CHICAGO– Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to bring back last season’s steamy, sell-out hit BETTE, LIVE AT THE CONTINENTAL BATHS, with Caitlin Jackson recreating Bette Midler’s historic bathhouse concert in New York City. This year, Handbag is bringing the bathhouse to Boystown with nine performances only from August 12 – September 10, 2016 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. BETTE, LIVE AT THE CONTINENTAL BATHS is adapted by David Cerda and Caitlin Jackson, directed and choreographed by Christopher Pazdernik, with music direction and arrangements by Jeremy Ramey. Tickets are currently available at www.stage773.com or by calling (773) 327-5252. The press opening is Friday, August 12 at 8 pm.
Handbag Diva and ensemble member Caitlin Jackson returns to pay tribute to the Divine Miss M’s legendary cabaret act at the equally legendary Continental Bathhouse in New York City. Featuring live music from Jeremy Ramey as Barry Manilow, Chad as Mr. Gerald, bathhouse patron and hairdresser to the stars, and singing bathhouse boys in strategically placed towels (TJ Crawford and Will Wilhelm), this loving recreation of the beginning of Ms. Midler’s stellar career features the fabulous songs she sang for the boys in the bathhouse, including Chattanooga Choo-Choo, Superstar, and of course, Chapel of Love done in Bette’s inimitable style.
Title: BETTE, LIVE AT THE CONTINENTAL BATHS
Director/Choreographer: Christopher Pazdernik
Music Director/Arranger: Jeremy Ramey
Adapted by David Cerda and Caitlin Jackson
Cast: Caitlin Jackson (Bette Midler), Jeremy Ramey (Barry Manilow), Chad (Mr. Gerald) and TJ Crawford and Will Wilhelm (The Bathhouse Boys).
Location: Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
Regular run: Saturday, August 20 – Saturday, September 10, 2016
Curtain Times: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm. Please note: there will be an added performance on Thursday, August 25 at 8 pm; there will not be a performance on Saturday, August 27.
Tickets: $26 in advance; $28 at the door. Tickets are currently available at www.stage773.com or by calling (773) 327-5252.
Bette at The Acorn Theater
Bette and the Boys will be hitting the road for a special one-night engagement at The Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Michigan on Saturday, August 13 at 8 pm. For tickets and additional information, visit www.acorntheater.com.
Christopher Pazdernik (Director/Choreographer) A director/choreographer with “a near-encyclopedic knowledge of musicals” (Newcity Stage), Christopher is ecstatic to return to the Baths! His Chicago credits include Make Me A Song (Eclectic); High Fidelity (Refuge Theatre Project); The Story of a Story: The Untold Story (Underscore Theatre Co.); Miracle on 34th Street, Porchlight Revisits Anyone Can Whistle, City of Angels & Applause (Porchlight); Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Bombs Away! (Bailiwick); A Streetcar Named Desire & Evita (Jedlicka); Time After Time: The Songs of Jule Styne (Theo Ubique); The Full Monty (Village Players); a Jeff nomination for co-choreographing Spamalot (Nightblue) and the original production of Bette with Handbag. As an HIV+ artist, Christopher is also committed to HIV/AIDS awareness, currently serving on the Ambassador Committee for the AIDS Run/Walk and producing an annual benefit concert for Howard Brown Health.
Jeremy Ramey (Music Director/Arranger) is a concert pianist, conductor and music director based in Chicago. He was awarded the non-Equity Jeff Award for Outstanding Music Direction for his work on Light in the Piazza in 2012 and again in 2013 for Smokey Joe’s Cafe. For 2016, Jeremy received his sixth and seventh nominations for his work on My Way: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra and Rent, both with Theo Ubique. Some of his favorite projects include Altar Boyz at Downtown Drury Lane, Hats! with Grammy Award winner Melissa Manchester and Tony nominated director Lynn Taylor-Corbett, Forever Plaid at Drury Lane Oakbrook and Cats with Marriott Lincolnshire. He received his training in piano performance at Rhodes College, Northwestern University and The Juilliard School of Music.
Caitlin Jackson (Bette Midler) Caitlin is back at Baths with her Hell in a Handbag family! She is a proud Handbag Ensemble Member and some of her previous credits include Miracle! (Hershey/Barb) by Dan Savage, Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer 2014 (Jane Donner/Dolly) and Christmas Dearest 2013 & 2015 (Bette Davis). Originally from Indiana, she began her training/acting with multiple theaters in and around the Indianapolis area. Since moving to Chicago in 1998, she has studied at UIC and has performed with various companies throughout the city, among them, Walkabout Theatre/Knife & Fork, Ludicrous Theatre, Strangeloop, The Factory Theatre, Wayward Productions, Black Button Eyes as “Miss Spink” in Coraline and with Cowardly Scarecrow in Musical of the Living Dead (2013) & Musical Horror Story: Exorcism (2015). She was most recently seen as “Smudge” in the Midwest premier of Johnny Drago’s Trash with New American Folk Theatre (where she is also a Company Member) and just before that, as “Liz” in Refuge Theatre Project’s High Fidelity www.caitlinrosejackson.com
About Hell in a Handbag Productions
Founded in 2002, Hell in a Handbag Productions is Chicago’s only theater dedicated to camp and 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. For additional information, visit www.handbagproductions.org.