Tuesday, December 11, 2018


ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Storefront holiday favorite
returns this holiday season at The Den Theatre

New, expanded version of the storefront hit produced by
Yippee Productions LLC, comprised of
MCL Chicago,
Drew DeSantis, Jim Jensen and Mark Michelson

Through January 12, 2019

Guest Review 
by D'Arcy Mies

Upon entering the theatre, the stage was set. The year was 1987, and we were guests at the company Christmas party, at Nakatomi Plaza. Nothing says 1980’s corporate fun more than Wham! on the stereo and wine coolers under the tree. 

Photo credit for all: Michael Shepherd 

The fun continued throughout the show, with high energy musical numbers, embarrassingly familiar costumes, and lots and lots of cursing! The plot stays carefully close to the 1988 Bruce Willis release, so creative corner cutting was amusing to watch. Special effects include broken remote control toy vehicles and the Tandy brand walkie-talkies I had as a kid.

YKYMC manages to be both a close parody of the action movie, and rich with its own inner logic and metahumor. Twinkies are thrown, sexily. Terrorists tap-dance. Nakatomi, rendered almost immortal, reaches enlightenment and dies like a Shakespearean philosopher.  

The actors are hardworking and knee-slappingly funny. Erin Long in dual roles as terrorists Klaus and Tony, is a standout, completely inhabiting both roles. Bill Gordon as Bruce McClane, should be given an award for his fight scene with a My Buddy Doll. The humor was witty at times, slapstick at others, and kept both me and my teenager laughing throughout.

YKYMC is definitely what you’d hope from a musical parody of the best Christmas movie of 1988.  So come out to the show and have a few laughs!

D'Arcy Mies is a Montessori teacher, mom, and long time theater lover who lives in Chicago burb, Franklin Park. She drives a "Tardis Blue" car decked out like Dr. Who's time machine and can often be found at pop culture events.

Yippee Productions LLC, a new partnership between lead producer Drew DeSantis (Producer at Drury Lane Productions), Jim Jensen (Drury Lane, Royal George, Commercial Theater Producer and General Manager), Mark Michelson (MJA Ventures Chicagoland Theatre Fund, Founder) and the Board of Directors of the former storefront comedy theater MCL Chicago (2014-2018), announces an expanded version of the hit holiday musical Yippee Ki-Yay Merry Christmas: A Die Hard Musical Parody. The book and score is conceived by Michael Shepherd Jordan, Alex Garday and Stephanie McCullough with direction by Tiffani Moore Swalley.

Yippee Ki-Yay Merry Christmas: A Die Hard Musical Parody runs December 1, 2018 – January 12, 2019 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee in Wicker Park. 

Gary Fields (Hans Olo)

 Nate Curlott (FBl Johnson)

Bruce McClane, a grizzled blue-collar NYPD cop, tries to reconcile with his estranged white collar wife Holly Generic at her job at the Nakatomi Plaza in sunny Los Angeles on Christmas Eve in 1987. German terrorist Hans Olo and his henchmen take the cast and audience hostage and it is up to Bruce—with some help from the LAPD, FBI and Arnold Schwartzen-Schnitzel—to save everyone before time runs out. Audience favorite characters like FBI Johnson, Hans Olo, and of course Bruce McClane return with new toe-tapping musical numbers and hilariously nostalgic ‘80s references in this expanded two-act musical.

“Yippee was our marquee holiday production while running MCL,” notes Michael Shepherd Jordan. “Over the four years we produced the show, it grew into a Chicago holiday tradition for us and our loyal audience. We’re thrilled to partner with esteemed Chicago producers to elevate this show and take it from storefront to an established venue.”

Garday adds, “As the former Artistic Director of MCL Chicago, I wanted the space to function exactly like a storefront theater should - as a space to workshop and refine this show so that it’s now ready for a broader mainstream theatrical audience. "The producers have provided the financial and operational support to allow the creative team to make this production the biggest, funniest, most wonderful run to date.”

“The juxtaposition of turning an action movie into a musical, no less a beloved holiday action movie like Die Hard, is ripe for parody,” comments producer Drew DeSantis. “As the lead producer for this musical, it has been a true pleasure working with Michael, Alex, and Stephanie to elevate this show to the next level. Jim, Mark, and I are thrilled to support a home-grown Chicago production as we fully develop this storefront favorite for a wider audience. It’s what Chicago theater should be doing.”

Erin Long (Klause)

 Ashley Geron

The cast features Jonathan Allsop (Fabrique/Theo), Caitlyn Cerza (Holly Generic), Nate Curlott (FBl Johnson), Gary Fields (Hans Olo), Ashley Geron (Officer Johnson), Bill Gordon (Bruce McClane), Jin Kim (Nakatomi), Terrance Lamonte Rogers Jr. (Carl Winslow), Erin Long (Klause), and Jenna Steege (Willis).

The creative team includes Eric Lucien (scenic design), Stephanie McCullough (sound design and music direction) and Sheena Laird (fight direction). The complete creative team will be announced at a later date.

Performances of Yippee Ki-Yay Merry Christmas: A Die Hard Musical Parody are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $45 and are on sale now at www.thedentheatre.com. For updates and information follow Yippee Ki-Yay Merry Christmas on Facebook and Instagram @yippeethemusical, as well as https://www.yippeethemusical.com/.

Previews: December 1 - 2, 2018
Regular run: December 6, 2018 – January 12, 2019

Thursdays:      8:00 p.m.                                                         
Fridays:            8:00 p.m.                                                            
Saturdays:        8:00 p.m.                                                           
Sundays:          3:00 p.m.

The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.


Box Office:                                           
1331 N. Milwaukee Ave
773-697-3830, or visit www.thedentheatre.com

Information: https://www.yippeethemusical.com/
About The Den Theatre
Artistic Director Ryan Martin opened The Den in 2010 with a single theatre space. Seven years later, The Den boasts five intimate and unique theaters on two floors ranging from 50 – 200 seats, as well as two additional spaces primarily used for classes and rehearsals. The Den is also equipped with two bars enveloped by a never-ending field of lounge space for audiences and like-minded culture hounds to drink, talk, read, watch, think, listen and live. The Den is home to seven resident theatre companies including First Floor Theater, Haven Theatre Company, Griffin Theatre, The New Colony, Broken Nose Theatre, WildClaw Theatre and Firebrand Theatre. Hundreds of other companies from Chicago and beyond have also called The Den home, utilizing its theaters, studio space and easily convertible cabaret space to accommodate a stream of programming, including plays, musicals, film screenings, classical and jazz performances, dance, improv and stand-up, seminars and speaking engagements. For additional information, visit www.thedentheatre.com.

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