CHICAGO – Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce its annual benefit “The Morning After,” featuring the streaming world premiere of the smash hit musical that started it all for them, POSEIDON! An Upside-Down Musical on Friday, January 1, 2021 from 6 – 9:30 pm CST. Tickets ($22–$30) include a 6 pm pre-show discussion and never-before-seen clips from past POSEIDON! productions, memories from cast and crew members of all three productions, and a raffle and silent auction featuring fabulous self-care items for you to bid on to make your quarantine bearable! Handbag will also provide links to order food and cocktails from partnering restaurants. Tickets are currently available at eventbrite.com. All proceeds benefit Hell in a Handbag Productions, Chicago’s leading camp and parody theater company.
“What do you to when your world turns upside down? That’s what POSEIDON! is about,” comments Artistic Director David Cerda*. “This is what makes the first live stream of POSEIDON! in 18 years so relevant for today. We’re all just trying to survive, physically and mentally.”
The 2019 production of POSEIDON! An Upside-Down Musical was recorded by Peter Neville* in HD with stereo sound at Chicago’s Edge Theater. POSEIDON! features book and lyrics by Handbag Artistic Director David Cerda*, music by David Cerda* with Scott Lamberty, direction by Derek Van Barham, music direction by Andrew Milliken and choreography by Breon Arzell.
The cast includes Katherine Bellantone, Frankie Leo Bennett, Brittney Brown, Tommy Bullington, Sydney Genco*, Caitlin Jackson*, Josh Kemper, Elizabeth Lesinski*, David Lipschutz*, Stevie Love*, Nicky Mendelson, Michael S. Miller*, Courtney Dane Mize, Elissa Newcorn, Marc Prince, Shane Roberie, Scott Sawa, Patrick Stengle and Maiko Terazawa.
It’s New Year’s Eve and a group of hardcore fans have gathered for their annual viewing of the greatest film ever – The Poseidon Adventure, the story of the capsize of the SS Poseidon on New Year’s Eve, and the handful of misfit passengers that decide to climb to the top of the ship – which is now the bottom. As the story progresses the viewers become one with the film. POSEIDON! An Upside-Down Musical is part parody, part homage – and a look at how movies can leave their mark on you.
Handbag’s original 2002 Chicago production of POSEIDON! was a critical and popular smash and extended for a five-month sold-out run in Chicago, and was accepted into The New York International Fringe Festival, where it was the most attended show of 2003, winning an award of excellence for Best Ensemble. The show was remounted in 2009 at The Chopin Theatre and enjoyed another extended run.
6 pm: Pre-show with never-before-seen clips, and memories with the cast members from all three productions.
6:30 pm: the virtual world premiere of POSEIDON! An Upside-Down Musical.
7:45 pm: Intermission, raffle drawings and bonus clips.
8:50 pm: POSEIDON! ends – raffle and silent auction winners.
9:15 pm: You end up giving us all of your money!
The production team includes Christopher Rhoton (scenic design), Beth Laske Miller (costume design), Cat Wilson* (lighting design), Danny Rockett (sound design), Adrian Hadlock (props design), Sydney Genco* (make-up design), Keith Ryan* (wig design), R & D Fight Choreography (violence and stunt choreography), Madison Smith (assistant director), Noah Watkins (technical director), Andrew C. Donnelly* (stage manager) and Dani Bar-Lavi (assistant stage manager).
Although 2020 has put a stop to live performances, Hell in a Handbag has met the challenge with their very first virtual production of The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes; a fun, safe drive-in series of their greatest hits; Airport 1970SOMETHING, a streaming parody of another ‘70s disaster classic: and their current holiday show, The Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special, filmed on a set with the magic of green screen and a little ingenuity, playing through January 17, 2021.
*Denotes Handbag ensemble members and artistic associates
About Hell in a Handbag Productions
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. For additional information, visit handbagproductions.org.