The Hunchback Variations Opera

Music by Mark Messing, Libretto by Mickle Maher

This show was performed in Chicago at the
January 25–March 11, 2012
Thursday-Saturday at 8pm
Sunday at 4pm.

And in New York City at
59E59 Theaters
June 1 – July 1, 2012

The Hunchback Variations is “a moving meditation on collaboration and the creative process.” –Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader, on the play’s 2001 debut

“This is not the stuff of standard theater, much less standard opera. It is the stuff of an absurdist masterpiece.” —Chicago Stage Review’s Venus Zarris, on a 2011 workshop production of The Hunchback Variations Opera

That’s right. It’s happening. Theater Oobleck is doing its first opera.

“Cerebral, comic, and just plain weird,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2002) Mickle Maher‘s The Hunchback Variations (2001) has been one of the most successful productions in Oobleck’s 23-year history—presented to critical acclaim over the last decade in Chicago, St. Louis, Washington D.C., and Hamburg, Germany.

The Hunchback Variations takes the form of a panel discussion between Quasimodo, hunchback of Notre Dame, and Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, on their attempt to create a mysterious sound effect called for in Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Playing out over 11 scenes, or “variations,” the story details the duo’s collaboration—one doomed by their mutual deafness, their unpleasant working conditions, and the fact that Beethoven has not yet finished reading the The Cherry Orchard.

A deft deconstruction of the creative process, and a fearless investigation of artistic collaboration, Hunchback is driven by questions about the nature of music and sound and performance. So, what could be more natural than to throw it fully – collaboratively!—into the embrace of music and sound and performance by giving it over to the wildly innovative mind of composer Mark Messing, the genius behind the scores of numerous Redmoon productions, and co-founder of the mad, brilliant marching band, Mucca Pazza?

With George Andrew Wolff (tenor) as Beethoven, Larry Adams (bass) as Quasimodo, Tim Lenihan on piano, and Paul Ghica on cello.

Lighting design by Chris Wooten. Stage Management by Melinda Evans. Graphic design by Colm O’Reilly. Photography by Jim Newberry.

Please direct all media requests for tickets, photos, etcetera to Publicist Martha Bayne

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts

*Quick ticket explanation: You can get your “more if you’ve got it, free if you’re broke” tickets (as per Theater Oobleck tradition) by calling the box office 773-871-3000. For on-line tickets, click on the link above, then click on the day you want. Then in the next screen you indicate how many tickets you want. Then in the NEXT screen you are given the option of a “Regular Price” (that would be $20), a $10, or a $1 ticket.

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