Jo Anne Worley, Fred Willard and Malcolm Gets Star in Irving Berlin's Call Me Madam for The Auditorium Theatre Council's Ovations! Concert Celebrations Of Great American Musicals May 9-13 at The Auditorium Theatre

Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Auditorium Theater Council

    CHICAGO, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Auditorium Theatre Council has lined
 up an all-star cast for their Ovations! Concert Celebrations of Great American
 Musicals production of Irving Berlin's Call Me Madam.  Leading the cast as the
 irrepressible "Hostess with the mostes" Sally Adams will be Jo Anne Worley;
 Fred Willard will portray Pemberton Maxwell; and Malcolm Gets will star as
 Kenneth Gibson.  Call Me Madam will be performed Wednesday, May 9 through
 Sunday, May 13, 2001 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress Parkway,
 Chicago.
     This 1950 musical was written for Broadway's biggest star, Ethel Merman.
 The musical is set in "two mythical countries,"  Lichtenburg and the United
 States, and tells the story of society hostess Sally Adams, who has just been
 appointed the U.S. Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Lichtenburg.  Call Me
 Madam features many of Irving Berlin's best songs, including "The Hostess with
 the Mostes' on the Ball," "Can You Use Any Money Today?," "It's A Lovely Day
 Today," and "You're Just in Love."  A film version, which also starred Merman,
 was released in 1953.
     Jo Anne Worley has made countless appearances on various television shows,
 although she will forever be remembered as an original cast member of "Rowan
 and Martin's Laugh-In."  She has appeared in numerous feature films, and has
 lent her unmistakable voice to many animated features, including Beauty and
 the Beast and A Goofy Movie.  Fred Willard, an alumnus of Chicago's Second
 City, has been featured in dozens of films and television shows.  Some of Mr.
 Willard's most recent film projects have included Best in Show, The Wedding
 Planner, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Waiting for Guffman.  He
 frequently makes special appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
 Malcolm Gets, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, is best known for his
 starring role as Richard in the popular television series "Caroline In The
 City."  He has numerous stage credits, including leading roles in Martin
 Guerre (opposite Judy Kuhn), in the York Theatre Company's 1994 revival of
 Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, in the World Premiere of William Finn's A
 New Brain at Lincoln Center Theatre and The Moliere Comedies at New York's
 Roundabout Theatre.  He portrayed F. Scott Fitzgerald in the film Mrs. Parker
 and the Vicious Circle.
     Rounding out the stellar cast will be radio legend Roy Leonard, returning
 to serve as Narrator for the production; Dale Benson, one of Chicago's most
 popular stage performers, as Congressman Wilkins; Roger Mueller as Henry
 Gibson; Ron Keaton as Senator Gallagher; Harriet Nzinga Plumpp as the
 secretary; Ray Frewen as Senator Brockbank; Dennis Kelly as Cosmo Constantine;
 Anthony Hite as the clerk; Fred Zimmerman as Sebastian Sebastian; Rosalyn Rahn
 Kerins as Grand Duchess Sophie; and Jeff Dumas as Grand Duke Otto.  The
 ensemble will feature Anjali Asokan, Cheryl Avery, John Clonts, Jeanne Croft,
 Mary Ernster, Darius Fearrington, Brad Hoffman, Catherine Lord, Lori Holton
 Nash, Timothy Sanden, Greg Walter and Steve Wallem.
     Call Me Madam will be directed by Gary Griffin, who staged last seasons
