Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER Out producer Bill Damaschke debuts 'Moulin Rouge' in Chicago
by Jerry Nunn
2022-03-22

This article shared 1431 times since Tue Mar 22, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Moulin Rouge! The Musical is kicking off its North American tour in the Windy City, with an eight-week run at the James M. Nederlander Theatre.

This 10-time Tony Award winner plans to immerse Chicago audiences into a world of music and spectacle. Based on Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film, Moulin Rouge is the story of Christian, a talented composer, who falls in love with a cabaret actress named Satine. Expect familiar tunes and plenty of hijinks to happen in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France.

Out producer Bill Damaschke brings a background of live theatrical musicals to the table after overseeing Shrek the Musical and The Prom in the past. He spent over 20 years at DreamWorks Animation as a chief creative officer so has a keen eye for entertainment that matches well with this jaw-dropping visual feast that will surely leave a lasting impression with ticket holders.

Damaschke spoke exclusively with Windy City Times at a press conference during the development of the show.

Windy City Times: Where did you grow up?

Bill Damascke: I was born at 59th and Pulaski, then my family moved to Summit, which is near Justice, Illinois, in the suburbs when I was in seventh grade. I went to Argo Community High School. I went to Illinois Wesleyan University for college.

WCT: You moved to New York to pursue acting?

BD: Yes, I moved to New York as an actor, but I always wanted to be a producer or a director.

I then moved to LA and got a job working at Disney as a producer. DreamWorks was a new thing at the time and I got a job there working in the animation division. I worked my way up in the team until I was the chief creative officer. We made some great movies there like Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon. That led me to Shrek the Musical, [which] I produced on Broadway and on tour.

I left DreamWorks after 20 years and then moved back to New York in 2015 to focus on theater. I worked on The Prom, which is also coming here soon. The Prom and Moulin Rouge are two projects that I have spent a lot of time on in these last six years.

WCT: You can't run from a musical because, apparently, they will track you down.

BD: They will always find me! [laughs]

WCT: What are your duties as an executive producer?

BD: Well, I have a producing partner named Carmen Pavlovic, who is from Australia. I was initially in New York as was the director Alex Timbers. We have been producing Moulin Rouge for a very long time and I brought the team together.

Sonya Tayeh is doing the choreography, John Logan the book and Justin Levine is working on the orchestrations. I develop the material and have workshops with all of these people. I bring on the design team as well as the creative team.

WCT: Is there content in Moulin Rouge! The Musical for LGBTQ audiences?

BD: The whole idea of Moulin Rouge is that everyone is welcome. It is important to us in how we conduct ourselves onstage and backstage. There is no plot specifically about that, but audiences will see Harold Zidler have an affair with another character that is male-identifying.

The four Lady Ms open the club at the start of the show and one of them is a man dressed as a woman. There is a gender question about that later.

That is what these clubs were like in Paris. It was where the rich people and the bohemians went and would mingle. There were performers that were not just diverse with gender, but also racially diverse. It is represented on our current stage, just like it was back then.

WCT: How are the songs different than the movie soundtrack?

BD: It was Baz Luhrmann's film and he gave us incredible permission to do what we wanted to do. His advice was to make it our own and not just put another movie onstage. It wouldn't be successful because the tools of the theater are very different than movies.

When he made the movie 20 years ago it was the music of the moment. He wanted the musical version to have the feel of today. The idea of the film is that Christian wrote all of the greatest love songs of all time, within that canon you can go from Cab Calloway to Katy Perry and Beyonce. There is a huge range there.

I think the audience will get all of the stuff that they love from the movie and much more that is new to the show.

WCT: Is the "Because We Can" number spectacular?

BD: Yes, it is amazing and part of the opening of the show. It is really thrilling!

WCT: What are your thoughts on straight man James Corden playing the gay role in The Prom?

BD: I grew up in a time, as a gay actor, when I fought and wanted to be known for roles that were straight roles. I may have an old-fashioned view of it, but I find it challenging to be in a world where gay people can only play gay roles. I understand that only a few gay roles come along though.

I think people missed the point of The Prom where we had two out lesbians playing the main characters. It is a story about two girls that have a positive relationship in the end. It has never been done before and yet people were disappointed that we didn't have a gay man playing that role.

It is a very complicated question, but I was happy we had two out actresses playing those roles with that ending. That is what is lasting about that movie.

WCT: What are you working on next?

BD: I am developing a movie with Netflix animation and a few theater projects. Moulin Rouge is really keeping me busy these days!

