British Musical Tomorrow Morning Wakes Up in Chicago, Opening Nov. 9

News   British Musical Tomorrow Morning Wakes Up in Chicago, Opening Nov. 9
 
Tomorrow Morning, a new musical drama about relationships — with a surprise twist — by British composer, librettist and lyricist Laurence Mark Wythe, opens in its Chicago premiere Nov. 9 following previews from Oct. 31.
(clockwise:) Charissa Armon, Emily Thompson, Jonathan Rayson and Michael Mahler
(clockwise:) Charissa Armon, Emily Thompson, Jonathan Rayson and Michael Mahler

Under the direction of Tom Mullen (Chicago's resident production of Urinetown), who also co-produces, this revised version of the musical seen in the U.K. will play to Dec. 7 at the Victory Gardens Theater Greenhouse. Hilary A. Williams, whose producing credits include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf starring Kathleen Turner, produces the Chicago staging.

The cast includes Jeff Award nominee Charissa Armon (Ragtime at Porchlight in Chicago), Michael Mahler (Chicago's Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at Drury Lane Oakbrook), Jonathan Rayson (Broadway's Little Shop of Horrors, A Year With Frog and Toad) and Emily Thompson (a 2007 graduate of Northwestern University who appeared in Dennis DeYoung's The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Bailiwick Rep) and understudies Kelli Clevenger (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and Peter Durkin (2007 BFA in music theatre from Illinois Wesleyan; Can Can at Circle Theatre).

Tomorrow Morning, according to the producers, "is about two couples — one is facing the end of a relationship, the other has just begun — separated by time yet bound together by their journey through the trials and tribulations of love. The musical is a complex and heartfelt analysis of relationships, but is also filled with humor and sensitivity."

The show had its world premiere in London's New End Theatre in 2006. Since then, changes have been made to the show for American audiences. The Americanized script previewed in a reading at Theatre Building Chicago's STAGES Festival of New Musicals in August 2007. It was also produced in Connecticut in 2008.

Playwright Wythe will be in Chicago Nov. 5-10 to take a look at the show. With American director Mullen, he's reworked the piece; songs have been added, moved or cut to heighten the dramatic stakes. "This musical comes from a very personal place for me," Wythe said in a statement. "As a child I was touched by the divorce of my parents. Even now, as a married man with children of my own the memories are still strong. But time has given me an incredible gift of seeing how one survives intimidating times of change and can even thrive with the strength that comes from love and family."

Producer Williams stated, "Tomorrow Morning is near and dear to my heart. Recently, musical stages in the U.K. and the U.S have been dominated by restagings of established works or jukebox musicals. I firmly believe that in order to keep musical theatre vibrant, new talent needs the opportunity to be seen and heard, so I am honored to lend my support to this new musical penned by such a brilliant new voice."

Mullen staged the acclaimed productions of Urinetown the Musical at the Mercury Theatre (nominated for seven Jeff Awards), and Noble Fool's critically acclaimed I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.

The creative team includes Dan R. Conley (scenic design), Bill Morey (costume design), Jennifer Kules (lighting design), Timothy K. Schmidt (sound design), Mike Tutaj (video design) and Brett Rowe (musical direction). Ellyn Costello is the production stage manger. Born in Kent, England in 1974, composer and writer Laurence Mark Wythe is best known for Tomorrow Morning. His latest work is Through the Door, co-written with bookwriter Judy Freed. He lives on the outskirts of London with his wife and their two daughters.

The cast album of Tomorrow Morning was recorded in 2006, performed by the original company from the production at the New End Theatre. Its 2007 release marked the first album of work by the author, followed by the release of the studio concept album of The Lost Christmas in 2008.

Performances for Tomorrow Morning are Wednesdays at 2 PM (Nov. 12 and 19 only), Thursdays and Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 5 and 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM (5 PM for press opening Nov. 9 only).

For tickets or more information call the box office at (773) 404-7336. Group discounts are available for groups of ten or more. Call GroupTix (877) 4-GRP-TIX.

For more information, visit tomorrowmorningthemusical.com.

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