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All That He Was benefit concert March 11 at Pride Arts Center
2019-01-31

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All That He Was, the 25th Anniversary Benefit Concert on March 11, 2019 at Pride Arts Center will support Pride Films and Plays and Chicago-area AIDS services charities including AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) and the Test Positive Aware Network ( TPAN ).

For one night only, Pride Arts Center will host a benefit concert presentation of the 1993 AIDS-themed Musical ALL THAT HE WAS. With music by Cindy O'Connor and book and lyrics by Larry Todd ( Johnson ) Cousineau, this winner of the National Playwright's Award and the ACTF Musical Theatre Award is a moving and surprisingly funny account of one man's struggle with AIDS and the reverberations of his death. The deceased functions as host and narrator, invisible among the friends and family assembled to pay him final respects. Hoping for a day when the shattered pieces of his life can come together, he leads them on a journey of shared reminiscences.

The performance will feature a talented cast of Chicago-based actors including Frankie Leo Bennett, Patrick Byrnes, Jayla Williams-Craig, Veronica Garza, Ashlee Hardgrave, John Marshall Jr., Christea Parent, Allison Petrillo and George Toles. Cousineau will direct and produce the event, and O'Connor will be the Musical Director.

ALL THAT HE WAS toured nationally in the 90's, was featured at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and represented the US at the Festival Vox Humana in Barcelona, Spain, before settling in to a critically-acclaimed run in Los Angeles, where it received a Robby award for Best New Musical. The Los Angeles Times said it "Arches from dysfunctionalism, jealousies and misunderstandings to unsteady truces and well-earned unities ...It carries on a bright, serious, witty and inclusive dialogue with anyone who may sit down in front of it." The hit song from ALL THAT HE WAS, "Our First Christmas," is featured on the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles' 2018 CD, JOYFUL AND TRIUMPHANT, now available on iTunes.

Cindy O'Connor ( composer ) and Larry Todd ( Johnson ) Cousineau( bookwriter/lyricist ) have a long history together. Most recently, their Jeff-recommended musical comedy FLIES! THE MUSICAL! was a hit at Pride Arts Center. Their other works include 40 IS THE NEW 15, which had a critically-acclaimed run at the NoHo Arts Center in Los Angeles, receiving Best New Musical award from Stagescene LA and a GLAAD Media Award Nomination for Outstanding Los Angeles Theatre. Several of their songs have been featured in concerts by the Gay Men's Choruses of Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. O'Connor was nominated in 2018 for an Outstanding Music Composition For A Series ( Original Dramatic Score ) Emmy for her work on ONCE UPON A TIME ( ABC ). Her other credits include CRASH ( Starz ), DOLPHIN TALE, and FORGIVING THE FRANKLINS ( Sundance ). Cousineau's writing has been featured in animated series including YIN, YANG, YO! ( Disney ), THE NEW CARE BEARS, and ANGELA ANACONDA. His SONGS FROM MY CLOSET cabaret series is an annual hit previously at Uptown Underground and now at Mary's Attic.

ALL THAT HE WAS is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

—From a press release


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