CHICAGO – The early days of the Chicago-born genre of music that became an international sensation will be brought to life through song and dance in a new stage musical written and directed by house music pioneer Mickey “Mixin” Oliver. Oliver wrote the musical’s book and collaborated with Lidell Townsell on the music and lyrics of its original score. REVOLUTION CHICAGO is the story of how “House Music” came to be when a radio program director, Lee Michaels, sought a way to revitalize the struggling radio station WBMX. Michaels had a vision to bring the art of a DJ’s turntable skills and his music to radio. He hired the five best dance club DJs in the Chicago metro market, named them the Hot Mix 5, led by Mickey Oliver, and soon they became legends in radio.
Michaels named Mickey Oliver, who was customizing his music sets with artful editing that shaped what a DJ’s skill set is today, as the Hot Mix 5’s team’s President. Oliver created a unique energy to his mixes by unconventional standards by layering different songs, incorporating tape loops of bits of songs & vocal loops and even having comedy acts doing their bits to instrumentals. He was mashing up all sorts of media with amazing creativity. By utilizing drum machines and sequencers the Hot Mix 5 along with Chicago producers created a new dance beat the world would call House Music.
Almost overnight, members of Chicago’s diverse ethnic and racial communities of whites, Filipinos, African Americans and Latinos – previously as segregated in their musical tastes as in their neighborhoods – were brought together dancing in universal harmony. Arguably America’s most divided city, Chicago now became unified under house music by the performances of Mickey Oliver and the Hot Mix 5. The incorporation of house music into the culture and daily lives of these communities is displayed in this energetic musical.
REVOLUTION CHICAGO is a lighthearted story that brings a comical twist into this amazing story that will delight theatergoers of many paths in life. Oliver will direct his own script, with Brenda Good creating the choreography. The cast will include Brandon Jansen as Mickey, Danielle Fraser as Mickey’s Girlfriend Erna, and as the Judge’s Assistant and Sherry; Peyton Smith (Mickey’s Mom, Mary, Judge, Waitress); Jack Richardson (Newscaster, Lou, Baseball Announcer), Jesus Nunez (Steve, Juan), Anthony Hansen (Singer, Suspect, Howard). The production team includes Ernalyn Regundique (choreographer of Philipine culture), Lidell Townsell (co-music director), Dan Sonenberg (technical director and set designer), Diana Collazao (Assistant), Peyton Smith (assistant director) and Laney Haupert (Stage Manager)
ABOUT MICKEY OLIVER
Born in the shadow of the steel mills on the South Side of Chicago, Mickey Mixin’ Oliver was destined to help bring the underground sound of house music to the masses. As a founding member of the groundbreaking Chicago radio mix show team on 102.7 WBMX, collectively known as the Hot Mix 5, Mickey drew global attention to house music with his incredible DJ mixes. House music was considered to be the new sound of the urban underground, which was first spun in Chicago.
As house music began to spread in Chicago’s clubs, an urban format radio station, 102.7 WBMX, was looking to become a force to be reckoned with in the Chicago market. Program Director Lee Michaels decided that the best way to go about it was to put together a group of the most talented and cutting-edge DJs around. Mickey ‘Mixin’ Oliver was selected by Michaels for this new concept. The others who joined him at WBMX were Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Kenny “Jammin” Jason, Ralphi “Rockin” Rosario, and Scott “Smokin” Silz. Called “The Hot Mix 5,” they set the standard for all others to follow, pioneering many of the turntablism tactics that have influenced the best DJ’s even to this day.
Mickey then began his very first syndicated radio mix show on the Star Stream Radio Network, which was ultimately followed by the Satellite Music Network, a division of ABC where Mickey became syndicated on over 100 stations from coast to coast. Next, Mickey appeared with his branded mix show on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. He’s been spreading house music to appreciative fans around the world performing at places like the Mecca of dance music itself, the Balearic Island of Ibiza!
Mickey Oliver started Hot Mix 5 Records, along with Kenny Jason & Ralphi Rosario. They produced and released many hits, as three have stood the test of time as being in the Top 12 All-Time House Music Records, “In-Ten-Si-T”, “You Used To Hold Me”, and “Never Let Go”.
The Chicago Bulls basketball legend himself, Michael Jordan, commissioned Mickey to provide the music soundtrack to a documentary for the Michael Jordan Foundation, for which Mickey wrote the song “Pick Me Up.” Offers by the sports world began to follow. He edited the music for the Chicago Bulls, their cheerleaders the Luvabulls, and for various sports networks. He also wrote and performed the main song in the #1 Box Office Hit Movie RED HEAT, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi.
Later, Mickey founded Powerhouse Records – a remix service with Andy Starr of the Hot Mix Radio Network. In two short years it was voted the top remix service by DJs across America. Around the same time he teamed up with Hot Mix Radio Network to produce the comprehensive ten-hour “Mix Of The Decade,” helping to launch The Hot Mix Radio Network on the ABC Radio Network.
Mickey Oliver has been named by the LONDON OBSERVER as one of the 10 most influential DJs of all time. The City of Chicago has recently recognized Mickey for his contributions to Dance Music and has named a street after him called “Mickey Mixin’ Oliver Blvd,” making him a part of American History.
Mickey has recently produced, directed and starred in a 10-episode television series called Intensi-T TV. This TV show has aired on DirecTV, Channel 354 the Resort & Residence Channel, and on Dish Network’s Colours TV, as well as many Fox and ABC affiliates.
Mickey recently produced a theatrical live stage show on the Las Vegas Strip inside the Planet Hollywood complex. This theatrical show combines Mickey’s original Billboard charting songs, plus very clever remakes, along with Mickey’s masterful turntable techniques and keyboards all performed live. This is the first theatrical live stage presentation of a DJ House Music show. Mickey Oliver has always taken his rightful place at the forefront of dance music.
Mickey in 2012 was nominated as a Grammy semi-finalist for the best Electronic Dance Music Production. Today he is singing his first ever solo – “Losing My Religion” – which is getting radio and club play worldwide. Mickey’s Intensi-T TV is now appearing on many of America’s Airports’ monitors and annually being viewed by over 600 Billion airport travelers across America.
Music and Lyrics by Mickey Oliver and Lidell Townsell
Book and Direction by Mickey Oliver
Choreographed by Brenda Good
Music Direction by Mickey Oliver and Lidell Townsell
September 6 – 29, 2019
Thursdays at 7:00pm, Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 3:30 and 7:30pm, Sundays at 7pm
Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
Ticket prices $39 General Admission | $30 seniors and Students
Tickets are available at the stage773 box office and at www.revolutionchi.com
A lighthearted story of how a genre of music grew out from the streets of Chicago into a worldwide lifestyle. This is the story of House Music through the eyes of Mickey Oliver.