The musical has book and lyrics by Cheryl Coons and music by Chuck Larkin.
According to the writers, "Based on the real-life disappearance of Glen and Bessie Hyde, who vanished on their daredevil honeymoon to the Grand Canyon in 1928, River's End weaves together two completely different versions of their journey, with two pairs of actors playing the Hydes — and two surprising theories of what might have happened to them."
The cast is headed by Gene Weygandt and Barbara Robertson, both from the Chicago company of Wicked, and also features Dara Cameron, Brandon Dahlquist, Tempe Thomas and Jarrod Zimmerman.
The reading of River's End is directed by Michael Weber, with musical direction by Chuck Larkin.
The show was originally presented by Marin Theatre Company in California, and won the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for Original Script and Original Score. River's End was an official selection of the 2006 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), and was honored with an American Musical Award from the National Music Theatre Network, the parent organization of NYMF. It was a featured musical in the 2005 National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals.
River's End was also supported by a residency and staged readings at the 2004 O'Neill Music Theatre Conference of the Eugene O'Neill Center. The musical was also the recipient of the first ASCAP Foundation Harold Arlen Musical Theatre Award, and was developed at the Perry-Mansfield New Noises Festival in 2005, in association with ASCAP.
Coons has co-written more than a dozen musicals which have received professional productions, including At Wit's End (Carbonell Award for Best New Work), Sylvia's Real Good Advice (Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work), Female Problems (After Dark Award for Best Music and Lyrics) and Phantom of the Country Opera, published by Music Theater International.
Larkin is the associate conductor of the Chicago company of Jersey Boys. He has written songs, scores and incidental music for a variety of cabaret performers and musical theatre productions. A collection of his songs, Keep Me in Love, was named Chicago's No. 1 After Dark Cabaret Show of 2000.
Chicago Dramatists is located at 1105 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL.
Reservations for the Chicago Dramatists reading may be made by calling (312) 246-5972. For more information visit RiversEndtheMusical.com.