The musical of an elf who must leave the North Pole to find a new home after Santa Claus retires has itself found a new home for its fourth annual incarnation. BARNEY THE ELF, Bryan Renaud and Emily Schmidt’s LGBTQ-themed musical inspired by the ELF feature film, will be staged in the Broadway theatre of the Pride Arts Center from Friday December 14 through Sunday, January 6. Michael D Graham will direct the production.
In Renaud and Schmidt’s musical satire, which incorporates Renaud and Schmidt’s parody lyrics to popular songs, Barney the Elf finds he must leave his home at the North Pole after Santa’s retirement causes chaos among the community of elves. He makes his way to a nightclub in Chicago, where he is befriended by drag queen Zooey, and learns to embrace his “inner elf.”
The musical was developed by Renaud and Schmidt for The Other Theatre Company, with whom Renaud is an Artistic Associate, and was produced at the Greenhouse Theater Center for the past three holiday seasons.
This new production will be directed by Michael D. Graham, former Artistic Director of Piccolo Theatre, and will feature BARNEY THE ELF veterans Dixie Lynn Cartwright as Zooey, Maggie Cain as Mrs. Claus and Roy Samra as Barney. Cartwright and Cain played their roles in all three prior productions of the musical. Samra first donned Barney’s tights for the 2017 productions. Also in the cast for this new production are PFP Company Member Chris Logan (BOY FROM OZ, Jeff nominee) as Santa Jr., Alisha Fabbi (Cookie), Conor McGarry (Drew, Barney u/s), Joseph Beal (Buttons, Tour Guide), Maggie Ward (Pinecone, Kathy), Thomas Tong (Topper), Larry Trice (Twinkle, Bouncer), Tuesdai B. Perry (Nutmeg), Brooke Emmerich (Chorus, Swing), Nico Joshua (Chorus, Swing), Claire Hart (Choreographer), Jimmy Jagos (Scenic/Props), Becs Bartle (Lighting), Blake Cordell (Sound), Michael Starcher (Stage Manager), Christopher Sylvie (Assistant Director).
BARNEY THE ELF will play for four weekends throughout the holiday, from Friday December 14 through Sunday January 6 in the 85-seat Broadway theatre at 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago. Ticket prices range from $15 (for previews, people under 18, seniors and military) and are on sale now at www.pridefilmsandplays.com or by phone at 1-866-811-4111.
Michael D. Graham (Director) returns to PFP where this past summer he directed HOLIDNG THE MEN and prior to that directed TEN DOLLAR HOUSE. His work as a director has been seen at Piccolo Theatre (where he is the former Artistic Director), Halcyon Theatre, Hubris Productions, the side project, Act One Studios, and Appetite Theatre, among others.
Bryan Renaud (Book and Lyrics) is the Associate Artistic Director of Other Theatre, where he has premiered his plays BARNEY THE ELF and OTHER LETTERS, the latter co-written with Carin Silkaitis. He is also a founding member of Random Acts, where he premiered STRANGEST THINGS! THE MUSICAL, ALL OUR TWILIGHT and LADIES NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. As a performer, Bryan has worked with American Theater Co., Pride Films & Plays, Provision Theater, Music Theatre Company, GreatWorks, Prologue Theatre, Shakespeare at the Centre, Oak Park Festival Theatre, NWaC and Two Pigs Productions. www.BryanRenaud.com
Emily Schmidt (Book and Lyrics) is a freelance playwright and grant writer based in Chicago. She earned her Masters in English from Loyola University. Other works include writing for Acid Reflux Comedy as well as the plays ALL OUR TWILIGHT, AWKWARD FAMILY GATHERINGS and STRANGEST THINGS! THE MUSICAL.
BARNEY THE ELF
Book and Lyrics by Bryan Renaud and Emily Schmidt
Directed by Michael Graham
December 14, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Previews Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15 – all seats $15.00
Press opening December 16, 2918 at 3:30 pm
The Broadway, Pride Arts Center,
4139 N. Broadway
Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 3:30 pm
Premium reserved seats $30, general admission seats $20, student/senior/military $15
Pride Arts Center – the Broadway, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago
Tickets available by phone at 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222 or online at www.pridefilmsandplays.com
Chicago drag queen sensation Dixie Lynn Cartwright again takes the lead for this cheeky musical twist on the modern holiday fave about "embracing your inner elf." After Santa Claus retires, his wicked son begins a not-so-jolly reign as the new head of Christmas. The North Pole begins to crumble under his tyrannical rule, and Barney the Elf is forced to leave his home. Soon he embarks on a fabulous journey of self-discovery (or is it elf-discovery?) that lands him in one of Chicago's hottest drag bars. But can he truly leave Christmas behind for a new life in the big city? BARNEY THE ELF brings choreographed musical numbers galore and plenty of queer holiday cheer to the Pride Arts Center.
ABOUT PRIDE FILMS AND PLAYS
Pride Films and Plays is working to produce year-round theater and film projects that change lives through the generation of diverse new work (or work that is new to Chicago) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that are essential viewing for all audiences. The company produces a five-play season of full productions, shoots one short film each year, and continues our famed play developmental projects. PFP is the principal tenant in Pride Arts Center.
Pride Arts Center produces events complimenting the PFP vision, including dance, cabaret, film, and more. Events can be one-night or limited run productions or feature national treasures like Charles Busch. PAC occupies The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway, which has 85 seats, and The Buena, which has 55 seats at 4147 N Broadway.
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, The Pauls Foundation, The Heath Fund, The Service Club of Chicago, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation, Arts and Business Council, and Alphawood Foundation.
PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, Northhalsted Business Association, Uptown United, and The League of Chicago Theatres.