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Book, Music and Lyrics by J. Linn Allen

Directed by Joan Mazzonelli

Music Direction by Sarah Jenks

Synopsis: How will you face the end? A cancer patient, estranged from his family, tries to write a song for his grand-daughter’s wedding in hopes of a reconciliation. Seized by emotion and memory, he calls on his creativity to give him strength in his waning days, and comes to accept help from a varied group of new friends. 

Dates and times

The Edge Theater


February 6 at 8 pm 

February 10 at 3 pm

February 16 at 3 pm

February 22 at 7 pm

February 24 at 3 pm 

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Cast & Creatives

J. Linn Allen (Writer) won a Samuel Shubert national playwriting award for his play Lo-A Fable of Vietnam. His musical The Anarchist Girl was performed at New Musicals Inc.’s Stages Festival in Los Angeles in 2015. His musical Muffins took best music award at the PremierPremiers Festival at MCL Chicago in 2016. His play Devices was presented at the 2018 Saint Sebastian Players 10-Minute Play Festival in Chicago. His play Shake My Hand had a 4-week run at the Actors Workout Studio in Los Angeles in 2018.

Joan Mazzonelli (Director) has produced, directed, and designed original works in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.  She has served in leadership roles with City Lit Theater, Griffin Theatre, Midwest New Musicals, Athenaeum Theatre, Theatre Building Chicago, New Tuners Theatre, On Stage Productions, Opera Shop at the Vineyard Theatre, and National Shakespeare Company. Her musical books include: Bottom’s Dream with James L. Kurtz, the adaptation for the stage of All in the Laundry by Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Reasonable Terms with Karena Mendoza and Marianne Kallen, and High Fidelity, The Proposal, Dorabella’s Daughters and The Passion of John with Philip Seward, as well as the co-adaptation of Border Crossing with Marianne Kellen. 

Sarah Jenks (Music Director) 

Maggie Hoffecker (Stage Manager) is completing her final year in her Stage Management Degree at The Theatre School at DePaul University. Maggie recently returned from London, England, working at the Royal Central School for Speech and Drama's production of American Clock.

Bill Kavanagh (Cliff) ) just finished his yearly  holiday run with Holiday Harmony, singing all over the tri-state area. You may have caught him on the stage of the Lyric Opera as the Polar Bear ( and a priest) in The Magic Flute, throwing Falstaff out the window as a servant of Ford in Falstaff, or beating up Mario as Roberti ( also the Bishop)  in Tosca.  Some favorite roles include Julian Marsh in 42nd Street, Bernard in Don’t Dress for Dinner, Mayor Shin in The Music Man, Prince Nikki in My One and Only, and Sir Evelyn in Anything Goes.

Ana Maria Alvarez (Mary) is thrilled to appear in Cancerman! Was last heard in Brava, a podcast with Make Believe Assoc. Other roles include Lydia (u.s.) Ashes of Light, UTC; Jack’s Mom, Into the Woods, The Metropolis Theatre; Sra. Costa, The River Bride, Halcyon Theatre: Alice (u.s./performed) “The Bardy Bunch: The War of the Families Partridge and Brady” Mercury Theatre; Ciliana (u.s and ensemble) in  Goodman Theatre’s Another Word for Beauty and  Bita, Yasmina’s Necklace  (New Stages Festival).  Also appeared with Theatre NYC, The Light Opera of Manhattan, NY G&S Players, The London Savoyards and in various TV roles. Thank you Ernie, and my 3 daughters.

Sarah Hayes (Abby)

Shaina Summerville (Young Abby) is delighted to return to the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. Recent credits include Penny in Hairspray, Logainne in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and a New Hampshire children’s theatre tour. She also narrates audiobooks.

Timothy Sullivan (Pete) Chicago credits include Coleman(u/s) in The Lonesome West (AstonRep), Peter(u/s) in The Pavilion (Open Door Theater), Lysander and Cobweb in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatre-Hikes), Mrs Who (u/s) and Father (u/s) in A Wrinkle in Time (Lifeline Theater), Mycroft Holmes (u/s) and Stamford (u/s) in Miss Holmes (Lifeline Theater), Arnold Crouch in Not Now, Darling! (Brightside Theatre), Sir Robin in Spamalot (Metropolis), and Kahless Past in A Klingon Christmas Carol (Commedia Beauregard).

Emil Lee Hart Frantz (Jenny) has been seen with Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company, AlphaBet Soup Productions, The Cabaret Project, "More Than Miss" cabaret at Davenport's, and The Caroling Party. She teaches private voice and music directs at BRAVO! and Ovation Academy for the Performing Arts in Oak Park, IL. These programs have piloted new productions through Disney Theatrical Group and Musical Theatre International, including Frozen KIDS and Matilda JR.

John Leen (Dan)most recently seen on stage at Lyric Opera (​Siegfried), and Theo Ubique (​Sweeney Todd). Favorite roles include Javert in ​Les Mis, Edward Rutledge in ​1776,and Molokov in ​Chess. He has also worked at Drury Lane Water Tower, Court Theatre, Theatre at the Center, Light Opera Works, Bailiwick, BoHo, Apple Tree, Porchlight, and Northlight, and regionally at Music by the Lake, Okoboji Summer Theatre, Farmers Alley and the Asolo Rep in Florida.  John B can also be seen and heard on radio and TV spots for the likes of the Chicago Bulls, Onion Productions, and Cellcom.

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