CHICAGO – Kokandy Productions is pleased to announce the Chicago premiere of the bold new musical Hundred Days, featuring music and lyrics by The Bengsons, and book by The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher. Making its Chicago debut after successful runs at La Jolla Playhouse and New York Theatre Workshop, Hundred Days will be helmed by director/performer Lucky Stiff with music direction by Matthew Muñiz and choreography by Collin Quinn Rice. Hundred Days will play March 6 – April 12, 2020 at The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division St. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.kokandyproductions.com, or in person at The Chopin Theatre box office. The press opening is Friday, March 13 at 8 pm.
The cast will be led by Royen Kent and Emilie Modaff as Shaun and Abigail Bengson, with Chris Farrell, Jr., Lucas Looch Johnson, Abigail Cline and Melanie Vitaterna. Grace Bobber will understudy the role of Abigail, with additional understudies to be announced.
Hundred Days is an uncensored, exhilarating and heartrending true story about embracing uncertainty, taking a leap and loving as if you only had 100 days to live. With magnetic chemistry and anthemic folk-punk music, creators Abigail and Shaun Bengson explore a fundamental question: how do we make the most of the time that we have?
A New York Times Critics’ Pick, Hundred Days was hailed as “a luminous musical memoir that celebrates and laments the elusive radiance of a shared life.” New York Magazine called the show “a series of ecstatic songs that make the case for living and loving. Hundred Days shines a light in the darkness. There’s something about that way of moving through the world—chest up, heart open, irony pushed firmly aside—that feels downright daring right now.”
Comments Producing Artistic Director Derek Van Barham, “The question of time is at the heart of every relationship, every project, every gig. ‘Is this worth the time I’m putting into it?’ In Hundred Days, a couple reckons with an actual expiration date. But what is so beautiful about The Bengsons’ creation is that the question spills off the stage into the process and production. It offers reflection for all artists and audiences involved – including the amazingly talented performer/musicians we are beginning to assemble.”
The production team includes Jackie Fox (scenic and lighting design), Virginia Varland (costume design), Mike Patrick (sound design), Noah Watkins (assistant director), Lucy Farnsworth (stage manager), Nicholas Reinhart (casting director, production manager), Patrick O’Brien (board operator), Scot Kokandy (executive producer) and Derek Van Barham (producing artistic director).
Title: Hundred Days
Music and Lyrics by The Bengsons
Book by The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher
Director: Lucky Stiff
Cast (in alphabetical order): Abigail Cline (ensemble), Chris Farrell, Jr. (ensemble), Lucas Looch Johnson (ensemble), Royen Kent (Shaun Bengson), Emilie Modaff (Abigail Bengson) and Melanie Vitaterna (ensemble).
Understudies: Grace Bobber
Location: The Chopin Theater, 1543 W Division St. in Chicago
Dates: Previews: Friday, March 6 at 8 pm, Saturday, March 7 at 8 pm, Sunday, March 8 at 3 pm and Thursday, March 12 at 8 pm
Press performance: Friday, March 13 at 8 pm
Regular run: Saturday, March 14 – Sunday, April 12, 2020
Curtain Times: Wednesdays at 8 pm (through April 8); Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 5 pm.
Tickets: Previews $25. Regular run $40. Students/seniors $35. Tickets are currently available at www.kokandyproductions.com, or in person at the Chopin Theatre box office.
