Recommended Theater: GAY CARD (Chicago Premiere at Pride Arts Center)

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by Lamont Williams on August 22, 2023

in Theater-Chicago

Gay Card is the hilariously heartwarming story of Logan Kapler, a one-friend loser who has never belonged. But now he’s starting college with a trick up his sleeve: he’s gay. Gay people are awesome; therefore, he will be awesome. Except his new college housemates don’t agree. They revoke his “gay card” and deem him not-awesome-enough-to-be-gay instead. Determined to prove them wrong, Logan embarks on a quest to earn his gay card. But when his dream life leaves him lonelier than ever, he must learn that there are some insecurities you never grow out of — before he loses the only two people who truly love him.

With a score by NYU Tisch graduates Ryan Korell (music) and Jonathan Keebler (book/lyrics) — which includes 21 lively songs blending pop, rock, and musical theater styles — has enjoyed successful productions across the United States. This new musical explores the intricacies of young love, emerging sexual orientations, and social media among contemporary college students. A studio album featuring Broadway’s Derek Klena (Anastasia, Jagged Little Pill) has been released at GAY CARD.

Gay Card
Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway in Chicago
August 26 through September 24, 2023
for tickets ($25-$35), visit Pride Arts
$5 discount students & seniors

PrideArts’ artistic director Jay Españo is directing the Chicago Premiere, with Robert Ollis providing musical direction and conducting a five-piece band. The choreographer is Britta Schlicht Leading Españo’s cast as Logan is Ben Ballmer. Logan’s love interest Graham will be played by Freddy Mauricio. Logan’s long-time friend Melanie will be played by Sophie Murk. Rachel Carreras will be Danielle, a snarky diva who loves to party, but hates to let people see beyond her surface. Nathaniel Thomas has been cast as Justin, a boy who becomes involved in different ways with Melanie and Danielle. Joseph Alvey will play Cory, an intensely sexual bisexual guy and Maya Radjenovich will take the role of July, a lesbian who practices new age spirituality. Completing the cast are Michael Idalski, Elijah Warfield, and Adelina Marinello. Understudies are Haven Denson and Kyle Johnson.

Top: Joseph Alvey, Ben Ballmer, Rachel Carreras, Haven DensonMiddle: Michael Idalski, Kyle Johnson, Adelina Marinello, Freddy MauricioBottom: Sophie Murk, Maya Radjenovich, Nathaniel Thomas, Elijah Warfield
The production team for GAY CARD, in addition to Españo, Ollis, and Schlicht, includes Jordan Ratliff (Assistant Director, Assistant Choreographer), Brett Baleskie (Scenic Design, Technical Director), Shawn Quinlan (Costume Design), Kyle Anderson (Lighting Design), Eme Ospina-López (Projections Design), Val Gardner (Sound Deign), Hannah Dains (Properties Design), Garrett McCann (Intimacy Director), MaK Eddins (Lead Electrician), Miriam Campbell (Production Coordinator, Intern), Dakota Allen (Stage Manager), Reagan Stevenson (Assistant Stage Manager), and Kat Tilt (Sound Engineer).

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