CHICAGO – Woody Allen’s stage musical based on his Academy Award-winning film – a hilarious and high stepping homage to both the gangster films and movie musicals of the 1930’s – will be staged for the first time by a Chicago company when NightBlue Performing Arts opens its production of the musical on Monday, September 11, following previews from Friday, September 8 through Sunday, September 10. Press opening is Monday, September 11 at 7:30 pm. BULLETS OVER BROADWAY will run through Sunday, October 8 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago.
In 2014, the musical was nominated for six Tony Awards, including one for its dances by director-choreographer Susan Stroman. The musical follows the film’s story of a young playwright, David Shayne, whose first Broadway play is financed by a gangster who insists on casting his untalented girlfriend in a key role. When the gangster’s henchman becomes involved in artistic decisions, events take unexpected and hilarious turns. Allen punctuates his script with classic songs from the 1920s, including Cole Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave,” and Hoagy Carmichael’s “Up a Lazy River” with the music offering multiple opportunities for exuberant dance numbers.
NightBlue’s production will be directed and choreographed by five-time Jeff Award-winner Kevin Bellie, who had similar duties on the company’s production of DISNEY’S TARZAN earlier this year and choreographed MARY POPPINS for the company in 2016. Bellie’s credits include direction and choreography for dozens of productions by Chicago companies, including Circle Theatre, Light Opera Works, Porchlight and Mercury Theater. Carolyn Brady Riley, who was music director for Circle Theatre’s productions of THE WEDDING SINGER, the Jeff-Nominated THE WHO’S TOMMY and MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS will be music director.
Bellie’s cast will be led by Cody Ellsworth as the playwright David Shayne, Monica Szaflik as the diva Helen Sinclair, Tim Green as the gangster Nick Valenti and Jonathan Rivera as his henchman, Cheech. Rachel Juncker will play Valenti’s girlfriend Olive Neal and Nick Cuellar will be the play-within-a-play’s beleaguered producer Julian Marx. Also in the cast are Anna Backer, Marcus Boni, Maddie Brunner, Amanda Farmer, David Gallo, Maddy Kelly, Joseph Kuchey, Molly LeCaptain, Shawn Quinlan, Sophia Vitello, and Jack Wright.
The design team for BULLETS OVER BROADWAY will include Bob Knuth (Scenic Designer), Dustin L. Derry (Lighting Designer), David Walters (Costume Designer), Paul Packer (Properties Designer). Kara Schoenhofer will be Co-Choreographer and Ken Schumacher is Technical Director.
David Walters, NightBlue’s Artistic Director and Producer of BULLETS OVER BROADWAY said this about the production: “NightBlue’s production of BULLETS will be a high-octane night of comedic fun that will put the “roar” back in the “Roaring 20s” in an intimate and engaging theater setting. The BULLETS cast is made up of some energetic and exciting fresh faces on the Chicago theater scene and a few alumni making their first return to NightBlue in several years. The cast and production really celebrate everything that is NightBlue and are a great addition to our 10th Anniversary season.”
BULLETS OVER BROADWAY will run September 8, 2017 through October 8, 2017. Press night is Monday, September 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 general, $30 seniors, and $27 for students. For tickets visit www.Stage773.com or call the box office at 773-327-5252.
Following BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, NightBlue’s 10th Anniversary season will conclude with the musical IF/THEN (February 21, 2018 through March 25, 2018) also presented at Stage773, 1225 W. Belmont, in Chicago.
Kevin Bellie (Director/Choreographer) is happy to return to NightBlue after choreographing 2016’s MARY POPPINS. Recent Credits include Director/Choreographer I LEFT MY HEART (Mercury Theater), DAMN YANKEES (Light Opera Works), Choreographer AVENUE Q (JEFF Recommended) and Director/Choreographer GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING (The Mercury Theatre- JEFF nominated Best Direction/Best Revue), Direction/Choreography at Circle Theatre – URINETOWN (JEFF Award Outstanding Choreography), THE BAKER’S WIFE (Jeff Recommended), BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS (JEFF Nominated), GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (JEFF Nominated), CAN-CAN (JEFF Nominated), SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (JEFF Nominated), MACK & MABEL (JEFF nominated), SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (JEFF Nominated), THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (JEFF Nominated), NINE (JEFF Award), THE LIFE (JEFF Award), GRAND HOTEL (JEFF Award.) Kevin has directed/choreographed A CHORUS LINE (McLeod Summer Playhouse), LET’S FALL IN LOVE, BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, THE TAFETTAS, ROASTING CHESTNUTS and DROOD (Fox Valley Rep), choreographed THE MUSIC MAN (Light Opera Works), choreographed ANYONE CAN WHISTLE (Pegasus Players), A NEW BRAIN (Porchlight, JEFF Nominated), CLOSER THAN EVER, GYPSY (Porchlight Music Theatre, JEFF Recommended and After Dark Award Recipient). Kevin is on the Fine Arts faculty at Saint Ignatius College Prep.
Woody Allen (Author) Woody Allen’s prolific career as a comedian, writer, and filmmaker has now spanned more than six decades. Mr. Allen’s first screenplay was for WHAT’S NEW, PUSSYCAT?, which was released in 1965. He has written and directed more than 45 feature films, including ANNIE HALL, MANHATTAN and more recently, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and BLUE JASMINE. Woody Allen is the author of WITHOUT FEATHERS and SIDE EFFECTS, among other books. Some of his works written specifically for the stage include DON’T DRINK THE WATER and PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM.
ABOUT NIGHTBLUE PERFORMING ARTS COMPANY
In the past 10 years, NightBlue Performing Arts Company has presented over 30 mainstage productions including critically acclaimed, and Jeff-nominated and award-winning shows like DISNEY’S TARZAN, AVENUE Q, RENT, MISS SAIGON and MONTY PYTHON’S “SPAMALOT!” (all of which were Chicago premieres!)
“NightBlue isn’t a name. It’s a concept. We use innovation, intensity and immersion as the building blocks of a deep and diverse environment where vivid performance and honest exploration of craft is deeply valued by all patrons and participants.”
BULLETS OVER BROADWAY
By Woody Allen, based on the screenplay for the film BULLETS OVER BROADWAY by Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath
Directed and Choreographed by Kevin Bellie
Music Direction by Carolyn Brady Riley
September 8 – October 8, 2017
Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave.
Previews September 8 and 9 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, September 10 at 2:30 pm. Preview tickets are $15
Press Opening Monday, September 11 at 7:30 pm
Regular performance schedule Thursday, September 14 at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays through October 1 at 2:30 pm, Sunday, October 8 at 1 pm
Tickets are $35 general, $30 seniors, and $27 for students
For tickets visit www.Stage773.com or call 773.327.5252