Stages 2006 | Festival | Chicago Reader

Stages 2006 

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Theatre Building Chicago hosts its 13th annual showcase of new musicals, offered here in concert readings (with the actors at music stands) and one fully staged production (see listing for Fairystories). The weekend-long festival gives audiences and aspiring writers a chance to discuss the art, craft, and commerce of musical theater as they rub elbows between shows. Stages 2006 runs Friday 8/11 through Sunday 8/13 in the north and south theaters of Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont. Individual shows are $15; a Stages Pass to all Saturday and Sunday shows costs $85; other prices are listed below. For reservations and information, call 773-327-5252 or log on to or


Half the Sky

"A contemporary musical odyssey" inspired by the true stories of women around the world, conceived by Donna Trinkoff and written by Marsha Lee Sheiness, Luis Santeiro, June Siegel, Greer Woodward, and Rick Cummins. a South theater, 7:30 PM, $75 (includes 6 PM preshow reception).


Sugar Dumpling

Cheryl L. Davis and C. Colby Sachs's musical is set in the waning days of the Civil War. a North theater, 9 AM.


Charles Strouse (composer of Annie, Applause, and Bye Bye Birdie) penned the book, music, and lyrics for his latest effort, about a young man torn between a career in law and a life as an artist. a South theater, 9 AM.

Main-Travelled Roads

Paul Libman and Dave Hudson musicalize the stories of American realist writer Hamlin Garland. a North theater, 12:30 PM.

Half the Sky

See listing for Fri. a South theater, 12:30 PM.

The Nervous Set

The beats are back in this homage to 1950s New York, written by Jay Landesman and Tim and Lorraine Treanor, with music by Tommy Wolf and Simon Wallace and lyrics by Fran Landesman. a North theater, 3:30 PM.

The Cotton Club

Prohibition's most famous speakeasy, where black artists performed for a whites-only audience, inspired this musical by Arnold Margolin, Weslie Brown, and Jason Kuller. a South theater, 3:30 PM.


The famous Cottingley "fairy" photographs that entranced eminent post-Edwardians (including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) form the background for this musical romance by Paul Graham Brown. This is a preview of a work that will run at Theatre Building Chicago August 18-27. a North theater, 7:30 PM.

Beach Wars

Nan Hoffman, Laurel Haines, and Howard Pfeifer collaborated on this farce about two couples battling over prime Lake Michigan lakefront property. a South theater, 7:30 PM.



See listing for Sat. a North theater, 9 AM.

Beach Wars

See listing for Sat. a South theater, 9 AM.

Producers' Forum

A panel discussion with musical-theater producers, including Bridget McDonough of Evanston's Light Opera Works, Michael Jenkins of Dallas Summer Musicals, Mark Edelman of the Theatre League, Tom Mullen of Blue Dog Entertainment, and Michael Kerker of ASCAP. Gay Chicago Magazine columnist Jeff Rossen moderates. a North theater, 11:45 AM. Free for forum alone, a brunch at 11 AM costs $20; reservations required (Stages Pass not applicable).

Sugar Dumpling

See listing for Sat.a North theater, 1 PM.


See listing for Sat. a South theater, 1 PM.

The Nervous Set

See listing for Sat. a North theater, 3:45 PM.

The Cotton Club

See listing for Sat. a South theater, 3:45 PM.

Main-Travelled Roads

See listing for Sat. a North theater, 6:30 PM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Paul Grigonis.

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