Wednesday, June 6, 2018


Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:



BEGINS JUNE 30, 2018

It was my great pleasure to attend a press event in April, where I caught this video of writer Floyd Mutrux (Million Dollar Quartet) whose screenwriting and directorial credits include American Hot Wax, The Untouchables, Urban Cowboy, Up In Smoke, American Me, Ford Fairlane, Blood In Blood Out, Mulholland Falls, and Hillside Strangler. It was also truly a treat to get a sneak peek of a couple numbers with Eddie Clendening, Chicago's  HEARTBREAK HOTEL Elvis! 

We thoroughly enjoyed reviewing Million Dollar Quartet here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows. I took my kids and they adored it too! I can't wait to ChiIL out right here in Chi, IL, at the prequel this summer. 

Broadway In Chicago, the producers of HEARTBREAK HOTEL, and Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises today, are delighted to announce the full casting for HEARTBREAK HOTEL, a musical premiere that will ignite the stage of the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) beginning June 30, 2018.

Chicago’s ‘King of Rock and Roll’ will be Eddie Clendening who originated the role of Elvis in the acclaimed production of HEARTBREAK HOTEL at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Broadway World called Clendening’s performance at the Ogunquit “spectacular.” The Portland Press Herald says, “Clendening channels Elvis’s unforgettable vocals with an uncanniness that brings thrilling goose bumps...” and the Boston Post Gazette hails, “[Clendening] is able to rock out with the raw energy of Presley while always retaining that shyness that made him so charming.”

Chicago’s cast will include Jerry Kernion as Colonel Tom Parker, Matt McKenzie as Sam Phillips, Geno Henderson as Jackie Wilson, BB King, Ike Turner and others, Matt Codina as Scotty Moore, Colte Julian as Dewey Phillips, Zach Lentino as Bill Black, Jamie Pittle as DJ Fontana/Drums, Erin Burniston as Dixie Locke, Darcy Jo Wood as Marion Keisker, Katherine Lee Bourné as Rosetta Tharpe and others, Takesha Meshe Kizart as Ruth Brown and others, Andrea Collier as Sally Wilbourn and others, Alicia McCracken Morgan in ensemble, and Chuckie Benson, Tommy Malouf and Briana Bower as understudies/swings. 

HEARTBREAK HOTEL is written and directed by Floyd Mutrux (Million Dollar Quartet) whose screenwriting and directorial credits include American Hot Wax, The Untouchables, Urban Cowboy, Up In Smoke, American Me, Ford Fairlane, Blood In Blood Out, Mulholland Falls, and Hillside Strangler. The show’s creative team will include Birgitte Bjorum (Choreography), Adam Koch (Scenic Design), Jason Lyons (Lighting Design), Drew Levy (Sound Design) and Daniel Brodie (Projection Design).

HEARTBREAK HOTEL follows the tender story of Elvis Presley in the early years of his career as he and Sam Phillips create the music that will forever change their lives. As Elvis’s career skyrockets, both lifting and shattering the lives of those he loves, a secret love story is revealed, a betrayal is discovered, and “Colonel” Tom Parker changes the course of history, all in just 18 short months.

This brand new musical features hit songs from the King himself as well as the legends who influenced his iconic music, with chart-toppers including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Tutti Frutti,” “That’s All Right,” “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” and, of course, “Heartbreak Hotel.” This is where the story begins… “take a walk down lonely street.”

“We are thrilled to debut this amazing cast,” said Producer Scott Prisand of Robbins Lane Entertainment. “This production will feature cast members who have been with the show from the beginning, such as our original Elvis, in addition to unbelievable talent from Chicago. HEARTBREAK HOTEL is ready to rock this town!”

“For those who long for another trip down memory lane with Elvis, for those that want to recreate the excitement of Million Dollar Quartet, and  for those that want to dance in their seats – don’t miss this show!”  Eileen LaCario, Vice President of Broadway In Chicago said.

EDDIE CLENDENING (Elvis Presley) Eddie Clendening originated the role of Elvis Presley in the Broadway production of Million Dollar Quartet, where he performed eight shows a week to packed houses, for over 2,200 performances! In addition to playing Elvis in the Chicago production of Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo Theater, Clendening played the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ in the original production of Heartbreak Hotel at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine.

