Wednesday, May 30, 2012

You never know who you might see!

When the Light Opera Works box office recommends one of our Dining Partners it’s not just because they’re donors.

Well, okay, it is because they’re donors. But we went to them in the first place because these are actually our favorite places to eat.

The cast and crew of Camelot have been enjoying a giant bag of fresh organic cherries from Whole Foods Evanston at every rehearsal this month. You never know—you might find some (cherries, that is, but cast and crew as well!) at the Opening Night Reception, because Whole Foods Evanston is providing the food. (To find out how you can attend, go to our Donations page.)

You’ll spot Production Associate Kyle Dougan at Dixie Kitchen. It’s his favorite restaurant; he always takes his out-of-town family and friends there.

If you want to run into General Manager Bridget McDonough, just pop into the Globe CafĂ© on Orrington Street—you might see her having lunch with one of our angels.

Everyone on staff still likes to make a Sandwich Wednesday run to Rollin’ To Go, in our old neighborhood on Noyes Street in Evanston. Development consultant Xan Nelson can be seen in there as well, as she is addicted to their White Chicken Chili.

Drop into any of our Dining Partners and don't forget to mention Light Opera Works for discounts and special offers. Evanston is packed with great food, right around the corner from the theater! (And there are more all the time, so keep checking back.)

Where do you like to eat before the show?

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Secret Garden in Rehearsal

Hello All,
Usually we do rehearsal pictures on the blog for our shows. This show we get to show you some puppet pictures! The artistic team has been hard at work for The Secret Garden creating an amazingly stunning concept for the show. This shadow puppet show is just one of the many beautifully artistic moments in the production. In the song, "Race You to the Top of the Morning" Archibald sings while reading a storybook to his handicapped son, Colin, who is asleep in bed. This promises to be one of the many moving moments in the show. Check out the pictures below!

Kyle Dougan
Light Opera Works Production Associate

Here are the lyrics to Archibald's touching and heartfelt song:

When we left off last night
The hideous dragon
Had carried the maid to his cave by moonlight
He gnashed his teeth, and breathed his fire
The heath quaked, and we trembled in fear.

I said someone must save this sweet raven-haired maiden,
Though surely the cost will be steep.
So we lads all drew lots,
Our insides tied in knots,
And I won, and the rest went to sleep.

So, I picked up my staff,
And I followed the trail Of his smoke
To the mouth of the cave,
And I bid him come out,
Yea, forsooth, I did shout,
Ye fool dragon be gone or behave!

And then under my breath,
I uttered a charm said
To make the worst fiends become kind.
Knaves and knights of dire plights,
Now diminish his sights!
And it worked and the dragon went blind.

And he charged off the cliff
Howling mad and he died,
And the maiden accepted my ring.
And then you came along,
And were brave, bold, and strong,
And in thanks, every night now I sing:

Race you to the top of the morning!
Come, sit on my shoulders and ride!
Run and hide, I'll come and find you,
Climb hills to remind you,
I love you, my boy at my side!

Now, another foul dragon's appeared,
I must leave you.
He's scorching our land with his breath.
From his lair this one taunts me,
He dares me, he haunts me.
Once again, we must fight to the death!

Would to God I could stay and instead slay your dragon,
This beast who sits hunched on your back.
Would God I could wrench him away from your bed,
Or cut off or tear off his terrible head,
Could breathe out my fire on him
'Till he was dead,
Or beg him to spare you and take me instead!

As it is I must leave you in care of my brother,
The wizard, who lives on the hill,
Who has promised his art,
Will soon pierce through the heart
Of this dragon that's keeping you ill.

And I know that your mother, God bless her,
Would want you to do as he says and grow strong.
And you know that as soon as I can I'll return,
So be brave, son and know that I long
To race you to the top of the morning!
Come, sit on my shoulders and ride.
Run and hide, I'll come and find you,
Climb hills to remind you
I love you!
I love you, my boy at my side!

Tickets for The Secret Garden Click HERE

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Visit

Light Opera Works favorite James Harms will perform in a one-night benefit presentation of John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Terrence McNally's new musical "The Visit" starring Chita Rivera tonight in New York.

Read this article for more information. Don't miss the behind-the-scenes video at the end!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Words and Music

Midwest New Musicals will kick off Words and Music, a series of concert readings of original musicals this coming Monday, November 21, 2011 at 8pm with Table Turns by Sheilah Rae and Michele Brourman. The performance will be held at Light Opera Works Second Stage at 1420 Maple (at Lake) in Evanston. Tickets are $15 at the door or by calling LOW's box office (847-920-5360).

Table Turns is a musical evening of five shorts, each with a surprising turn of events in contemporary love and life. The piece was a finalist for the Heideman Award given by the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville. Table Turns features Kelli Harrington, Jasmine Ryan, David Skvarla and Greg Tate. The musical is directed by Jeff Dumas and music directed by Jessica Hunt. The casting director is Allan Chambers. Midwest New Musicals is lead by workshop director John Sparks.

