Chicago's Monday Night Musicals Series Has Faith, the Mary Magdalene Musical, Feb. 23

News   Chicago's Monday Night Musicals Series Has Faith, the Mary Magdalene Musical, Feb. 23 Faith, a new musical about the New Testament's Mary Magdalene, gets its Chicago premiere in a reading 7 PM Feb. 23 as part of Musical Theatre Writers' Workshop's Monday Night Musicals series.

The show, presented at Theatre Building Chicago, has music by composer Gerald Rizzer and book and lyrics by Jim Hughes (Haven, Crazy Lady).

In Faith, "Mary Magdalene and her lover, Barabbas, grow from orphans to dedicated zealots and alter the course of history in biblical times." It's billed as "a passionate and riveting musical setting to one of the Bible's greatest stories."

Rizzer created the score of the new musical, Hard Road (book by Jane Boyd, lyrics by Charlie Mehler), performed as part of Stages Festival 2002, composed several new works presented at Sherwood Conservatory, collaborated with Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and continues to write new works with the Musical Theatre Writers' Workshop.

Rizzer is the founder, artistic director and pianist of The Chicago Ensemble, a professional chamber music group now in its 27th season. He teaches at Sherwood Conservatory, Music Makers of Western Springs, DePaul University and at the Bernard Horwich Jewish Community Center. Rizzer joined the Musical Theatre Writers' Workshop in 1987 during its first season, attended Juilliard and holds degrees from the University of Chicago and Yale.

Hughes' latest success was the Chicago premiere of his new musical, Haven, which opened the 2003 2004 Theatre Building Chicago Musical Program season. Previous musicals include book and lyrics for FIRE! CODES?, ...and now Miguel, The Irish Princess, Crazy Lady, Gold Fever and  collaborated with workshop members on the children's musical, Eagles. Hughes is a long-time member of the Musical Theatre Writers' Workshop. Melissa Young directs Faith, with music director Galen Prenevost.

  Monday Night Musicals is a series of eight concert readings of new works offered as part of a stepping stone process of nurturing new musicals.  Members of the Musical Theatre Writers' Workshop commune regularly throughout the year, beginning in September to collaborate under the guidance of artistic director, John Sparks. Members develop individual projects with select new works presented in the Monday Night Musical series, as well as Studio Presentations, One Acts and Mini Musicals, all performed at the Theatre Building Chicago.

Theatre Building Chicago is at 1225 W Belmont Ave., Chicago. For information, call (773) 327-5252 or visit www.theatrebuildingchicago.org.