The Brown Paper Box Co.
PROUD AT MARY'S: A June Cabaret
an evening of Pride-based stories and songs
Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14, 2014
Mary's Attic in Andersonville
Following our successful run of William Finn's A New Brain, we're thrilled to announce our next cabaret series: PROUD AT MARY'S: A June Cabaret. Ticketing information for this evening of Pride-based stories and songs can be found at www.brownpaperbox.org. Tickets on sale now!
It's Pride month 2014 and The Brown Paper Box Co. is ready to celebrate! PROUD AT MARY'S emphasizes taking pride in our identities and sharing our personal stories during such a monumental month in Illinois—June 1st being the first day every county in the state will recognize same-sex marriages. PROUD AT MARY’S is a mix of pop songs, show tunes, personal monologues, and stories about being gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, questioning, and straight.
"After the successes of our first two cabarets in Wicker Park, we wanted to bring a brand new show to Andersonville," says Brown Paper Box Co. executive director and show coordinator M. William Panek. "Musical Director Justin Harner and I are working with amazingly gracious past Brown Paper Box Co. participants to form a touching and fun evening of personal insight and killer musical numbers."
The set list is comprised of surprise song selections from Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lippa, Carole King, Stephen Schwartz, and more ... as well as original numbers! Tickets for the 7:30 P.M. performances on 6/13 and 6/14 are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Additional information is posted at www.BrownPaperBox.org.
The cast includes Jeanne T. Arrigo (Godspell, The Brown Paper Box Co.; Eastland, Lookingglass Theatre), Johnny Kyle Cook (A New Brain, The Brown Paper Box Co.; Folk Bound, Duplicity Ensemble), Pamela Mae Davis (Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, The Brown Paper Box Co.; Miss Marx, Strawdog Theatre Company), Megan Ensley (Godspell and 2012's Reefer Madness!, The Brown Paper Box Co.), Justin Harner* (A New Brain and Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, The Brown Paper Box Co.; The Voodoo Chalk Circle, The State Theatre), David Lipschutz* (The Birds [currently u/s], Hell in a Handbag; The Glorious Ones, Illinois Theatre Center), M. William Panek* (A New Brain, Godspell, To Tree, The Brown Paper Box Co.), Stephanie Rohr* (Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls and Godspell, The Brown Paper Box Co; La Boheme, OperaUpClose), Anna Schutz* (A New Brain, Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, and Reefer Madness!, The Brown Paper Box Co.; Circle Mirror Transformation, Oil Lamp Theatre), Nick Shoda* ( A New Brain and Godspell, The Brown Paper Box Co.; Pacific Overtures, Porchlight), and Daniel Spagnuolo* (Godspell and A New Brain, The Brown Paper Box Co.; How to Succeed..., Porchlight).
Justin Harner is the evening's pianist and musical director. M. William Panek serves as the evening's host. Original poster design by Charlie Sheets*
*Denotes Brown Paper Box Co. company member.
We are pleased as punch to announce two new additions to The Brown Paper Box Co.: T.J. Anderson and Justin Harner have lent their many talents to several BPBCo. projects, most recently A NEW BRAIN. You can expect many exciting things from them and us to come, so stay tuned! Welcome to the team, guys!
T.J. Anderson is elated to join the Brown Paper Box Co. after serving as music director for A New Brain. Past work with the company includes Godspell and both "Character Breakdown" cabarets. Other Chicago acting credits include As You Like It (The Traveling Players), Paradise Lost (The Agency Theatre Collective) and Romeo vs. Juliet (Pretty/Windy Theatre). Regionally, he has been seen as Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Pirelli in Sweeney Todd. Aside from acting, he has been an avid music director and theater musician in Chicago and Michigan.
Justin Harner began working with the Brown Paper Box Co. in their Summer 2013 production of Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls (Martin). Someone found out that he played piano, and he subsequently played for their Miscast Cabaret at Davenport's and A New Brain (Assistant Musical Director). He holds a BA in Theatre & Drama from Indiana University - Bloomington. Chicago credits: WILD (Kid Brooklyn Productions), All Rise (Walkabout Theater Co.), Mythologies (a theatrical version of David Lehman's poem), and The Playboy Club (NBC).
Full name? Justin Harner
Where you were born/where you were raised? Effingham, Illinois
Your position/role within the A NEW BRAIN family? assistant musical director and Lily Pad Band founding member (Piano 1)
What does that mean/what do you do? I do everything in my (musical) power to make the people onstage look good. They don't really need my help.
In 5 words, how do you describe A NEW BRAIN? Brain surgery can be fun.
How would you describe Bill's writing? Lyrically, it's like he wrote a very detailed, thousand-page book and then crossed out 99% of the words. It leaves an AWESOMELY spare and compelling story. Musically, he's not afraid of breaking away from the standard musical score. He seamlessly dips into funk, disco, & soul. My kind of guy.
Fill in the blanks: _____literary references______ + _____poop jokes______ = a song.
What was your must-see TV show as a kid? I remember getting up early to watch Power Rangers. Who knew that *Bryan Cranston* was voicing some of those villains?!
If you could be best friends with any cartoon character in the real world, who would it be? Muzzy. Je l'adore.
Who would play you in the Lifetime movie of your life? Today I'm feeling Elijah Wood. Mostly for the resemblance of buggy blue eyes and tiny mouths. I've got much better facial hair.
Special hidden talent? Speed reading without comprehension
Something you're REALLY bad at? Insincerity. How do people do that? It just gets tougher and tougher for me to fake enthusiasm.
