Thursday, May 24, 2018

Shows On Our Radar: Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure at Chicago Shakespeare Theater Through August 19th

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List: 
Family Friendly Theatre Fun

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces casting for
Amber Mak directs musical adaptation of beloved J.M. Barrie tale
this summer on Navy Pier, beginning June 27

 *Ages 5+. 75min running time.*

Just in time for the 65th anniversary of the Disney animated classic, Peter Pan, Chicago Shakespeare Theater's summer family musical is a newly updated production of Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure. Here at ChiIL Mama, CST has been a favorite of ours for years, and their summer musicals are always a top annual pick of ours for fabulous, family friendly fun for all ages. 

This summer, Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces the cast and creative team for the summer family musical production of Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure at the Theater’s home on Navy Pier, June 27–August 19, 2018. Based on J.M. Barrie's beloved tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up, this heartwarming musical dazzles with a score written by George Stiles and lyrics by Anthony Drewe—the award-winning songwriting duo behind Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s smash hit Mary Poppins and the Olivier Award-winning Honk! Amber Mak takes the helm as the production’s director and choreographer in this newly updated version by Elliot Davis based on the book by Willis Hall.

Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure follows Peter and the Darling children—Wendy, John, and Michael—on a high-flying journey to the enchanted world of Neverland, where the Lost Boys take on the villainous Captain Hook and his bumbling band of pirates. The 75-minute production is the perfect summer outing for families to come together and experience the delights of live theater. After each performance, audience members have the opportunity to interact with cast members for one-on-one conversations and photos in the Lobby.

Known for bringing vibrant, new perspectives to classic musicals, director and choreographer Amber Mak makes her Chicago Shakespeare directing debut, after a series of critically acclaimed productions at Paramount Theatre, including The Little Mermaid, Elf the Musical, and Hairspray. In 2017, Mak directed the world premiere of Number Nerds, which became the surprise hit of the New York Musical Festival (NYMF).

“What’s remarkable about young audiences is that they can transform the mundane and everyday into the fantastical,” Mak shared. “Yet in our world, we tell them they have to grow up, and that spark of imagination can be extinguished. The reason that Peter Pan has endured for so long is because J.M. Barrie inspires that imagination, hope, and freedom. Now more than ever, young people need that.”

Johnny Shea takes the stage as Peter Pan—a headstrong and clever boy who never wants to grow up. Elizabeth Stenholt performs the role of Wendy—a charming girl who challenges Peter Pan and comes to serve as a maternal figure for the Lost Boys. The bookish and loyal John, the middle child of the Darling family, is portrayed by Cameron Goode, and the youngest of the Darlings, Michael, is portrayed by Carter Graf. Peter’s sworn enemy is Captain Hook, performed by James Konicek—who also portrays Mr. Darling. Mrs. Darling is performed by Roberta Burke. The band of pirates includes Sean Patrick Fawcett as Hook’s right-hand man, Smee—as well as Roberta Burke as Cecco, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis as Bill Jukes, and Christina Hall as Starkey. The troupe of Lost Boys features Colin Lawrence as Curly, Michael Kurowski as Tootles, John Marshall Jr. as Slightly Soiled, and Travis Austin Wright as Nibs. Framing the production as the Storyteller is acclaimed Chicago actress Rengin Altay.

Joining Mak on the creative team are Kory Danielson as Music Director and Matt Deitchman as Orchestrator. Creating the imaginative world of Neverland onstage are Jeff Award-winners Scenic Designer Jeff Kmiec, Costume Designer Theresa Ham, Lighting Designer Greg Hofmann, Sound Designer Ray Nardelli, and Projections Designer Mike Tutaj. Completing the creative team is Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s resident Wig and Make-up Designer Richard Jarvie, who has designed over thirty CST productions. Onstage flying effects are created by ZFX. Serving as dialect coach for this production is Susan Gosdick. Megan E. Farley is the production’s Associate Director and Choreographer.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare program. Access performances for Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure include:

ASL Duo-interpreted Performance: Sunday, August 12 at 11:00 a.m.
Audio-described Performance: Sunday, August 19 at 11:00 a.m. (with optional touch tour at 9:15 a.m.)

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents a wide range of dynamic programming for multi-generational audiences. In addition to imaginative summer musicals at the Theater’s home on Navy Pier, offerings year-round include Short Shakespeare! abridgments of Shakespeare’s classics and the free Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour to neighborhood parks throughout the city. This summer, 25 performances of the classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream adapted and directed by the Theater’s artistic director Barbara Gaines, will tour to 18 neighborhood parks across the city, July 27–August 26, 2018.

Visit for a complete performance listing and additional production information.

A global theatrical force, Chicago Shakespeare Theater is known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare’s genius for storytelling, musicality of language, and empathy for the human condition. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, Chicago Shakespeare has redefined what a great American Shakespeare theater can be, putting forward a company that delights in the unexpected and defies theatrical category. A Regional Tony Award winner, the Theater produces acclaimed plays at its home on Navy Pier, throughout Chicago’s schools and neighborhoods, and on stages around the world. In 2017, the Theater unveiled a new stage, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. Together with the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, The Yard positions Chicago Shakespeare as the city’s most versatile performing arts venue.

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