer 2011 Theatre Calendar

Summer season includes world premieres, guest artists and sign-interpreted performances

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June 1, 2011 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Dance performances by the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project and two events related to the annual Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project -- a Songwriters Showcase and a celebration of Tony Award-winning composer Charles Strouse, who wrote the music for “Bye, Bye Birdie,” “Golden Boy,” “Applause” and “Annie,” headlined by Broadway star Christine Ebersole -- will launch the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University SummerStage 2011 series.

Other SummerStage highlights include a 40th anniversary production of Stephen Schwartz’s musical “Godspell” and the world premiere of 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 featuring guest artists Heidi Kettenring and Hollis Resnik.

All 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. Ticket information follows each performance listing.

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. The latter is a no-holds-barred comedic event that will satirize everything purple through sketch comedy, songs and improvisation. Single tickets are $25 for the general public.

Single tickets and subscriptions to SummerStage 2011 events can be purchased through the Theatre and Interpretation Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online at http://www.tic.northwestern.edu.

2011 SUMMERSTAGE EVENTS

The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, “Songwriters Showcase,” 8 p.m. Friday, June 24, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. This annual celebration of emerging songwriters will feature original pop, music theatre, hip-hop, folk, Latin and country music. Single tickets are $10. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more. 

The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, “Applause! Applause! A Celebration of Charles Strouse,” 8 p.m. Saturday, June 25, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. 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. Starring the North Shore’s very own Tony Award-winning Christine Ebersole, the program will feature performances from Strouse’s landmark shows by award-winning guest artists Craig Carnelia, Marcy Heisler and Lari White, as well as Strouse himself. Single tickets are $40. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more.

Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, artistic direction by Billy Siegenfeld, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 25, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 26, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. This 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 $20 for the general public; $18 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $10 for full-time students. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more. 

“Godspell,” music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by John-Michael Tebelak, 8 p.m. Thursday, July 7; 8 p.m. Friday, July 8; 8 p.m. Saturday, July 9; 2 p.m. Sunday, July 10; 8 p.m. Thursday, July 14; 8 p.m. Friday, July 15; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, July 16; 2 p.m. Sunday, July 17; 8 p.m. Thursday, July 21; 8 p.m. Friday, July 22; 8 p.m. Saturday, July 23; and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 24, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. 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-winner Dominic Missimi for a limited three-week engagement. TIC’s summer production celebrates the 40th anniversary of this larger-than-life musical, featuring choreography by Matt Raftery, music direction by Ryan T. Nelson and arrangements and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire. The July 21 evening performance will be sign-interpreted. 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. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more.

“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, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. As the final piece in critically acclaimed 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 makes its world premiere in conjunction with the American Association for Theatre in 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 $15 for the general public; $12 for seniors 65 and older and Northwestern faculty and staff and area educators and administrators; and $10 for full-time students. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more.

Some Enchanted Broadway Evening, “The Golden Age: The Classic American Musical,” created and directed by Dominic Missimi, 8 p.m. Monday July 18; 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 19; and 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. The first event in TIC’s “Some Enchanted Broadway Evening” series 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 Broadway musicals, including “Oklahoma!” and “Cabaret.” Single tickets are $30 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. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more.

Some Enchanted Broadway Evening, “The New Age: Cabaret and Beyond,” created and directed by Dominic Missimi, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 31; 8:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1; and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. The second event in the “Some 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 $30 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. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more.

(Source contacts: THEATRE: Nichole Cooper, manager of marketing and communication, Theatre and Interpretation Center at 847-467-2426 or n-cooper@northwestern.edu.)

Nathalie Rayter, a senior in the School of Education and Social Policy, contributed to this story.

Topics: Campus Life