Saturday, August 24, 2013

ACT OUT OPENING: The Crownless King at The House Theatre 8/30



THE HOUSE THEATRE PRESENTS
'THE CROWNLESS KING'
A CONTINUATION OF THEIR EPIC TRILOGY

The Crownless King is one of the shows we're most looking forward to this fall here at ChiIL Live Shows/ ChiIL Mama.   This original trilogy is not children's theatre, but it's fine for savvy tweens & teens.   Last fall our whole family caught opening night and the kids (9 & 11 at the time) were enthralled and caught up in the myth, magic and puppetry. We can't wait to see what part 2 brings!


The House Theatre's Shows are always high on our must see list and they do not disappoint.   We'll have a full review for our readers after we check it out, but here's the scoop.   Catch a preview for a bargain and/or book your tickets NOW.   House Theatre shows sell out!

**If in doubt... Check it out:
Learn more about bringing kids to the show with House Theatre's PARENT’S GUIDE.**

Brenda Barrie and Blake Montgomery join 7 returning cast members for second installment

The House Theatre of Chicago launches its 12th Season with a fantasy action-adventure on the high seas. This second installment of the trilogy began last fall with The Iron Stag King and comes from Artistic Director Nathan Allen and collaborator and Company Member Chris Mathews. The Crownless King begins performances August 30, 2013 at The Chopin Theatre (1543 W Division St.)


THE CROWNLESS KING
By Chris Mathews and Nathan Allen
Directed by Nathan Allen
Original Music by Kevin O’Donnell
August 30- October 20, 2013

SHOWTIMES: Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 7:00pm
The performance will run approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes with an intermission.
LOCATION: The Chopin Theatre, Upstairs Theatre (1543 W. Division St., Chicago, IL)
TICKETS: Previews (Aug 30 - Sept 7) are $15.
Regular run (Sept 8 - Oct 20) $20-$40
On sale now at www.thehousetheatre.com or by phone at 773.769.3832, $10 Student and Industry Same-Day tickets available at all performances if seats are available.
Tickets are on sale now.

ABOUT THE PLAY
Artistic Director Nathan Allen and frequent collaborator and Company Member Chris Mathews embark on the darkest chapter of their three-play journey in the continuing saga of Casper Kent and the kingdom he builds. Inspired by the legend of King Arthur, hero myths, and the rich tapestry of early American history, the trilogy explores themes of American identity, including the nature of leadership, governance, and the struggle to balance personal liberty with sacrifice for a greater good.

In the first installment last fall (The Iron Stag King), young Casper Kent (Brandon Ruiter) discovers he is heir to a magical hammer. Once lifted, the Hammer proves him King and unites the Land. But in achieving this destiny he learns he is ruler of all but his own story.

In this second installment, the Golden Age of the Iron Stag King has taken root. Yet King Casper soon finds himself buffeted by forces on all sides. Grappling for control, the exiled black dragon, Irek Obsidian (voiced once again by Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Tracy Letts,) cunningly lures Casper away from the throne. Our band of heroes ventures to the sea where the hooded pirate Davy Boone (Blake Montgomery) commands a fleet of Crownless rebels. All the while, Hap the Golden (as reprised by company member Cliff Chamberlain) fights to maintain his hold over the royal tale. As storytellers Hap the Golden and Irek Obsidian each seek to impose their versions of the story, who will step forth to rule as the Crownless King?

This trilogy marks The House's first foray into the genre of High Fantasy. Most defined by Tolkien, Dungeons & Dragons gaming, and lately revived by the work of R.R. Martin, these tales are often set in a mythic, medieval world of European influence. But Allen and Mathews have aligned their story with our own evolving nation at the turn of the nineteenth century. Writers and ensemble alike have created a rich world with its own unique, deep history. Replete with magic, dragons, quests, and team-building, The Crownless King continues The House's work exploring the hero's journey through original, engaging myth.

The Plot Thickens
An orphan boy learns he is the rightful heir to the throne, and after a hard-fought battle, young Casper Kent takes his place as the ruler of the Folk. Yet King Casper soon finds himself buffeted by forces on all sides. Seizing for control, the exiled black dragon, Irek Obsidian (voiced by Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Tracy Letts,) cunningly lures Casper away from the throne. Our band of heroes ventures to the sea where the hooded pirate Davy Boone commands a fleet of Crownless rebels. All the while, Hap the Golden wrests to maintain his hold over the royal tale. As storytellers Hap the Golden and Irek Obsidian each seek to impose their versions of the story, who will step forth to rule as the Crownless King?

