Friday, May 27, 2022

OPENING: Steel Magnolias at Drury Lane Theatre June 10 – August 7, 2022

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Drury Lane Theatre announces cast of

Steel Magnolias

By Robert Harling

Directed by Johanna McKenzie Miller 

June 10 – August 7, 2022


 Steel Magnolias is rated PG

Drury Lane Theatre announces the cast for its production of the empowering story of love and friendship, Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling, directed by Johanna McKenzie Miller. Due to demand, Steel Magnolias has been extended and now runs June 10 – August 7, 2022, at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. I'll be out for the press opening, June 16th, so check back soon for my full review.

The cast of Steel Magnolias includes Janet Ulrich Brooks (Ouiser), Amy J. Carle (M’Lynn), Lillian Castillo (Annelle), Cordelia Dewdney (Shelby), Elizabeth Ledo (Truvy), Susie McMonagle (Clairee), McKinley Carter (u/s Truvy, M’Lynn), Hannah Fernandes (u/s Shelby, Annelle), and Meighan Gerachis (u/s Ouiser, Clairee).

The all-female creative team bringing this story of friendship to life includes Angela Weber Miller (Scenic Designer), Jessica Pabst (Costume Designer), Lindsey Lyddan (Lighting Designer), Sarah Ramos (Sound Designer), Cassy Schillo (Properties Design), Emily Young (Hair & Wig Design), and Sammi Grant (Dialect Coach). The Production Stage Manager is Juli Hrovat-Walker.

In a beauty parlor in northwestern Louisiana, life is anything but boring. Steel Magnolias follows six women over the course of three years as they face life’s challenges together and find comfort in one another. Embracing both laughter and tears, this story celebrates the power of female friendship.

Tickets, priced $64-$79, are available by phone at (630) 530-0111 or online at

About the Artists

JOHANNA McKENZIE MILLER (Director) is making her Drury Lane directing debut with Steel Magnolias. Ms. McKenzie Miller most recently directed the 91st Annual Waa-Mu show at Northwestern University A Peculiar Inheritance. Previous directing credits include world premiere musical Sherw’d (First Folio Theatre), New Faces Sing Broadway, Now! (Porchlight Music Theatre), Kiss Me Kate (Marriot Theatre), Junie B Jones & Madagascar, A Musical Adventure (Marriot Theatre for Young Audiences) where she will be directing The Wizard of Oz this summer. Armed with a Bachelors of Music from NIU she has appeared onstage at Drury Lane as Elizabeth in Young Frankenstein, Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, and Katie Nana in Mary Poppins.

JANET ULRICH BROOKS (Ouiser) has appeared previously at Drury Lane in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof; and Crazy For You. A Company Member of TimeLine Theatre, Janet has performed in over 15 productions including the role of Maria Callas in Master Class (Joseph Jefferson Award - Performer in a Principal Role). Other Chicago credits include work with Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, Lookingglass, Northlight, and Theatre at the Center. Regional theatre credits include Woolly Mammoth, Milwaukee Rep, Kennedy Center, and Theatre Squared in Fayetteville, AR. Films include: Divergent, Conviction, One Small Hitch, and Fools. T.V. credits include Work In Progress (Showtime), Fargo (FX), Sense8 (Netflix), Proven Innocent (FoxTV), and Boss (STARZ). Janet was the first recipient of the Ed See Outstanding Theatre Alumnus Award from University of Central Missouri. A proud member of AEA & SAG/AFTRA.

AMY J. CARLE (M’Lynn) and is thrilled to be at Drury Lane! Chicago credits include: A Doll's House (Writers Theatre); Harvey, Orlando (Court Theatre); The Book of Joseph (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Wonderful Town, The Sins of Sor Juana, Rock ‘N’ Roll, Desire Under the Elms (Goodman Theatre); The Book Thief, The Internationalist, Animals Out of Paper, Sex With Strangers, Hedda Gabler (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Hard Times, North China Lover, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Peter Pan, Trust (Lookingglass Theatre); Season’s Greetings (Northlight); Noises Off, Chapter Two (Windy City Playhouse); Luce (Next Theatre), Gidion’s Knot (Profiles); Refuge (CollaborAction); SubUrbia, The Lights, Ecstasy, WAS, and The Planets (Roadworks Productions). Off-Broadway National Tour: The Vagina Monologues. Regional: The Profane (Chautauqua Theatre Company); Fully Committed, The Diary of Anne Frank (Madison Rep.); Or, (Forward Theatre); Morning Star (Kansas City Rep.). Television: Soundtrack (Netflix), Boss (STARZ), Chicago Code (FOX), Law & Order, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, CRISIS (NBC). Film: Who Gets the Dog?.

LILLIAN CASTILLO (Annelle) returns to the Drury Lane stage where she appeared as Tracy in Hairspray and Rosalia in West Side Story. Other Chicago credits include: Mamma Mia, Sister Act, Kiss Me Kate at Marriott Theatre; Seussical, Taming of the Shrew, Ride the Cyclone (US premiere) at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; The Music Man at Goodman Theatre. Regional credits: Why Do Fools Fall in Love?, In the Heights, and Titanic at Milwaukee Rep; Glorious at Arkansas Rep; H.M.S. Pinafore, School for Wives, Macbeth at Utah Shakes; In the Heights at Seattle Rep and Portland Center Stage; Ride the Cyclone at ACT, The Alliance Theatre, and MCC. She voices Jocasta Stormwood on “Mythic Thunderlute,” a D&D musical podcast. 

