Silly staging of '50 Shades! The Musical' hoping for a hit

2013-10-22T00:00:00Z 2013-10-30T16:03:02Z Silly staging of '50 Shades! The Musical' hoping for a hitBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

The idea to create a parody stage musical comedy paying homage to the page-by-page success of the sexy, breezy read "Fifty Shades of Grey" began with the show's writer Marshall Cordell getting "roped into it."

"This project started because Marshall heard something about rope sales being on the rise after people started reading this book," said Emily Dorezas, who worked with Cordell and Albert Samuels to dream up the stage spoof last year, which was first workshoped before having a few test-out runs at Apollo Theater in Chicago.

Broadway In Chicago is now hosting a quick run of the production "50 Shades! The Musical," following sold-out audiences in New York and a hit run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It plays the Windy City at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E Chestnut, opening tonight and running through Sunday.

"Fifty Shades of Grey" book trilogy has shattered sales records around the globe with more than 32 million copies sold in the United States alone and a 2014 Universal Pictures feature film release prompting lots of media buzz.

As the stage parody, Dorezas said "50 Shades! The Musical" opens with a ladies book club deciding to read "Fifty Shades of Grey." Through their interpretation of the novel, the audience is led on what Dorezas describes as a hilarious roller coaster ride of this unlikely bestseller. The show is also filled with dance numbers, 11 original songs and a live band backing the performance of original songs.

Dorezas said like the book series, the stage musical is not for those under age 18, but "does not cross boundaries that would make general audiences squirm."

"With this show, all bets are off and there are lots of surprises," she said.

"It's most of the same cast from the Off Broadway New York run. When we were casting, we were looking for funny talent as our first priority. Now, we get audiences ranging from anyone age 18 to 80. It's a 'no judge' atmosphere."

Tickets are $29 to $49, with a select number of premium seats also available for many performances. Groups of 10 or more are available by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Kiosk at Water Tower Place (845 N. Michigan Ave.), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at BroadwayInChicago.com.

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