A New Disc Spins: High Fidelity Opens in Chicago Aug. 17

News   A New Disc Spins: High Fidelity Opens in Chicago Aug. 17 The Chicago premiere of High Fidelity, the short-lived Broadway musical by Tony Award-winning Next to Normal composer Tom Kitt and lyricist Amanda Green, opens Aug. 17 after previews from Aug. 8.
Jonathan Wagner, Stef Tovar and Michael Mahler; Stef Tovar with Tricia Small
Jonathan Wagner, Stef Tovar and Michael Mahler; Stef Tovar with Tricia Small

This new resident production of the romance-minded rock musical (based on the Nick Hornby novel and the film of the same name) is produced by The Route 66 Theatre Company and features its artistic director, Jeff Award winner Stef Tovar, in the lead role. Performances play Pipers Alley Theater, the longtime Windy City home of Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding.

High Fidelity will run through Oct. 11.

Tovar plays Rob, who runs a record store popuated by slackers and pop mavens. He can't get his love life together — and he sings about it.

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The libretto is by Tony Award winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole, Shrek the Musical). A cast album preserved the Broadway score. Kitt won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Score (with Brian Yorkey) for Next to Normal, currently playing at Broadway's Booth Theatre. According to Route 66, "High Fidelity follows Rob, the thirty-something owner of Championship Vinyl, a beloved Chicago record store. When his current relationship with girlfriend Laura goes south, Rob enlists the help of his two quirky clerks to expound on the intricacies of life and music while revisiting his former relationships to find out where he went wrong."

The Route 66 Theatre Company production features Michael Mahler and Jonathan Wagner as "Dick" and "Barry" who will double as an onstage band with Derek Hasenstab (as T.M.P.M.I.T.W) and Jim Barclay on the drums. "The Pipers Alley Theater setting provides patrons with an intimate bar atmosphere to enjoy this Chicago premiere event," according to the company.

Directed and choreographed by Peter Amster and with musical direction by Diana Lawrence, the production features Equity and non-Equity talent, including Dana Tretta as Liz, Tricia Small as Laura, Michael Weber as Ian, Christin Boulette as Marie LaSalle/Sarah Kendrew, Blair Robertson as Alison Ashworth/Anna, Katie Jeep as Jackie Allen, Maggie Chambers as Charlie Nicholson, Kelli Maier as Penny Hardwick/Backup Singer and Kevin Crowley and Ian Paul Custer as Mohawk Guy and Futon Guy, respectively.

Angie Weber Miller heads the design team responsible for the transformation of the space with scenic design; Jesse Klug is the lighting designer, and Toy Delorio is the sound designer. Ricky Lurie is the costume designer, Bobby Richards is the projections designer, and the stage manager is Cori Kabat.

For tickets or more information visit www.route66theatre.org or call Pipers Alley Theater at (312) 664-8844.

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Founded in February 2008, The Route 66 Theatre Company "produces theatre that knowingly encounters risk and embraces the American spirit of exploration. Committed to their home base in Chicago, where the historic Route 66 began, and collaborating with their artists in Los Angeles, Route 66 connects cultural divides by giving life to the vibrant stories that link America together."