CORDELIA DEWDNEY (Shelby) is making her Drury Lane debut. Chicago credits include Mr. Dickens' Hat at Northlight Theatre and Moby Dick, Hard Times, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at the Lookingglass Theatre where she is thrilled to be an Artistic Associate. Regional credits include Moby Dick at The Alliance Theatre, Arena Stage, and South Coast Repertory as well as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (The McCarter Theatre in association with Lookingglass Theatre). Television credits include Chicago Med. She is a proud member of AEA and SAG.

ELIZABETH LEDO (Truvy) has previously appeared at Drury Lane in Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, and Mamma Mia. Chicago credits: All’s Well That Ends Well, The King's Speech, Tug of War, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Amadeus (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), The Secret Garden, Titus Andronicus, The Illusion, Tartuffe, Uncle Vanya (Court Theatre), The Matchmaker, Boleros for the Disenchanted, A Christmas Carol (The Goodman Theatre), Homebody/Kabul, Morning Star (Steppenwolf Theatre), Isaac’s Eye, Arms and the Man (Writers Theatre), The Chalk Garden, Charm (Northlight Theatre). Chicago credits include productions with About Face Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Timeline Theatre and First Folio Theatre. Regional credits include productions with American Players Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Indiana Rep, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage and over 20 productions with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. National Tour: The King's Speech. Elizabeth is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago.

SUSIE MCMONAGLE (Clairee) was last seen at Drury Lane as Donna in Mamma Mia. Other Drury Lane credits include: Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot and Diana in Next to Normal for which she won a Jeff award. Ms. McMonagle's Chicago credits include: Gretta in James Joyce’s The Dead, Man of La Mancha (Court Theatre), Candida in Rock ‘n’ Roll (Goodman Theatre), Suzannah in Black Pearl Sings, Jane Grant in At Wits End, Daisy in Sideshow (Northlight Theatre). Additional Chicago credits include: Flora in Indian Ink, Mae in Dirty Blonde, Shelby in Spitfire Grill, Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, Ellen in Miss Saigon, Reno in Anything Goes, Grizabella in Cats, Eva Perón in Evita and Florence in Chess. First National tours include: Mrs. Wilkinson and Mum in Billy Elliot. Other National Tours include Donna in Mamma Mia!, Fantine in Les Miserables and The Secret Garden. McMonagle appeared on Broadway as Fantine in Les Miserables. Susie has appeared on Chicago Med in several episodes. She is a recipient of After Dark Awards, Critics’ Circle Awards, Joseph Jefferson Award as well as eleven Joseph Jefferson nominations. She received her BFA from Stephens College.

MCKINLEY CARTER (u/s Truvy, M’Lynn) previous work at Drury Lane includes Mamma Mia, The Sound Of Music, Deathtrap, Something’s Afoot, Ragtime, and Tintypes. Other Chicago credits include: Spring Awakening, Sunset Blvd, Putting It Together, Porchlight Music Theatre; Into The Woods, Parade, Writers Theatre; Fun Home, Victory Gardens; The Book of Will, Title Of Show, Northlight Theatre; Mamma Mia, The Sound of Music, Ragtime, Drury Lane Theatre; The Merry Widow, Carousel, Lyric Opera; Macbeth, Road Show, Julius Caesar, Sunday In The Park With George, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; Blind Date, Turn Of The Century, The Visit, Floyd Collins, Goodman Theatre; The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes, Mercury Theatre; John and Jen, Assassins, Apple Tree Theatre; Forbidden Broadway, Royal George Theatre; Winesburg Ohio, Steppenwolf Theatre; James Joyce’s The Dead, Cymbeline and Pericles, Court Theatre.

HANNAH FERNANDES (u/s Shelby, Annelle) is thrilled to be back on the Drury Stage so soon after making her debut in The King and I as Ensemble and Anna u/s! In addition to performing, Hannah has taught acting at Viterbo University and is on her way to becoming a certified Intimacy Director. Notable credits include: MTWichita- Carousel (Carrie); Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma- Disney’s When You Wish (Jasmine), West Side Story (Rosalia/Maria u/s). Hannah studied at Wichita State University, Maggie Flanigan Studio, and IDC Professionals. Many thanks to the original inhabitants of this land, the Indigenous tribes: Kiikaapoi, Peoria, Kaskaskia, Bodwéwadmi, Myaamia, Hoocąk, and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ.

MEIGHAN GERACHIS (u/s Ouiser, Clairee) has appeared in Chicago in Roe, The Wolves, A Christmas Carol, New Stages Blue Skies Process and Graveyard Shift (Goodman); Admissions, Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England (Theater Wit), Small Mouth Sounds, Solstice (A Red Orchid Theater); Domesticated, Our Town and The House on Mango Street (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); The Electric Baby, Precious Little, The Walls, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, Indulgences at the Louisville Harem, Factory Girls, My Simple City, Wrens (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble); Measure for Measure (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Cloud Nine (About Face Theatre); Cigarettes and Moby Dick and Che Che Che (Latino Chicago); The Underpants (Noble Fool Theatricals). Regional: Charm (Mixed Blood Theatre); Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue (Stageworks). Film /TV: Somebody Somewhere, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, At Any Price, Virginia. Chicago P.D., Crisis, Bobby & Iza, Sirens and Battleground.

Dates:                         June 10 – August 7, 2022

Press Opening:         Thursday, June 16 at 8:00 p.m.

Schedule:                   Wednesdays: 1:30 p.m.

                                   Thursdays: 1:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

                                   Fridays: 8:00 p.m.

