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Friday, August 1, 2014

10 Groovy Things to Do in August starring Steve Grand and Andrew Rannells

Since there are so many groovy plays, musicals, concerts and events, this is my monthly list to help promote a few of them (click on a title for more information or to purchase tickets):

1) Hair
August 1 - 3 at the Hollywood Bowl
From its stunning Broadway premiere in 1968, Hair defined the “rock musical”, exuberantly celebrating the hippie counterculture, anti-war movement and sexual revolution of the 1960s with a rainbow score of hits – including “Aquarius”, “Good Morning Starshine” and “Easy to be Hard” – that have become ingrained in pop culture. Let down your long, beautiful hair, pull out the tie-dye and celebrate this groundbreaking American journey as we “Let the Sunshine In!” Directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray), this new production stars Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Hunter Parrish (Weeds), Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Sarah Hyland (Modern Family), Amber Riley (Glee), Jenna Ushkowitz (Glee) and Beverly D'Angelo (who appeared in the 1979 film version of Hair).

2) Girls Like Us
August 1 - 3 at Davenport's Piano Bar in Chicago
Inspired by the book, Girls Like Us, Laura Freeman, Beckie Menzie and Marianne Murphy Orland celebrate the ground-breaking music of Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell.  They blend their unique performing styles into a delightful evening dedicated to showcasing the music and stories of three singers who dared to break tradition and become what none had been before them – female confessors in song, rock superstars, and adventurers of heart and soul. And all done to fresh new arrangements of those classic tunes including "Big Yellow Taxi", "That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be" and some of the hits from Tapestry.

3) OUTspoken! LGBTQ Stories
August 5 at Sidetrack in Chicago
Curated by David Fink, this free monthly event (the first Tuesday of every month) features first hand stories from Chicago's vibrant LGBTQ community. Storytellers for the inaugural edition include Jim Bennett, Tracy Baim, Patrick Gill, Katie Prout, Kareem Khubchandani and Kim Hunt.

4) Tom Goss' Midwest Love Tour
August 8 - 13
This über-talented gay singer-songwriter is returning to the Midwest for four concerts in Minneapolis, Madison, Chicago and Cleveland.

5) Northalsted Market Days
August 9 & 10 in Chicago
This year's line-up for the largest two-day street fair in the Midwest includes Belinda Carlisle, Steve Grand, Neon Trees, Karmin, Aaron Carter, Deborah Cox, Charice, Whiskey & Cherries and The Handcuffs.

6) Some Men
August 14 - September 13 at Rivendell Theatre in Chicago
Pride Films and Plays presents the Chicago premiere of Terrence McNally’s Some Men, which portrays a kaleidoscope of gay characters set within some of the events that bent the arc of gay history in America. Scenes are set in 1969 during Stonewall, in St. Vincent’s at the height of AIDS, and on a beach in the Hamptons in the 1920s and again 70 years later. The play begins and ends with a contemporary gay wedding, relating interconnecting stories of generations of gay men in New York City. David Zak and Derek Van Barham co-direct, and the cast includes Patrick Rybarczyk, Nelson Rodriguez, David Besky, Sam Button-Harrison, Tom Chiola, Edward Fraim, Jude Hansen, Ben Burke, Jeremy Sonkin and Robert Ayres.

7) Andrew Rannells in Hedwig and the Angry Inch
August 20 - October 12 at Broadway's Belasco Theatre
Tony Award nominee Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon, Girls, The New Normal) stars as Hedwig in John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's Tony Award-winning musical.

8) Stephen Wallem in A Burly Night Music
August 25 at NYC's Birdland
Best known as Thor Lundgren on the Showtime series, Nurse Jackie, Wallem takes the stage in this musical and anecdotal retrospective of a very high voice trapped in a very large body. With direction by Tony-nominee John Tartaglia and musical direction by Beckie Menzie, the concert features songs from Wallem’s big and/or “simple” guy roles including Shrek in Shrek the Musical, Hazel in Pipe Dream, and Horton the Elephant in Seussical, as well as songs from Hairspray, Elf, Anna Nicole the Opera, The Land Before Time and The Addams Family, all celebrating the big-boned beauty of Broadway and Hollywood.

9) You Can't Take It With You
Broadway previews begin August 26 at the Longacre Theatre. Opening night is September 28.
This revival of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman's Pulitzer Prize-winning play is led by the legendary James Earl Jones, and features a cast of 20, including Golden Globe nominee Rose Byrne (Neighbors, Bridesmaids), Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Tony Award nominee Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots, Masters of Sex) and Tony Award winner Elizabeth Ashley. Long before Modern Family, there was the Sycamore family - and beginning August 26, you can join this madcap clan as they live, love and laugh in an evening sure to end up with fireworks. Don't let them light the fuse without you!

10) It's Only a Play
Broadway previews begin August 28. Opens October 9 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.
Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane lead an all-star cast featuring F. Murray Abraham, Stockard Channing, Megan Mullally, Rupert Grint and Micah Stock in the Broadway comedy about the comedy of Broadway. Written by four-time Tony winner Terrence McNally and directed by three-time Tony winner Jack O'Brien, this is a celebration of theatre at its best – and theatre people behaving their not-so-best.

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