Camp for Christmas: New Musical We Three Lizas Begins in Chicago Nov. 30
By Kenneth Jones
We Three Lizas, a "queer culture" musical twist on Christmas wishes, gets its world premiere Nov. 30-Dec. 23 in a staging by About Face Theatre in Chicago. Performances play The Steppenwolf Garage.
The show by AFT artistic associate Scott Bradley (book and lyrics) and Alan Schmuckler (music, music direction and additional lyrics) "blends classic Christmas tales with queer pop culture," under the direction of AFT artistic associate Scott Ferguson.
According to About Face, "We Three Lizas hijacks Christmas classics to create a dark, sexy holiday musical for a queer new world. In a quest for unrivaled glory, Conrad Ticklebottom and his anxious assistant Reggie conjure the Great Queen of Wishes to bestow upon him the trinity of power: youth, wealth and beauty. Instead, Liza Minnelli knocks at Conrad's door bearing holiday gifts and all hell breaks lose."
We Three Lizas features AFT artistic associates Scott Bradley, Scott Duff, John Francisco and Arturo Soria with Sean Blake, Sharriese Hamilton, Sean Michael Hunt, Danielle Plisz, Andrew Swan, Dana Tretta and AJ Ware.
"Show times include a 45-minute 'cocktail hour' in Liza's Lounge with special opening acts by guest artists," according to About Face, a company that focuses on works touching on gender and sexual identity.
The production team for We Three Lizas includes Jerre Dye (set design), Mieka van der Ploeg (costume design), Mac Vaughey (lighting design), Josh Horvath (sound design), Alan Schmuckler (music director), AFT artistic associate Patrick Andrews (choreography) and Jeremy Phillips (stage manager).
Bradley is co-founder of Chicago-based The Scooty & JoJo Show, where he has created the critically acclaimed theatrical events Alien Queen, Carpenters Halloween, Mollywood, Tran: The Atari Musical, The Scooty & JoJo Variety Hour and Diva Brunch. He has developed new performance works with Chicago's About Face Theatre, Walkabout Theatre Company and Hell In A Handbag Productions, Washington, DC's Washington Shakespeare Company, Seattle's UMO Ensemble, Open Circle Theater and Bald Faced Lie, at New York's HERE, BACA Downtown and CBGB's. As a performer, he has worked with About Face Theatre (The Homosexuals), The Hypocrites (Angels in America), DC's Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre, New York's adobe theater company, Next Stage Theatre, Seattle's Open Circle Theater and AHA! Theatre. He is former artistic director of Seattle's Open Circle Theater.
Schmuckler's new musical The Emperor's New Clothes (book by David Holstein) had a critically acclaimed premiere production at the Tony-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and recently received its international debut at the Stage Artz Theatre Company in Sydney, Australia. He and Michael Mahler co-wrote book, music and lyrics for Chicago Shakespeare's How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?, which premiered and remounted in 2007, and has since been produced nationwide.
Ferguson is the co-founder and artistic director of Theatrebam Chicago where he wrote and created the hit show Schoolhouse Rock Live! and Schoolhouse Rock Live Too!
The Steppenwolf Garage is at 1624 N. Halsted St., Chicago.
Tickets are on sale through Steppenwolf Audience Services online at steppenwolf.org or by calling (312) 335-1650.
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