                                   Saturdays: 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

                                   Sundays: 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.


Location:                    Drury Lane Theatre at 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace


Tickets:                      Single Tickets: $64 – $79*

Wednesday and Thursday matinees: $64*

Thursday evenings: $74*

Friday and Saturday and Sunday matinees: $79*

Sunday evenings: $74*

*Prices do not include taxes or fees


$5 discount available for Senior Citizens on Wednesday and Thursday matinees

Group discounts available to groups of 15 or more

Dining and show packages available


Box Office:                100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace

                                   (630) 530-0111

                                   Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm or visit

Season and Subscription Information 

The remainder of the Drury Lane 2022/2023 Mainstage season includes Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (August 31 – October 23, 2022); Elf the Musical (November 9, 2022 – January 8, 2023); and A Chorus Line (January 25 – March 26, 2023).

The performance schedule for the 2022/2023 season is: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Subscriptions are on sale now starting at $170. This includes priority seating and great dining discounts at Lucille Restaurant and The Lounge, dedicated theatre entrances, discounts at partner hotels, exclusive presale opportunities and much more. For more information, visit Group tickets start as low as $40 and Senior Citizens start at $59 for matinee performances. Dining and show packages are also available. To book a group of 15 people or more, call Group Services at (630) 570-7272 or email For individual ticket on-sale dates and ticket reservations, call the Drury Lane Theatre Box Office at (630) 530-0111 or visit


About Drury Lane Theatre  

Built from scratch. Built in Oakbrook. Built for you. 

Founded by Anthony DeSantis over 60 years ago, Drury Lane remains a family-run organization under the leadership of President Kyle DeSantis. Drury Lane Theatre continues as a major force in the Chicagoland theatre scene, producing world-class theatre in collaboration with some of the nation’s leading actors, directors, and creative minds. Drury Lane Theatre produces the highest quality theatrical experience that immerses and supports our artists and audiences in the exploration of what it means to be human and to experience the transcending power of the performing and visual arts. Drury Lane strives to create an environment in which every individual or group is welcomed, respected, supported, valued and able to fully experience and participate in this transformative art form. 

The theatre has staged more than 2,000 productions and has been nominated for over 360 Joseph Jefferson Awards. Drury Lane proudly employs thousands of professional actors, musicians, designers, and crew members to entertain upwards of nine million audience members and counting. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

REVIEW: Broadway Revival of Fiddler on the Roof One Week Only at Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre May 17 - May 22, 2022.

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

The Company of the North American Tour of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
All photos by Joan Marcus


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

The Tony Award®-nominated Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof is a multigenerational crowd pleaser and a must see. The dance numbers by acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter are fantastic and the dream scene is a macabre delight with creepy masks, elongated fingers, and a far larger than life Fruma Sarah. 

The Company of the North American Tour of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

The sets are simple yet effective and the entire cast shines in this high energy crowd pleaser with timeless themes of love, loss, family, and community. Yehezkel Lazarov is a particular stand out as Tevye, punching up the humor in an endearing, charismatic way.

Yehezkel Lazarov (Tevye) 

The Company of the North American Tour of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

Fiddler on the Roof holds a special place in my heart since I was cast in my high school's production. Decades later my daughter's school performed Fiddler on the Roof, and as a limber gymnast she was cast as The Fiddler, and did the Russian dance and the bottle danced. 

Ali Arian Molaei (The Fiddler) and the Company

Scott Willits (Villager) and Eddieomar Gonzalez-Castillo (Villager)and Honza Relichovsky 

The musical Fiddler on the Roof is based on the story "Tevye and his Daughters" written by Sholem Aleichem in 1905 (and set then). Jerry Block and Sheldon Harnick wrote the musical version in 1964, yet as the decades pass this show still has staying power and universal appeal. It's amazing how little has changed, with Russia once again invading and attacking small towns in Ukraine near Kiev, the region where Fiddler on the Roof is set. We were pleased that during the curtain call, the cast dedicated this run to the people of the Ukraine who are still evacuating their homes and fleeing as refugees.  Don't miss this short, 8 performance Chicago run. Fiddler on the Roof is recommended.

Noa Luz Barenblat (Chava) and Kelly Gabrielle Murphy (Tzeitel) and Ruthy Froch (Hodel)

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theatre critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: (adult) & (family friendly). 

The Company of the North American Tour of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF


-New York Magazine

Broadway In Chicago announced that tickets for the tour of the Tony Award®-nominated Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof are now on sale and range in price from $31 - $111 with a select number of premium tickets available. Fiddler on the Roof will play eight performances at Broadway In Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph St.) from May 17 through May 22, 2022. Individual tickets are available at Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing

Yehezkel Lazarov (Tevye) and Andrew Hendrick (Lazar Wolf)


-The New York Times

A beloved theatrical classic from Tony-winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, this critically acclaimed production is directed by Tony Award®-winner Bartlett Sher (To Kill a Mockingbird, South Pacific, The King and I) and choreographed by the acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter. 

Noa Luz Barenblat (Chava) and Jack O'Brien (Fyedka)

Fiddler on the Roof is the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and life, love and laughter. This classic musical is rich with Broadway hits, including “To Life (L’Chaim!),” “If I Were A Rich Man,” "Sunrise, Sunset,” "Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” and “Tradition.”