Favorite Chicago neighborhood? Uptown
Current local show you have been recommending to friends? Paper Machete at the Green Mill on Saturdays. They're blowing up!
Most played song on your iPod? "Feelin' Alright" by Joe Cocker
Pop culture guilty pleasure? Still Celebrity Apprentice
Three things you can't live without? Keys, synth, and voices
"I'll never understand why… your jerk-of-a-brain makes you recall all those embarrassing moments when you're just trying to go to sleep."
Come see and hear Justin in William Finn and James Lapine's A NEW BRAIN February 21 - March 9, 2014 at Rivendell Theatre. Ticketing and performance information can be found at The Brown Paper Box Co.'s site.
Full given name: Justin Harner
Where you were born/where you were raised? Effingham, Illinois
Your role within the Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls family: Martin
How would you describe your character? Martin is like Pinocchio gone wrong. What happens when a dog enters the human world? He's excited and fascinated and has this new body and voice. He can interact with the world, but he can't interact with people. His greatest wish has left him with one foot in the human world and one paw in the dog world. I went there, and I won't take that back.
In 5 words, how do you describe Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls: You'll think about it later.
Something you're REALLY bad at: Faking conversations about sports. "Yeah, I saw the White Sox play at Soldier Field once. It was great." Yes, that was said, by my mouth.
Special hidden talent: I can burp on command.
Current local show you have been recommending to friends: Big Love by Charles Mee at Strawdog
Favorite Chicago neighborhood: Uptown
Favorite play: Thom Pain (a play based on nothing) by Will Eno
Your personal idols: David Bowie, Marina Abramović, Tom Waits, Sam Rockwell
Most played song on your iPod: "Next Year, Baby" by Jamie Cullum
Who would play you in the Lifetime movie about your life: [insert current Disney wunderkind child], when he decides to snag a 'legitimate' role after his latest arrest, not realizing the role demanded that he mostly stare pensively out of windows and avoid eye contact with attractive people on the El.
Must-see TV show(s): American Horror Story, season two (you don't have to watch the first one!). It's everything you want out of Ryan Murphy: completely inconsistent conventions, angels, Satan, and an occasional musical number. Unpredictability at its finest.
Pop culture guilty pleasure: I CANNOT get enough Steely Dan.
Three things you can't live without: Piano, running shoes, and an expensive-looking watch.
"I'll never understand why…": ...anyone would ever wait in a line. Go make your own fun.
Tickets are now on sale for The Brown Paper Box Co.'s upcoming production, ALOHA, SAY THE PRETTY GIRLS, by award-winning playwright Naomi Iizuka. The play will run Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM from May 30-June 16 at the Heartland Studio in Rogers Park (7016 North Glenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626). Tickets can be purchased through www.brownpaperbox.org.
In this quirky comedy, a group of twentysomethings change careers, geographical borders, and even species in a quest to find a place for themselves. ALOHA, SAY THE PRETTY GIRLS questions the nature of love, identity, and evolution in this wild and wonderful world. The play received its world premiere at the 1999 Humana Festival of New American Plays at The Actors Theatre of Louisville.
"This show has some very absurd elements," explains director M. William Panek (Godspell, To Tree, The Brown Paper Box Co.). "People turning into animals and vice-versa, outlandish locales, and cross-gender casting. But the absurd is juxtaposed with these incredibly honest relationships, relatable characters, and natural dialogue. It's hilarious, but then it hits you with really poignant, poetic moments." These seemingly incongruous combinations led The Brown Paper Box Co. to produce the play.
The cast includes Pamela Mae Davis (Failure: A Love Story, Victory Gardens; Cymbeline, RIFF Collective; As You Like It, (re)discover theatre), Luke Michael Grimes (Teddy Ferrara, Goodman Theatre; Fate and Ed, ARCitext Play Festival; Macbeth, TheMASSIVE), Justin Harner (I Begin, Walkabout Theater; WILD, Kid Brooklyn Productions; Caesura: A Butchery, The Plagiarists), Christopher Hart (To Tree, The Brown Paper Box Co.; The Sandman, Oracle Theatre), Derek Herman (Almost, Maine, Chicago College of Performing Arts; Speech & Debate, Artists Repertory Theatre; Landscape of the Body, Profile Theatre), Stephanie Rohr* (Godspell, The Brown Paper Box Co.; Reservoir Dogs, Roundhouse Productions; Jesus Camp: The Musical, The Cornservatory), Anna Schutz* (Reefer Madness, The Brown Paper Box Co.; Epic Proportions, Project 891), and Bob Skosky (Sleeping with Straight Men, Ludicrous Theatre; Our Town, Blank Page Theater; Aesop's Fables, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse).
The production team comprises M. William Panek* (director), Sheila Gleason (set designer), Ian James Anthony* (properties master), Cat Wilson (lighting designer), Laura Wiley (assistant lighting designer), Patrick J. Butterfield* (production assistant), Michelle Kritselis* (dramaturg), and Charlie Sheets* (graphic designer).
About The Brown Paper Box Co.
Founded in 2010 and based in Chicago, The Brown Paper Box Co. creates thought-provoking and accessible theatrical experiences without the glitz of overproduction. This scaled-down approach allows our artists to deliver an elevated focus on the text.
*Denotes Brown Paper Box Co. company member.
Brown Paper Blog
Making theatre. Writing about it. Maybe some hilarious Youtube cat videos in between.