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This article shared 2109 times since Wed Sep 17, 2014
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FWD event to feature Tony winner Mueller

Eight veteran actors, directors, writers, choreographers and producers have created FWD ( "Festival of Works in Development" ) Theatre Project, a grassroots initiative for the discovery, development and delivery of original musical theater to the Chicago community.

Artistic Director Amber Makalong, along with collective artistic associates Justin Brill, Wade Elkins, Michael Gillis, Karen Multer, Steve Multer, Missy Greenburg and Scott Sowinski, have announced "LaunchingFWD!," a one-night-only concert event at City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St., on Monday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m.

The LaunchingFWD! concert will introduce this new initiative and showcase selections from five new musicals in development. Chicago native Jessie Mueller ( 2014 Tony-winning best actress for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical ) will make her first hometown appearance since winning the Tony earlier this year.

She will be joined by her sister, Abby Mueller ( currently on Broadway with Kinky Boots ) and Karen Mason ( Broadway: Mama Mia, Sunset Boulevard, Outer Critics Circle Award-winner for And the World Goes Round ), among others.

Tickets are $20-$100; call 312-733-9463 or visit .

Jeff Award nods announced

Veteran Chicago actress Jane Lynch announced the nominees for the 2013-2014 Equity Jeff Awards.

Four world premiere plays and two new adaptations seen first by Chicago audiences were among those receiving Jeff nominations by the Jeff Awards Committee. There are 179 nominations in 35 categories for Chicago Equity theatrical productions that opened between Aug. 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014.

Among the many productions receiving nominations are Hedda Gabler ( Writers Theatre ), Brigadoon ( Goodman Theatre ), Next to Normal ( Drury Lane Productions ) and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying ( Porchlight Music Theatre ).

Actors, actresses and directors receiving nods include Larry Yando ( actor, The Dance of Death ), Mary Beth Fisher ( actress, Luna Gale ), Quentin Earl Darrington ( actor, Les Misérables ), Sharriese Hamilton ( actress, Ain't Misbehavin' ) and Gary Griffin ( director, Road Show ), among many others.

Goodman Theatre received the most nonimations, with 23. Drury Lane Productions received 21 and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre go 14.

The ceremony will take place Monday, Oct. 13, at Drury Lane Oakbrook, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace.

Raven gets $100K gift

Raven Theatre is the recipient of a $100,000 gift from a single donor, Executive Director Kelli Strickland announced.

It's the largest gift the company has received for general operations. The donor chooses to remain anonymous.

Raven Theatre has operated continuously since its founding in 1983 by Michael Menendian and JoAnn Montemurro. Raven launched its 32nd season with a production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons.

Matthew Shepard play running Oct. 9-12

Non-profit theatre company Trust Theatre Ensemble will premiere its stage adaptation of October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard at Theatre Wit Oct. 9-12 at 7:30 p.m.

Written by Lesléa Newman—who was the keynote speaker for Gay Awareness Week at the University of Wyoming in 1998, the year Matthew Shepard was killed—October Mourning is an exploration of this hate crime told in the voices of the silent witnesses to the crime, including the fence Matt was tied to, the truck in which he was kidnapped and a deer that kept him company during the night.

Copies of October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard will be available for purchase at all performances. Following the Oct. 10 performance, there will be a talkback and book-signing featuring Newman.

For more information, email or visit .

Renée Fleming and Mark Strand in Chicago Oct. 7

On Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m., soprano Renée Fleming and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Strand will be at the Poetry Foundation, 61 W. Superior St., regarding which is more expressive: music or poetry.

This special event is presented in collaboration with Lyric Unlimited, inspired by Lyric Opera of Chicago's upcoming production of Capriccio ( performances Oct. 6-28 ).

Seating is first-come, first-served. In addition, the foundation will be giving away a limited number of guaranteed seats for this event. Interested persons should find the foundation on Twitter @PoetryFound for a chance to win beginning Sept. 22. ( Look for #LyricPoetryTix. )

'Tales of a Stage 4 Cancer' Sept.-Oct.

Following her show Are You There, Judy? It's Me, Cancer, Judy Fabjance is putting on Tales of a Stage 4 Cancer Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through Oct. 18 at Donny's Skybox Theater, 1608 N. Wells St.

