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Musical Drama Premiere from Bailiwick Chicago

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Bailiwick Chicago presents the Chicago premiere of the thrilling musical drama Dessa Rose - currently running at the Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater. Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music) who created the musical adaptation of Dessa Rose have won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards and received two Grammy nominations for the Broadway musical Ragtime. In the same year, they garnered two Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for Twentieth Century Fox's animated feature film, Anastasia. Other Broadway credits include: Once On This Island (eight Tony Award nominations, London’s Olivier Award, Best Musical), they were also were nominated for Grammy and Drama Desk awards for Seussical which will be opening at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater this summer (2014)

Dessa Rose is a stirring musical drama based on the noted novel by Sherley Anne Williams. Told as an oral history and related by two women, Ruth and Dessa Rose, this powerful tale of an unlikely friendship takes place in 1847, 14 years before the outbreak of the American Civil War. The musical weaves together fact and fiction through the stories of two legendary women. Ruth Sutton is a white woman abandoned by her husband and living on an isolated farm. Dessa Rose is an escaped slave on the run from a bloody slave rebellion with a newborn infant to protect they seek refuge with Ruth. Their dangerous journey to freedom and self-realization makes for a musical that is by turns comic, tragic, uplifting and inspiring.

Directed by Artistic Director Lili-Anne Brown with music direction by Collective Member James Morehead. Leading the cast of Dessa Rose are Sydney Charles as Dessa Rose and Collective Member Harmony France as Ruth with special guest artist Jayson “JC” Brooks as Nathan. The production also features Brigitte Ditmars, Gilbert Domally, Jasondra Johnson, Jaymes Osbourne, Steven Perkins, Pavi Proczko, David Schlumpf, Sasha Smith and Eunice Woods.

Dessa Rose plays March 6 – April 5, 2014 at the Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm

Tickets: $40 ($30 groups of 10 or more. Tickets are available at, by calling (773) 871-3000 or in-person at the Victory Gardens Box Office.