For the Bailiwick production, four legitimate fashion designers, whose work has been seen everywhere from theatre to the White House, have been selected to put in their “strongest suits” (well, dresses) specifically for that number in the show.
Maria Danae Mandis’ work has been seen at Chicago’s Mannequin Nightclub, and she is currently working on her own fashion collection while serving as senior vice president and production director of Playboy magazine. Emily Rohm specializes in bridal design and has also contributed costumes to opera and theatre productions, from Off-Broadway’s Creature: The Rock Opera to her current, long-standing gig as guest artist and instructor at Chicago’s Lawrence University.
Christina Telkamp, a 2008 graduate of Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, has studied and worked with Chicago designer Kristin Hassan while participating in local fashion events herself. (Her love of fashion goes back to high school, when she designed prom dresses for herself and her best friend.) Kevin Vong’s designs have been worn on soap operas (on “As The World Turns”) and at the White House (worn by a Fox News correspondent), and his design for Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown made the final selections.
There’s more – a specially hand-made robe will appear in the song “Dance of the Robe,” designed for the production by local quilt artist Nina Henderson.
Bailiwick Chicago’s Aida will be the first Chicago-originated revival of the Elton John-Tim Rice/Verdi-inspired rock opera of forbidden love in ancient Egypt. Performances begin July 1. Visit bailiwickchicago.com.
— Thomas Peter