Join in on Twitter or Facebook for updates. And follow the production process on Tumblr


SPECIAL EVENTS
Staged Readings of last season’s The Iron Stag King
September 14 at 4pm
September 15 at 3pm 

Audiences can immerse themselves in the world of The Folk, The Land, and the Hammer at these complete events! First, a re-visit of The Iron Stag King, followed by dinner with the cast, and finally the evening performance of The Crownless King! Two epic events for this epic tale!

Saturday 9/14 - This VIP package includes tickets to the 4pm staged reading and the 8pm production as well as a delicious buffet dinner at Frontier Restaurant, featuring signature cocktails and whole-animal service. The cast and artists will join guests in the private dining room between 6 and 7pm for more exclusive sneak-peeks into the world of the trilogy. Tickets for this complete evening are $125 per person inclusive, and space is limited to 50 guests.

Sunday 9/15 – This package includes tickets to the 3pm staged reading and the 7pm production. In between, guests are invited to bring a picnic dinner or order an advanced boxed meal to enjoy on stage or in the various nooks and parlors in the Chopin Theatre. The authors and artists will be on hand to answer questions about the extensive and imaginative back-stories woven into the trilogy. Tickets for this evening are $45.

Pre- and Post-Play Discussions
Audiences can connect with the artistic team and learn more about the development of the trilogy.
Friday 9/20 - Post-Play Talkback with the actors immediately follows the 8pm performance. FREE
Sunday 9/22 - Insider Intro: A pre-show conversation with writers Nathan Allen and Chris Mathews. Lots of references to Star Wars, Back to the Future, and Lord of the Rings are guaranteed! Talk begins at 6:15 before the 7pm performance. FREE

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Company Member Cliff Chamberlain (The Sparrow, The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz, Hatfield and McCoy) returns to the trilogy as Hap the Golden, a powerful storyteller that shapes our young hero’s journey. Also returning from The Iron Stag King are guest artists Brandon Ruiter (Rose and the Rime, All the Fame of Lofty Deeds) as the unassuming hero, Casper Kent, Paige Collins (The Nutcracker, 2012) as Rienne, Casper’s soon-to-be Queen, John Henry Roberts (Wilson Wants It All) as the stoic, secretive Hollow Thom, Kay Kron as Irek’s right hand girl, July of the Seven Foxes, and Ben Hertel now in the ensemble. Also returning to The House are guest artists Brenda Barrie (The Nutcracker, 2012) as long-lost survivor, Lady Olympia of The Grass, and Blake Montgomery (The Nutcracker, 2010) as the masked pirate Davy Boone. Guest artists Christopher Walsh (Lifeline Theatre), Morgan Maher (Griffin Theatre), and Kara Davidson round out the cast. Tony Award-winning actor Tracy Letts returns, lending his voice as the dragon Irek Obsidian.
Company Member Collette Pollard returns us to her immersive in-the-round set on the Chopin Mainstage, inviting the audience into a night around the campfire. Company Member Lee Keenan swiftly transports us through the varied landscapes of the Land as Lighting Designer. Jeff Award-winning composer and Company Member Kevin O’Donnell once again creates a rich, epic score to frame our heroes’ shifting world. Company Member Tommy Rapley returns as the Movement Director. Guest artist Melissa Torchia returns as Costume Designer, and is joined by Rachel Watson (Puppets) and Josh Horvath (Sound). Kelly A. Claussen is stage manager.
Join The House for the fantasy action-adventure of The Crownless King, playing August 30 through October 20, 2013.


Click here to check out ChiIL Live Shows' video interview with Dennis Watkins, who puts the MAGIC in Magic Parlour and who just finished another awe inspiring run of Death and Harry Houdini. 

Mark Your Calendars

THE CROWNLESS KING
A fantasy action-adventure on the high seas
By Nathan Allen and Chris Mathews
Directed by Nathan Allen
August 30- October 20, 2013


ROSE AND THE RIME
A modern myth for the Middle West
By Chris Mathews, Jake Minton, and Nathan Allen
Directed by Nathan Allen
January 17 – March 9, 2014


DORIAN
A vivid fantasy of horror and beauty
By Ben Lobpries and Tommy Rapley
Based on the novel ‘A Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde
Directed and Choreographed by Tommy Rapley
April 4 – May 18, 2014


ALSO

THE NUTCRACKER
Our magical story for Christmas
Book by Jake Minton and Phillip Klapperich
Music by Kevin O’Donnell, Lyrics by Jake Minton
Based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann
Directed and Choreographed by Tommy Rapley
November 8 – December 29, 2013

THE MAGIC PARLOUR
at The Palmer House Hilton Hotel
an intimate evening of classic magic with Dennis Watkins
every Friday night

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