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Summerstage 2013 Fun for Audiences of All Ages

Alan and Marilyn Bergman mark summer celebration with a one-night-only event

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May 23, 2013 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- From swampy folk tales and the King of Rock n’ Roll to internationally acclaimed theatre broadcasts and celebrated and up-and-coming songwriters, there is something for everyone this summer at the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University (TIC). 

More than a dozen emerging songwriters from around the world will share the stage with three-time Academy Award-winning lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman in The Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project’s “Songwriters -- In Concert” at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at the Josephine Louis Theater. Featuring new works in pop, folk, music theatre and country, the event will present songs and stories from the Bergmans’ legendary 50-year career in film, television and stage. For more about the lyricist duo, visit Alan and Marilyn Bergman's website.  

The National Theatre Live (NT Live) series continues at TIC this summer with broadcasts of “The Audience” at 7 p.m. Monday, July 1, 7 p.m. Monday, July 22 and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, in the Ethel M. Barber Theater. Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren stars in a reprisal of her role as Queen Elizabeth II and Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot,” “The Hours”) directs.

For three weeks in July, families are invited to travel with the Imagine U Family Series to the mysterious Tombigbee Swamp to see Suzan Zeder’s “Wiley and the Hairy Man,” running July 12 to 28, in the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater. Summer also marks the start of Once Upon a Wildcat, a new Imagine U storytelling program for audiences of all ages, featuring Northwestern theatre faculty member Rives Collins telling tales and singing folk songs. The inaugural reading of “Stories from the Swamp” takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, and 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20, in the Wallis Theater.

The end of July brings a toe-tapping tale of love and mistaken identity in the Broadway musical “All Shook Up,” running July 19 to Aug. 4, in the Barber Theater. Inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley, with book by Joe DiPietro and direction by Jeff Award-nominated Matt Raftery, “All Shook Up” breaks the rules of one small, 1950s midwestern town when a rebellious, hip-swiveling musician appears on the scene.  

In tandem with “All Shook Up,” TIC will offer a mini Elvis Presley film festival, featuring screenings of “Viva Las Vegas” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, and “King Creole” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, in the Barber Theater. 

SummerStage 2013 season events will be held in venues on the University’s Evanston campus: Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive; Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive; or the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, 1949 Campus Drive, as noted. Season subscriptions and discounted tickets for groups of eight or more to all events are currently on sale. Single tickets will go on sale May 28.

SummerStage 2013 season subscribers can choose from two different types of series: the Summer Series for $24 to $81 or the Family Series for $12 to $45. Both series represent a 10 percent savings off single ticket prices. Subscriptions received before May 28 will receive priority seating over single ticket buyers. Subscriptions and tickets for groups of eight or more are on sale now and can be purchased through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online. Single tickets to all SummerStage 2013 events will go on sale May 28. 

CONSTRUCTION ALERT: A three-year construction project under way on the southeast end of the Northwestern University campus has closed the Arts Circle Drive to traffic. Free parking for evening and weekend events remains available, but the project will impact handicapped parking and patrons requiring special access to Evanston campus theaters. Visit www.tic.northwestern.edu/construction to learn more.

SUMMERSTAGE 2013 EVENTS

The Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project’s “Songwriters -- In Concert”, featuring Alan and Marilyn Bergman, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at the Josephine Louis Theater. Fourteen emerging songwriters from around the world will share the stage with renowned lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman in an intimate, one-night only concert. The evening will feature original pop, folk, music theatre and country works by the 2013 Mercer songwriters and an opportunity to hear the Bergmans share songs and stories from their 50-year career in film, television and on stage. The Bergmans have collaborated with everyone from Barbra Streisand to Quincy Jones and have written some of the most treasured songs in the American songbook, including “The Way We Were” and “The Windmills of Your Mind.”  Single tickets are $10 to $30.  

National Theatre Live’s broadcast of “The Audience”, 7 p.m. Monday, July 1, and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. Helen Mirren reprises her Academy Award-winning role as Queen Elizabeth II in the highly anticipated West End production of “The Audience,” broadcast live from London’s Gielgud Theatre as part of National Theatre Live. For 60 years, Elizabeth II has met her prime ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said. “The Audience” breaks this contract of silence and imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their queen. Written by Peter Morgan (“The Queen”), “The Audience” is directed by Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot, “The Hours”). National Theatre Live (NT-Live) is sponsored by Aviva and supported with public funding by Arts Council England. TIC’s NT Live broadcasts are sponsored by a generous grant from The Alumnae of Northwestern University. Single tickets are $10 to $20. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more.

Imagine U Family Series presents “Wiley and the Hairy Man,” written by Suzan Zeder, directed by Betsy Quinn, July 12 to 28, at the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater. Set deep within the mysterious Tombigbee Swamp, “Wiley and The Hairy Man” centers around a young fatherless boy, his conjure-woman Mother, his faithful Hound Dog and the Hairy Man who haunts Wiley’s days and dreams. In an exciting duel of wits, Wiley learns to rely on his own resources and conquers two villains: the Hairy Man and his own fear. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Single tickets are $5 to $10. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more.

Imagine U Family Series presents Once Upon a Wildcat: “Stories from the Swamp,” 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, and 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater.  Audiences who are eager to help Wiley fend off the Hairy Man in the wilds of the Tombigbee swamp will equally enjoy stories told by Northwestern University faculty member Rives Collins. Featuring scary and funny stories and folk songs, the event with Collins will ignite the imaginations of audience members young and old. The production is appropriate for children age 5 and up, and for the young at heart of all ages. General admission is $5, free to Family Series subscribers with advance reservations.

“All Shook Up,” inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley, with book by Joe DiPietro, stage direction by Matt Raftery and music direction by Ryan T. Nelson, July 19 to Aug 4, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. No tight pants, no kissing and no loud music: those are the rules in one small Midwestern 1950s town. But when a rebellious, hip-swiveling musician rides into town, the ache of budding love is set into motion, bringing to life a broken-down jukebox and the residents’ dreams of bigger things. Inspired by the timeless appeal of Elvis Presley’s music and the mistaken identities of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” “All Shook Up” is one of Broadway’s newest jukebox musicals that keeps audiences tapping their feet and shaking their heads at how outrageous folks can be when we chase love. Single tickets are $5 to $30. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more.

Mini Elvis Presley Film Festival screening, “Viva Las Vegas,” (George Sidney, 1964, United States, video, color, 85 minutes) 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. Regarded by fans and critics as one of Presley’s best films, “Viva Las Vegas” presents the rivalry of Lucky Jackson and Elmo Mancini in their race to win the Las Vegas Grand Prix and the affections of Rusty Martin, the swimming pool manager. This one-night-only film screening stars Elvis Presley and Northwestern alumna Ann-Margret. The film does not have an MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) rating. General admission: $5 to $10. Discounts available for groups of eight or more.

Mini Elvis Presley Film Festival screening, “King Creole,” (Michael Curtiz, 1958, United States, video, black and white, 116 minutes) 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. After flunking out of school for the second time, Danny Fisher takes a busboy job in the King Creole nightclub where a persistent crime boss convinces him to sing. This one-night-only film screening stars Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones and Walter Matthau. The film has a PG MPAA rating. General admission: $5 to $10. Discounts available for groups of eight or more.

For more information, visit the SummerStage website

Topics: Campus Life