About the Artists
The Bengsons (Book, Music, and Lyrics) have appeared at such venues as Joe’s Pub (NYC), MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA) and the Market Theater (Johannesburg, South Africa). Their music has been featured on So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) and in The Lucky Ones (Ars Nova); Anything that Gives Off Light (National Theatre of Scotland/The Team); Sundown, Yellow Moon (Ars Nova/WP); Hurricane Diane (NYTW/WP, Two River Theatre); you’ll still call me by name (New York Live Arts, Jacob’s Pillow) and Iphigenia in Aulis (Classic Stage Company). They have been nominated for the Drama Desk, Drama League and Lucille Lortel Awards. Abigail Nessen Bengson has toured as a member of tUnE-yArDs, including an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Sarah Gancher’s (Book) writing has been seen on such stages as London’s National Theatre, Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Steppenwolf, Seattle Rep, Hartford Stage, RoundHouse, Ars Nova and The Flea. Honors include New York Stage and Film Founder’s Award, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, AR Gurney Prize, Lortel and Drama League nominations. With The Bengsons, she also wrote The Lucky Ones. Co-writer of The TEAM’s Mission Drift (Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize, Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel; international tour to Europe, Asia and Australia). Alumna: P73, Playwrights Realm Writing Fellows, Women’s Project Lab and Ars Nova Play Group. Resident playwright at New Dramatists. M.F.A.: NYU.
Lucky Stiff (Director) is a director and performer working in Chicago and New York. They build original experiences that often combine nightclub culture with performance art as well as classic stories, and their work takes inspiration from Weimar, Germany, Pierrot clowns and golden age musicals. They have been featured at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Disco Dining Club (Los Angeles), Boy Friday Dance Company and Bushwig Festival of Drag, among many others. They are a coproducer of the monthly shows GODDESS at Berlin Nightclub and Delirium: A Bohemian CabaRave at The Newport Theater, and they are a cohost of The Tea Podcast. They hold an MFA in Directing for Theater from Northwestern University.
Matthew Muñiz (Music Director) is a pianist, composer, songwriter and teacher. He’s a company member with The House Theatre of Chicago, where his music direction and performance credits include The Nutcracker (2010-2018), Verböten (2020), United Flight 232 (2016), The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz (2017, and Hatfield & McCoy (2018). As a composer, he most recently created music for The House Theatre’s production of Pinocchio (2019). His work has appeared in two short films and in one feature-length zombie horror flick, and in plays and podcasts. In 2013, he produced and released a full-length album of his songs with his band, The Live Debate! (available on all streaming services). His music can be heard in The Last Defender, an Escape created with Cards Against Humanity, and in the upcoming Escape, Nova to Lodestar. When Matthew isn’t making music, he’s probably making (or playing) games himself. www.matthewmunizmusic.com
Collin Quinn Rice (Choreographer) is a queer actor, dancer and multi-media artist based in Chicago. Recent movement credits include The Hilary Duff Project (2017 & 2020); The Dog, The Night, and The Knife; Disco Pigs (Silencio); and Big Love (Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts). They were most recently seen as an actor in The Tasters (Rivendell), All Quiet on the Western Front (Red Tape Theatre), Mike Pence Sex Dream (First Floor Theater), The Harvest (Griffin Theatre Co.), Hatfield & McCoy (The House), Le Switch (About Face Theatre), Masque Macabre (Strawdog Theatre Company), Going to a Place… (Redtwist Theatre) and The Ode at Pint’s End (Birch House Immersive). Film credits include The Right Swipe and The Play Cycle. Collin is a graduate of Northwestern University, and they are represented by Big Mouth Talent. Collin also moonlights as a headshot photographer—their comprehensive work can be found at www.collinquinnrice.com.
About Kokandy Productions
Founded in 2010, Kokandy Productions seeks to leverage the heightened reality of musical theater to tell complex and challenging stories, with a focus on contributing to the development of Chicago-based musical theater artists, and raising the profile of Chicago’s non-Equity musical theater community.
The company’s artistic staff is comprised of Derek Van Barham (Producing Artistic Director), Scot T. Kokandy (Executive Producer) and Adrian Abel Azevedo & Leda Hoffman (Artistic Associates). The Board of Directors includes Preston Cropp, Katherine Smith, Allison Hendrix, Scot T. Kokandy, and Katie Svaicer.
For additional information, visit www.kokandyproductions.com.