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Friday, January 1, 2016

10 Groovy Things to Do in January starring Jonathan Groff and Jeremy Jordan

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) Ten Dollar House
January 7 - 31 at Piccolo Theatre in Evanston, IL
Pride Films & Plays presents the Chicago premiere of Rick Kinnebrew and Martha Meyer's play featuring Scott Patrick Sawa, Joseph Anderson, Tom Chiola, Jean Marie Koon and Mindy Barber. In this true story of love and historic preservation set in Depression-era Wisconsin, a London-based decorator and a local drifter fall in love as they restore a dilapidated rock cottage. With a “gay marriage” that hides in plain sight, Bob Neal and Edgar Hellum create Pendarvis house, an improbable business venture that transforms an entire town.

2) A Funny Thing Happened: Songs from the Road to Broadway
January 9 - 11 at NYC's 92nd Street Y
In the first offering of 92nd St. Y's Lyrics & Lyricists series, three-time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall reveals the stories behind “Comedy Tonight” (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) and other 11th-hour songs penned out of town, only to become Broadway’s biggest hits. Vocalists include Aaron C. Finley, Ann Harada, Darius de Haas, Greg Hildreth, Elena Shaddow and Betsy Wolfe.

3) Le Switch
January 15 - February 21 at Chicago's Theater Wit
About Face Theatre opens its 20th Anniversary Season with Philip Dawkins' world premiere romantic comedy, Le Switch, in which commitment-shy David is unexpectedly swept off his feet by a young florist in Montreal. In the months that follow, David and his non-traditional family (his sister, grieving activist roommate and best friend) must decide for themselves what it really means to be committed, married and queer. The cast includes Stephen Cone, Collin Quinn Rice, Elizabeth Ledo, Mitchell Fain and La Shawn Banks.

4) Prodigal Son
Off-Broadway previews begin January 19. Opens February 9 at Manhattan Theatre Club's City Center Stage I.
Prodigal Son is a passionate, explosive portrait of a young man on the verge of salvation or destruction, written and directed by John Patrick Shanley (Doubt, Moonstruck). A 17-year-old boy (Timothée Chalamet) from The Bronx finds himself suddenly in a private school in New Hampshire. He’s violent, gifted, alienated, on fire with a ferocious loneliness. Two faculty members (Tony Award winner Robert Sean Leonard and Chris McGarry) wrestle with the dilemma: Is the kid a star or a disaster?

5) John Epperson: An Evening With Lypsinka’s Maid
January 20 - 23 at NYC's 54 Below
John Epperson, better known as “The Goddess of Show Biz” Lypsinka, makes a rare cabaret appearance revealing the face and man behind the maquillage. Epperson, a classically trained pianist, plays and sings a light-hearted set of standards and lesser-known theatre songs while telling anecdotes about some of the famous and infamous he’s encountered along his show biz journey.

6) BroadwayCon
January 22 - 24 at the New York Hilton Midtown
Join fellow fans and your favorite Broadway stars and creators as they come together to perform, discuss, debate and celebrate at the first-ever BroadwayCon, which brings you through the stage door to see and experience what goes on both on stage and behind the scenes. Special guests include Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights), Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening, Hamilton), Judy Kuhn (Fun Home, She Loves Me), Jeremy Jordan (Newsies, Bonnie & Clyde), Anthony Rapp (Rent, If/Then), Alice Ripley (Next to Normal, Side Show), Billy Porter (Kinky Boots, Grease) and Faith Prince (Guys and Dolls, A Catered Affair).

7) Mothers and Sons
January 22 - February 28 at Northlight Theatre in Skokie, IL
Cindy Gold, Ben Miller, Jeff Parker and Ben Sprunger star in Terrence McNally's Tony-nominated play about a woman who lost her son to AIDS 20 years ago. She now pays an unexpected visit her son's former partner, who is now married to another man and has a young child.

8) The Humans
Broadway previews begin January 23. Opens February 18 at the Helen Hayes Theatre.
Directed by Joe Mantello, Stephen Karam's play about one family's Thanksgiving dinner stars Cassie Beck, Reed Birney, Jayne Houdyshell, Lauren Klein, Arian Moayed and Sarah Steele.

9) Bloody Bloody Angela Lansbury: Murder, She Wrote Live!
January 25 at NYC's 54 Below
This crazy murder-packed original musical comedy lets the great Dame Angela Lansbury solve crimes once more as mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher. The show features 2015 Tony nominee Sarah Stiles (Hand to God), Gideon Glick (Significant Other, Devious Maids), Josh Lamon (A New Brain, Finding Neverland), John Treacy Egan (Nice Work If You Can Get It, Sister Act, The Producers) and Kevin Zak (Clinton the Musical, Silence!) as Jessica Fletcher. Sorry, but the real Angela Lansbury will not be appearing at this performance.

10) The Boys in Briefs: At the Beach!
January 26 at Uptown Underground in Chicago
Pride Films & Plays’ new singing quartet, The Boys in Briefs, makes their debut with an upbeat evening of summertime music featuring classics from George Gershwin, Kander and Ebb, the Drifters and the Beach Boys, along with selections from today’s pop favorites. The Boys include Scott Gryder, Donterrio Johnson, Chris Logan and Luke Meierdiercks.

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