Since "Are You There," Fabjance got married and wrote a new show—and the cancer has returned. This new show, also staring Fabjance's new wife Kelly Beeman, explores Western medicine, marriage and acting, among other things.

Tickets are $8-$15; visit, call 312-337-3992 or stop by the box office.

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Gay News

THEATER Red Orchid's 'The Moors' running through Feb. 27 2022-01-15
- A Red Orchid Theatre is running Jen Silverman's The Moors, directed by Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Kirsten Fitzgerald, through Feb. 27 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. The plot is as follows: ...

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THEATER About Face announces cast of queer-themed 'Laced' 2022-01-14
- About Face Theatre begins its 27th season with the world premiere of Samantha Mueller's drama Laced, running March 17-April 16 at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Set in the aftermath of the vandalism of ...

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Black Ensemble Theatre announces 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings 2022-01-14
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL—Black Ensemble Theater's Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announces its 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings. The 2022 Season includes four World Premiere musicals showcasing the power ...

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THEATER DuSable, puppet company to run Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye' 2022-01-13
- The DuSable Museum of African American History is partnering with the 4th Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival to present a production of The Bluest Eye, based on Toni Morrison's 1970 groundbreaking coming-of-age novel. The production will ...

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THEATER 'This Is Only a Test' Feb. 11-March 12 2022-01-12
- Broken Nose Theatre, a pay-what-you-can theater company, is welcoming back live audiences this winter with the world premiere of Eric Reyes Loo's drama This Is Only a Test, directed by Toma Tavares Langston. The production will ...

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THEATER Queer-themed 'Queen of the Night' to run Jan. 29-March 13 2022-01-11
- Victory Gardens Theater is slated to open its 2021-22 Mainstage Season with Queen of the Night, written by travis tate and directed by Victory Gardens Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin. Queen of the Night features Terry Guest ...

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THEATER 'Mary Rose' running through Feb. 12 2022-01-10
- Black Button Eyes (BBE) Productions is concluding its 2021-22 season with the world-premiere musical Mary Rose, featuring book and lyrics by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by Jeff Bouthiette, direction by Ed Rutherford ...

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THEATER 'Queens of Infinite Space' canceled because of COVID 2022-01-07
- With the increase in COVID-19 cases in Chicago and beyond, Proboscis Theatre has decided to cancel the performances of The Queens of Infinite Space set to run at Epiphany Center for Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave., ...

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THEATER Steppenwolf delays '1919' premiere due to COVID 2022-01-07
- Due to the COVID-19 surge driven by the Omicron variant, and out of an abundance of caution for public health, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has postponed its Steppenwolf for Young Adults world-premiere adaptation of Eve L. Ewing's ...

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Mercury Theater Chicago announces casting and artists for 'Women of Soul' 2022-01-06
--From a press release - Chicago —Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter, Managing Director Shane Murray-Corcoran, and Executive Producers Walter Stearns and Eugene Dizonannounce the cast and creative team for the next Mainstage production of the ...

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THEATER Trans performer Sis is doin' fine in 'Oklahoma!' 2022-01-05
- This isn't your typical grandma's Oklahoma! The very first musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein opened on Broadway in 1943 and continues to captivate audiences today. The dialogue remains the same, but updated casting choices have ...

Gay News

COVID Raven Theatre cancels production of 'Beautiful Thing' 2022-01-05
- Raven Theatre announced it will cancel its upcoming production of Beautiful Thing due to the current surge of the COVID Omicron variant. The production, written by Jonathan Harvey and directed by Mikael Burke, was slated to ...

Gay News

ATTRACTIONS 'Dr. Seuss' extended through Jan. 23 2022-01-05
- The Dr. Seuss Experience—the immersive spectacle that gives guests of all ages the opportunity to journey through nine different Dr. Seuss books—will now take place on Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Jan. 23. The attraction is ...

Gay News

THEATER 'Winnie the Pooh' running March 15-June 12 2022-01-05
- After its run in New York City, Jonathan Rockefeller's Disney's Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation will arrive in Chicago on March 15 and will run through June 12 at the Mercury Theatre Chicago, ...

Gay News

Theatre Above the Law to run 'Chernobyl' on Feb. 3-27 2022-01-04
- Theatre Above the Law, a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, will stage its world premiere of Ghosts of Chernobyl on Feb. 3-27 at 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. The production was originally slated to run ...


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