3745 N Southport Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60613

Walter Stearns, Executive Director of the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave., announced today that due to popular demand the acclaimed Route 66 Theatre Company's production of A TWIST OF WATER, which enjoyed a sold out run at Theater Wit, will extend through June 26 at the Mercury Theater.

A TWIST OF WATER marks the grand re-opening of the Mercury Theater as well as the theater’s new commitment to the Chicago arts scene. Executive Director Walter Stearns states: “The new Mercury Theater will not only welcome commercial theatre productions, but will also offer a home to Chicago artists, as is the case with the transfer of this homegrown production.”

Stef Tovar, Route 66 Theatre Company's Artistic Director said, "This is an amazing opportunity for our production and our theatre company. We are thrilled that A TWIST OF WATER will have a new home and an opportunity to reach a wider audience and we could not have done this without the generosity of the Mercury Theater".

A tribute to beloved Chicago and its unique history, the Jeff Award Recommended A TWIST OF WATER is a deeply funny and profoundly touching story of fathers and daughters, and what it means to be a family. Written by Caitlin Montanye Parrish and Directed by Erica Weiss who is also the co-creator, the production features Route 66 Artistic Director Stef Tovar, with Falashay Pearson, Alex Hugh Brown and Lili-Anne Brown.

A TWIST OF WATER has received glowing reviews from Chicago's critics, earning four stars from Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune who raved that the production “reaches with more passion, wisdom and lyricism towards civic definition than any Chicago work I've seen." Steve Oxman from Variety pronounced the play as “meaningful and affecting.” Said Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times “a play full of passion, purpose, intelligence...bursts of poetic writing...Stef Tovar in a fervent, soulful, first-rate performance...very well acted.” Highly recommended by Julienne Bilker of Time Out Chicago, A TWIST OF WATER is a “smart, affecting new play.” Keith Ecker of Chicago Theatre Blog calls A TWIST OF WATER, "A contemporary masterpiece...an important play that speaks to our time...Four Stars." Mary Barnidge of Windy City Times praises, “Erica Weiss' direction highlights the intelligence anchoring this exploration of family dynamics.” The play also received a great deal of attention when Mayor Elect Rahm Emanuel attended the production days after winning the mayoral seat.

A TWIST OF WATER features Stef Tovar as Noah, a gay, widowed history teacher, raising his adopted African-American daughter Jira, played by Falashay Pearson, alone in the wake of his husband's death in a car accident. When Jira decides that she wants to seek out her birth mother, Noah's already grief-stricken and strained relationship with his child is pressed to the breaking point. As he struggles to hold on to and rebuild his family, a burgeoning new romance with a younger man, played by Alex Hugh Brown, serves to complicate matters, but may also be a saving grace.

A TWIST OF WATER was the People's Choice Award winner for the XYZ Festival of New Work at About Face Theatre. It was also featured in the Victory Gardens Theater New Play Reading Series, Red Tape Theatre's Fresh Eyes Project 2009 and in Route 66 Theatre Company's Monthly Reading Series at Murphy's Irish Bistro.

Playwright Caitlin Montanye Parrish is a Route 66 Company member and a founding member of Hypatia Theatre Company. Her plays have been viewed Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theater, regionally at Portland Stage in Maine, and in Chicago at Victory Gardens Theater, Red Tape Theatre, PROP THTR, Chicago Dramatists, and The Inconvenience. She is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Southern California in screenwriting.

Erica Weiss, the Co-Creator and Director, serves as the Literary Manager for Route 66 Theatre Company where she was the dramaturg for the world premiere of Scott Barsotti's McMEEKIN FINDS OUT. She also dramaturged Kristoffer Diaz's Jeff Award-winning play, THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Erica was the founding Artistic Director of Hypatia Theatre Company. The company dissolved in 2008 and is now The Hypatia Project, an ongoing theatrical partnership between her and playwright Caitlin Montanye Parrish, with whom she has collaborated for the past eight years.

Stef Tovar, who stars as Noah, is the Founder and Artistic Director of Route 66 Theatre Company, where he starred along with Johnny Clark in the critically acclaimed and Jeff Award-nominated ON AN AVERAGE DAY. He most recently filmed the movie CONTAGION directed by Steven Soderbergh, sharing scenes with Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow. Stef spent seven months last year working at Drury Lane Oakbrook, where he was Beinstock in SUGAR, and Houdini as well as other roles in the multiple, Jeff Award-winning RAGTIME. HE is a Jeff Award-winning actor whose work includes the Marriott Theatre, Northlight, Apple Tree, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Theatre at the Center among others. Stef spent six years in Los Angeles before returning to Chicago in 2008 when he formed Route 66. His Los Angeles credits include Jamie in the L.A. premiere of The Last Five Years, George in Sunday in the Park with George, Kip in Wonder of the World, Homer in Floyd Collins and Che in a national tour of Evita.
A TWIST OF WATER also features Falashay Pearson as Jira, Alex Hugh Brown as Liam, and Lili-Anne Brown as Tia.

The production team for A TWIST OF WATER includes multiple Jeff Award-winning Sound Designer Lindsay Jones, Jeff Award-winning Projections Designer John Boesche, and Jeff Award-winning Lighting Designer Sean Mallary. Stephen H. Carmody is the Scenic Designer, and the Costume Designer is Alarie Hammock. A TWIST OF WATER’s Assistant Director is Hannah Fenlon, the Casting Director is Route 66 Company member Blair Robertson and the Dramaturg is Aaron Carter. Route 66 Theatre Company member Rita Vreeland is the Stage Manager and Route 66 member Matthew Bonaccorso is the Assistant Stage Manager.

About Route 66 Theatre Company
Founded in 2008 by Stef Tovar, Route 66 Theatre Company produces theatre that knowingly encounters risk and embraces the American spirit of exploration. Committed to their home base in Chicago where the historic Route 66 began and collaborating with artists in Los Angeles, Route 66 connects cultural divides by giving life to the vibrant stories that link America together. Route 66, has produced five Equity productions in less than three years-including five Chicago premieres, three world premieres and one production produced in two cities. They have been nominated for Los Angeles Critic's Circle Awards, L.A. Ovation Awards and three Jeff Awards, winning the Jeff Award for Best Sound Design for their production of THE K OF D: AN URBAN LEGEND in 2009. 2010-2011 is their first full season of work, which debuted with the Jeff Award-recommended, world premiere of McMEEKIN FINDS OUT. Their final production is to be announced. www.route66theatre.org

Ticket Information
A TWIST OF WATER plays at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport in Chicago. The performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 4pm and 8:00pm, and Sundays at 4pm. Tickets for preview performances are $38.50 and for the regular run from $38.50 to $44.50. Tickets are available for sale at www.mercurytheaterchicago.com or at (773) 325-1700.

Added by boleary on May 9, 2011