Eddie has toured extensively as a vocalist/guitarist with his own group, “The Blue Ribbon Boys,” throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. He has appeared on several coast to coast, prime time and regional television programs including The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The View, and The Today Show. He has also been a regular voice on various satellite/AM/FM/internet radio programs. He’s played alongside rock-n-roll greats like Scotty Moore, James Burton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dale Hawkins and scores of others. With several popular recordings released, his albums "Eddie Clendening Is... Walkin' And Cryin’,” “Eddie Clendening Is... Knockin’ At Your Heart,” and “Eddie Clendening Is… The Rage of the Teen-Age!” have received critical acclaim.

JERRY KERNION (Colonel Tom Parker): Heartbreak Hotel at the Ogunquit Playhouse, Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles, LOVE, Banana Shpeel and many other regional/international credits. FILM/TV: Rebel, Tangled, Rosewood, Longmire, The Middle, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Mad Men, Castle, The West Wing, CSI:NY, The Mentalist, The Princess and the Frog and others.
GENO HENDERSON (Jackie Wilson, BB King, Ike Turner & Others): A veteran of the L. A. music scene, Geno has toured, recorded and made television with The Gap Band, The Pointer Sisters, Billy Preston, Roberta Flack, Smokey Robinson, Sly Stone and many others. In 2011, he originated the role of Jocko Henderson on Broadway in Baby It’s You.
MATT CODINA (Scotty Moore): Matt Codina is a California-based guitar player, vocalist and artist most known for his fingerstyle approach popularized by Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and Scotty Moore. Matt originated the role of Scotty Moore in Heartbreak Hotel and has been with the show since 2014 and its first run in Hollywood.

MATT MCKENZIE (Sam Phillips): Matt McKenzie debuted on Broadway in Monday After the Miracle with Jane Alexander, directed by Arthur Penn. He's played leading roles at major theatres across the country including the role of Marvin in Baby It's You at the Pasadena Playhouse. In the Academy Award winning film “Gods and Monsters”, he played Colin Clive opposite Sir Ian McKellan. Television appearances include recurring roles on; “24”, “Veronica Mars”, and “Mad Men”. His voice-over performances in feature films include; “Final Fantasy”, “Princess Mononoke”, and “Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust”. Matt is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Advanced Actor Training Program at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre.

COLTE JULIAN (Dewey Phillips): Million Dollar Quartet’s “Jerry Lee” in Chicago, Vegas, National Tour and cruise; Chicago Credits: Oklahoma! (Jeff Award Nominee), Next to Normal, Joseph; Regional: Carousel, Rent, Footloose and La Cage. Music Director for State and National FFA Organizations. BA in Music - Oklahoma State, MM in Musical Theatre - Arizona State.

ZACH LENTINO (Bill Black): Zach Lentino is thrilled to portray the stories of some of the individuals that inspired him as a musician. Previously seen: Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo Theatre (Chicago) and the Paramount Theatre (Aurora). He can also be seen performing with his own rockabilly band, "Lance Lipinsky and the Lovers."

JAMIE PITTLE (DJ Fontana/Drums): Jamie is humbled to be making his Chicago debut in Heartbreak Hotel after originating the role of DJ in the world premiere at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Off-Broadway: Missed Connections. Regional: Heartbreak Hotel, Million Dollar Quartet, The Buddy Holly Story.
ERIN BURNISTON (Dixie Locke): National Tour: Spring Awakening. Regional highlights: Heartbreak Hotel (Dixie Locke, Ogunquit Playhouse), Gypsy (June, Chicago Shakespeare Theater), La Cage Aux Folles (Anne, Goodspeed Opera House), Somewhere In Time (Young Laura, Portland Center Stage), Spring Awakening (Wendla, Media Theater). TV: Blue Bloods. BFA Music Theater, Elon University.

DARCY JO WOOD (Marion Keisker): Darcy Jo is delighted to be back at the Broadway Playhouse to once again share the stage with Elvis! Favorite select credits include: Joseph...Dreamcoat (Drury Lane), Million Dollar Quartet (Apollo Theatre), Dee Snider’s Rock n’ Roll Xmas Tale (Broadway Playhouse). Darcy travels the world fronting rock-n-roll bands, most notably her own girl group show, “Leaders of the Pack.” @darcyjowood @lovettesgram

KATHERINE LEE BOURNÉ (Rosetta Tharpe & Others): Regional credits: Marie Christine (Boho); New Faces Series (Porchlight); Songs for a New World (Blank). Graduate of CCPA’s BFA Musical Theatre [Dance] program. Director/arranger of family vocal group, The Bournés.

