If you’re looking for something different to do for the Fourth of July weekend you only have a few more chances to catch this intergalactic musical Jim and Dave (‘s Blood Meets Jupiter) running at the Raven Theatre through July 6, 2014. Jim and Dave are longtime beer-drinking buddies who spend their evenings hanging out at a local bar until they meet some ‘out of towners.’ In this fun production inept aliens, who need to prove their worth to the intergalactic council by bringing high-ranking humans to save the universe but they wind up with Jim and Dave instead. The show travels through the galaxy encountering several species of aliens of every shape, size and personality. The production does a lot with the small theatre space through lighting, costumes, puppets and great Star Trek style spaceship tumbling. Audiences will enjoy the fun, the upbeat music, and all of the cosmic visual effects that go along with a show that is set in outer space.
An outer space musical is a huge undertaking produced independently by authors Steve Clark, Kalena Victoria Dickerson, and Ed Plough in collaboration with Project 891 Theatre Company. This writng team has been creating musicals together for eight years and Director Michael Rashid helped workshop the original Jim and Dave script years ago and now the whole group has come together the Raven Theatre for a full production. “To say Jim and Dave is “one-of-a-kind” is an understatement of cosmic proportions,” says Director Michael Rashid, “I can’t honestly think of another folk-rock outer- space buddy- comedy sci-fi musical.”
The shows creators include Chicago playwright Kalena Victoria Dickersen whose work has been performed at Goodman Theatre and Prop Theatre, produced by Breadline Theatre Group, Tantalus Theatre Group, and Chemically Inbalanced Comedy, commissioned by Raven Theatre, and workshopped by the Women’s Theatre Alliance of Chicago. Kalena has worked on a number of projects with both of her current collaborators including Steve Clark is a self-taught songwriter and composer whose songs have been performed with Scrap Mettle S.O.U.L. and Tantalus Theatre Group. For the past three years, his acoustic song cycle The Haunting of Old Ebenezer has played throughout Chicago. Edward Plough has recently published his scholarship on musical theatre adaptations of Shakespeare and is an active musician and theatre artist, Plough has co-composed four original full-length musicals with his longtime collaborators and close friends, Stephen Clark and Kalena Victoria Dickerson.
Director Rashid says of the plays creative team, “With Jim and Dave (‘s Blood Meets Jupiter) Kalena, Steve and Ed have given us their most purely joyful, and most accessible, work yet…an audience leaves not just with a smile on its face, but with a wonderful message of true friendship; of what it means to live with joy on this world, and in all the worlds beyond.”
Jim and Dave (‘s Blood Meets Jupiter) is a tremendous undertaking for the small, itinerant Project 891 Theatre Company. “It’s our first production of an original work and our first musical.” stated Artistic Director Ron Popp. “We try to focus on newer and lesser known theatrical pieces and as such, this project fits perfectly within our mission statement.” There is also a three piece band playing for the show, another incredible feat for this small company and space. The musicians include – Roy Freeman (piano), Christian Perez (drums) and Michael Evans (guitar)
Jim and Dave(’s Blood Meets Jupiter) features Chicago actors Pete Navis, Joe Lugosch, Conor Clark, Amy Gray, Gabriel Fries, Mike Mazzocca, Jorge Jose Bolanos, James Stanton, Hillary Gokenbach, Kathleen Dennis, Kalina Kitten McCreery and Gracia Gillund.
Performances for Jim and Dave (‘s Blood Meets Jupiter) runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:30 p.m. at the Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark Street in Chicago. For Tickets: 773-338-2177 or visit raventheatre.com. To learn more about Project 891 Theatre Company, please visit www.project891theatre.com. So be sure to get your ticket for the last spaceship takes off on July 6.