 Ovations! production of One Touch of Venus, and is the recipient of five
 Joseph Jefferson Awards.  He is the Associate Artistic Director of Chicago
 Shakespeare Theater (where he recently directed The Herbal Bed) and has
 directed at such theatres as Court, Northlight, Apple Tree, Drury Lane,
 Pegasus Players, Writer's and Famous Door.  The music direction will be by
 Ovations! music director Kevin Stites.  Mr. Stites is the recipient of Jeff
 Awards for his work on Windy City, Sweeney Todd, Baby, Pal Joey, and Chess.
 On Broadway, he has also served as musical supervisor and musical director for
 Titanic and On the Town, and as music director of Sunset Boulevard.  His
 national touring credits include Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera and Les
 Miserables.
     Marc Robin is the Artistic Director of Ovations!  He is a ten-time Jeff
 Award-winning director and choreographer.
     The performance schedule will be as follows:  Wednesday, May 9 at
 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 13 at
 3 p.m. Tickets range in price from $19 - $77.  Tickets can be obtained at the
 Auditorium Theatre box office, at all Ticketmaster outlets (including
 Dominick's, Carson Pirie Scott, Tower Records and Hot Tix), via telephone at
 312-902-1500, or at www.ticketmaster.com .
     Ovations!  Concert Celebrations of Great American Musicals, which
 premiered at the Auditorium Theatre last season, is modeled after New York's
 City Center's Encores!, which features concert versions of seldom-performed
 musicals using the orchestrations from each show's original Broadway run.  All
 Ovations! performances will be at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress
 Parkway, and have four performances -- Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and
 Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  The season will conclude with
 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's The Boys From Syracuse, which will be
 performed Wednesday, October 3-Sunday, October 7, 2001.
     The Council has assembled a group of committed professionals and
 supporters from the local and national theater communities to serve on the
 Ovations! Advisory Committee.  The committee includes longtime Chicago theatre
 advocates Hope Abelson and Paul Lehman, Judith E. Daykin (New York's City
 Center), Helen Doria (Chicago Park District), Sonia Florian (formerly of
 WNIB), B. J. Jones (Northlight Theatre), Sheldon Patinkin (Columbia College
 Theatre Department), James Palermo (Grant Park Symphony Orchestra), Stanley
 Paul (Stanley Paul Orchestra), Michael Price (Goodspeed Opera House), Joyce
 Sloane (The Second City), Kary M. Walker (formerly of Marriott's Lincolnshire
 Theatre) and Ed Ward (Chicago Federation of Musicians).
     Ovations! series sponsors are Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Blue
 Cross/Blue Shield, Gowns by Robin Elliott, Ltd., the Palmer House Hilton,
 Gingiss Formalwear, United Airlines, the Rodgers and Hammerstein Foundation,
 The Grill Room and Maggiano's.  Ovations! is generously supported by Sonia
 Florian.
     The Auditorium Theatre Council is an independent, not-for-profit
 organization founded in 1960.  Since its inception, the Council has been
 committed to presenting the finest cultural and community programming in
 Chicago.  Privileged to be the trustee of the Auditorium Theatre, the Council
 is also committed to the continued restoration and preservation of this
 historic landmark.  For more information about programming, volunteering
 opportunities, or becoming a supporter visit www.auditoriumtheatre.org or call
 312-922-2110.
 
