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Pride Films and Plays' "The Christmas Foundling" cast announced
2019-11-08

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Cast announced for Pride Films and Plays production of Norman Allen's THE CHRISTMAS FOUNDLING, opening to the press on December 7 and playing through January 5

Danne W. Taylor to direct heartwarming story of an orphan boy raised by Gold Rush miners in Sierra Mountains during the 1850s

Full cast and crew have been announced for Pride Films and Plays' production of The Christmas Foundling, by Norman Allen. The play is the story of a 10-year old boy who was found as an infant in the California Sierras by two Gold Rush miners one Christmas Eve. The men raised him as their child, but his idyllic life is interrupted when an aunt unexpectedly arrives with the intention of taking the boy to Boston to receive a formal education. Danne W. Taylor, known for his roles in Pride Films and Plays' HIS GREATNESS and HURRICANE DAMAGE, will direct. The play was first produced in 2001 as a commissioned play by the Sierra Repertory Theatre of Sonora, California. The Pride Films and Plays production will include songs of the period arranged by Music Director Michael Mc Bride. The production will play in the Pride Arts Center's intimate Buena Theatre at 4147 N. Broadway. Press opening is Saturday, December 7 at 8:00 pm, following previews on December 5 and 6 and playing through Sunday, January 5, 2020.

Taylor announced his cast today, which will include fifth-grader Henry Lombardo as the foundling, Tom. Lombardo has appeared professionally on Chicago stages in A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Goodman, in AN INSPECTOR CALLS at Chicago Shakespeare, and in LUISA MILLER at Lyric Opera of Chicago, among other credits. Also in the cast are Fiore Barbini ( Hoke ), Michael D. Graham ( Old Jake ), Leo LaCamera ( Moscow ), Max McKune ( Georgia ), Zane Sade ( Boston ), and BethAnn Smukowski ( Aunt Sarah ). The production team will include Michael McBride ( Music Director ), Kailee Tomasic ( Scenic Designer ), Robert Eric West ( Costume Designer ), and Mike McShane ( Lighting Designer ).

Tickets are $40 premium reserved seats, $30 general reserved seats, $25 students and seniors ( not valid Saturdays ) and are on sale now at www.pridefilmsandplays.com or by phone at 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222.

INFORMATION

THE CHRISTMAS FOUNDLING

By Norman Allen

Directed by Danne W. Taylor

December 7, 2019 — January 5, 2020

Previews December 5- 6 at 8 pm — All seats $20.00

Press Opening Saturday, December 7 at 8 pm

Regular run: Saturday, December 7 — January 5

Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm, Mondays at 8 pm ( except no show Monday, 12/16 ), and Thursdays, January 2 and 9 at 8 pm

The Buena, Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago

Tickets: Premium reserved - $40.00 ( Students/seniors/military $35.00 ); General reserved - $30.00 ( Students/seniors/military $25.00 )

Tickets available at www.pridefilmsandplays.com or by phone at 773-857-0222.

When a baby boy is orphaned in the California Sierras on Christmas Eve, 1850, two curmudgeonly miners agree to raise him. A decade later, the boy's idyllic life is interrupted by the arrival of a meddling aunt, who intends to take him back to Boston for a formal education and a life of success. Inspired by the stories of Bret Harte, THE CHRISTMAS FOUNDLING is a heartwarming holiday tale, with the love of a child at its center and an unlikely romance as its driving force.

BIOS

Danne W. Taylor ( Director ) is pleased to be directing for PFP after having appeared in CASA VALENTINA, HURRICANE DAMAGE and HIS GREATNESS for them. Past directing credits include: SELF TORTURE AND STRENUOUS EXERCISE ( Mary-Arrchie ), THE CAVERN ( Dayton Theatre Guild ), THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE ( Dayton Playhouse ), and A PERFECT RELATIONSHIP ( Dayton Repertory ) among others. He is an artistic associate of Hell in a Handbag.

Norman Allen ( Playwright ). Norman Allen's work has been commissioned and produced by the Kennedy Center, the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre ( VA ), Olney Theatre Center, Adventure Theatre and the Karlin Music Theatre in Prague. Recent projects include ALIX IN WONDERLAND: A GENDER JOURNEY DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE for The Theatre Lab, A LUMP OF COAL FOR CHRISTMAS for Adventure Theatre-MTC, and the inter-disciplinary ONCE WILD: ISADORA IN RUSSIA, named "a bold new work of art" by the WASHINGTON POST.

Norman received the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play for IN THE GARDEN. His solo drama NIJINSKY'S LAST DANCE won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Play prior to productions across the U.S., Europe and South Africa. His work in musical theatre includes the concert adaptation of SWEET ADELINE at Encores!, New York City Center; THE CHRISTMAS CAROL RAG, featuring a classic ragtime score, and Frank Wildhorn's CARMEN, which has played for more than a decade in Prague and been produced in Austria, Lithuania, South Korea, and Japan.

Norman's essays and feature stories have appeared in THE WASHINGTON POST, BOSTON GLOBE, and HOUSTON CHRONICLE; in SMITHSONIAN and WASHINGTONIAN magazines; on WAMU-FM; and on numerous blogs including ONFAITH, ONBEING, HOWLROUND, and TIN HOUSE. His work for television includes PBS documentaries on Vincent Van Gogh, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, John Singer Sargent and the Phillips Collection of Modern Art.

Norman received his Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in May 2018, was ordained by All Souls Church Unitarian in March 2019, and now serves as Minister to the Davies Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church in Camp Springs, Maryland.

ABOUT PRIDE FILMS AND PLAYS

Pride Films and Plays changes lives through the generation of diverse new work ( or work that is new to Chicago ) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that is essential viewing for all audiences. The company produces a four-play season of full productions, shoots one short film each year, and continues our famed play developmental projects. PFP is the principal tenant in Pride Arts Center.

Pride Arts Center, in its own right, produces events complementing the PFP vision, including dance, cabaret, film, and more. Events can be one-night or limited run productions or feature national treasures like Charles Busch. PAC occupies The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway, which has 85 seats, and The Buena, which has 50 seats at 4147 N Broadway.

Pride Films and Plays is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago's City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, Proud to Run, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation, Arts and Business Council, and Alphawood Foundation.

PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, Northhalsted Business Association, Uptown United, and The League of Chicago Theatres.

For more information, visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com or call 1.800.737.0984.

—From a press release


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