The Chicago-based improv troupe Baby Wants Candy debuts its newest improvised musical, Shamilton, inspired by hit musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, at the Apollo Theater Chicago. Opening is January 27.
Directed by one of the founding members of Baby Wants Candy, Emmy Award winner Peter Gwinn, the improvised piece is a 75-minute musical written on the spot about a historic figure of the audience's choosing.
Previews began January 20 for a run every Friday at 10:30 PM through March 31.
The cast includes Jen Connor, Erica Elam, Colette Gregory, Nathan Jansen, Chanse McCrary, Saliha Muttalib, Angela Oliver, Maria Randazzo, Bobby Richards, Patrick Rowland, Sophie Scanlon, Sean Sullivan, Ross Taylor, Nelson Velazquez, Rob Wilson, and Shira Wilson.
“Baby Wants Candy has long been known for our ensemble’s incredible talent and world-class improvisation, and we can’t wait to explore a new genre-busting show at the Apollo,” said producer Al Samuels in a statement. “We’re so excited to bring some of the spectacle of a production like Hamilton into an improv show, including improvised hip-hop, historical costumes and overwhelming historic significance, no matter who the hero. Now we can finally see the Hamilton treatment of Sarah Palin or Steve Bartman we’ve all been waiting for.”
Shamilton, according to press notes, “invites audiences to call out any famous historic figure—from Leonardo da Vinci to Genghis Khan to Paris Hilton—and watch an improvised musical unfold in real time before their eyes and ears, complete with gorgeous solos, sweeping chorus numbers and hilarious on-the-fly choreography. The production features a Chicago-based ensemble and a full band, including electronic musical enhancements with looping and percussion.”
The creative team also includes musical director Jesse Case and co-producers Emily Dorezas and Samuels.
The Apollo Theater Chicago is located at 2540 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, IL. To learn more about Shamilton, follow along on Facebook and Twitter. Tickets ($15-$20) can be purchased by calling (773) 935-6100 or visiting ApolloChicago.com.
(Updated January 27, 2017)