Top musical talent sings at Siddons show
Michael Mahler and Dara Cameron appeared together in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" at Theatre at the Center in Munster, Ind. | Photo by Johnny Knight.
‘God, I Think I Got It!’
Sarah Siddons Society of Chicago benefit, Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire
8 p.m. Monday, March 11
$50 general admission, $15 for students and Actors’ Equity Association members
(800) 838-3006; www.sarahsiddons.brownpapertickets.com
Updated: February 28, 2013 10:58AM
Thirteen of Chicago’s finest musical theater professionals will sing some of their favorite songs under the direction of Dominic Missimi and music direction of Doug Peck.
Sounds like a must-see show.
Add the fact that the proceeds benefit the scholarship fund of the Sarah Siddons Society of Chicago and there’s even more reason to attend, “God, I Think I Got It!” Monday, March 11 at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. The society annually awards scholarships to one theater student each from DePaul University, Columbia College Chicago and Northwestern University.
Missimi, who has directed more than 35 musicals for the Marriott Theatre and who founded the Music Theatre Program at Northwestern University, is the artistic director of the society. For last year’s benefit, he staged, “God, I Hope I Get It,” framing that show like an audition. The accompanist heard the songs for the first time at the performance. The numbers this year will be staged with the cast rehearing on the day of the show. “It’s a one day extravaganza,” Missimi said.
Featured artists are Linda Balgord, Dara Cameron, Rob Lindley, Andy Lupp, Donica Lynn, Michael Mahler, Susan Moniz, Max Quinlan, Matt Raftery, Kelvin Roston, Paula Scrofano, Summer Smart and Bernie Yvon. The majority of the performers will sing two numbers in this two-act show.
“I was thrilled because Linda Balgord — who’s from Chicago but she’s done a lot in New York — came back to do ‘Now and Forever’ (the current Marriott show), so I snagged her to be in the show,” Missimi said.
The director is equally excited about musical director Doug Peck’s participation. “He just finished music directing at Writers’ Theatre for ‘Sweet Charity.’ He’s also going to be the music director for ‘The Jungle Book’ at the Goodman with Mary Zimmerman,” Missimi said.
Missimi had wonderful things to say about the entire cast. “I love to show off the talent in Chicago,” he declared. “There isn’t a city like us in terms of who we have.”
Two of those special Chicago talents are husband-and-wife Dara Cameron and Michael Mahler.
“Any opportunity to work with Dominic is one I will take,” said Cameron, who is currently appearing in “Sunset Boulevard” at Drury Lane Oakbrook. “I was a student of his and have been directed by him.”
She also praised the work of the Sarah Siddons Society. “We were certainly willing and excited to get to sing with such a great group of people for such a wonderful society,” Cameron said.
Mahler, currently appearing in “Fox on the Fairway” at Theatre at the Center, was also a student of Missimi. “Any chance to get to work with him again is one we’ve got to take,” he said.
Mahler has a special connection to the Sarah Siddons Society. “I was lucky enough to win the scholarship when I was a junior at Northwestern,” he said. “Groups like Sarah Siddons are necessary for theater in America to continue to survive and thrive.”
Mahler and Cameron will be singing “Kryptonite” from the musical “Hero.” Cameron was in the show at the Marriott Theatre last summer — even though she did not sing that song — and Mahler wrote the music and lyrics for the show. “It’s a fun chance for us to get to sing it together,” Cameron said.
She will also sing “Some Things are Meant to Be” from “Little Woman” with Summer Smart.
Mahler and Cameron have appeared in a number of shows together so she joked, “The novelty has worn off a little bit.” Still, she relishes the opportunity to perform with her husband because, “He’s the best scene partner I’ve ever had so it’s always fun to get to sing his music, particularly. I think he’s the best composer that I know of.”
Mahler’s take on their stage time together is that, “It’s always nice to get to sing songs with a pretty girl. She’s wonderful to work with. She’s a really giving acting partner.”
The ever enthusiastic Missimi praised the show’s setting. “We’re so lucky because we get to do it on the beautiful set of ‘Now and Forever,’” he said. “It’s going to look like a million dollar concert.”