Kelly Gabrielle Murphy (Tzeitel) and Daniel Kushner (Motel) 


-Time Out New York

Ruthy Froch (Hodel) and Solomon Reynolds (Perchik)

The cast features Israeli theatre and film star Yehezkel Lazarov as Tevye joined by Maite Uzal as Golde, Andrew Hendrick as Lazar Wolf, Brooke Wetterhahn as Yente, Kelly Gabrielle Murphy as Tzeitel, Ruthy Froch as Hodel, Noa Luz Barenblat as Chava, Daniel Kushner as Motel, Solomon Reynolds as Perchik, Jack O’Brien as Fyedka and Jason Thomas Sofge as Constable. 

The ensemble includes Danny Arnold, Nick Berke, Andrea Marie Bush, Morgan Cohen, David Scott Curtis, Eddieomar Gonzalez-Castillo, Ansley Grace Hamilton, Jenna Harwood, Jonathan Hashmonay, James Jude Johnson, Elliot Lazar, Randa Meierhenry, Carlye Messman, Ali Arian Molaei, Jacob Nahor, Max O’Connell, Carly Post, Lauren Blair Smith, Alex Stone, Rosie Webber, Scott Willits and Audrey Rose Young.

The Company of the North American Tour of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF


-Chicago Sun-Times

The original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof, which opened in 1964, was the first musical in history to surpass 3,000 performances. The show won the 1965 Tony Award for Best Musical in addition to eight other Tony Awards that year. This acclaimed revival proudly introduces a new generation to the iconic musical adored across the globe.

The Company of the North American Tour of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF


-NY Daily News

Fiddler on the Roof has musical supervision by Tony Award®-winner Ted Sperling, scenic design by Tony Award®-winner Michael Yeargan, costume design by Tony Award®-winner Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Donald Holder, sound design by Tony Award®-winner Scott Lehrer and Alex Neumann and hair and wig design by Tom Watson. Casting is by Jason Styres, CSA.  

The Company of the North American Tour of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF 


Tuesday, May 17 at 7:30 pm

Wednesday, May 18 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm

Thursday, May 189 at 7:30 pm

Friday, May 20 at 7:30 pm

Saturday, May 21 at 2 pm and 8 pm

Sunday, May 22 at 2 pm

 Yehezkel Lazarov (Tevye) and Maite Uzal (Golde)


Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 22 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country.  A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining more than 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at the Auditorium Theatre.

For more information about the show, visit

Follow Fiddler on the Roof on: Facebook ● Twitter  ● Instagram ● @FiddlerBroadway  ● #FiddlerTour ● #FiddlerMusical

For more information, visit

Follow Broadway In Chicago on: Facebook ● Twitter ● Instagram ● @BroadwayInChicago ● @broadwaychicago ● #broadwayinchicago

World Premiere! A FINE FEATHERED MURDER: A MISS MARBLED MYSTERY Via Hell in a Handbag Productions June 16 – July 31, 2022 at The Chopin Theatre

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Hell in a Handbag Productions Presents

The World Premiere of 


Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to conclude its 20th anniversary season with the world premiere of A Fine Feathered Murder: A Miss Marbled Mystery, by Artistic Director David Cerda*, directed by Cheryl Snodgrass. This wild whodunit inspired by everyone’s favorite female British mystery writer will play June 16 – July 31, 2022 at The Chopin Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets are currently available I'll be out for the press opening June 19th so check back shortly for my full review. 

PHOTO CREDIT: The cast of Hell in a Handbag Productions’ world premiere of A Fine Feathered Murder: A Miss Marbled Mystery includes (top, l to r) David Cerda, Barbara Figgins, Sydney Genco, Michael Hampton and Caitlin Jackson (middle, l to r) Ed Jones, Max McKune, Nicky Mendelsohn, Michael Rashid and Shane Roberie (bottom, l to r) Elizabeth Rude, Coco Sho-Nell, Tyler Anthony Smith, Maria Stephens and Danne W. Taylor.

Handbag goes posh with Ed Jones* as Miss Jane Marbled, an unassuming spinster with a knack for solving murders. It’s a good thing because people drop dead wherever she goes. Join Miss Marbled as she visits her dear friend, the wickedly and ridiculously chic, Lady Violetta Fowler (David Cerda*) for the annual Fine Feathered Ball at the Fowler Estate, England’s largest poultry farm. All is well until murder shows up, unannounced, and, in the most brutal fashion. Poor unflusterable Miss Marbled is left to contend with a rogues’ gallery of suspects sure to delight audiences in the tastefully intriguing manner they’ve come to expect from Hell in a Handbag Productions.

The production team to date includes Pamela L. Parker* (Scenic Designer), Bill Morey and Beth Laske-Miller (Costume Designers), Liz Cooper (Lighting Designer), Danny Rockett (Sound Designer/Music), Hannah Dains (Props Designer), Keith Ryan* (Wig Designer), Sydney Genco* (Make-up Designer), Jabberwocky Marionettes (Puppetry), Sammi Grant (Dialect Coach), Abby Teel (Production Manager), Spencer Douglas Clark (Assistant Director, Intimacy, Choreographer) and Drew Donnelly* (Stage Manager).

Please note: Handbag will continue to adhere to all city, state and federal COVID safety guidelines in place at the time of performance including, but not limited to, proof of full vaccination and masking at all performances.




Cast (in alphabetical order): David Cerda* (Lady Violetta Fowler), Barbara Figgins (Mrs. Hawk), Sydney Genco* (Gerta Rabe), Michael Hampton (Nigel Drake), Caitlin Jackson* (Vivian Birdsong), Ed Jones* (Miss Jane Marbled), Max McKune (Constable Hatcher), Nicky Mendelsohn* (Chick), Michael Rashid* (Garson), Shane Roberie (Lord Reginald Fowler, Inspector Byrd), Elizabeth Rude (Millicent Lark), Coco Sho-Nell (Treasure Abundance), Tyler Anthony Smith* (Charles Fowler), Maria Stephens (Prudence Peck) and Danne W. Taylor* (The Dowager Countess Edith Fowler).

