Bailiwick Chicago to produce musicals Carrie, Dessa Rose
Bailiwick Chicago has revealed a total overhaul of its previously announced season. In place of Robert O'Hara's Bootycandy and the Comden-Green-Strauss-Adams tuner Applause, the company will instead mount the infamous musical flop Carrie and the Lynn Ahrens–Stephen Flaherty musical Dessa Rose. Both will be Chicago premieres.
Bailiwick artistic director Lili-Anne Brown will direct Dessa Rose, based on the Sherley Ann Williams novel depicting a pre–Civil War friendship between two women, one an isolated and abandoned white woman, the other an escaped slave. Brown's production will reunite her with her Passing Strange star, Jayson Brooks (better known these days as the frontman of JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound); additional casting is yet to be determined.
Christopher Pazdernik will helm Carrie, based on the Stephen King novel about a telekinetic teen outcast. The Broadway production famously closed three days after opening in 1988, and the show went on to become sort of the mascot of Broadway flops. It received its first-ever revival last year Off Broadway, to mixed reviews. Brown says Bailiwick's requests to license a production had been repeatedly denied before a recent reversal.
Both shows will be produced at Victory Gardens's Richard Christiansen Theater, as part of VG's new residency program; Dessa Rose will run March 6—April 5, with Carrie to follow May 29—July 12. The company's fall programming will include a second installment of the one-night event ROCK SHOW(tunes), with company members and friends performing showtunes given new rock arrangements, October 21 at the Underground Lounge. In December, Bailiwick will present a workshop of resident playwright Aaron Holland's Princess Mary Demands Your Attention, as well as a holiday cabaret, both in Victory Gardens's upstairs studio.