3:38 PM CST, February 8, 2012
The next show at the Royal George Theatre mainstage will be "Motherhood the Musical," a carefully targeted commercial show with mothers of all stripes in its marketing sights. "We have high hopes for a nice long stay in Chicago," said producer Alan Glist, the chairman of the Florida-based GFour Productions.
"Motherhood the Musical," which premiered in Fort Lauderdale in 2010, has already been seen in Atlanta, Philadelphia and a few other cities. A national tour of Australia also is underway. The show follows the lives of three different kinds of mothers - one of whom works, one of whom stays at home with her children and one of whom has been through a divorce and is raising a child alone. In the setup to what's essentially a book musical, these assorted moms are throwing a baby shower for a young mother-to-be, who inaccurately assumes that motherhood is easy.
"We think the show reaches the hearts of mothers of all ages," said Glist, whose wife, Kathi Glist, is a co-producer, "and of the men who love them."
The Chicago production will be new, featuring a cast of local Equity performers singing a (mostly) original score from writer and composer Sue Fabisch. Glist said that he hopes the Chicago production, directed by Lisa Shriver, will become "the springboard for an off-Broadway production," most likely at New World Stages.
GFour Productions currently presents "Menopause, The Musical" in several markets, including at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. A longstanding dispute with Jeanie Linders, the creator of the show, was settled in December, Glist said, giving GFour exclusive rights to present "Menopause" in the United States for the next seven years. In a telephone interview, Linders said that the terms of the settlement mandated it not be discussed.
The Glists acknowledge that "Menopause" reached its audience in spite of poor reviews. But "Motherhood," they said, has been well received by critics, some of whom are also moms.
"Motherhood the Musical" begins previews March 30 at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St., and opens April 12. Tickets will be on sale initially through May 20.
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