Pride Films and Plays’ annual fall benefit Simply Sensational celebrates Chicago legend Alexandra Billings. The event is Monday, November 2, at Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont.
A select number of VIP tickets are available for the benefit at $175, and include a pre-show reception with appetizers and open wine bar at the Marketa Sivek Gallery at 1123 West Belmont. VIP ticket holders also enjoy reserved center-section seating for the 7:15 pm performance at Stage 773 at 1225 W. Belmont, and a post-show meet-and-greet reception and photo opportunity with Miss Billings and the cast. General Admission tickets are $75 and include the performance and a post-show reception.
Others in the all-star line-up include trans performers Honey West and Skylar Kergil. Also on the bill are outstanding musical performers Michelle Lauto, James Nedrud, Jordan Phelps, and Donterrio Johnson. Performance artists Lauren Sivak and Carolyn Reynolds will represent PFP’s LezPlay program, and there will be short scenes from PFP’s current production Design for Living by Noel Coward, along with snapshots of PFP’s upcoming shows Ten Dollar House by Martha Meyer and Rick Kinnebrew, and Raggedy And by David Valdes Greenwood. And it will all be framed by a fashion show of PFP Artistic Associate John Nasca’s 30 years as a costume designer. In all it is a wonderfully varied program representing all that is unique about Pride Films and Plays.
Alexandra Billings is an actress, singer, author, teacher and activist. She stars as Davina in Amazon’s multi-award winning television series ‘Transparent’ and she has been seen on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘E.R.,’ and ‘Nurses’ among others. She has acted in Chicago and across the United States, in many instances being the first transgender actress to tackle rolls like Mama Rose in Gypsy. She has worked at Bailiwick Repertory, Court Theater, and Steppenwolf, and has performed Off-Broadway. Ms. Billings’ activism stretches across the continent. She was inducted into the Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in Chicago in 2007. Living with AIDS since the mid-eighties, she chronicles her life’s journey in her blog ‘Stilettos and Sneakers’ and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Her life story “From Schoolboy to Showgirl” produced by Alex Silets (WTTW) was nominated for an Emmy in the Best Documentary category.
Simply Sensational benefits the work of Pride Films and Plays.
The mission of Pride Films and Plays is to change 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. We accomplish this mission through fully-staged productions, writing contests and staged readings, film screenings, and special events. We foster long term relationships with artists to create programming that is as diverse, unique, and complex as the community we represent. In 2015, Huffington Post called PFP “A powerful and empowering entity.”
PFP’s current season began with the Jeff Recommended productions of Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown at the Apollo Studio Theater and The Boy From Oz at Stage 773. Noel Coward’s Design for Living runs Oct 22 to November 22 at Rivendell Theater and Ten Dollar House by Rick Kinnebrew and Martha Meyer runs January 7 to 31 at Piccolo Theatre. The final selection for this year is the world premiere of Raggedy And by David Valdes Greenwood running March 10 to April 12 at Rivendell. In addition, our script and screenplay development programs continue throughout the year at Center on Halsted, including Gay Play Weekend (May 2016), LezPlay (September 2016) featuring plays and screenplays written by women with lesbian characters or themes, and Gay Film Weekend (November 13 to 15, 2015) featuring LGBT screenplays and screenings.
PFP’s Queer Bits Fall Film Festival II is November 9. Other special events include Winter Memories at Twisted Vine on December 7.
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, and the AmazonSmile Foundation. PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, The League of Chicago Theaters, and the Central Lakeview Merchants Association.
For more information, visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com or call 1 800 737 0984.