Sheilah Rae, the co-bookwriter and lyricist, co-wrote Funny, You Don’t Look Like A Grandmother. She has written songs for Time, People, Doritos, Beechnut Baby Food and Ben Gay. As a performer she has appeared in Fiddler On the Roof, Applause, The Rothschilds and Company. She has served as past-council for the Songwriters Guild of America, past-president of the League of Professional Theatre Women and is currently the board president of the New York Theatre Barn and a member of the Dramatists Guild. She was born and raised in Chicago and is a New Trier graduate.

Michele Brourman, the composer, is a Johnny Mercer Songwriter Award winner. She is the composer of the new musical Dangerous Beauty. Michele composed the dance and incidental music for the original Broadway production of Working. Her songs have been featured in movies (The Little Engine that Could, Shiloh and Shiloh Season) and television (Land Before Time, Designing Women, Cagney and Lacey). She is a graduate of Northwestern University.

The Midwest New Musicals writers workshop and the new Words and Music series are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The ASCAP Foundation, and The Dramatist Guild Fund. Most of the new musicals in the Words and Music series are written by members of the Midwest New Musicals writers workshop and have been developed in the workshop Core Curriculum and development process.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Midwest New Musicals

Are you a composer, lyricist, or playwright interested in learning more about musical theatre structure? Consider taking part in this year’s Midwest New Musicals workshop. Midwest New Musicals is a writers workshop and development program conducted by John Sparks, the Artistic Director for the Academy of New Musical Theatre in Los Angeles, in association with Light Opera Works.

The Midwest New Musicals Core Curriculum is an intensive program that assists writers through the process of creating a new musical. Writers explore the use of music, lyrics, and dialogue through hands-on assignments that introduce them to musical theatre forms and collaborative techniques.

Writers study the structure of the full musical book and score. The study and writing process leads to a mini-musical project where participants create short musicals for a pre-selected ensemble and production team. This project culminates in a formal public presentation and an evaluation.

Upon completion, writers may be invited to an ongoing forum of writing peers to participate in reading intensives, workshops, and to meet with theatre companies and producers locally and across the country.

Midwest New Musicals Core Curriculum program meets monthly on Chicago's North Shore in two four-hour sessions on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 1:30pm.

Fall Term: September 24&25 2011, October 22&23, November 19&20, December 17&18, January 21&22 2012

Winter/Spring Term: February 18&19 2012, March 17&18, April 21&22, May 19&20, June 23&24

The Mini-Musical writing, revisions, rehearsals, and performances take place from April through June 2012 on a schedule determined by the writers, actors, and directors involved.

Enrollment Form and Fees Information:

Enrollment forms are available here or at Light Opera Works’ offices at 927 Noyes in Evanston. Along with the enrollment form, applicants must include:

For Bookwriters: Include resume, two short contrasting scenes (or 4-5 pages of prose if you have not written plays/screenplays/musicals) and a brief statement that defines your interest in writing the book of a musical.

For Composers: Include resume, a recording and piano-vocal score of 2 contrasting songs (or instrumental music, including 3-4 pages of piano score or orchestration) and a brief statement that defines your interest in writing music for the theater.

For Lyricists: Include resume, a lyric sheet, and a recording (if possible) for 2 contrasting songs, and a brief statement that defines you interest in writing lyrics for the theater.

Fees: $645 per term or $1,200 if enrolling in two terms in advance. The fall term is the pre-requisite for the winter/spring term. Application fee (non-refundable): $25

For more information on the Workshop curriculum or to discuss your experience level, contact John Sparks at 323-371-8205 or For more information on the Workshop fees/payment contact Light Opera Works Box Office at 847-869-6300 or visit our website.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Old costumes never die, they just fray away

Five hundred Heidelberg student uniforms? Reading this in our recent newsletter made me wonder, well, where are they now? Where do all these old costumes end up?

Many of them, sadly, in dumpsters, but many more in private collections, and costume rental houses. Light Opera Works used some original costumes for My Fair Lady, and had vintage Broadway ones for Gigi. Others land in museums, including the Smithsonian. The National Museum of American History has costumes from The Lion King, Hello, Dolly!, Cats, Rent, and The King and I in the museum’s permanent entertainment collections.

Chicago designers have recently come into their own, with amazing award-winning costumes from Lookingglass, Chicago Shakespeare and other innovative houses; these have not found their way into collections or museums yet, but you may be sure they will. Our own designers strive to recreate the authentic look of classic productions, both by using actual vintage costumes from famous productions, and by recreating the look by building new costumes.

Some memorable Light Opera Works costumes include A Little Night Music in 2009 and The Merry Widow from 2005. We built (theater parlance for "made") a lot of the costumes for Carousel.

All of the student's costumes for the current production of The Student Prince were made for us. See what we've done to add to those 500 student uniforms in The Student Prince, opening this week, by purchasing tickets here!

What were your favorite Light Opera Works costumes?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Opening Night

Back in the day, Opening Night meant staying up until the early editions came out, so you could read your reviews. Well, at least in every theater movie I ever saw.

At Light Opera Works Opening Night is a chance to give our wonderful donors, cast and orchestra a great party.

Opening Night for The Student Prince will be after the show on Saturday, August 20 at Campagnola at 815 Chicago Avenue (just south of Main Street) in Evanston, one of our longest and most loyal supporters. If you're a donor at the $250 level, you can join us for great food, drink, and to meet the cast.

Hope to see you there!