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      Theatre at the Center Announces an Exciting 2012 Season in Chicago

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      February 23, 2012 - December 23, 2012

       

      1040 Ridge Rd
      Chicago, Illinois

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      Theatre at the Center Announces an Exciting 2012 Season

      Captivating season filled with Tony Award winners, Chicago Area Premieres, Hit Comedies and Touching Tributes


      Munster, Ind.- Coming off of a streak of some of the most successful seasons to date, Theatre at the Center Artistic Director William Pullinsi, along with General Manager Richard Friedman, have announced a 2012 season filled with love, music, twists and turns. A touching tribute, based on the true story of the legendary country singer and the adoration of her number one fan, Always… Patsy Cline, will kick off the 2012 season, running February 23 through April 1. The Chicago area premiere of the heartwarming comedy, Making God Laugh, which tells the story of the bonds that unite a quirky family, will run May 3 through June 10. The musical Little Shop of Horrors relates the love story of Seymour, an assistant florist, and his beloved Audrey, and the blood thirsty plant that enslaves him, will run July 12 through August 19. 42nd Street, the heart pounding, foot stomping song and tap extravaganza about the starstruck understudy and her hunger for the spotlight runs September 13 through October 21. Plaid Tidings, the holiday-themed sequel to the record breaking musical Forever Plaid, runs November 15 through December 23. It’s about the love the famed singing group The Plaids, have for performing and for each other.

      The season opens with the popular musical Always… Patsy Cline, written and originally directed by Ted Swindley. Chicago native and Jeff nominee Michelle Duffy (Desperate Housewives, House, The Closer, Las Vegas) will star as Patsy Cline. This international hit musical had its world premiere in 1988 and has enjoyed great success over the United States, including a long run Off-Broadway. More than just a tribute to the legendary country singer, this musical, based on a true story, recounts Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston, Louise Seger (played by Janelle Snow). Patsy befriended Louise at a Texas honky tonk and the two remained pen pals until her untimely death at the age of 30 in a 1963 plane crash. The title comes from the closing in all of Patsy’s letters to Louise – “Love always, Patsy Cline.” Complete with humor and true emotion, this show includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, Sweet Dreams and Walking After Midnight. The Los Angeles Times describes the production as “A song filled valentine”. Always… Patsy Cline will be directed by Brian Russell and will run February 23 through April 1, 2012.

      Chicago native Sean Grennan introduces his newest work, Making God Laugh, to the Chicago area in the spring of 2012. Produced in association with First FolioTheatre, the play is inspired by the Woody Allen joke, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” The play centers on a couple of empty nesters welcoming home their three children over various holidays spanning three decades. As the parents and grown children deal with each of their evolving lives, we get a glimpse inside their dreams, unresolved issues, old family traditions, and of course, dubious holiday recipes. Tensions flare up and laughs break out as audiences join the family fun during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s visits. Making God Laugh will be directed by William Pullinsi and will run from May 3 through June 10, 2012. The cast includes Chicago favorites Peggy Roeder, Craig Spidle, Joe Foust and Erin Noel Grennan.

      The hilarious award-winning musical, Little Shop of Horrors was the third-longest running and the highest grossing production in Off-Broadway history, running 2,209 performances. A gleefully gruesome musical spoof of the 1960 Roger Corman Film, this monster musical is about a hapless florist shop worker, Seymour, who offers his tender love and care to a plant that feeds on human blood. This plant, Audrey II, named after Seymour’s secret love, quickly becomes a fascinating attraction in neighborhood called Skid Row. The score, composed by Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman, (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin) follows the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown. The Chicago Sun-Times raved: “Splendid laugh-filled entertainment.” Stacey Flaster will direct – see it July 12 through August 19.

      One of the longest running musicals in Broadway history, 42nd Street is based on Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie and is considered the quintessential backstage musical. 42nd Street tells the story of a starry-eyed young actress who leaves her Allentown home to audition for the new big musical about to open on Broadway. Though she can't seem to stay in the good graces of the show's aging leading lady, she soon catches the eye of the well-known leading man and her renowned director. On opening night, the star breaks her ankle and panic spreads through the company until it is suggested that our heroine take over the role. With a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin, the memorable score includes We're in the Money, You're Getting to be a Habit With Me, Lullaby of Broadway, and of course, 42nd Street. Directed by William Pullinsi the show runs September 13 through October 21.

      Plaid Tidings, the holiday sequel to Chicago’s longest running musical Forever Plaid, entertains Theatre at the Center audiences November 15 through December 23. Summoned by the angelic Rosemary Clooney, Jinx, Frankie, Smudge and Sparky are sent back to Earth to stage a nostalgic holiday extravaganza. A show for the whole family, Plaid Tidings combines favorite tunes from the ‘50s and ‘60s with traditional holiday songs and carols, a hilarious tribute to The Ed Sullivan Christmas Spectaculars, and plenty of winning references to the era and its sounds – including some singing by Perry Como himself! Plaid Tidings will be directed by William Pullinsi.

      Founded in 1991, Theatre at the Center is a year-round professional theater at its home, The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana. Theater at the Center is conveniently located off I-80/94, just 35 minutes from downtown Chicago.

      Performances for the 2012 season are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. and Fridays at 8:00 p.m. Saturday matinees begin at 2:30 or 4 p.m. with evening performances at 8 p.m. Sunday curtains are at 2:30 p.m. Season subscriptions are available for $150. Special Subscription Series Events include: the Wine & Theatre Series, the Dinner Theatre Series and the Opening Night Series – there is an extra charge for these series. Also available are our FREE Talkback Thursday post-show discussions and our 2nd Saturday Symposium, to provide insight into the creative process. Guests may enjoy pre-show dinners conveniently located right across from the theatre lobby. New 2012 Season Subscriptions will go on sale October 10, 2011. Individual ticket prices for 2012 range from $38 - $42 and will go on sale December 13, 2011. To purchase season tickets and/or individual tickets, call the Box Office at 219.836.3255 or Tickets.com at 800.511.1552. Group discounts are available for groups of 11 or more and gift certificates are also available by calling the Box Office at 219.836.3255. For more information on Theatre at the Center, visit TheatreAtTheCenter.com.

      Categories: Performing Arts

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