image012The Mercury Theater,3745 N. Southport, begins its highly anticipated 2013 season with the exhilarating Broadway musical revue A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING, running from January 17 through March 10, 2013. The press opening is Sunday, January 20 at 2 p.m. The Tony Award®-nominated musical showcases Richard Rodgers’ timeless music and the incomparable lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein. A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING is directed and choreographed by multiple Jeff Award winner Kevin Bellie, who previously served as Artistic Director at Circle Theatre.

A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING features over 30 songs from beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals such as Carousel, Oklahoma!, The King and I, South Pacific, Cinderella and The Sound of Music, as well as lesser-known works such asAllegro, Me and Juliet, State Fair, Pipe Dream, and Flower Drum Song. A musical journey from young infatuation to the touching and funny complexities of commitment and marriage, the joys of parenthood, and the power of enduring love, A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING is a romantic songfest. From “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” to “Some Enchanted Evening,” signature Rodgers and Hammerstein songs are placed in new contexts in a way that celebrates the colossal appeal of their legendary songbook.

A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING was originally presented cabaret-style at Rainbow & Stars at the top of Rockefeller Center. The Broadway production, directed by Walter Bobbie, opened in 1993 and was nominated for two 1994 Tony Awards®, for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revue.

The production stars Marya Grandy as “Victoria” (Les Misérables on Broadway and the Off-Broadway revival of Maltby & Shire’s Closer Than Ever); Robert Hunt as “Martin” (Les Misérables on Broadway and Jerry Springer, the Opera at Carnegie Hall); Leah Morrow as “Allison” (The Christmas Schooner at The Mercury Theater); Stephen Schellhardt as “Jason” (National Tour of Altar Boyz, Meet Me in St. Louis at Drury Lane Theatre and Ravinia Festival’s Most Happy Fella); and Heather Townsend as “Lynne” (Nine and Sunday in the Park with George at Porchlight Music Theatre and Orpheus Descending at Shattered Globe).

Distinguished director/choreographer Kevin Bellie holds 5 Jeff Awards and 15 nominations, mostly for shows at Circle Theater where he recently concluded his long tenure as Artistic Director, and helmed productions such as The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Can-Can, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Sweet Smell of Success, Nine and Rags.

A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING is backed by a live five-piece band under the musical direction of Eugene Dizon (6-time Jeff Award Winner), the scenic and lighting design is by Jason Epperson, costume design is by Katie-Sarah Phillips and sound design is by Mike Ross.

The Mercury Theater is an intimate jewel-box in the heart of The Southport Corridor, a sophisticated neighborhood of restaurants and boutiques just steps from Wrigley Field. It adjoins two restaurants; Cullen’s Bar and Grill and Deleece, which offer dining and libations before and after the show.

Under the leadership of Executive Director L. Walter Stearns, the Mercury is offering a season of musicals for the first time, making it the largest producer of musical theater in Chicago. A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING is the first of four shows in the Mercury’s 2013 season, and will be followed up by the musicals BARNUM and THE COLOR PURPLE, along with the return engagement of Chicago’s holiday musical THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER. Notable past productions at the historic theater include A TWIST OF WATER (which recently closed off-Broadway), THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS (now it its 3rd year of a national tour), THE IRISH AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY and OVER THE TAVERN. The smash hit original production of FREUD’S LAST SESSION ended a nine-month run in November 2012, and is now headed to Los Angeles.

Performances are from January 17 to March 10, 2013. The schedule is: Thursdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $59. Season Flex Passes are $80 for 3 shows and $100 for all 4. Groups of 10 or more receive discounts of up to 50%. For tickets and information contact the Mercury Theater at 773-325-1700 or