Theater Opening: MARY ROSE (Black Button Eyes in Chicago)

Post image for Theater Opening: MARY ROSE (Black Button Eyes in Chicago)

by Tony Frankel on January 10, 2022

in Theater-Chicago


Black Button Eyes Productions concludes its 2021-22 season with Mary Rose, a world premiere musical adapted from the same-titled play by J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan) that spins the tale of a haunted young woman named Mary Rose, and the mysterious supernatural connection between her, a manor house in Sussex, and a misty island in the Scottish Highlands. Alfred Hitchcock had a lifelong obsession with the haunting and achingly strange 1920 play, even going so far as to commission a screenplay in the 1960s. Barrie’s enthrallment with make-believe and aging is evident in the female protagonists of many of his plays (the one-acts Rosalind [1912] and The Old Lady Shows Her Medals [1917) come to mind], yet in Mary Rose we find his trademark examination of those who can’t bear to extinguish their illusory selves, lest the vulnerabilities of existence become too much to tolerate.

Stephanie Stockstill
Rosalind Hurwitz, Stephanie Stockstill, Michael Reyes, Kevin Webb, Maiko Terazawa, Quinn Corrigan

With book and lyrics by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by Jeff Bouthiette, music direction by Nick Sula and choreography by Derek Van Barham, the eerie musical faerie tale will play January 7 – February 12, 2022 at The Edge Theater (mainstage), 5451 N. Broadway Ave. in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at Mary Rose Musical.

Stephanie Stockstill and Maxel Schingen

About the Artists:

Ed Rutherford’s (Book & Lyrics, Director) directing credits for Black Button Eyes include Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (Jeff Recommended), Whisper House, Ghost Quartet (Jeff Nomination: Best Director of a Musical), Evil Dead the Musical (Jeff Nomination: Best Director of a Musical), his script Nightmares & Nightcaps: The Stories of John Collier, Nevermore, Shockheaded Peter, Amour, Goblin Market, and Coraline. He is an artistic associate with Promethean Theatre Ensemble, where he directed The Liar, his own adaptation of Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle and the company’s inaugural production, Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy. Directing with Brown Paper Box Co: The Baltimore Waltz. As an actor, he’s performed with Drury Lane Oakbrook, Porchlight, Theater Wit and many others. A graduate of Northwestern’s theater program, he also completed his MBA at Kellogg.

Stephanie Stockstill and Kevin Webb

Jeff Bouthiette (Music & Lyrics) is a Chicago-based director, songwriter and performer, and currently serves as musical director for the Second City Mainstage. Jeff was also Head of the Music Program at the Second City Training Center for a decade. Jeff’s original musicals include Picture It! (MCL Chicago), Planted: A Song Cycle (Chicago Music Theatre Festival) and Miami Nice (Gorilla Tango). Previously with Black Button Eyes, Jeff has served as both actor (Mr. Bobo, Coraline) and musical director (Goblin Market).

Stephanie Stockstill and Maxel Schingen
Michael Reyes, Rosalind Hurwitz, Maiko Terazawa, Maxel Schingen

Nick Sula (Music Director) is a pianist, arranger and award-winning music director for theater and cabaret. He is proud to return to Black Button Eyes Productions, where he was music director for Coraline, AmourNevermore and Jeff-nominated as music director for Ghost Quartet. Other music direction credits include productions with Porchlight Music Theatre, BoHo Theatre Ensemble, Pride Films and Plays, Chicago Theatre Workshop and Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. Nick performs with vocalists at venues such as Davenport’s Piano Bar, Petterino’s, Drew’s on Halsted, Victory Gardens and the Park West. He is an instructor, music director and vocal coach at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Quinn Corrigan, Maiko Terazawa, Rosalind Hurwitz, Maxel Schingen, Michael Reyes

Derek Van Barham (Choreographer) is the Producing Artistic Director of Kokandy Productions, and a member of the Red Tape Theatre ensemble. Recent directing credits: Head Over Heels (Kokandy), The View Upstairs (Circle), Poseidon (Hell in a Handbag) and Taylor Mac’s A Walk Across America for Mother Earth (CCPA/Roosevelt). Black Button credits include Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along BlogGhost Quartet, Evil Dead The Musical (Jeff nomination), Coraline the Musical, Goblin Market, Amour, Nevermore and Shockheaded Peter. He has also choreographed for The Plagiarists, Inappropriate Theatre, The Ruckus, Brain Surgeon Theatre and Salonathon. He was named one of Windy City Times 30 Under 30, recognizing individuals from Chicago’s LGBTQ community.

Rosalind Hurwitz, Michael Reyes, Kevin Webb, Quinn Corrigan, Maiko Terazawa

About Black Button Eyes Productions

The 2021-22 season continues Black Button Eyes Productions’ mission to bring to Chicago premieres and seldom-seen works containing elements of fantasy, in which the magical and surreal invade reality. The company was founded in 2014 with the acclaimed Midwest premiere of the musical Coraline, followed by Goblin Market, Amour, Shockheaded Peter, Nevermore-The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe, the world premiere Nightmares and Nightcaps: The Stories of John Collier, the smash hit Chicago Storefront Premiere of Evil Dead the Musical, the Chicago premieres of the musicals Ghost Quartet and Whisper House, and most recently, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

Stephanie Stockstill
Rosalind Hurwitz and Kevin Webb

photos by Liz Lauren

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