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  WINDY CITY TIMES

The Facts of Life, Satan's School for Girls to open Sept. 29
2019-07-26

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CHICAGO ( July 25, 2019 ) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce castings for its world premiere of THE FACTS OF LIFE — Satan's School for Girls, a musical parody of the beloved '80s TV sitcom, with book and lyrics by Artistic Director David Cerda*, music by David Cerda and Andrew Milliken, direction by Madison Smith and music direction by Andrew Milliken.

The cast includes ensemble members David Cerda* and Ed Jones* with Connar Brown, Alexa Castelvecchi, Graham Heacock, Max McKune, Brenna L. Watkins, Marissa Williams and Robert Williams.

THE FACTS OF LIFE will play September 29 — November 2, 2019 at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood. Tickets are on sale now through Brown Paper Tickets at factsoflife.bpt.me or by calling ( 800 ) 838-3006. The press opening is Friday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 pm.

Ed Jones* stars as Mrs. Edna Garrett — the house mother with a deep dark secret in this parody of the beloved TV sitcom The Facts of Life. The Eastland seemed to be the place for the best and the brightest girls. But when a series of girls die mysterious accidental deaths, ace reporter Claudia Collins ( David Cerda* ), who is as beautiful as she is talented, goes undercover to avenge her kid sister's death.

The production team for THE FACTS OF LIFE includes Gregory Graham ( costume designer ), Pamela Parker ( prop designer ), Keith Ryan* ( wig design ),Stevie Love* ( choreography ) and Drew Donnelly* ( stage manager ).

*Denotes Handbag ensemble member.

Music: Artistic Director David Cerda* and Andrew Milliken

Director: Madison Smith

Music Director: Andrew Milliken

Cast ( in alphabetical order ): Connar Brown ( New Girl ), Alexa Castelvecchi ( Jo ), David Cerda* ( Claudia ), Graham Heacock ( Blair ), Ed Jones* ( Edna Garrett ), Max McKune ( Jake ), Brenna L. Watkins ( Natalie ), Marissa Williams ( Morgan ) and Robert Williams ( Tootie ).

Location: Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Sunday, September 29 at 5 pm, Wednesday, October 2 at 7:30 pm and Thursday, October 3 at 7:30 pm

Opening/Press performance: Friday, October 4 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Saturday, October 5 — Saturday, November 2, 2019

Curtain Times: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 5 pm. Please note: there will not be performances on Wednesday, October 9 at 7:30 pm, Wednesday, October 16 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, October 27 at 5 pm.

Tickets: Previews: $20. Regular run $28 — $44 in advance, $30 at the door. Group rates $22 for 10 or more. VIP Seating available. Tickets are on sale now through Brown Paper Tickets at factsoflife.bpt.me or by calling ( 800 ) 838-3006.

About the Artists

David Cerda ( Book, Music and Lyrics ) is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Hell in a Handbag Productions. Cerda has written or collaborated on over 50 shows in Chicago including A Showgirls Musical, POSEIDON! An Upside-Down Musical, Caged Dames, Sexy Baby, Lady X: The Musical, Christmas Dearest, Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer, SCARRIE — The Musical, The Chicago Golden Girls- The Lost Episodes series, The Drag Seed, and many others. He has also worked as a songwriter with Amazon Studios, and as an actor around Chicago. In 2016, Cerda was in inducted into the Chicago GLBT Hall of Fame and in 2017 he received a Lifetime Achievement Jeff Award for his contributions to the Chicago theater community and philanthropic efforts.

Andrew Milliken ( Music, Music Director ) has been a music director/pianist in the Chicago area since 2016. This will be his third production with Hell in a Handbag, and first credit as composer. Other favorite M.D. credits include Pippin ( Mercury Theater ), Avenue Q ( Metropolis Theater ), Vinegar Tom( Northwestern University ) and Carousel ( Timber Lake Playhouse ).

Madison Smith ( Director ) is a freelance director and Artistic Director of the new works focused storefront company Death & Pretzels, as well as the co-founder and owner of the black box studio, Nox Arca Theatre where D&P is a resident company. Madison's credits with Death & Pretzels include directing and producing The Dybbuk, Anatomy of Gray, the Chicago premieres of very still & hard to see, Helmut's Big Day, The Basement Company, The Book of Maggie, I, Cockroach, Helvetica and the world premieres of Gruoch or Lady Macbeth and Musical Therapy, as well as the upcoming world premiere production of Alex Butchli's radio play murder mystery, A Murder Most Novel. Other Chicago credits include The Graduate for the Beverly Theater Guild,Sex AKA Wieners and Boobs for Team StaKid's Summer Season 2014 and the Chicago premiere of Women for StarKid's 2016 Summer Season, a short play in Otherworld Theatre's sci-fi play festival, and Footloose the Musical for the Summer Place Theatre. Madison has also directed staged reading for Three Cat Productions and has assistant directed for Hell in a Handbag, RedTwist and The House Theatre of Chicago.

About Hell in a Handbag Productions

Hell in a Handbag is dedicated to the preservation, exploration, and celebration of works ingrained in the realm of popular culture via theatrical productions through parody, music and homage. Handbag is a 501( c )( 3 ) Not for Profit. For additional information, visit handbagproductions.org .

—From a press release


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