Understudies: Kelly Bolton, Chad Gearig-Howe, Kristen Secrist, Ben Stacy and Robert Williams*.

*Denotes Handbag Ensemble Member

Location: The Chopin Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago

Previews: Thursday, June 16 at 7:30 pm, Friday, June 17 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, June 18 at 7:30 pm

Opening/Press performance: Sunday, June 19 at 7 pm

Regular run: Thursday, June 23 – Sunday, July 31. 2022

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm

Tickets: $24 advanced general admission, $42 at the door, $62 VIP/reserved seating with drink ticket. Group rates $34 for 10 or more. Tickets are currently available at


About the Artists     

David Cerda (Playwright) is a founding member and Artistic Director of Hell in a Handbag Productions, now celebrating its 20th year anniversary. As resident playwright, he has written many Handbag productions as well as acted in them. His play, The Drag Seed was recently produced at LaMaMa Experimental Theater and his Golden Girls Lost Episodes parody shows have been produced around the country and was featured in Golden Con: Thank you for being a Fan, the world’s first fan convention dedicated to all things Golden Girls at Chicago’s Navy Pier. As a Latinx queer individual, he is a proud inductee into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame and recipient of a Jeff Award for lifetime achievement for his 25 years (and counting) of work and service to the community. He lives in Chicago with his partner, Christopher.

Cheryl Snodgrass (Director) has most recently directed the remount of The Drag Seed and its move to LaMama in NYC. She first worked with HIAH as an actor, playing Bigger Lorraine in Caged Dames, but soon transitioned to directing. She has since directed Die! Mommie, Die!, Haywire, Rip Nelson’s Halloween Spooktacluar, SCARRIE The Musical,  L’imitation of Life and The Birds.  Cheryl has also assisted David in developing several scripts. Outside of HIAH, Cheryl has worked with playwright Jeff Goode for 35 years as a director, actor and producer. She directed the premiere productions of Poona the F*ckdog and Other Plays for Children (Trap Door), The Emancipation of Alabaster McGill (Studio Roanoke) and The Eight Reindeer Monologues (Brave Hearts). In the last five years, she’s directed three shows for The Foundlings – To the New Girl, Hoist, and The Eight. She directed two shows for Glass  Glass Apple – Shadows of Birds and Lighthouses in the Desert and, finally, Who’s Holiday, for Penobscott Theatre in Bangor, ME.


About Hell in a Handbag Productions

Hell in a Handbag is dedicated to the preservation, exploration, and celebration of works ingrained in the realm of popular culture via theatrical productions through parody, music and homage. Handbag is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit. For additional information, visit

Saturday, May 14, 2022

REVIEW: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at Broadway Playhouse Now Extended Through May 29, 2022

 ChiIL Mama’s Chi, IL Picks List



$25 Digital Lottery tickets for The Play That Goes Wrong entry link and details below


     Now Extended Due To Popular Demand 

Through May 29, 2022

Runtime: 2 hours with an intermission

Guest Review by 
Dugan Kenaz-Mara

The Play That Goes Wrong at Broadway Playhouse is a masterpiece. From the excellent writing and hilarious execution by the actors to the marvel of a set and comical program, the entire show is amazing from start to finish. 

Before taking your seat or at intermission you might notice that the program includes some comedic gems. Not only is the graphic design offset, but the actors included a fake program for the fake play they are putting on. It includes introductions and headshots in the style of their characters and even has fake advertisements to round the whole thing out. 

Before the show starts it is evident that things will go wrong. One of the characters playing a stage manager is out on stage freaking out over lost items, props start breaking before they get to be used, and the board operator character asks audience members about a misplaced DVD. As people find their seats they’ll notice the curtain isn’t drawn and there are still props strewn around the stage, not set for the top of the show. 

This play feels like watching a comedic rendition of an actor’s worst nightmare. I know I’ve certainly had a bad dream or two about forgetting my lines or having to go on as an understudy with no idea what to do, but this play takes it to the next level. What do you do when the stage door doesn’t unlock? What about when one of the leads gets knocked out and you have to get them off stage? Or when the replacement for that lead also gets knocked out? How about when both of them regain consciousness and have to fight for who actually gets to play the role? It probably feels like that’s the point where everything is going wrong, but that’s just the beginning. 

The actors do an amazing job of putting real stakes into their play and the characters play it up to another level. One of my favorite parts is how much fun they put into their performance. Because they realistically play people who are in a performance themselves it makes the little moments where they ‘break’ by interacting with the audience or whispering to each other that much more hysterical. 

My plus one had this to say, “I thought the whole cast did an excellent job at making both the actor and murder mystery’s characters shine through. The growing exasperation in some of them combined with the panic in others added to the hilarity. I could barely catch my breath from one bout of laughing before being thrust into another. With comedic timing tuned better than a German clock and physical feats that would make the best film stars jealous, I can’t imagine any theatergoers would walk away without their lungs being sore from laughing.”  Ben Jouras

I would recommend this show to anyone who has experience in theatre. There are fun references and puns on well-known musicals. There are jokes about different theater styles and elements, and there are even moments of physical comedy making fun of bad acting practices that anyone in the field will instantly recognize. Because my friend and I are both actors, many of them hit close to home, cracking us up the entire show!

