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Stages 2003

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Theatre Building Chicago hosts a weekend-long showcase of new musicals, offered here in varying stages of readiness. The lineup includes concert-style performances (with the actors at music stands), staged readings (with the actors moving about while using scripts and scores), and fully memorized and staged studio presentations. The festival gives audiences, artists, and entrepreneurs a chance to discuss the art, craft, and commerce of musical theater as they rub elbows between each show and during meal breaks. Participating writers this year include Arthur Kopit (Nine), Sherman Yellen (The Rothschilds), Wally Harper (best known as Barbara Cook's musical director), and the late Dorothy Parker, whose light verse and troubled life inspired the opening-night attraction, You Might as Well Live.

Performances take place Thursday-Sunday, August 7-10. All performances are in the north and south theaters of Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, except where noted otherwise below. Tickets for individual performances are $15 except where listed below; advance reservations are strongly encouraged for single performances. An $85 "Stages Pass" includes admission to most Saturday and Sunday events. For reservations and more information, call 773-327-5252; tickets are also available online at www.ticketmaster.com.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 7

Lewis and Clark, Discovered

Excerpts from Arthur Kopit and Donald Alan Siegal's musical about the early-19th-century explorers are previewed at the American Indian Center, 1630 W. Wilson. 7 PM. Donations requested (not included in "Stages Pass").

FRIDAY, AUGUST 8

You Might as Well Live

See Critic's Choice. North Theater, 7:30 PM. $75.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 9

Saint Heaven

Martin Casella and Keith Gordon's musical, set in 1957, concerns a young white doctor who falls in love with a black woman. Andrea Dymond directs. North theater, 9:30 AM.

I See London, I See France

A woman finds love the second time around in the form of a "dim-witted underwear model." Greg Kolack directs this musical by Jeremy Desmon and David S. Guerrerio. South theater, 9:30 AM.

Muskie Love

Allan Chambers directs this romantic tale of two Wisconsin fishing guides by Dave Hudson and Paul Libman. North theater, 12:30 PM.

This Fair World

Sherman Yellen and Wally Harper penned this screwball account of New York's 1939 world's fair. Alexandra Billings and Timothy Gulan star under Steve Scott's direction. South theater, 12:30 PM.

You Might as Well Live

See Critic's Choice. North theater, 3:30 PM.

Stand by the River

A family's involvement in the Underground Railroad is recounted in this musical by Joanne Sutton-Smith and Mark Sutton-Smith. Delia Gray directs. South theater, 3:30 PM.

Lewis and Clark, Discovered

A teenage boy joins the explorers in this "magical adventure of self-discovery" by Arthur Kopit and Donald Alan Siegal. Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj directs. North theater, 7:30 PM.

Continental Divide

Tina Salamone directs Stephen Cole and Jeffrey Saver's musical about an American couple who drift apart during a tour of Europe. South theater, 7:30 PM.

Dolly Would!

Singer-actor Stephen Rader salutes Dolly Parton in this cabaret performance. North theater, 10 PM. $10 (not included in "Stages Pass").

SUNDAY, AUGUST 10

Lewis and Clark, Discovered

See listing for 7:30 PM Saturday. North theater, 9:30 AM.

Continental Divide

See listing for 7:30 PM Saturday. South theater, 9:30 AM.

Authors Forum

Chicago Tribune reporter Chris Jones moderates a panel fea-turing Arthur Kopit, Sherman Yellen, and playwright-songwriter Jeffrey Sweet. Theatre Building Chicago west theater, 12:45 PM (preceded by brunch at 11:30 AM). $20 (includes brunch; not included in "Stages Pass").

Saint Heaven

See listing for 9:30 AM Saturday. North theater, 1:45 PM.

I See London, I See France

See listing for 9:30 AM Saturday. South theater, 1:45 PM.

This Fair World

See listing for 12:30 PM Saturday. South theater, 4 PM.

Muskie Love

See listing for 12:30 PM Saturday. North theater, 4:15 PM.

Stand by the River

See listing for 3:30 PM Saturday. South theater, 6:30 PM.

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