Film Noir Musical opens April 27 on Mundelein Theatre stage
April 20, 2017
: Thomas Ferro as the hard-boiled Detective Stone and Payton Cousins as his long-suffering secretary, Oolie.
Humphrey Bogart. Robert Mitchum. Veronica Lake. Sterling Hayden. What do all of these actors have in common? They all popularized the film noir movie genre that was all the rage in the 1940’s and 1950’s. This spring, Mundelein Theatre is bringing this distinct style, based on hard-boiled detective novels, to Mundelein High School with their musical, City of Angels. The show runs April 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. and April 29 at 2 and 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students, children and seniors. Tickets can be reserved at www.mundeleintheatre.org, or purchased at the door 45 minutes prior to curtain for each performance. Due to adult themes, this show is not recommended for children.
City of Angels features music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel and a book by Larry Gelbart. It debuted on Broadway in 1989 and ran for almost 900 performances. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1990. The show is two musicals in one. It is the interweaving of two plots, one dealing with the writing of a screenplay in the legendary Hollywood of the 1940’s; the other, the enactment of that screenplay, in film noir style. This double feature quality leads to many other unique production values, the most notable being the fact that City of Angels is “color coded” with the movie scenes appearing in shades of black and white, with the real life scene unfolding in technicolor. It is entirely appropriate, then, that the final curtain comes down on two happy endings.
“Because of the technical demands of the show, as well as the difficulty of the music, this show is not produced all that often” stated Jonathan Meier, the show’s director. “I fell in love with this musical years ago when I saw it on Broadway. It is a really fun, jazzy, unique show that I know our audiences will love.” Most of the actors in the show play multiple roles, one in the color world of Hollywood, and one in the black and white world of the movie. Senior Payton Cousins plays Oolie and Donna. “Both of my characters have trouble with the men in their lives. Their hearts are in the right place, even though they don’t make the wisest decisions,” she said. Senior Thomas Ferro portrays the hard-boiled detective, Stone. “The film noir style of the show has really been fun to learn. And though the music has been a challenge to learn, it will all be worth it in the end, because there are some really great tunes.”
Others in the cast of Angels include Dominic Cappuccilli (Stine), Bella Canella (Bobbi/Gabby), Sheridan Hurtig (Alaura/Carla), Brenden Paul (Buddy/Irwin), Rachel Larson (Mallory/Avril), Dan Haller (Munoz/Pancho) and Robbie Iraburo-Cochran (Jimmy Powers). Others in the ensemble are Annie McGrath, Emily Parduhn, Hannah Weiss, Chinedu Ebube, Claire Bullington, Eddy Frumkin, Ginny Zundel, Maddie Martorana, Sydney Litka, Halli Carpender, Kimberly Barr, Brianna Moderhack, Ryan Story, Mackenzie Haith, Abby Smith, Ashley Carrier, Alexis Chavez, Kate Fladhammer, Giselle Gil, Derek Lee, Colin Nacion, Elias Photopoulos, Kayla Raye, Allan Rodriguez, Paige Stiner, Nikki Wegner and Steven Weiss.
Jenna Panos is the production stage manager and Angela Kordik and Natalie Williams are the assistant directors.