Dugan Kenaz-Mara is an actor, designer, and photographer studying theatre and psychology at Northwestern University. Contrary to popular belief, he is not a time traveler.

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is one of our favorites here at ChiIL Mama, so we were jazzed to hear that Broadway in Chicago is bringing it back to Broadway Playhouse with a talented Chicago cast. We caught the Broadway touring company in 2018 and laughed so hard our abs hurt for days. Check out past review here

The producers of the international hit comedy THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG are pleased to announce the cast for a Chicago production coming to the Windy City for a limited seven-week engagement. Tickets are on sale now at for performances running December 14, 2021 through January 30, 2022 at Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut St.).

All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket. THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is recommended for ages 8 and older.

The Chicago-based company will include Colton Adams as Trevor, Joseph Anthony Byrd as Jonathan, Ernaisja Curry as Annie, Michael Kurowski as Dennis, Matt Mueller as Chris, Kelly O’Sullivan as Sandra, Jarred Webb as Max, and Jonah D. Winston as Robert. Standbys include Caroline Chu, Drew Johnson, Russell Mernagh, and Brenann Stacker.

*Updated cast for the extension features: Brenann Stacker as Sandra and Standby Blair Baker

Producer Kevin McCollum said, “More than anything right now, we need to laugh. THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG brings audiences of all ages and backgrounds together through comedy. And we are thrilled to return to Chicago with an incredible cast of extraordinarily talented Chicagoans.” 

Co-written by Mischief company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields, THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is a riotous comedy about the theatre. The play introduces ‘The Cornley University Drama Society,’ which is attempting to put on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does, as the accident-prone thespians battle on against all odds to get to their final curtain call.

“So much goes right…it’s tough to beat ‘The Play That Goes Wrong.’” – Catey Sullivan, Chicago Sun-Times

Entertainment Weekly raves THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is “hilarious, non-stop pandemonium.” The New York Times calls it “a gut-busting hit,” and Huffington Postproclaims it “the funniest play Broadway has ever seen!” The New York Post says, “Nothing is as fall down funny. GO.”

The Broadway production of THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG opened at the Lyceum Theatre on April 2, 2017 and by its closing on January 6, 2019 played 27 previews and 745 performances, making it the second longest running show in the history of the Lyceum Theatre. Not yet done with New York, THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG officially opened Off-Broadway on February 20, 2019 at New World Stages – Stage 4, where it resumed performances in October 2021 after being suspended due to the pandemic. THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG received a Tony Award® for Best Set Design, Broadway.comAudience Choice Award for Best Play, and the Theater Fans Choice Award for Best Play.

“UPROARIOUS! A hearty laugh-a-thon for the holiday season.” – Scott C. Morgan, Daily Herald

Winning the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and the 2014 WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Comedy, THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is now in its eighth year in the West End, having played to over two million people in more than 30 countries on six continents. It is a remarkable rags-to-riches story for a play that started its life at a London fringe venue with only four paying members of the public at the first performance and has gone on to play to an audience of over two million people around the world.

“This is a data-driven observation: People laughed all night.” – Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Mischief Theatre Ltd. was founded in 2008 by a group of acting graduates of LAMDA and began as an improvised comedy group. Mischief performs across the UK and internationally with original scripted and improvised work and also has a program of workshops. Their previous West End production was The Comedy About A Bank Robbery (Criterion Theatre). In September 2019, the company started a residency at the Vaudeville Theatre with Groan Ups followed by Magic Goes Wrong, which is currently running in the West End until February 2022. Other Mischief productions, including Peter Pan Goes Wrong, regularly tour in licensed productions in the UK, USA and worldwide. Mischief was first seen on television in the Royal Variety Performance of 2015 and subsequently in two BBC One Christmas specials, “Peter Pan Goes Wrong” (2016) and “A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong” (2017). Their recent six-part TV series called “The Goes Wrong Show” was aired on BBC One. The company is owned and controlled by its original members and is led by a creative group and its directors Henry Lewis and Jonathan Sayer. 

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is directed in Chicago by Matt DiCarlo with original Broadway direction by Mark Bell, featuring set design by Tony Award winner Nigel Hook, lighting design in Chicago by Jeremy Cunningham based on the original Broadway design by Ric Mountjoy, sound design in Chicago by Beth Lake based on the original Broadway design by Andrew Johnson, and costume design by Roberto Surace.

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is produced in Chicago by Kevin McCollum, J.J. Abrams, Kenny Wax, Stage Presence Ltd., Catherine Schreiber, Ken Davenport, Double Gemini Productions / deRoy- Brunish, Damian Arnold / TC Beech, Greenleaf Productions / Bard-Roth, Martian Entertainment / Jack Lane / John Yonover, and Lucas McMahon.

For more information, visit or follow

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: @BwayGoesWrong



COLTON ADAMS (Trevor). Theatre credits include Six Degrees of Separation (Redtwist Theatre), Scapin (Citadel Theatre), Goldfish (u/s, Route 66 Theatre Company). Received BFA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and studied at Acting Studio Chicago. TV/film credits include “61st Street” (AMC), Pardoned by Grace, and Driftless. Colton is represented by Big Mouth Talent. 

JOSEPH ANTHONY BYRD (Jonathan). Chicago: And The World Goes Round at Marriott, Annas in Jesus Christ Superstar at Lyric Opera, Emmett Till in The Ballad of Emmett Till at Goodman, and Emcee in Cabaret at Paramount. Broadway/National Tour: Kinky Boots, The Lion King, and Mamma Mia! (LV). TV: “4400,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Proven Innocent.”

