Like THE ADDAMS FAMILY before it, the new musical HAZEL is based on a one-panel comic strip, though audiences are bound to be far more familiar with the character's hit TV series.
The creation of cartoonist Ted Key, the uninhibited live-in maid and nanny for the Baxter family first appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in 1943 and was a mainstay until the magazine folded in 1969. Key continued to draw the cartoon for syndication until his retirement in 1993.
Shirley Booth won two Emmy Awards for starring in the title role of television's HAZEL, a popular sitcom that ran from 1961-66.
Now it's Klea Blackhurst's turn to don the uniform, grab the feather duster and belt out a showstopper or two in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, as she stars in Drury Lane Theatre's world premiere production of HAZEL, a musical that has had plenty of Broadway-bound buzz in the works.
Blackhurst burst onto the New York scene with her cabaret tribute to Ethel Merman, EVERYTHING THE TRAFFIC WILL ALLOW, and her big brassy vocals have made her a favorite among musical comedy fans. She's starred in Merman vehicles like RED, HOT AND BLUE and CALL ME MADAM at San Francisco's 42nd Street Moon and ANYTHING GOES at the Shubert in New Haven. Her Off-Broadway credits include RADIO GALS, BINGO and OIL CITY SYMPHONY.
Directed and choreographed by Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Joshua Bergasse, HAZEL has a book by Lissa Levin and features music by Ron Abel and lyrics by Chuck Steffan. HAZEL runs March 31 - May 29, 2016, and Opening Night is set for Wednesday, April 6 at 8 p.m.
Rehearsals have just begun and a new video features set designer Kevin Depinet and costume designer Sully Ratke showing how they intend to bring the color and style of 1960s middle-class suburbia to the stage.
Tickets for HAZEL are on sale now by calling the Drury Lane Theatre box office at 630.530.0111, TicketMaster at 800.745.3000 or by visiting DruryLaneTheatre.com. The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. ($45), Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. ($45) and 8 p.m. ($55), Fridays at 8 p.m. ($60), Saturdays at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ($60), and Sundays at 2 p.m.($60), and 6 p.m. ($55). Student group tickets start as low as $30 and Senior Citizens start at $40 for matinees. Dinner and show packages are also available.