Wednesday January 18th 2017

” The 48-Hour Musicals:Encore!”

48-hour-musicals-encore-7402What if you were asked to write a musical sketch in 48 hours? This would have a subject, be about 20 minutes and have to include a story that fit the music! Seems impossible. Well for most of us, that would be true, it would be improbable and for most impossible.  But, The Music Theatre Company in Highland Park has the right people to create such a playlet. In fact, in their encore of “The 48-hour Musical, with four sparkling little 20 minute musicals that were created, rehearsed and performed in a matter of 48 hours, now on their stage in Highland Park with an additional musical written by Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) what you will experience is a special evening of theater.

Directed by Jess McLeod with Choreography by Jessica Beth Redish and with musical direction by Aaron Benhem, you will find yourselves caught up in the stories that have been created and be in awe that these were written and put together in two days. Wow! There are some great talents out there and seeing what they created for this experience will solidify for you the fact that Chicago is THE place for theater. For the company, this is a way of showing their audiences the creativity in their ensemble and some of the plays that have been created in the past, are on the way to becoming full fledged musicals. That makes this experience even better!

The plays show how powerful our talent is. The Encore productions are:

“Chase” written by Michael Mahler that tells the story about an employee (at the Chase Bank, of course) who spends her days either stamping “Denied” or “Rejected” on loans, claims and a sit turns out, the men in her life. The bank employee played by Victoria Blade and her ex by Patrick Martin and her pursuer by Matthew Keffer.

“Postcards From Paris” written by Diana Lawrence tells the story of two Americans who meet by chance in Paris and their stories. This was inspired by an actual postcard that someone was sending to their “ex” The cast is Patrick Martin and Emily Berman along with the watchful waitress, Victoria Blade

“Reception”: by J. Oconer Navarro , tells the story of a bride to be and her mother (played by one actress, Rachel Kippel) on the night of her wedding. This is the first family event since her father passed away.

“Tereshkova” written by Scotty Arnold tells the story of two men who discuss their relationship, in code, at the foot of the statue of the father of Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. This play was inspired by a smart phone auto-correction.This one stars Matthew Keffer and Andrew Mueller (who many of us have watched grow up in our theater scene- yes, he is part of the Mueller family).

The new show that has been added to the mix is “Pretty Persephone” written by Billy Corgan and is in reality making its World Premiere in this production. Based on The Eleusinian Mysteries of the myth of Persephone’s abduction by Hades, Lord of the Underworld.

This is an exciting theatrical experience. One that you can only experience for a short time a sit will only run through  December 14th with performances as follows:

Thursdays,Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $40 and available by calling 847-579-4900 or online at

The theater is located in Highland Park at 1850 Green Bay Road, just North of Central Avenue with lots of free parking.

To see what others are saying, visit, go to Review Round-up and click at “The 48 Hour Musicals:Encore!”

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