ERNAISJA CURRY (Annie). National tour debut! The Florida native received her BFA from Adelphi University and completed Cincinnati Playhouse’s Bruce E. Coyle Acting Internship. Recent credits: Skeleton Crew (Ensemble Theatre), The Ballad… (MFP Productions). Thank you so much to God, family, friends, mentors, and the TPTGW team! @ernaisjacurry.

MICHAEL KUROWSKI (Dennis). Chicago performer for almost ten years. Recent credits: Crutchie (Newsies, Paramount Theatre), Jerry Lee Lewis (MDQ, Theatre at the Center), and Once (national tour). Screen: “Chicago Med,” Lovecraft Country, Gran Torino, and the upcoming series “Ripple Effects.” Musician in his free time and father all the time. Love to Mary, JoAnn, and Paonessa Talent.

MATT MUELLER (Chris). Broadway: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Regional: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Marriott Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Lyric Repertory Company, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, and multiple productions of Woody Guthrie’s American Song. Television: “Chicago Justice” (NBC). Film: Popper Baxton’s Sickly Stew. 

KELLY O’SULLIVAN (Sandra) is an actor, writer, and director. Theatre: Steppenwolf, The Goodman, Writers, among many others. Film/TV: two seasons of USA’s “Sirens;” features Cha Cha Real Smooth, The Graduates, Henry Gambles’ Birthday Party, and South by Southwest Award winner Saint Frances, for which she was the screenwriter/lead actor. 

JARRED WEBB (Max). Credits include The Brothers Size (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Julius Caesar (Prague Shakespeare Company), The Death of Kings (Southwest Shakespeare Company, AZ), and the world premiere of The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 (LaunchPad, UCSB). Education: BFA, University of California, Santa Barbara. 

JONAH D. WINSTON (Robert) is overjoyed to join TPTGW family! He earned his BA in Theatre from Butler University and furthered his education at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia. Jonah has performed at The Goodman, Lyric Opera, Cleveland Playhouse, and The Mercury Theatre Chicago. Commercial/TV credits: “Chicago Fire,” Skittles, McDonald's, and more! He is represented by Gray Talent Group.

CAROLINE CHU (u/s Annie, Sandra) is thrilled to be part of TPTGW! Credits: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Drury Lane, Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens, First Floor Theater, Jackalope Theatre, Raven Theatre. Graduate of Northwestern University and company member at First Floor Theater. Massive thanks to Stewart Talent and the most supportive family and friends in the world. @carolinechu_

DREW JOHNSON (u/s Robert, Jonathan, Trevor, Dennis, Max) Chicago: Love’s Labor’s Lost (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Flamingo & Decatur (Block St Theatre Co); Turtle (Redtwist Theatre); Crimes of the Heart (Step Up Productions). Regional: Shakespeare in Love, Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical (TheatreSquared). TV: Chicago Fire; Chicago P.D. Education: M.F.A. in Acting (University of Arkansas).

RUSSELL MERNAGH (u/s Chris, Max, Dennis, Robert, Jonathan) is thrilled to be a part of TPTGW. Favorite Chicago credits include Ride the Cyclone and The Comedy of Errors at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Rock of Ages at Drury Lane Theatre and Wonderful Town at The Goodman. Russell studied acting at Western Michigan University and is represented by Stewart Talent. 

BRENANN STACKER (Sandra) Regional Theater: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, TheatreSquared, Williamstown Theatre Festival. TV/Film: “Chicago Med,” “Sirens,” “Easy,” Banana Season. Education/Training: BA Drama Tufts University, O’Neill National Theater Institute, Russian State Institute of Performing Arts and The School at Steppenwolf. Much gratitude to Stewart Talent, my family and Ezrie.

BLAIR BAKER (u/s Annie, Sandra, Trevor) (she/ they) is an actor, director, and writer. Theatre: The Humans (Broadway, Roundabout Theatre Company), The Play that Goes Wrong (The First National Tour, Off-Broadway), Oleanna (Broadway, Mark Taper Forum, Bristol Riverside Theater), title role in Hvmlet (SheNYC), and The Soap Myth (opposite Ed Asner). TV/Film: “Billions,” “Blue Bloods,” “Harlem,” “Jules.”


Performances are Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2:00 PM & 8:00 PM, and Sundays at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM with select Wednesday matinees at 2:00 PM. Visit for the detailed performance schedule.


Individual tickets for THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG are on sale now and start at $30 with a select number of premium tickets available. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing For more information, visit


Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 21 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining more than 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the  Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, Auditorium Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway  Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

Until further notice, audience members will need to be masked and fully vaccinated with FDA authorized vaccine. For those with exemptions or unable to be vaccinated (including children) you need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter our Broadway In Chicago Theatres.  Audience members must show proof of vaccination (either through electronic copy, photocopy, or photo) along with a photo ID and valid ticket at their time of entry into the theatre. “Fully vaccinated” means the performance date must be at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 Vaccine, or at least 14 days after a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Children 5 – 11 will be allowed admittance with one vaccine that was administered 14 days prior to performance.  Tests that are accepted are either PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time or antigen test taken within 6 hours of the performance start time. No home tests are accepted and due to COVID 19 protocol children under 2 are not allowed into the theatre.

