Urinetown Composer Hollmann Gets His Goat Musical Read in Chicago

News   Urinetown Composer Hollmann Gets His Goat Musical Read in Chicago
Composer-lyricist Mark Hollmann, who conjured Kurt Weill in his Tony Award-winning Urinetown, will tweak the Greeks in a new musical, Wild Goat, getting a reading in Chicago Jan. 19.

Hollmann's collaborator this time around is Jack Helbig, a Windy City journalist and playwright. Wild Goat is presented at 7 PM Jan. 19 as part of the Monday Night Musicals series at the Theatre Building Chicago.

Hollmann and Helbig are both alumni of Musical Theatre Writers' Workshop at Theatre Building Chicago.

Wild Goat is "set on the outskirts of ancient Athens, Greece," according to the announcement. "Inspired by Menander's The Dyskolos, sparks fly when romance inflames two of the most dysfunctional families this side of the Oedipus clan."

Composer Hollmann won the 2002 Tony Award, the 2001 Obie Award and received two Drama Desk nominations for his music to Urinetown. His librettist and co-lyricist was Greg Kotis. Hollmann co-created such Chicago musicals as jack the Chipper, I Think I Can and Kabooooom!

A founding ensemble member of the Cardiff Giant Theater Company in Chicago, Hollmann played piano for the Second City National Touring Company and New York City's Chicago City Limits and taught music composition at Columbia College Chicago. Writer Helbig is a journalist and playwright living in Chicago.  In addition to collaborating on Wild Goat, he teamed with Gregg Opelka on the musical Hotel d'Amour, first produced by the Buffalo Theatre Company in Chicago and then regionally. He and Opelka also collaborated on My Night at Jacques, a modern translation of two one-act comic operettas by Jacques Offenbach.  Helbig is the author of the plays, Thinking of Her Made Him Think of Her and Kitten With a Whip, produced in Chicago by Talisman Theatre and Cafe Voltaire respectively. He is currently working on a new musical based on a popular movie sub-genre from the early '60s. Jack Helbig's byline as a theatre critic and arts writer has been seen in the Chicago Reader and the Daily Herald.

Sheldon Patinkin will direct the cast of Wild Goat, which is musical-directed by Laura Berquist. Cast members include Trey Maclin, John Payonk, Niki Prugh, Ana Sferruzza, Derrick Trumbley and more.

Monday Night Musicals is a series of eight concert readings of new works offered as part of a stepping stone process of nurturing new musicals.  Members of the Musical Theatre Writers' Workshop commune regularly throughout the year, beginning in September to collaborate under the guidance of artistic director, John Sparks.  Members develop individual projects with select new works presented in the Monday Night Musicals series, as well as Studio Presentations, One Acts for Kids, and Mini Musicals, all performed at Theatre Building Chicago.

Theatre Building Chicago is at 1225 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are $5. For information call (773) 327 5252. For more information, visit www.theatrebuildingchicago.org.

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