CHICAGO ( June 19, 2015 ) — Kokandy Productions is pleased to continue its 2015 season with LOVING REPEATING, a musical tribute to the life and loves of celebrated American author Gertrude Stein. Using Stein's own works as lyrics, LOVING REPEATING is adapted by Frank Galati ( The Grapes of Wrath, The Accidental Tourist ), with music by Stephen Flaherty ( Ragtime, Once on This Island, Seussical ) direction by Co-Artistic Director Allison Hendrix, music direction by Resident Music Director Kory Danielson and choreography by Andrea Louise Soule. LOVING REPEATING will play July 18 — August 30, 2015 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.kokandyproductions.com, by calling ( 773 ) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. The press opening is Monday, July 20 at 7:30 pm.
LOVING REPEATING will feature Caron Buinis as Gertrude Stein, Amanda Giles as Young Gertrude and Emily Goldberg as Alice B. Toklas with an ensemble including Sarah Hayes, Andrew Lund, Jake Morrissy, Maisie Rose, Stephanie Stockstill and George Toles.
LOVING REPEATING is an intimate exploration of Gertrude Stein's legacy, setting her unconventional creative passions against the backdrop of her lifelong relationship with Alice B. Toklas. From her student days in the late 19th century to the height of her artistic era in Paris as one of the 'lost generation,' LOVING REPEATING pays homage to Stein's capricious love affair with language, self-expression and her lifelong romance with Toklas.
Comments Co-Artistic Director Allison Hendrix, "Gertrude Stein's language, inherently musical, reaches new life with Stephen Flaherty's compositions. Loving Repeating is at turns silly, romantic, hilarious, exuberant, still — an enthusiastic celebration of life, love and art."
The production team for LOVING REPEATING includes: Ashley Ann Woods ( scenic design ), Kate Setzer Kamphausen ( costume design ), Cat Wilson ( lighting design ), Jenna Moran ( sound design ), John Buranosky ( props design ), Hannah Friedman ( assistant director ) and Jessica Forella ( stage manager ).
Title: LOVING REPEATING
Lyrics: Gertrude Stein
Adapted by: Frank Galati
Music: Stephen Flaherty
Director: Co-Artistic Director Allison Hendrix
Music Director: Resident Music Director Kory Danielson
Choreographer: Andrea Louise Soule
Cast: Caron Buinis as Gertrude Stein, Amanda Giles as Young Gertrude and Emily Goldberg as Alice B. Toklas with an ensemble including Sarah Hayes, Andrew Lund, Jake Morrissy, Maisie Rose, Stephanie Stockstill and George Toles.
Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago
Dates: Previews: Saturday, July 18 at 7;30 pm and Sunday, July 19 at 7:30 pm
Press performance: Monday, July 20 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Thursday, July 23 — Sunday, August 30, 2015
Curtain Times: Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm & 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets: Previews $25. Regular run $38. Tickets are available at www.kokandyproductions.com, by calling ( 773 ) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office.
New Staged Musical Reading Series — INK
During off nights of LOVING REPEATING, Kokandy will present INK, the second installment of its 2015 New Staged Musical Reading Series. The Series offers budding musical theater writers the opportunity to have their developing work presented by a company of professional actors, allowing the creative team an opportunity to identify areas for story and song development — and audiences the chance to be an integral part of the artistic process with their invaluable feedback.
INK is the story of Samuel Steward, a gay literature professor who came of age in pre- and post-war Chicago. While teaching at Loyola and DePaul Universities, he became close friends with Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, witnessing the evolving and devolving attitudes towards sex and homosexuality in American society. Later, he became an unofficial contributor to Alfred Kinsey's work on male sexuality, a celebrated tattooist ( including a stint as the official tattooist of the Hells Angels ) and an acclaimed literary pornographer.
INK features book, music and lyrics by Russell Coutinho, directed by Hannah Friedman and music direction by Resident Music Director Kory Danielson. INK will play Monday, August 17 and Monday, August 24, 2015 at Theater Wit. Tickets, priced at $12, are available at www.kokandyproductions.com .
About The Creative Team
Frank Galati ( Adapter ) directed the world premiere production of Loving Repeating in 2006 with Chicago's About Face Theatre. A longtime Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member, he won two Tony Awards for his adaptation and direction of Steppenwolf's 1990 production of The Grapes of Wrath on Broadway. He was also received a Tony nomination for his direction of the 1998 musical Ragtime ( also composed by Stephen Flaherty ) and an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay for the 1988 film The Accidental Tourist. Other playwriting credits include Everyman and adaptions include As I Lay Dying and Kafka on the Shore.
Stephen Flaherty ( Music ) is the composer of the Broadway musicals Rocky, Ragtime ( Tony, Drama Desk, OCC Awards, Grammy nominations ), Seussical ( Grammy, Drama Desk nominations ) and Once on This Island ( Tony nomination, Olivier Award, Best Musical ). Additional Broadway credits include Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life ( original songs ) and Neil Simon's Proposals ( incidental music ). His musical, Little Dancer, premiered at The Kennedy Center last year. Flaherty has also written four musicals at Lincoln Center Theatre: The Glorious Ones, Dessa Rose, A Man of No Importance and My Favorite Year. Other theater credits include Lucky Stiff and In Your Arms. Film credits include Anastasia ( Academy Award, Golden Globe nominations ), the documentary After The Storm and the upcoming Lucky Stiff. Flaherty is known for his 30-year collaboration with lyricist-librettist Lynn Ahrens.
Allison Hendrix ( Director ) is the director of Kokandy's New Musical Staged Reading Series, serving as literary coordinator and dramaturg, and will direct next season's Heathers: The Musical. Previous Kokandy credits include Assassins ( Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme ), The Last Five Years ( Cathy — Jeff Nomination, Principal Actress in a Musical ), and The Great American Trailer Park Musical ( Music Direction ). She has also worked with companies including The Hypocrites ( Into the Woods - Baker's Wife ), Piven Theatre Workshop ( Cities of Light — Music Director ), Boho Theatre ( Floyd Collins — Associate Music Director/Conductor ), Bailiwick ( Zanna, Don't ) - Music Director ), The Ruckus ( director — Thank God for Music Stands Staged Reading Series ), Village Players Theater ( The Full Monty — Music Director ) and Towle Theatre ( Floyd Collins — Music Director and recipient of NIETF Award for Best Vocal Direction ).
About Kokandy Productions
Founded in 2010, Kokandy Productions seeks to leverage the heightened reality of musical theater to tell complex and challenging stories, with a focus on contributing to the development of Chicago-based musical theater artists, and raising the profile of Chicago's non-Equity musical theater community.
The company's artistic staff is comprised of John D. Glover ( Co-Artistic Director ), Allison Hendrix ( Co-Artistic Director ), Scot T. Kokandy ( Executive Producer ), Kory Danielson ( Resident Music Director ) and Jonathan Goldthwaite ( Production Assistant ).
For additional information, visit www.kokandyproductions.com .