All Broadway In Chicago schedules, productions, and protocols for attendance will continue to be reviewed as further guidance and recommendations are provided by the CDC, Illinois State, and Chicago Departments of Health. For the latest health and safety procedures and guidelines, visit

For more information, visit

$25 Digital Lottery tickets for The Play That Goes Wrong
A digital lottery for a limited number of $25 seats will be held for the performance of The Play That Goes Wrong. Seat locations and the number of tickets awarded by the lottery are always subject to availability.

What would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had an illegitimate Broadway baby? You’d get THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG, Broadway & London’s award-winning smash comedy! Called “A GUT-BUSTING HIT” (The New York Times) and “THE FUNNIEST PLAY BROADWAY HAS EVER SEEN” (HuffPost), this classic murder mystery is chock-full of mishaps and madcap mania delivering “A RIOTOUS EXPLOSION OF COMEDY” (Daily Beast). Welcome to opening night of The Murder at Haversham Manor where things are quickly going from bad to utterly disastrous. With an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines), it’s “TONS OF FUN FOR ALL AGES” (HuffPost) and “COMIC GOLD” (Variety) – sure to bring down the house!

Monday, May 9, 2022

REVIEW: Murder On Horizon: An Immersive Sci-Fi Noir Via Otherworld Theatre Now Extended Through May 15th, 2022

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Murder On Horizon: An Immersive Sci-Fi Noir

 is out of this world!


*Recommended for ages 13+ due to themes of crime, murder, and drug usage. Half price tickets for those under 16.

ChiIL Mama’s ChiIL Picks List: 

Otherworld Theatre's Murder On Horizon: An Immersive Sci-Fi Noir

All photos by B. Kenaz-Mara


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Here at ChiIL Mama, we're huge fans of immersive, interactive theatre, and Otherworld is a favorite of ours. With theatre openings in full swing, my schedule was so packed I thought I'd have to miss out on reviewing Murder On Horizon. Thanks to another production shutting down due to a plethora of covid cases in the cast, I was able to squeak in the 2nd to last weekend of the extended run and catch this fantastically fun murder mystery. I'll try to write this review as spoiler-free as possible so players can come in unbiased and surprised at the complicated plot twists, red herrings, white flowers, mods and magic. 

If you're still easing back into indoor shows in these strange days, Otherworld caps the audience at 8 masked/vaxxed people, so it feels like a low(ish) covid risk. We loved the stellar writing, 1920's style stage entertainment, characters, and attention to detail. 

Bonus points for the bar on site with a first drink on the house, and of course the inimitable eye candy of this funky, pop culture filled space. At Gorgine's Bar, we enjoyed the Viking's Blood Mead (honey wine) and the Horizon's Manhattan along with a shot of clues and character intros. 

When we first docked on this alien planet, we were pleased to be offered our choice of wristbands indicating whether we wanted characters to interact with us or whether we preferred a "fly on the wall" experience. We were also thrilled to be able to shoot photos throughout the show. The mystery was difficult and unpredictable enough that we weren't easily able to solve it, and the characters were exceptional guides to keep each segment of the plot on schedule. We even had to dig deep and reach a group majority among the detectives, on a complex and thought provoking ethical dilemma. Of course we always appreciate clever playbill designs, too. 

The set design is such fun, and the costumes are quite impressive. Kudos to Otherworld for truly stellar world building all around. We had a blast! Best off world adventure we've ever been on, and we were still home in time for dinner, with a solved murder under our space belts. 

All in all, we loved this space noir production and are eager to see what Otherworld productions are up next. Highly recommended. Don't miss this!

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theatre critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: (adult) & (family friendly). 


"The attention to detail behind each element of the Horizon universe is superb. The ensemble, under the direction of Otherworld artistic director Tiffany Keane Schaefer, has created fully realized characters and does an excellent job of displaying their desires, eccentricities, and relationship to the case at each point of the show... the world feels authentic, and the mission remains clear, the stakes feel high, and the audience involvement feels meaningful." -Katie Powers, Chicago Reader


"As the live stage scene starts to rev up again, “Murder on Horizon” is a great way to ease back into it, where you’re part of the action. Gorgine the bartender will be there to serve you, and the crew of Horizon is there to mystify you. In space, no one can hear you name the murderer in advance." - Patrick McDonald, Hollywood Chicago

MURDER ON HORIZON brings audiences to the distant future, to a time when humans are genetically and technologically enhanced, or “modded.” Val Tramel, a mysterious scientist conducting secret research is found murdered on the Horizon Space Station. The famously unmodded Detective Symin Stone is dispatched to investigate. Although it’s clear Horizon authorities want to sweep this under the rug, Symin and their team quickly learn there is more to this case than meets the eye.

Audiences will explore the Horizon Space Station, visiting key features of the station including the Med-Bay, Engineering, the Greenhouse, and the Bar where they will enjoy a themed cocktail (alcoholic and non-alcoholic options available) as they interview suspects and gather evidence to unravel the mystery of who killed Val Tramel. 

Each performance is limited to 8 audience members, allowing unique opportunities to interact with the set pieces and content, while maintaining a COVID-safe environment.

MURDER ON HORIZON: AN IMMERSIVE SCI-FI NOIR runs approximately 90 minutes.


$50 for adults and $25 for children (up to age 16), and each ticket includes a coupon for a themed beverage at the Otherworld bar (alcoholic and non-alcoholic options available). 

Show times are Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Saturdays at 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 10 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. 

COVID-19 Notice:

All attendees including audience members, media, staff and volunteers, and performers are required to show proof of full vaccination, and masks are required to be worn over the mouth and nose at all times, unless actively eating or drinking.