NAPERVILLE – BrightSide Theatre, Naperville’s only professional theatre performing in the historic downtown district, opens their 9th Season – Guilty Pleasures –with this family friendly holiday musical – A Christmas Carol the Musical. Performing at the Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth Street in Naperville November 29 – December 15. Tickets are on sale now at www.brightsidetheatre.com, or by phone at 630-447-TIXS (8497). The press performance is Friday, November 29 at 8pm.
The holiday season is just not the same without a bit of Scrooge! Playing for ten years at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Charles Dickens’ classic gets the full Broadway treatment by Broadway heavy hitters, Alan Menken (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act) and Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical, Once on This Island) as they reawaken the true spirit of Christmas with a heart-stirring tale of beauty and redemption.
A Christmas Carol the Musical is a spectacular adaptation of Charles Dickens’ well-known story of Ebenezer Scrooge as a prosperous curmudgeon who believes that personal wealth is far more valuable than the happiness and comfort of others, greeting Christmas cheer with an infuriated “Bah! Humbug!” However, thanks to the guidance of three ghosts, Scrooge recognizes his faults and greets Christmas morning with a cheerful, “Happy Christmas!” A Christmas Carol the Musical is an ideal guilty pleasure for your family to create a beautiful holiday experience.
Title: A Christmas Carol the Musical
Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Lynn Aherns
Book: Mike Okrent & Lynn Aherns
Director: Jeffrey Cass
Chorographer: Jeni Donahue
Musical Director: Jake Hartge
From Aurora: Juliana Filapek (Mary Cratchit) and Miranda Colin (Ghost of Christmas Future)
From Blue Island: Sean Rhead (Jacob Marley)
From Chicago: Robert McDonough (Mr. Smythe) and Tyler Sonkin (Ensemble)
From Elk Grove Village: Katy Mitchell (Mrs. Cratchit)
From Lombard: Jonathan Booth (Bob Cratchit) and Kelley Dale (Ensemble)
From Montgomery: Andrew Buel (Ensemble)
From Morton Grove: Sarah Breidenbach (Ensemble)
From Naperville: Ben Weiss (Peter Cratchit), Luke Brock (Douglas Cratchit), Willa Zatzenbloom (Grace Smythe),
Amanda Kornak (Lily), Michael Crowell (Mr. Fezziwig), Querron Smith (Ghost of Christmas Present), Jane Hoshell (Ensemble)
From Oak Park: Dana Clouser (Martha Cratchit) and Kitty Karn (Ensemble)
From Park Ridge: Myrrh Gobenciong (Ensemble)
From Plainfield: Ella Schuler (Belinda Cratchit) and Cooper Carlisle (Jonathan)
From Roselle: Michelle Bollinger (Ghost of Christmas Past)
From Wheaton: Thomas Mansour (Tiny Tim)
From Wilmington: Christine Ronna (Mrs. Fezziwig)
From Winfield: Stan Austin (Ebenezer Scrooge)
Location: Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College,
31 S. Ellsworth Street, Naperville. IL 60540
Dates: November 29-December 15, 2019
Press Performance/Opening: Friday, November 29 at 8 pm
Curtain Times: Fridays at 8pm, **Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm & Sundays at 3pm ***Saturday matinees at 3 pm are Newly Added Performances!!**
Tickets: $30 Discounts: Students/Seniors$25.Groups 10+ /$23-$25. Tickets are on sale now at www.brightsidetheatre.com, by phone 630-447-TIXS (8497) or the night of the performance at the box office at the Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College.
About the Creative Team
ALAN MENKEN (Composer). Theater: God Bless You Mr Rosewater, Little Shop Of Horrors, Real Life Funnies, Atina: Evil Queen Of The Galaxy, Kicks, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, Beauty And The Beast, A Christmas Carol, Weird Romance, King David, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Leap Of Faith, Aladdin and Newsies. Film: Little Shop Of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Hercules, Life With Mikey, Lincoln, Home On The Range, Noel, Enchanted, Shaggy Dog, Tangled and Mirror Mirror. Songs: Rocky V, Home Alone 2 and Captain America. Awards: 8 Oscars (19 nominations), 11 Grammys (including Song of the Year), 7 Golden Globes, Tony® (plus 4 nominations), Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, New York Drama Critics, Olivier and London’s Evening Standard Award, Drama League. Honors: Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Doctorates from New York University and University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Lynn Ahrens (Lyrics & Book) won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards and received two Grammy nominations for Broadway’s Ragtime. For Twentieth Century Fox’s animated feature film Anastasia, she was nominated for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. She and longtime collaborator Stephen Flaherty received the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement, and in 2015 they were inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. Broadway: Anastasia; Once On This Island (Olivier Award, Best Musical; Tony nominations, Best Book and Score); Seussical (Grammy nomination); My Favorite Year; Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life; Rocky; Madison Square Garden’s A Christmas Carol; Ragtime (2010 Broadway revival). Off-Broadway and regional: Lincoln Center Theater’s Dessa Rose, The Glorious Ones (both Drama Desk-nominated) and A Man of No Importance (Outer Critics Circle Award, Best Musical); Lucky Stiff; Little Dancer (Kennedy Center world premiere). Film and television credits include A “Christmas Carol” (NBC-TV); Camp (IFC Films); “Schoolhouse Rock” (ABC-TV) and others. (Emmy Award and four Emmy nominations). She is a Council member of the Dramatists Guild of America, a co-founder of the Dramatists Guild Fellows Program, and a Lilly Award winner for Lyrics. www.ahrensandflaherty.com
MIKE OCKRENT (Book) (1946-1999) was born in London and received a B.Sc. in Physics from Edinburgh University. In 1969 he won an Independent Television Award and was appointed Assistant Director at Perth Repertory Theatre in Scotland. During the three years he was there he directed over 20 plays. In 1973 he was appointed Artistic Director of the internationally renowned Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh where he stayed for three years. Many of the plays he produced and directed then transferred to London.