 

SOURCE Auditorium Theater Council
    CHICAGO, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Auditorium Theatre Council has lined
 up an all-star cast for their Ovations! Concert Celebrations of Great American
 Musicals production of Irving Berlin's Call Me Madam.  Leading the cast as the
 irrepressible "Hostess with the mostes" Sally Adams will be Jo Anne Worley;
 Fred Willard will portray Pemberton Maxwell; and Malcolm Gets will star as
 Kenneth Gibson.  Call Me Madam will be performed Wednesday, May 9 through
 Sunday, May 13, 2001 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress Parkway,
 Chicago.
     This 1950 musical was written for Broadway's biggest star, Ethel Merman.
 The musical is set in "two mythical countries,"  Lichtenburg and the United
 States, and tells the story of society hostess Sally Adams, who has just been
 appointed the U.S. Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Lichtenburg.  Call Me
 Madam features many of Irving Berlin's best songs, including "The Hostess with
 the Mostes' on the Ball," "Can You Use Any Money Today?," "It's A Lovely Day
 Today," and "You're Just in Love."  A film version, which also starred Merman,
 was released in 1953.
     Jo Anne Worley has made countless appearances on various television shows,
 although she will forever be remembered as an original cast member of "Rowan
 and Martin's Laugh-In."  She has appeared in numerous feature films, and has
 lent her unmistakable voice to many animated features, including Beauty and
 the Beast and A Goofy Movie.  Fred Willard, an alumnus of Chicago's Second
 City, has been featured in dozens of films and television shows.  Some of Mr.
 Willard's most recent film projects have included Best in Show, The Wedding
 Planner, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Waiting for Guffman.  He
 frequently makes special appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
 Malcolm Gets, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, is best known for his
 starring role as Richard in the popular television series "Caroline In The
 City."  He has numerous stage credits, including leading roles in Martin
 Guerre (opposite Judy Kuhn), in the York Theatre Company's 1994 revival of
 Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, in the World Premiere of William Finn's A
 New Brain at Lincoln Center Theatre and The Moliere Comedies at New York's
 Roundabout Theatre.  He portrayed F. Scott Fitzgerald in the film Mrs. Parker
 and the Vicious Circle.
     Rounding out the stellar cast will be radio legend Roy Leonard, returning
 to serve as Narrator for the production; Dale Benson, one of Chicago's most
 popular stage performers, as Congressman Wilkins; Roger Mueller as Henry
 Gibson; Ron Keaton as Senator Gallagher; Harriet Nzinga Plumpp as the
 secretary; Ray Frewen as Senator Brockbank; Dennis Kelly as Cosmo Constantine;
 Anthony Hite as the clerk; Fred Zimmerman as Sebastian Sebastian; Rosalyn Rahn
 Kerins as Grand Duchess Sophie; and Jeff Dumas as Grand Duke Otto.  The
 ensemble will feature Anjali Asokan, Cheryl Avery, John Clonts, Jeanne Croft,
 Mary Ernster, Darius Fearrington, Brad Hoffman, Catherine Lord, Lori Holton
 Nash, Timothy Sanden, Greg Walter and Steve Wallem.
     Call Me Madam will be directed by Gary Griffin, who staged last seasons
 Ovations! production of One Touch of Venus, and is the recipient of five
 Joseph Jefferson Awards.  He is the Associate Artistic Director of Chicago
 Shakespeare Theater (where he recently directed The Herbal Bed) and has
 directed at such theatres as Court, Northlight, Apple Tree, Drury Lane,
 Pegasus Players, Writer's and Famous Door.  The music direction will be by
 Ovations! music director Kevin Stites.  Mr. Stites is the recipient of Jeff
 Awards for his work on Windy City, Sweeney Todd, Baby, Pal Joey, and Chess.
 On Broadway, he has also served as musical supervisor and musical director for
 Titanic and On the Town, and as music director of Sunset Boulevard.  His
 national touring credits include Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera and Les
 Miserables.
     Marc Robin is the Artistic Director of Ovations!  He is a ten-time Jeff
 Award-winning director and choreographer.
     The performance schedule will be as follows:  Wednesday, May 9 at
 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 13 at
 3 p.m. Tickets range in price from $19 - $77.  Tickets can be obtained at the
 Auditorium Theatre box office, at all Ticketmaster outlets (including
 Dominick's, Carson Pirie Scott, Tower Records and Hot Tix), via telephone at
 312-902-1500, or at www.ticketmaster.com .
     Ovations!  Concert Celebrations of Great American Musicals, which
 premiered at the Auditorium Theatre last season, is modeled after New York's
 City Center's Encores!, which features concert versions of seldom-performed
 musicals using the orchestrations from each show's original Broadway run.  All
 Ovations! performances will be at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress
 Parkway, and have four performances -- Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and
 Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  The season will conclude with
 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's The Boys From Syracuse, which will be
 performed Wednesday, October 3-Sunday, October 7, 2001.
     The Council has assembled a group of committed professionals and
 supporters from the local and national theater communities to serve on the
 Ovations! Advisory Committee.  The committee includes longtime Chicago theatre
 advocates Hope Abelson and Paul Lehman, Judith E. Daykin (New York's City
 Center), Helen Doria (Chicago Park District), Sonia Florian (formerly of
 WNIB), B. J. Jones (Northlight Theatre), Sheldon Patinkin (Columbia College
 Theatre Department), James Palermo (Grant Park Symphony Orchestra), Stanley
 Paul (Stanley Paul Orchestra), Michael Price (Goodspeed Opera House), Joyce
 Sloane (The Second City), Kary M. Walker (formerly of Marriott's Lincolnshire
 Theatre) and Ed Ward (Chicago Federation of Musicians).
     Ovations! series sponsors are Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Blue
 Cross/Blue Shield, Gowns by Robin Elliott, Ltd., the Palmer House Hilton,
 Gingiss Formalwear, United Airlines, the Rodgers and Hammerstein Foundation,
 The Grill Room and Maggiano's.  Ovations! is generously supported by Sonia
 Florian.
     The Auditorium Theatre Council is an independent, not-for-profit
 organization founded in 1960.  Since its inception, the Council has been
 committed to presenting the finest cultural and community programming in
 Chicago.  Privileged to be the trustee of the Auditorium Theatre, the Council
 is also committed to the continued restoration and preservation of this
 historic landmark.  For more information about programming, volunteering
 opportunities, or becoming a supporter visit www.auditoriumtheatre.org or call
 312-922-2110.
 
 SOURCE  Auditorium Theater Council