Broadway In Chicago and Water Tower Place have announced the addition of a new venue, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut Street to its family of theatres. Broadway In Chicago has entered into a long-term agreement with General Growth Properties (owner and manager of Water Tower Place) that will allow the theatre, formerly known as the Drury Lane at Water Tower Place, to re-open as the Broadway Playhouse. "This theatre will give Broadway In Chicago the ability to attract those productions that are better suited for a more intimate theatre. We hope to be able to expand the theatrical experiences we offer with this intimate and unique venue in the heart of the Magnificent Mile," James L. Nederlander, President of the Nederlander Organization, announced. The theatre will open in 2010 with initial inaugural productions to include An Evening With Sutton Fosterwith music direction by Michael Rafter, Traces and a newly adapted version of the musical Working, with future programming to be announced as it is confirmed.
"We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Broadway In Chicago to bring world class theatrical productions to the North Michigan Avenue neighborhood," said Tim Haislet, senior vice president of asset management for General Growth Properties. "Water Tower Place is a one-of-a-kind shopping, dining and entertainment destination and the Broadway Playhouse will be a great complement to this total experience."
Tony Award-Winner Sutton Foster gives a rare intimate concert performance that will open the Broadway Playhouse September 23 - 26, 2010 during An Evening With Sutton Foster with music direction by Michael Rafter. Although Sutton has been working on Broadway and national tours since she was 17, she became a Broadway legend when she became an “understudy to the rescue” and took on the lead role of “Millie” in Thoroughly Modern Millie, eventually winning the 2002 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Since then, she has created four original roles in four new Broadway musicals Little Women, The Drowsy Chaperone, Young Frankenstein and Shrek The Musical; a record unsurpassed by any musical theatre actress of her generation. Of the evening, Broadway World.com recently wrote "A stunning performance...Ms. Foster proved she's a major force to be reckoned with, not just on Broadway, but in concert as well." Foster will perform Broadway hits along with songs from her CD Wish (Ghostlight Records), which was co-produced, arranged and music directed by Mr. Rafter.
Traces, beginning October 26, 2010 is the first production in the new Broadway Playhouse that will be a part of the 2010 Broadway In Chicago Series. 7 Fingers, an astonishingly talented French Canadian company that has pioneered a whole new brand of theatrical entertainment, will launch a U.S. tour of Traces beginning with this Chicago engagement. Combining awe-inspiring acrobatic training with infectious urban energy, seven performers deliver dazzling, gravity-defying displays of skill that produce "one of the most creative and inspiring pieces of entertainment I've ever witnessed" (Edinburgh's The Sun ) - balancing on each other's heads, tumbling through hoops and leaping spectacularly up giant poles without using their hands. More than just a display of acrobatic brilliance, the audience is gradually drawn into the performers' real life stories and, by the final, dramatic climax of the show, on the edge of their seats, willing them to pull off the seemingly impossible. "Mesmeric, spontaneous and unpretentious," (London's Metro), this thrill-a-minute show will leave you begging for more.
Stephen Schwartz , celebrated composer and lyricist of Wicked, Godspell & Pippin, created a musical version of Studs Terkel's Working. Now a newly imagined version with additional material by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony-Award winning creator of In The Heights and music by Grammy-Award winner James Taylor, Micki Grant, Craig Carnelia, Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead, Working will follow in the Broadway Playhouse in the Spring of 2011. This funny, vital and deeply moving musical based on the highly acclaimed book by beloved Chicagoan and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel. Working is taken directly from Terkel's first-hand interviews that take an unabashed look at 26 everyday men and women and their lives, hopes and dreams. A working man's A Chorus Line and the perfect musical for anyone who has worked a day in their life. Additional details on the engagement will be announced at a later date.
This will not be Broadway In Chicago 's first experience in this venue, as they previously presented the year-and-a-half run of The 25 th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, as well as Shout and Xanadu. When the Broadway Playhouse opens, the 550 seat theatre will have gone through a make-over that will give the theatre a fresh new look.
"We look forward to enhancing the theater-going experience for residents and tourists in the area," said Lou Raizin, President of Broadway In Chicago. "The Broadway Playhouse is the perfect complement to the theatres that we own, program or operate including the Bank of America Theatre, the Cadillac Palace Theatre, the Ford Center for the Performing Arts/Oriental Theatre and the Auditorium Theatre. The Broadway Playhouse will allow us to attract shows that might not have previously come to Chicago and perhaps will give us the ability to encourage commercial transfers of successful productions from theatrical companies across Chicago."
Tickets for Traces are now on sale as part of the Broadway In Chicago Season Series package. Tickets for groups of 15 or more are also currently available by calling 312-977-1710. Individual tickets for TRACES and further details about An Evening With Sutton Foster and Workingwill be available at a later date to be announced.