In 1976 Mike went freelance in London and productions included Union Jack and Bonzo by Stanley Eveling at Hampstead Theatre, C.P. Taylor s adaptation of Carl Sterheim s Schippel (retitled The Plumber s Progress ) with Harry Secombe at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Once A Catholic (nominated Best Comedy by the Society of West End Theatres) at the Royal Court and Wyndhams Theatre, Brecht s A Respectable Wedding at the Open Space Theatre, And A Nightingale Sang at the Queen s Theatre, Educating Rita by Willy Russell at the RSC and the Piccadilly Theatre (winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Play), Passion Play by Peter Nichols for the RSC (subsequently at Wyndhams and winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy), Stephen Sondheim s Follies at the Shaftesbury (winner of the Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard, Plays & Players and Drama Magazine Awards for Best Musical) and Just So at the Tricycle Theatre for Cameron Mackintosh. National Theatre Productions include Watch on the Rhine with Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Inner Voices with Sir Ralph Richardson, Laurence Olivier s 80th Birthday Celebration and Zenobia for RSC at The Young Vic.
Mike s Broadway productions include Once A Catholic, Rowan Atkinson s review Atkinson at the Atkinson , Big, which received 10 Drama Desk nominations and 5 Tony nominations, and the World Premiere of the concert version of the musical King David , written by Alan Menken and Tim Rice, the inaugural event at Disney s renovated New Amsterdam Theatre. Mike directed and co-conceived several productions of the celebrated Me and My Girl at the Adelphi where it won the Olivier, Ivor Novello and Drama Magazine Awards for Best Musical, and on Broadway where it was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and for which he also won the Drama Desk Award for Best Director. He also directed and co-conceived Crazy For You : the Broadway production, which won three Tony Awards (including Best Musical 1992); the London production, which won several Olivier Awards (including Best Musical 1993), the U.S. tour production, in addition to the Japanese, Canadian and Australian productions.
His films include: Dancin Thru the Dark (BBC Formost Films and British Screen), Popular Choice of 1990 Venice Film Festival, Money for Nothing (BBC), Writer s Guild Award for 1994. He also wrote a theatrical novel, Running Down Broadway, Random Century.
Jeffrey Cass (Co-Director/Artistic Director) a Joseph Jefferson Award Nominee most recently directed BightSide Theatre’s: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Joseph….Dreamcoat, The Bridges of Madison County, Guys and Dolls, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Sound of Music, It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, Cabaret, RENT, Company, BrightSide Theatre’s inaugural production – Run For Your Wife and also and for the BrightSide Theatre’s Youth Project inaugural production of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr., Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr., Disney’s Aladdin, Jr., Legally Blonde the Musical Jr., and Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. He holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theater Performance from Roosevelt University where he also studied lighting design and stage management. He previously served as the Producing Director for Circle Theatre where he directed The Who’s Tommy (6 Joseph Jefferson Nominations including Best Musical and Best Director) Neil LaBute’s Bash and The Distance From Here (Midwest Premier), Burning Blue (Midwest Premier), Crazy for You, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Urinetown, Peter Pan and for their New Plays Festivals.
Jeni Donahue (Choreographer) is a professional choreographer from Joliet who earned her degree in Dance & Vocal performance from Columbia College and has been choreographing professionally for over 25 years. She has worked with all age levels and abilities and has been heavily involved in every aspect of dance. Jeni is a sought after clinician, adjudicator and guest speaker at competitions and events throughout the United States. Jeni was honored to choreograph the Illinois All State productions of Ragtime (2005), Urinetown (2010) Into the Woods (2011). Past BrightSide choreography credits include: Cabaret, Aladdin Jr, Sound of Music, Legally Blonde Jr, Spamalot, Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr, Beauty and the Beast, Guys and Dolls and High School Musical Jr.
Jake Hartge (Music Director/Piano-Conductor) Jake is thrilled to be working with BrightSide for the first time! He has music directed and conducted orchestras across Chicagoland. Some of his favorite Music Directing credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Theatre of Western Springs), Wizard of Oz (Children’s Theatre of Western Springs) and Abduction! (Stage 773). Other credits include Cinderella, West Side Story, Once on This Island, A Chorus Line, and 9 to 5. Jake studied at Columbia College Chicago with a concentration in Piano Performance. He currently splits his time between Music Directing and teaching private voice. www.jakehartge.com
BrightSide Theatre (Jeffrey Cass, Artistic Director and Julie Ann Kornak, Executive Director) celebrates our 9th season as Naperville’s only professional theatre performing in the historic downtown district. BrightSide Theatre is committed to Enlighten, Educate, and Entertain through comedies and inspirational stories from across the globe. BrightSide’s shows are selected to be a unique blend of award-winners, premieres, modern works and timeless classics meant to reflect upon and inform our community. For more information on BrightSide Theatre, please visit www.brightsidetheatre.com.
This production is sponsored in part by CM Stage Photography, Cue Camp, The Dolly McCarthy Show, Esser Hayes Insurance Group, Republic Bank, Round Hill Wealth Management, SECA Grant