Towle Theater Season Preview

Early in the new year, after a couple weeks without theater, I find myself getting antsy, so I always look forward to the Towle Theater’s annual Season Preview, a lovely event. It’s a short evening, about an hour and a half, with a small reception (light hors d’oevres and drinks in the lobby) followed by a season sampler.

Photo: Katherine Morzey and Laila Wenrich – “Chicago High School Edition”

Ellie Campbell and Mark LeBeau, accompanied by Towle Music Director Elizabeth Tuazin, sang a rather haunting song from the season opener, “Swing State”, scheduled to run from February 22nd through March 10th. “Swing State”, with Book & Lyrics by Dana Yeaton, Music by Andy Milton, is described as another epic battle in the Culture Wars.

Deborah Cairns and Martin Downs did a scene from “Mama’s Boy”, written by Rob Urbinati, May 3rd through 19th. Did you ever wonder why Lee Harvey Oswald was the way he was? “Mama’s Boy” just might explain the creepiness factor.

The Towle’s summer musical, “String”, flings the three Fates from Greek mythology) from ancient Greece into the modern world. Following a vocal intro by Ro Ogrentz, Rebecca Buechel, Nicole Baker and Mandi Corrao sang about the strings that connect us.

The final play of the season, “The Smell of the Kill” is about three friends who have had it with their husbands. Over a cocktail or two, Buechel, Baker and Corrao discuss just what to do when the men accidentally lock themselves in a meat locker. If the rest of the play is as funny as the sample scene, this play will be a laugh riot.

Towle Education Director Ro Ogrentz announced that the Towle Youth Theater Ensemble will be doing two shows, “Peter Pan” and “Chicago, High School Edition”. Graduating TYTE Members Laila Wenrich, Katherine Morzy, Logan Hoskins and Christian Moore perform a song and scene from these shows.

For Jeff Casey, Managing Director of the Towle, the Season Preview is an extremely successful marketing tool since many of the people who come to the preview become subscribers.

I’ve often wondered why other theaters don’t offer a preview. If you think about it, it makes sense. Ask yourself the question, how do people pick the place they’ll spend their entertainment dollars? More than likely they’ll pick plays/musicals they’re familiar with. Since the Towle specializes in new, quirky, sometimes edgy plays/musicals, the preview is the perfect time to introduce their audience to their selections.

The Towle Theater is located at 5205 Hohman Avenue, Hammond. Park is free in the lot accessed from Fayette Street, then enter the Towle from the alley door. FYI (219) 937-8780 or www.towletheater.org.

Read all of my reviews at www.spotlightonlake.com.