CHICAGO COMMERCIAL COLLECTIVE ANNOUNCES SPRING 2014 REMOUNTS OF “HIT THE WALL” AND “5 LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE”
Chicago Commercial Collective, which was formed to help Chicagoans discover the finest of its city’s vibrant theater scene by showcasing the biggest off-Loop hits in the city, today announced that the company plans to give renewed life to two standout Chicago theater productions by staging remountings of the critically acclaimed productions.
“Hit the Wall” by Ike Holter, directed by Eric Hoff and originally produced by The Inconvenience, will be remounted with its original cast and artistic team, with previews starting April 21 at Greenhouse Theatre Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. “Hit the Wall,” hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “gutsy, beautiful and riveting,” takes audiences back to the summer of 1969 and the Stonewall Riots in New York’s Greenwich Village, largely acknowledged as the single most important event in the beginning of the gay liberation movement. Tickets go on sale February 27. For tickets and information, visit greenhousetheatre.org or call 773.404.7336.
“5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche,” The New Colony’s original creation, will be remounted with its original Off-Broadway cast at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division Street, Chicago with previews beginning May 1. Written by Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder and directed by Sarah Gitenstein, “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” is set in a 1956 middle-America church basement and tells the story of…, well… five lesbians eating a quiche. Time Out Chicago called it “smart, sharp and hysterically funny.” Tickets go on sale February 27. For tickets and information, visit chicagocommercialcollective.
The performance schedules and press openings for each production will be announced at a future date.
“ʿHit the Wall’ and ‘5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche’ were major hits when they debuted in Chicago. Both generated big headlines and cult followings before heading to New York and beyond as Chicago’s latest examples of our take-no-prisoners brand of live theater,” said Brian Loevner, Producer, Chicago Commercial Collective. “We look forward to reuniting the original casts, building on the interest already generated from their original runs and growing new audiences for two Chicago storefront shows that surely deserve longer runs and larger audiences.”
More about “Hit the Wall”
Hailed by Time Out Chicago as a “thrilling new play” with an “excellent ensemble,” “Hit the Wall” by Ike Holter and directed by Eric Hoff, was originally presented by The Inconvenience in 2012 as part of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Garage Rep series. The debut production was extended twice at Steppenwolf, remounted by popular demand that summer at Theatre on the Lake and then went on to an off-Broadway run in 2013 at New York’s Barrow Street Theatre. The Village Voice called it “an explosive extravaganza!” and the New York Times called it “fierce and funny.”
“Hit the Wall” transports audiences back to the summer of 1969 in New York’s Greenwich Village. The death of music icon Judy Garland has emboldened her gay followers. A routine police raid on an underground village hotspot erupts into a full-scale riot, the impetus of the modern gay rights movement. That is the well-known, often-retold myth of The Stonewall Riots. Playwright Holter smashes that myth against his vivid theatrical re-imagination, and adds a howling live rock ’n’ roll band, for an presentation that is both historic and contemporary. The remix of this historic confrontation reveals ten unlikely revolutionaries, caught in the turmoil and each fighting to claim “I was there.”
More about “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche”
Following the upward trajectory from its debut as a short play presented at Collaboraction’s Sketchbook Festival in 2010 to a full production during The New Colony’s 2011 season, “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” enjoyed a meteoric rise with audiences and critics. After wowing Chicago, “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” went on to play a sold-out engagement at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival, winning a “Best Overall Production” award, followed by a successful off-Broadway run at New York’s SoHo Playhouse. The New York Times praised the works “raw and magnetic dementia (that) seems destined to attract a cult following.”
The year is 1956 and the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein is meeting for their annual quiche breakfast. However, this year there is an unexpected agenda item – the dropping of atom bombs on their fair city. This normally idyllic gathering is upended when the Society’s matriarchs must confront some startling revelations made by the Sisterhood while meeting the fallout from the Red Menace head on.
About the Chicago Commercial Collective
Chicago Commercial Collective is a commercial theater company focused on producing Chicago theater of incredible quality and commercial appeal, thereby supporting Chicago’s vital non-profit theater scene. Recent projects include the successful commercial remount last fall of TimeLine Theatre Company’s “To Master the Art” at Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse. The Collective is also presenting The Off-Loop Tour, which will export some of the best of Chicago theater throughout the Midwest in 2014-15. Productions on the tour include “there is a happiness that morning is” by Mickle Maher (originally produced by Theater Oobleck), “A Steady Rain” by Keith Huff (originally produced by Chicago Dramatists), “Unveiled” by Rohina Malik, “Honeybuns” by Dean Evans and “Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology” by Anthony Moseley (both originally produced by Collaboraction).
The Collective’s goal is to manifest a thriving small and mid-sized commercial theater scene. The Collective focuses on producing theater with proven popularity, and builds upon the interest already generated during their original production runs. For investors, the Collective provides opportunities to partner on exciting projects with reasonable fincancial returns on their investments. The Collective allows non-profit theater companies to enjoy the benefits from their original successful productions that, due to scheduling issues or theater availability, may end their runs before they have reached the audiences they deserve . Further, artists who question if Chicago’s theater job market can provide stability and fair wages can rely on the Collective to transform the local industry with the development of mid-sized commercial theater and consistent employment opportunities.
Chicago Commercial Collective is located in the historic Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave, Suite 525, Chicago, IL 60605. For more information call (312) 724-7604or visit chicagocommercialcollective.