Musical Parody of Valley of the Dolls Will Premiere in Chicago

News   Musical Parody of Valley of the Dolls Will Premiere in Chicago
The production is among Hell in a Handbag’s 15th season, which also includes the return of Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer.
Lizzie Scwarzrock, Grant Drager, Chad, and Ed Jones
Lizzie Scwarzrock, Grant Drager, Chad Ingold, and Ed Jones Rick Aguilar Studios

Hell in a Handbag Productions has announced its 15th season in Chicago, which will launch with the world premiere of Valley!, an unauthorized musical parody of the camp classic film and best-selling book Valley of the Dolls.

Written by David Cerda, performances will be held April 27–June 10 at Mary’s Attic (5400 N. Clark Street). According to Handbag, “Join aspiring model/actress Ann Wells Fargo, the talented and self-destructive Needy Mascara, and the beautiful but doomed Jennifer South for an evening of fame, fashion, sex and dolls…so many dolls…”

Cerda’s The Golden Girls—The Lost Episodes will follow Valley!, with performances held June 6–July 12 under the direction of Shade Murray at Mary’s Attic.

The company promises “lost, never-before-seen episodes of The Golden Girls featuring Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, Sophia and all of the siblings, daughters, sons, and rare diseases that were mentioned once, but never again.” Performances will feature Golden Girls trivia and costume contests.

The world premiere of Bewildered will be held September 27–November 11 at Stage 773 (1225 W. Belmont Avenue). Featuring a book by Ron Weaver, with music and lyrics by Weaver and Aaron Benham, Brigitte Ditmars will direct a cast that includes Cerda (Endora), Caitlin Jackson (Gladys Kravitz), and Ed Jones (Uncle Arthur).

Here’s how Bewildered is billed: “A reimagining of the beloved ’60s and ’70s television sitcom Bewitched, as seen through the eyes of Gladys Kravitz, Samantha Stephens’ iconic nosy neighbor. Poor Gladys knows what she sees next door is real, but can she prove it in time to save herself from being committed? Gladys finally gets her due in this fun and magical musical parody.”

Cerda’s Rip, After Dark, featuring ensemble member Ed Jones, will be held October 14–November 11 at Stage 773. According to Handbag, “Ed Jones returns as Handbag’s favorite faux D-list celebrity – and this time he’s a late, late night talk show host with a bevy of C-list celebrities. Come see Rip Nelson in his little known talk show with some of the most intriguing mix of actors, singers and comedians of the time. Relive the smoke-filled gabfests of long ago with your favorite long lost entertainers in an intimate setting.”

Closing the season is Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer 2017 November 25–December 30 at Mary’s Attic.

According to Handbag, “Chicago’s favorite cross-dressing reindeer is back and he’s 21 years old! Hell in a Handbag closes its season with its most popular show ever. Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer, a parody of the classic children’s television special had its first reading in 1996 and has evolved into one of Chicago’s best anti-holiday, holiday shows. Join Rudolph and all of his misfit friends as they struggle with fitting in and being ‘normal’ in an increasingly abnormal world.”

Season subscriptions and single tickets are available at


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