11:26 AM CDT, August 17, 2011
"The Christmas Schooner" will dock again for the holidays on the North Side of Chicago.
The Mercury Theatre, 3745 N. Southport Ave., will house a new production of the sentimental musical by John Reeger and Julie Shannon about the ships that once braved Lake Michigan to bring Christmas trees to the immigrent population of Chicago.
"The Christmas Schooner" played, seasonally, for 12 years at the old Bailiwick Arts Center (now Theater Wit) under the direction of David Zak. A more recent production at the Theatre at the Center in Munster, Ind., featured expanded orchestrations and a mostly Equity cast.
The new version, slated to play seven shows a week between Nov. 16 and Dec. 31, will be directed by L. Walter Stearns, the former artistic director of the Porchlight Music Theatre and now the operator of the Mercury. Opening night is set for Nov. 20.
Stearns said the new show will be an Equity-affiliated production with choreography by Brenda Didier and musical direction by Eugene Dizon.
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