Brightside Theatre to put on 'Promises, Promises in Concert' Jan. 14-22

  • The "Promises, Promises" cast rehearse for Brightside Theatre's upcoming production featuring music from the 1968 Broadway musical. A live orchestra will accompany the concert version in the Madden Theatre in Naperville.

    The "Promises, Promises" cast rehearse for Brightside Theatre's upcoming production featuring music from the 1968 Broadway musical. A live orchestra will accompany the concert version in the Madden Theatre in Naperville. Courtesy of Jeffrey Cass

 
 
Updated 1/10/2022 6:45 PM

BrightSide Theatre, Naperville's only professional theater performing in the historic downtown district, continues with their 10th anniversary season -- "BrightSide is BACK" -- with the music of Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David and book by playwright Neil Simon -- "Promises, Promises in Concert."

Performed in the Madden Theatre, BrightSide Theatre will transform the space into an intimate cabaret room with a live orchestra and a cast of talented actors will perform a concert version of "Promises, Promises."

 

The 1968 Broadway musical is based on the Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond screenplay for the 1960 film "The Apartment," starring Shirley MacLaine, Jack Lemmon, and Fred MacMurray.

Performances will be 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 14-22, in the Madden Theatre at North Central College's Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. in Naperville.

There also will be a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22.

Discounted tickets for $33 are available, including $28 for students and seniors. Subscriptions are on sale as well. Tickets are on sale now at www.brightsidetheatre.com, by phone (630) 447-TIXS (8497) or the night of the performance at the box office at the Madden Theatre. Guests will need to be fully vaccinated with an FDA emergency use-authorized or fully authorized vaccine in order to attend a show and must show proof of vaccination at their time of entry into the building with their valid ticket and government-issued ID. Learn more BrightSideTheatre.com/brightside-cares.

In New York City in the 1960s, an ambitious accountant named Chuck Baxter (Jon Cunningham) lends out his apartment to his supervisors, who need a discreet place for illicit afternoon rendezvous. Miserable and exploited, Chuck finds a beacon of hope in co-worker Fran (Shaina Summerville), who is trapped in a romantic predicament of her own.

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The bittersweet romantic comedy features a groundbreaking contemporary score from composer Burt Bacharach. The score includes the blockbuster hit "I'll Never Fall In Love Again," "I Say a Little Prayer," "A House is Not a Home," "Knowing When To Leave," "Turkey Lurkey Time," "Whoever You Are," and the title song.

Madden Theatre, a 150-seat black box experimental theater space, will be transformed into an intimate cabaret room for Brightside Theatre's production of "Promises, Promises in Concert." Performances will be Jan. 14-22 at North Central College in Naperville.
Madden Theatre, a 150-seat black box experimental theater space, will be transformed into an intimate cabaret room for Brightside Theatre's production of "Promises, Promises in Concert." Performances will be Jan. 14-22 at North Central College in Naperville. - Courtesy of CM Stage Photography

A talented ensemble of actors makes up the cast of "Promises, Promises in Concert," with director Jeffrey Cass and music director Rex Meyer.

The cast includes: Dennis Schnell as J.D. Sheldrake and Mr. Vanderfhof; Michael J. Santos as Mr. Dobitch and the watchman; Sarah Inendino as Sylvia Gilhooley, Sharon, and an orchestra voice; Sean Rhead as Mike Kirkeby and Karl Kubelik; Kimberlyn Gayle as Ginger, Patsy, Helen Sheldrake, and an orchestra voice; Max McNeal Martin as Mr. Eichelberger, Eddie, the waiter, and intern; Amy Rodriguez as Vivian, Barbara, and an orchestra voice; Jim Heatherly as Dr. Dreyfuss and the company doctor; Meghan Kessel as Miss Kreplinski, a hostess, and an orchestra voice; Sophie Smekens as a nurse, Miss OIson, and an orchestra voice; and Julie Bayer as Kathy, Marge MacDougall, and an orchestra voice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Director/artistic director Jeffrey Cass is a Joseph Jefferson Award nominee. He most recently directed BrightSide Theatre's "A Christmas Carol the Musical," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," "Joseph … Dreamcoat," "The Bridges of Madison County," "Guys and Dolls," "Disney's Beauty and the Beast," "Monty Python's Spamalot," "The Sound of Music," "It's a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play," "Cabaret," "RENT," "Company," as well as BrightSide Theatre's inaugural production "Run For Your Wife." Also BrightSide Theatre's Youth Project inaugural production of "Disney's Alice in Wonderland Jr.," "Disney's The Little Mermaid Jr.," "Disney's Aladdin Jr.," "Legally Blonde the Musical Jr.," and "Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr." He holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theater Performance from Roosevelt University where he also studied lighting design and stage management. He previously served as the producing director for Circle Theatre where he directed The Who's "Tommy" (six Joseph Jefferson nominations including Best Musical and Best Director) Neil LaBute's "Bash" and "The Distance From Here" (Midwest premiere), "Burning Blue" (Midwest premiere), "Crazy for You," "Disney's Beauty and the Beast," "Thoroughly Modern Millie," "Urinetown," "Peter Pan," and for their New Plays Festivals.

Rex Meyer is a music director, music educator, musician, pianist, cellist, orchestrator, and a musical theater enthusiast. He studied Music Education at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. Since 2006, he has played, conducted, music directed, and been a part of the music staff for over 50 shows. Some of his most memorable shows include Summer Place's 2019 production of "Mamma Mia!" and Natural Talent Productions' 2018 production of "Hunchback of Notre Dame." Meyer joined BrightSide Theater with their 2019 production of "A Christmas Carol." Outside of musical theater, he has had an extensive background in classical music and chamber music. Among a whole slew of ensembles, most notably he was a former member of the Classical Symphony Orchestra, Oak Park & River Forest Symphony, and the Wheaton Symphony. Currently a resident of Elgin, where you can hear him playing on his grand piano at home for his Siberian husky, Sasha.

Vocal director Kitty Karn moved to the area in 2019 after 15 years as professor of musical theater/voice at Western Illinois University. She is an adjunct professor of voice at University of Illinois at Chicago and recently became the music director for Unity of Fox Valley in Batavia. In addition to her responsibilities as education program manager for BrightSide, she is also their vocal director. Kitty maintains a private voice studio with students of all ages and skill levels. As a performer, some of her favorite roles include Mrs. Potts in "Beauty and the Beast," Chaperone in "The Drowsy Chaperone," Marmee in "Little Women," Florence Foster Jenkins in "Souvenir," and Phoebe in "The Yeomen of the Guard."

BrightSide Theatre, with artistic director Jeffrey Cass and executive director Julie Ann Kornak, celebrates its 10th anniversary season as Naperville's only professional theater performing in the historic downtown district. BrightSide Theatre is committed to "Enlighten, Educate, and Entertain" through comedies and inspirational stories from across the globe. BrightSide's shows are selected to be a blend of award-winners, premieres, modern works and timeless classics meant to reflect upon and inform our community. For information, visit www.brightsidetheatre.com.

This production is sponsored in part by: CM Stage Photography, DuPage Foundation, Round Hill Wealth Management and SECA Grant.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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