Moulin Rouge! The Musical hits the high notes March 19 through May 14 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. Buy tickets while you "can, can, can" at BroadwayInChicago.com .


This article shared 1431 times since Tue Mar 22, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Ricky Martin at center of $3M lawsuit
2022-06-30
Superstar singer/actor Ricky Martin has been sued by his former talent manager, Rebecca Drucker, Deadline reported. Drucker was Martin's manager during 2014-18 and 2020-22. The complaint, filed June 29 in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks in ...


Gay News

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years
2022-06-30
On June 29, Chicago-born R&B superstar R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, The Chicago Tribune reported. The sentence marked a fall from grace after decades of sexual-misconduct ...


Gay News

MUSIC 'All Day I Dream' festival Aug. 6 in Chicago
2022-06-29
All Day I Dream of Chicago Shimmer—part of the global touring festival All Day I Dream (ADID)—will take place on 31st Street Beach on Saturday, Aug. 6. After 10 years of producing hundreds of iconic day ...


Gay News

MUSIC Taylor Bennett announces free July 22 show at Lincoln Hall
2022-06-29
Chicago rapper Taylor Bennett—whose year has included teaming with Champion Athletics for a clothing line and tour; dropping his new project, Coming of Age; and much more—announced his free homecoming show on Friday, July 22, at ...


Gay News

THEATER Theo Ubique hosting production about Elizabeth Taylor
2022-06-29
Evanston's Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard St., will run Call Me Elizabeth—an acclaimed one-woman show about the early life of Elizabeth Taylor—on Aug. 20 (at 7:30 p.m.) and 21 (at 2:30 p.m.) only. The production ...


Gay News

Production based on Larry Kramer speech at Center on July 22-31
2022-06-28
Open Space Arts announced its inaugural production of The Kramer Project, directed and adapted by David Zak from activist Larry Kramer's watershed speech "The Tragedy of Today's Gays." This will be the first production for Open ...


Gay News

Pride in the Park pumps up the volume in 2022
2022-06-27
From East Monroe Street to East Jackson Drive, Pride in the Park covered just the right amount of territory in the Grant Park area in downtown Chicago on June 25 and 26. Butler Field was overrun ...


Gay News

Back Lot Bash attendees party during Pride weekend in Chicago
2022-06-27
The inclusive music fest known as the Back Lot Bash took place June 25-26 at 5238 N. Clark St., in Andersonville. Back Lot Bash started in 2004 in response to the lack of women's events and the limited presence of ...


Gay News

WORLD Japanese ruling, Pride events, Colombia election, Boris Johnson
2022-06-26
A Japanese court ruled that the country's ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the constitution, and rejected demands for compensation by three couples who said their right to free union and equality has been violated, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elliot Page, NPH, Madonna, Chita Rivera, Jennifer Lopez
2022-06-26
Elliot Page talked with talk-show host Seth Meyers about how her Netflix show The Umbrella Academy incorporated the actor's own personal transition into season three of the series, Deadline noted. "With Steve Blackman, the showrunner of ...


Gay News

Lynda Carter releases new single, 'Human and Divine'
2022-06-23
Many people are familiar with actress Gal Gadot as superhero Wonder Woman. However, decades before, Lynda Carter wore the bracelets and wielded the golden lasso as the Amazon princess who set many hearts (of men and ...


Gay News

Back Lot Bash taking place June 25-26
2022-06-22
The inclusive music fest known as the Back Lot Bash will take place June 25-26 at 5238 N. Clark St., in Andersonville. Back Lot Bash started in 2004 in response to the lack of women's events and the limited presence of ...


Gay News

The Andersonville Village Market returns for summer 2022
2022-06-21
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (June 21, 2022) The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to welcome back its 2nd annual Andersonville Vintage Market, featuring antiques, home décor, jewelry, accessories, clothing, music and ...


Gay News

Writers Theatre's 2022-23 season to include 'Tiger Style!,' 'Once' and other productions
2022-06-21
-- From a press release - Glencoe, IL—Writers Theatre Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma and Interim Artistic Director Bobby Kennedy announce the company's 2022/23 four-play season, to include Mike Lew's Tiger Style!, directed by Brian Balcom; ...


Gay News

Chicago Philharmonic launches 2022-23 season
2022-06-21
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, IL - (June 20, 2022) Chicago Philharmonic has announced its 2022-23 symphonic season on the heels of a 2021-22 season that ended with the sold-out Chicago Premiere of Marvel Studios' Black Panther in Concert. The ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.