Thursday, April 28, 2016


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


Production now runs April 29 – June 26, 2016

Here at ChiIL Mama, this is one of our favorite musicals and we can't wait to see the talented team at American Blues Theater's take on it. Don't delay on booking your tickets. They're selling crazy fast and the show's been extended already, before previews have even started! Don't miss this.

Due to early ticket demand, American Blues Theater announces the extension of Little Shop of Horrors, the comedic rock musical with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken, directed by Jonathan Berry, and music direction by Ensemble member Austin Cook. Little Shop of Horrors now runs April 29 – June 26, 2016 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.  The official press opening is Friday, May 6 at 7:30 pm. Tickets to Little Shop of Horrors, including the extension performances are currently on sale and can be purchased by phone at 773-404-7336 or online at

For years, Little Shop of Horrors has made audiences scream with laughter. In this gleefully gruesome musical, Seymour, a poor florist’s assistant, allows his craving for fame and fortune to seduce him into playing nursemaid to a man-eating plant. This celebrated musical, with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, features the rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown-inspired songs “Skid Row (Downtown),” “Somewhere That’s Green,” and “Suddenly, Seymour.” 

Following the success of 2013’s Hank Williams: Lost Highway, American Blues will again utilize the phenomenal musical talent of its company, allowing them to produce a comedy with great music and a fun story. Little Shop of Horrors features American Blues Ensemble Members Michael Mahler (Seymour), Dara Cameron (Audrey) and Artistic Affiliate Ian Paul Custer (Orin),as well as Mark David Kaplan (Mr. Mushnik), Lorenzo Rush Jr. (Voice of Audrey Two), Camille Robinson (Crystal), Jasondra Johnson (Ronnette), Eunice Woods (Chiffon), Darian Tene (Street Derelict), and Yando Lopez (Street Derelict).

The live band includes music director Austin Cook (keyboard), Shaun Whitley (electric guitar), Michael Weatherspoon (drums), Malcolm Ruhl (bass), and Matthew Sitz (auxiliary percussion/puppeteer).

The creative team includes Ensemble members and Artistic Affiliates Grant Sabin (scenic), Izumi Inaba (costumes), Rick Sims (sound), Christopher J. Neville (props), and Sarah E. Ross (Audrey II), as well as Heather Gilbert (lights) and Dana Nestrick (stage manager).

About American Blues Theater
American Blues Theater is the premier American theater producing visceral theatrical works while engaging its audience in missions of local service agencies.  American Blues Theater illuminates the American ideas of freedom, equality, and opportunity in the plays produced and communities served.

The multi-generational and interdisciplined artists have established the second-oldest professional Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago.  The 34-member Ensemble have over 500 combined years of collaboration on stage. As of 2016, the theater and artists received 172 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations that celebrate excellence in Chicago theater and over 28 Black Theatre Alliance Awards. The artists are honored with Pulitzer Prize nominations, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades.  

The American Blues Theater Ensemble includes all four Founders Ed Blatchford, Rick Cleveland, James Leaming, and William Payne with Dawn Bach, Matthew Brumlow, Manny Buckley, Kate Buddeke, Sarah Burnham, Dara Cameron, Casey Campbell, Brian Claggett, Dennis Cockrum, Austin Cook, Laura Coover, Lauri Dahl, Joe Foust, Cheryl Graeff, Marty Higginbotham, Jaclyn Holsey, Lindsay Jones, Nambi E. Kelley, Kevin R. Kelly, Steve Key, Ed Kross, Warren Levon, Michael Mahler, Heather Meyers, John Mohrlein, Suzanne Petri, Carmen Roman, Editha Rosario, Sarah E. Ross and Gwendolyn Whiteside.

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