TAKESHA MESHE KIZART (Ruth Brown & Others): Versatile Classical, Jazz, Soul, and Pop Vocalist with leading roles worldwide in Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La bohème, Cassandra/Elektra, Mefistofele, Marie Victoire, Norma, Il trovatore, La forza del destino, and many others. Additional select credits include Black Rest (HBO), The Verdian Voice (ARTE), and Intimate Apparel (Lincoln Center Theater). Upcoming Recording: Purpose Over Pain with Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

ANDREA COLLIER (Sally Wilbourn & Others): Andrea is ecstatic to be a part of Heartbreak Hotel! Some favorite credits include: 42nd Street, Rock of Ages, Hairspray, Gypsy, All Shook Up, Legally Blonde, A Christmas Carol, and The Wedding Singer. Graduate of the University of Illinois!

CHUCKIE BENSON (Understudy): Chicago credits: SPAMILTON, The Wiz (Lion-Jeff nominee), HAIR, RENT, The Buddy Holly Story. Other regional: Big River, Sister Act, Grease, Hairspray.

BRIANA BOWER (Understudy): Briana is beyond excited to be a part of her first show here in Chicago. The Michigan native and EMU Theatre alumna wants to thank her family for their constant love & support.

TOMMY MALOUF (swing): Regional credits include The Light Fantastic (Jackalope), Hatfield & McCoy (House Theatre), Great Expectations (Remy Bumppo/Silk Road), Bobbie Clearly and Posh (Steep), Ring of Fire and Rent (Metropolis). Represented by Stewart Talent.
ALICIA MCCRACKEN MORGAN (Ensemble): Alicia McCracken Morgan is a singer, keyboard player, vocal coach and musical director. From Tampa, FL, she now lives in LA. She has worked with such artists as Al Wilson, Delaney Bramlett, Bobby Womack, Sally Kellerman, Don & Dewey, Rod Stewart, producer Richard Perry. Alicia is a Hammond Organ Artist.


Individual tickets for HEARTBREAK HOTEL at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) are now on sale and range from $35-$75 with a select number of premium seats. 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 17 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 over 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, Oriental Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. For more information, visit Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ● Instagram @broadwayinchicago ● #broadwayinchicago

HEARTBREAK HOTEL is produced by Robbins Lane Entertainment, Temple Dog Productions, Big Block Media Holdings, Michael Speyer and Bernie Abrams, Terry Schnuck, Stefany Bergson, Judith Borelli and Emilio Borelli, Howard Weissman and Howard Goldenfarb and Dot Dot Dot Productions, LLC.

Authentic Brands Group (ABG) is a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, and the owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises, LLC in partnership with the Presley family. Headquartered in New York City, ABG owns, manages, and builds the long-term value a global portfolio of lifestyle, celebrity and entertainment brands. Our brands span a global retail footprint of more than 2,300 doors across luxury, specialty, department stores, shop-in-shops, ecommerce, mid-tier, and mass channels. ABG is committed to transforming brands by delivering compelling product, content, business, and immersive brand experiences. We create and activate original marketing strategies to drive the success of our brands across all consumer touchpoints, platforms, and emerging media. ABG’s global portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands includes Marilyn Monroe®, Elvis Presley®, Muhammad Ali®, Shaquille O’Neal®, Dr. J®, Greg Norman®, Neil Lane®, Thalia®, Michael Jackson® (managed brand), Aéropostale®, Juicy Couture®, Jones New York®, Herve Leger®, Judith Leiber®, Frederick’s of Hollywood®, Frye®, Adrienne Vittadini®, Taryn Rose®, Misook®, Hickey Freeman®, Hart Schaffner Marx®, Spyder®, Tretorn®, Tapout®, Prince®, Airwalk®, Vision Street Wear®, Above The Rim®, and Hind®.​

KGM Theatrical is a New York City based theatrical general management firm representing live entertainment globally. Credits include: Puffs (Off-Broadway), Rock of Ages (Broadway), Fela! (Broadway, Tours), Reasons to Be Pretty (Broadway), The 39 Steps (Broadway), The Homecoming (Broadway), Talk Radio (Broadway), Heathers (Off-Broadway), Altar Boyz (Off-Broadway), and many more.

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