By Barry Reszel
Three thousand CDs featuring holiday song renditions from the beloved Chicgoland musical theatre community are now on sale online and at performances around the city and suburbs for a $20 donation to Season of Concern.
The fourth edition of “Season of Carols” produced by the Jeff Award winning duo of Cory Goodrich and Eugene Dizon comingles the talents of 15 artists for this year’s CD. All creative and production work is donated, so 100 percent of the proceeds from CD sales goes to Season of Concern.
“This year’s CD is absolutely incredible,” Goodrich said. “There are things we do out of love that may be difficult or exhausting or stressful, but we do them anyway because our love is so great. Motherhood is certainly one of those things. Season of Carols is another one of those things.
“In this contentious time, one thing holds true for those of us lucky enough to be a part of the artist community: We hold each other up when times are tough. We are inclusive and supportive and encouraging…and that’s not to say, of course, that others are not…but there is a special bond among those of us who work in this often crazy, unstable world. And the rarity of that bond is witnessed and shared by those who are in the audience. We are truly lucky.
“I count myself especially lucky to have the opportunity in conjunction with Season of Concern, to share with the world all of our talents, our beautiful, generous spirits and our compassion.”
“Season of Carols 2016” features the Chicago casts of Smokey Joe’s Café (Drury Lane Oakbrook), Tug of War: Civil Strife and Tug of War: Foreign Fire (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Season of Change (Marriott Theatre), The Bardy Bunch (Mercury Theater Chicago), The Producers (Mercury Theater Chicago), The Little Mermaid (Paramount Theatre) and Pump Boys and Dinettes (Theatre at the Center), as well as performers from Firebrand Theatre, Kokandy Productions and Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus. Solo performances are also featured from E. Faye Butler, Emily Rohm, Sophie Grimm, Elizabeth Doyle and Goodrich.
Tracks on this year’s recording include:
- Let It Snow
- I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day
- The Sad Saga of Mrs. Claus
- Season Of Change
- Cherry Tree Carol
- Santa’s on His Way
- Keep On Flying
- God Bless Us Every One
- I Want to Get an Acting Job for Christmas
- Winter Song
- Some Children See Him / In the Bleak Midwinter
- Joy to the World
- In December
- The Prayer
Perfect for holiday gift-giving, the CD is available after performances at: Northlight Theatre Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley; Drury Lane Oakbrook Crazy for You; Theatre at the Center in Munster, Ind. Annie Warbucks; Marriott Theatre Singin’ in the Rain; Court Theatre Electra; House Theatre The Nutcracker; About Face Theatre I am My Own Wife; Lookingglass Theatre Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth; and the Mercury Theater Chicago The Christmas Schooner. In addition, these new holiday CDs are available at theater gift shops and stores at Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. Finally, they may be purchased online here or downloaded via iTunes, Apple music or CDbaby
“Season of Carols began in 2012 as the tiniest seed of an idea: to raise money for Season of Concern by recording one holiday song,” Goodrich said. “That tiny idea quickly blossomed to include an entire CD full of holiday songs recorded by some of the brightest stars of the Chicago theatre and music community.”
Season of Concern is the Chicagoland theatre community’s fundraising organization, providing compassionate care to those in our community who are experiencing the effects of catastrophic illness. This effort supports the fight against HIV and AIDS by contributing to programs that provide direct care (personal financial support, housing care, meals, medications, legal assistance, and other services) to members of the Chicago and Midwestern theatre community; and by addressing emergency needs expressed by theatre community members in their struggles against other life-threatening illnesses.
Goodrich is a Jeff award winning actress, singer, and songwriter from Chicago. She has produced four personal albums. Her two children’s CDs, Hush and Wiggly Toes, W.O.M.A.N and Wildwood are available on her web site here.
Dizon is a six-time Jeff award winning musical director, most recently at Porchlight Music Theatre for 14 seasons. Currently he is the Business Manager at the Mercury Theater, working alongside his husband Executive Director L. Walter Stearns.