Nothing excites me more than new musical theatre development in Chicago. This city is packed with unbelievable talent and ideas. I’ve seen incredibly exciting new musicals in this city and would love to see more. Looking back at the past few years, there has been a lot of great progress made. To reflect, I’ve put together a quick list of some wonderful songs and montages from amazing new works that have recently been produced in the city.
1. “Look to the Stars” from October Sky. Music and Lyrics by Michael Mahler, Book by Aaron Thielen. This musical had its World Premiere at The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire this past fall. This particular performance is by Chicago favorite actor/composer/lyricist, Michael Mahler. If he looks familiar, you may have just seen him playing Seymour in American Blues Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors. You won’t be disappointed listening to this song, it is absolutely beautiful. If you were like me and you missed out on the amazing opportunity to see the show while it was at Marriott Theatre, it’s not too late! Go ahead and plan a vacation to San Diego because October Sky will make its West Coast Premiere this coming fall at The Old Globe.
2. “Where There Was Bone” from Days Like Today. Music and Lyrics by Alan Schmuckler, Book by Laura Eason. Days Like Today had its World Premiere at Writers Theatre in Glencoe in the spring of 2014. I had the pleasure of seeing this show and looking back it is one of my favorite musical theatre experiences. I fell in love with the story and score and left the theatre wanting more.
3. “What the World Needs is People Like Me” from Ride the Cyclone. Book, Music, and Lyrics by Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell. Ride the Cyclone made its U.S. Premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre this past October and this coming fall you can catch it Off-Broadway at the MCC Theater. This particular performance is a Chicago Tribune showcase with the Chicago Shakespeare cast. I couldn’t get over how exciting this show was and I am thrilled that it’s heading Off-Broadway for more audiences to enjoy.
4. Sense and Sensibility. Book, Music, and Lyrics by Paul Gordon. Sense and Sensibility had its World Premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre Summer 2015 and will be making its West Coast Premiere at the Old Globe in San Diego this summer. This montage gives you a bit of an idea about the show as well as a teaser of its beautiful music.
5. "Out There" from Beaches. Book by Iris Rainer Dart and Thom Thomas, Lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart, Music by David Austin. Beaches originally premiered at the Signature Theatre in Washington D.C. in Spring 2014. After the run at Signature, the creative team took some time to work further on the show so that it was ready for its big anticipated run slotted for Chicago in Summer 2015. With a stacked cast and creative team, the show did exceptionally well in Chicago. There was a lot of anticipation for it to move to Broadway and I think we all hope that Broadway is still in its future. This song is performed by the ever talented Shoshana Bean. They didn't call her Elphaba for nothing.
These are just a few of the new musical works that have recently been produced in Chicago. Whether you spend your spare time obsessing over new musicals or you're new to the theatre world; I hope this inspires you to support new work and go to the theatre. Take time to explore these talented up and coming creative teams, you won't be sorry.