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Our First Christmas from ALL THAT HE WAS - performed by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles

By Cindy O'Connor and Larry Todd Cousineau
Directed by Michael Driscoll



The  Broadway, Pride Arts Center
4139 N. Broadway

A new musical about an ill-fated high school musical adaptation of LORD OF THE FLIES

In a twisted mash-up of WAITING FOR GUFFMAN and GLEE, FLIES! THE MUSICAL! follows the drama kids from Lovely Valley Performing Arts Magnet High School. The students are left behind in an abandoned forest preserve during a “research” retreat for an unauthorized teacher-written musical production of LORD OF THE FLIES. Gradually, things turn savage in a couple of unsupervised hours as the plot points of the novel begin to come true one by one, in song, until eventually the kids are “rescued” by an astonished park ranger (who happens to love musicals) but it’s much too late for them to go back to who they were before. FLIES! THE MUSICAL! will open on Friday, May 11 at 7:30 pm in The Broadway, Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, following previews from May 3-6 and May 10.

FLIES! THE MUSICAL! is an original musical by Chicagoan Larry Todd Cousineau (book and lyrics) and Cindy O’Connor (music).  It was developed in 2016-2017 in a series of readings in Chicago at Uptown Underground and Pride Arts Center. This 2018 production is its world premiere. It will be directed by Michael Driscoll, who directed the Jeff nominated productions of CARRIE: THE MUSICAL (Bailiwick Chicago) and BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (Step Up Productions), the Jeff recommended DESPERATE DOLLS (Strawdog Theatre), and many others. Sawyer Smith, whose credits include HEATHERS (Kokandy Productions, Jeff Award winner for Best Choreography) and recently, ALTAR BOYZ (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre) will choreograph. J.D. Caudill will be music director.

Cindy O’Connor (composer) and Larry Todd Cousineau (bookwriter/lyricist)have a long history together. Their works include 40 IS THE NEW 15, which had a critically-acclaimed run at the NoHo Arts Center in Los Angeles, receiving Best New Musical award from Stagescene LA and a GLAAD Media Award Nomination for Outstanding Los Angeles Theatre. Their musical drama, ALL THAT HE WAS, earned them the Kennedy Center National Playwright's Award and the ACTF Musical Theater Award and is available for license through Samuel French. Several of their songs have been featured in concerts by the Gay Men’s Choruses of Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. O’Connor's music can be heard in ONCE UPON A TIME (ABC), CRASH (Starz), DOLPHIN TALE, and FORGIVING THE FRANKLINS (Sundance). Cousineau’s writing has been featured in animated series including YIN, YANG, YO! (Disney), THE NEW CARE BEARS, and ANGELA ANACONDA. His SONGS FROM MY CLOSET cabaret series is an annual hit at Uptown Underground.

The cast will include Mario Aivazian, Ryan Armstrong, Jayla Williams Craig, Joey Fontanetta, Nicky Mendelsohn, Jeff Meyer, Christea Parent, and Missy Wise. The production team will include John Nichols (Sound Designer), Sarah Watkins (Scenic Designer), Paul Kim (Costume Designer), Shelby Arndt (lighting design), Adam McAleavey (Puppet Designer), Jamie Karas (Properties Designer), Michael Starcher (Stage Manager) and Anna Zerwer (Assistant Director).
Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 students and seniors and are on sale now at or by phone at 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222.