Pride Films and Plays’ annual fall benefit, SIMPLY SENSATIONAL, celebrates theater artists who have had a tremendous impact on all they work with. This year’s event will honor a beloved figure in the Chicago theater scene -Robert Ollis, musical director of many shows with Pride Films and Plays, Underscore Theatre Company, Bailiwick Repertory, Bailiwick Chicago, the Casting Auction Players and many other companies and events. Ollis will be the honoree as well as music director of the Company’s annual fundraising concert, SIMPLY SENSATIONAL, on Monday, November 4 in The Broadway, Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway.
Ollis’s body of work will be celebrated with an evening of glorious music sung by the best musical theater artists in Chicago. He won the Jeff Award for Music Direction for KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN and earned Jeff Nominations for Pride productions of YANK! A WWII LOVE STORY, PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT, THE BOOK OF MERMAN, SONGS FROM AN UNMADE BED, and UNDER A RAINBOW FLAG; for Underscore Theatre’s HAYMARKET: A NEW FOLK MUSICAL, and for Bailiwick Repertory’s production of A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE in 2009.
Ollis will accompany performances by musical theater artists who have collaborated with Ollis on many of the productions for which he provided music direction. Performers currently announced for the benefit are Nancy Hays & Alexa Castelvecchi (THE BOY FROM OZ and JUDY AND LIZA: LONDON PALLADIUM CONCERT – A TRIBUTE), Ryan Lanning (A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN), Donterrio Johnson (UNDER A RAINBOW FLAG, director A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE), Bridget Adams-King (HAYMARKET: A NEW FOLK MUSICAL), Jordan Phelps (PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT, UNDER A RAINBOW FLAG, SONGS FROM AN UNMADE BED), Jill Renn (THE ADDAMS FAMILY, 9 TO 5), and Amy Arbizzani (PARADE, SONDHEIM CONCERT BENEFIT). Additional performers to be announced.
Robert Ollis is an Artistic Associate of PFP and served as Music Director for its productions of A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, SOUTHERN COMFORT, YANK! A WWII LOVE STORY, PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT, THE NANCE, THE BOY FROM OZ, SONGS FROM AN UNMADE BED, A HISTORY OF SUMMER, THE BOOK OF MERMAN and UNDER A RAINBOW FLAG. He has also music-directed eight Chicago Casting Auction productions, including the recent THE ADDAMS FAMILY, as well as countless local theatre-benefit concerts. He served as Music Director for Underscore Theatre’s hit musical HAYMARKET: A NEW FOLK MUSICAL. Robert received a Jeff Award for his music direction of KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, plus Jeff nominations for six other shows. Robert has also served as Music Director for notable productions at Bailiwick Chicago and Bailiwick Repertory Theatre. Robert helped create JUDY & LIZA: THE LONDON PALLADIUM CONCERT – A TRIBUTE for Nancy Hays and Alexa Castelvecchi, and has accompanied Donna McKechnie, Capathia Jenkins, Andrea Marcovicci, Nick Adams and Alexandra Billings at cabarets and concerts in New York City and Chicago. www.Robert-Ollis.com & www.judylizatribute.com
For tickets call 1-866-811-4111 or purchase online at www.pridefilmsandplays.com.