HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: THEATRE IN CHICAGO REVIEW ROUND-UP REVIEWED BY: JAMES MURRAY Griffin Theatre Company launches…
Griffin Theatre Company Critically Acclaimed TITANIC Continues Through December 7, 2014 at Theater Wit
Griffin Theatre Company is pleased to launch its 2014-15 season with a new, intimate version of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical TITANIC, with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston (Nine, Phantom), book by Peter Stone (Woman of the Year, 1776), new orchestrations by Ian Weinberger, directed by Scott Weinstein (Griffin Theatre’s Spelling Bee, Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Seussical) and music direction by Elizabeth Doran (Timeline’s Juno). TITANIC will play through December 7, 2014 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are available at www.theaterwit.org, in person at the Theater Wit Box Office or by calling (773) 975-8150. The press opening is Sunday, October 26 at 7 pm.
The 20-member cast of TITANIC includes: Kelley Abell as Kate Murphey, Justin Adair as Fred Barret, Neala Barron as Alice Beane, Joshua Bartlett as Charles Lightoller, Patrick Byrnes as Murdoch, Matt Edmonds as Charles Clarke, Nick Graffagna as Bellboy, Emily Grayson as Ida Strauss, Courtney Jones as Kate McGowan, John Keating as Henry Etches, Royen Kent as Harold Bride, Josh Kohane as Frederick Fleet, Eric Lindahl as Thomas Andrews, Scott Allen Luke as J. Bruce Ismay, Jake Mahler as Edgar Beane, Laura McClain as Caroline Neville, Christine Perkins as Kate Mullins, Kevin Stangler as Jim Farrell, Sean Thomas as Isador Strauss and Peter Vamvakas as Captain Smith.
Chicago will be the first major U.S. city to experience this newly reworked, intimate musical telling of the passengers – first, second and third class – aboard the ill-fated luxury liner Titanic in the nights leading up to the ship’s fatal encounter with an iceberg in the North Atlantic in 1912.
The Journey to a New Titanic
The original Broadway Titanic earned five 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical. In 2012, original Broadway cast member Don Stephenson developed a new chamber version of the musical – a scaled down production using 20 actors to play all of the roles (instead of 45) and new orchestrations designed to make the score sound as if it was being played by the ship’s band. Material previously cut from the original Broadway production was put back into the show and existing material was reordered and reassigned. The new intimate version of Titanic opened in July 2012 at The Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY followed by an off West End production at London’s Southwark Playhouse in July 2013, which earned multiple awards. The production was scheduled for a six-week, pre-Broadway engagement at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre during the summer of 2014 followed by a Broadway opening in the fall of 2014 – however, it was announced that both engagements were postponed due to a lack of available Broadway theatre space for the 2014-15 season.
The production team for TITANIC includes: Joe Schermoly (scenic design), Rachel Sypniewski (costume design), Brandon Wardell (lighting design), Christopher Kriz (sound design), Jamie Karas (properties design), Paul Deziel (projection design), Tyler Sawyer Smith (choreography), Adam Goldstein (dialect coach), Morgan Maher (dramaturg), Majel Cuza (production manager), Nate Lewellyn & Spencer Neiman (assistant directors) and Katie Messmore (stage manager).
Music and Lyrics: Maury Yeston
Book: Peter Stone
New Orchestrations: Ian Weinberger
Director: Scott Weinstein
Music Direction: Elizabeth Doran
Cast: Kelley Abell (Kate Murphey), Justin Adair (Fred Barret), Neala Barron (Alice Beane), Joshua Bartlett (Charles Lightoller), Patrick Byrnes (Murdoch), Matt Edmonds (Charles Clarke), Nick Graffagna as (Bellboy), Emily Grayson (Ida Strauss), Courtney Jones (Kate McGowan), John Keating (Henry Etches), Royen Kent (Harold Bride), Josh Kohane (Frederick Fleet), Eric Lindahl (Thomas Andrews), Scott Allen Luke (J. Bruce Ismay), Jake Mahler (Edgar Beane), Laura McClain (Caroline Neville), Christine Perkins (Kate Mullins), Kevin Stangler (Jim Farrell), Sean Thomas (Isador Strauss) and Peter Vamvakas (Captain Smith).
Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago
Dates: Previews: Saturday, October 18 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, October 19 at 3 pm, Thursday, October 23 at 7:30 pm, Friday, October 24 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, October 25 at 7:30 pm
Press performance: Sunday, October 26 at 7 pm
Regular run: Thursday, October 30 – Sunday, December 7, 2014
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets: Previews $30. Regular run $39. Students and seniors $34 Group discount: $34 for groups of ten or more (all ticket prices updated since previous release). Tickets are available at www.theaterwit.org, in person at the Theater Wit Box Office or by calling(773) 975-8150.
About the Creative Team
Scott Weinstein (Director) returns to the Griffin Theatre after having directed the company’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He is the Co-Artistic Director of Buzz22 Chicago where he directed the Midwest premiere of She Kills Monsters as part of Steppenwolf Theatre’s Garage Series. Recent credits: Seussical at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Other credits include A Doll’s House, the Midwest premiere of Residue (Buzz22 Chicago); All-American (Redtwist); Miles Away at the side project; the world premieres of Baristas (New York International Fringe Festival) and Ampersand (Bloomington Playwrights Project); and the first full productions of Murder For Two (Adirondack Theatre Festival, Hangar Theatre, 42nd Street Moon). Scott is the recipient of a Berkshire Theatre Festival Directing Fellowship and a Stage Directors and Choreographers Observership. He is currently the Associate director for the National Tour and Chicago productions of Million Dollar Quartet and has assistant or associate directed at Chicago Shakespeare, Pasadena Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse and many more. Scott is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and a graduate of Northwestern University.
Elizabeth Doran (Music Director) Previous credits include Juno (Timeline Theatre) Kiss of the Spiderwoman (Boho Theatre), A Grand Night for Singing (Mercury Theater), The Gifts of the Magi and A Catered Affair (Porchlight Musical Theatre) and Some Enchanted Evening (Theo Ubique/Fox Valley Rep), as well as collaborating with Doug Peck on The Jungle Book (Goodman Theatre and Huntington Theatre, Boston) and Porgy and Bess (Court Theatre). She holds a BM degree from Northwestern University.
About Griffin Theatre Company
Established in 1988 and celebrating its 26th season, the mission of the Griffin Theatre Company is to create extraordinary and meaningful theatrical experiences for both children and adults by building bridges of understanding between generations that instill in its audience an appreciation of the performing arts. Through artistic collaboration the Griffin Theatre Company produces literary adaptations, original work and classic plays that challenge and inspire, with wit, style and compassion for the audience.
The Griffin Theatre is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events; and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
For additional information, visit www.griffintheatre.com.