Season of Concern (SOC) sold out Mercury Theater Chicago September 9 for “Second City Divas—In Concert,” a one-night-only benefit performance featuring Chicago’s leading ladies of musical theatre on stage together. Season of Concern is the Chicago theatre community’s fundraising effort to provide financial assistance to those in the community impacted by illness, injury or circumstance.
The event welcomed 270 people, filling every seat at Mercury Theater Chicago, and raised more than $20,000 from a combination of ticket sales and sponsorships.A virtual “who’s who” of Chicago’s musical theatre, the performers have appeared on such Chicago stages as Marriott, Drury Lane, Goodman, Apollo, Chicago Shakespeare, Paramount, Northlight, Porchlight, Court, Royal George, Mercury and many more, as well as Broadway, off-Broadway and regional theatres around the country. The lineup included:
Kyle Kimberly Baker
Kitty Fishman Bickers
E. Faye Butler
Kelly Anne Clark
Roberta Duchak (musical director)
Ericka Mac (director)
Johanna McKenzie Miller
Harriet Nzinga Plumpp
Mary Robin Roth
Linda Ann Waner
The performance included solos, duets and group numbers showcasing these well-known Chicago musical theatre performers. There also was a special presentation of the Larry Sloan Legacy Award, which honors a person who has consistently and passionately been a trailblazer on behalf of Season of Concern, to Joseph Jefferson Award-winning actress, singer and songwriter Cory Goodrich.
For the past six years, Goodrich and Joseph Jefferson Award-winning musical director Eugene Dizon have produced a CD of holiday music featuring a wide range of Chicago talent as a fundraising opportunity for SOC. Managing Director Michael Ryczek said, “Rather than offering a CD of holiday music, this year Cory and Eugene will produce a ‘live’ recording of this once-in-a-lifetime event. We are so grateful to Cory, Eugene and the Divas for their longtime support of our fundraising goals.”Sponsors included Actors’ Equity Association, The Actors Fund, Broadway in Chicago, Footlights, Goodman Theatre and Mercury Theater Chicago.
Created 32 years ago, Season of Concern has raised more than $3 million to benefit hundreds of people in the entertainment industry—actors, directors, designers, technicians, playwrights—who are unable to work due to illness, injury or circumstance, as well as offering support to more than 35 Chicago-based AIDS direct-care service organizations. SOC also provides sustaining support to the Chicago office of The Actors Fund, the national human services organization that helps entertainment and performing arts professionals in theatre, film, music, opera, television and dance through a broad spectrum of social, health, employment and housing programs that address their essential and critical needs.
For more information, visit seasonofconcern.org.