Hell in a Handbag Productions Announces 2015-16 Season

unnamed (11)Celebrating its 13th year, Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce its 2015-16 season, kicking off this summer with the Midwest premiere of MIRACLE!, the wickedly funny parody of The Miracle Worker as reimagined by Dan Savage, one of the country’s leading writers/speakers/podcasters on sex, sexuality and GLBTQ issues, directed by Derek Van Barham. Then, summer gets even steamier with BETTE, LIVE AT THE CONTINENTAL BATHS, a musical tribute to the Divine Miss M starring Caitlin Jackson and directed by Christopher Pazdernik. In the fall, Handbag welcomes Halloween with a show so horrifying, it’s sure to turn your Eva Gabor wig white with fright: the world premiere of SCREAM, QUEEN, SCREAM!, David Cerda’s campy nod to some of television’s most popular horror series. Finally, everybody’s favorite holiday bitch is back and she’s meaner then ever in the return of CHRISTMAS DEAREST, Handbag’s Joan Crawford-infused parody of A Christmas Carol.

All four Hell in a Handbag productions will be presented at the newly-remodeled Mary’s Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. Tickets for MIRACLE! are currently on sale at www.handbagproductions.org.

Hell in a Handbag Productions’ 2015-16 line-up includes:

May 14 – July 12, 2015

MIRACLE! – Midwest Premiere!

By Dan Savage, Directed by Derek Van Barham

Featuring Kristopher Bottrall, David Cerda, Laura Coleman, Sydney Genco, Rachel Hadlock, Caitlin Jackson, Ed Jones, Elizabeth Lesinski, Steve Love, Joshua Peterson, Jamie Smith and Christopher Young.

MIRACLE! tells the story of Helen Stellar, a young deaf and blind drag queen who loves to perform under the watchful eye of her drag mother who just happens to be her biological father – Crystal Pain. Crystal is owner of The Brass Connection, an old school drag club where the performers are just like any other normal family – crazy as hell. When the state assigns Annie Sullivan to teach Helen to better communicate, all hell breaks loose and we soon discover that Helen is the most normal of all of the inhabitants of The Brass Connection. MIRACLE! is about family (biological and chosen), a father and son, gay and lesbian subculture and finding your voice.

July 17 – August 21, 2015


Directed by Christopher Pazdernik

Featuring Caitlin Jackson

Join Handbag Diva Caitlin Jackson as she pays tribute to the Divine Miss M’s legendary cabaret act at the equally legendary Continental Bathhouse in New York City. This musical cabaret will feature fabulous songs, live music, the Divine Miss Caitlin, hot men in towels and steam… lots of steam!

September 25 – October 31, 2015

SCREAM, QUEEN, SCREAM! World Premiere!

By David Cerda

Inspired by everything from Night Gallery, Tales From the Crypt and Creepshow, Handbag presents three terrifying tales like the ones your parents didn’t allow you to see when you were a child. Monsters and evil dolls, wicked women and greedy men, bitter queens and savage secretaries – they’re all here to scare the living daylights out of you. Note: due to the subject matter, SCREAM, QUEEN, SCREAM! is recommended for immature audience ONLY.

November 28, 2015 – January 2, 2016


By David Cerda, Directed by Steve Love

Hell in a Handbag celebrates the yuletide with the return of David Cerda as Joan Crawford in CHRISTMAS DEAREST, the Handbag version of A Christmas Carol co-starring Ed Jones as Carol Ann Crachit, Joan’s trusted maid and confidante.

T’was the night before Christmas and MGM’s biggest star, Miss Joan Crawford, is filming the title role in “Oh Mary”, a splashy new musical biography about The Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Poor Joan needs a drink. And a REWRITE! Jesus has all the best lines, the costumes aren’t sexy at all, and the guy playing Joseph is a big clumsy oaf! If they will just do it Joan’s way maybe she can salvage the picture. Join Handbag as Joan visits her shady past, her appalling present and her eye-popping future – in a tale of glamorous redemption set to music.

Hell in a Handbag is dedicated to the preservation, exploration, and celebration of works ingrained in the realm of popular culture via theatrical productions through parody, music and homage. Handbag is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit Corporation.