A History of Summer


Pride Films and Plays presents a special workshop of the glorious new musical A History of Summer, with music and lyrics by Jonathan Monro and book by Adam Mathias. Both of the authors have extensive credits (see full bios below) and will be coming to Chicago for one week to work with director David Zak, music director Robert Ollis, a cast of 16 and a five piece band for the reading. Performances are at 7:00 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday June 28 and 29 at Theater Wit, 1229 W Belmont. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here or 1 800 737 0984.

A History of Summer covers the period between 1869 and the present day, following the stories of a number of friends, couples and siblings who journey to Fire Island for beachfront relaxation, romance and escape. Over the years, the Fire Island communities of Cherry Grove and the Pines develop into a hugely popular LGBT resort, with summer residents coming from New York City and beyond. The gorgeous songs in the show reflect the wide-ranging issues that confronted the gay community throughout these decades, from the closeted-repression and harassment of the forties and fifties, the romances of the wartime years, the free-wheeling seventies, the disco years and the ensuing AIDS crisis, ending on a positive note with self-affirming songs celebrating gay pride and activism, and the realization of  same-sex marriage. For more information about the development of the show, a few video clips from readings in New York and some examples of the beautiful score, see ahistoryofsummer.com.

The cast for the workshop features Liz Bollar, Tom Chiola, Olin Eargle, Edward Fraim, Dan Gold, Scott Gryder, Jude Hansen, David Kaplinsky, Royen Kent, Libby Lane, Ryan Lanning, Michelle McKenzie-Voigt, Luke Meierdiercks, Rachel Page, Jordan Phelps, Kevin Webb, and Travis Austin Wright.

Adam Mathias wrote the book and lyrics for See Rock City & Other Destinations (Off-broadway: Transport Group, Duke Theatre on 42nd Street, 2010) for which he received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical. The musical received the Richard Rogers Award, the Jerry Bock Award and was nominated for 5 additional Drama Desk Awards including best lyrics and best music (by Brad Alexander); the original off-Broadway cast recording is available on iTunes and Amazon and performance rights are available from Samuel French. Adam also co-wrote the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival hit The Passion of George W. Bush (also, Joe’s Pub.) As resident artist at Bakerloo Theatre Project, a classical theatre company, Adam created Hamlet: What Dreams May Come, a four actor ninety-minute retelling of Shakespeare’s masterpiece. He is a long-standing member and frequent moderator of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writing Workshop (Jerry Harrington Award.) He has a BFA in playwriting from The Theatre School, DePaul University and an MFA in musical theatre writing from NYU, Tisch.  www.adamup.com Adam Mathias is represented by Ron Gwiazda at Abrams Artists.

Jonathan Monro, born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Jonathan made his professional debut as a classical pianist at Carnegie Recital Hall. As actor: Featured roles in over 70 productions for stage, TV, and film, including Much Ado About Nothing and The Miser (Broadway), The Producers (original Canadian cast), 2 Pianos 4 Hands (1st National U.S. tour), Flashpoint (CBS), and eight productions at the Stratford Festival of Canada. As composer: over 20 original scores for theatre, and 6 original musicals, including Variations on a Nervous Breakdown (lyrics/music, 4 Betty Mitchell Awards), Dream Vacation (book, music, lyrics), and The Review (music/co-lyricist). Other highlights include working as musical associate to Charles Strouse and Richard Maltby, and being a featured composer/lyricist at the York Theatre’s New Emerging Outstanding showcase. He is the recipient of the Elliott Hayes Award, 4 Guthrie Awards, and BMI’s Harrington Award for Outstanding Songwriting, and is a proud member of BMI’s Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop. www.jonathanmonro.com.  Jonathan Monro is represented by Jonathan Mills at Paradigm.