Co-Presented by 59E59 Theaters, A Red Orchid Theatre, Oddly Correct Coffee, and Wesley Stace's Cabinet of Wonders.
A New Play with Magic, Performed by Jon Tai
Co-Written by Jon Tai and Alex Gruhin
Directed and Produced by Alex Gruhin
59E59 Theaters, Chicago’s A Red Orchid Theatre, Kansas City’s Oddly Correct Coffee and Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders will co-present the virtual off-Broadway transfer of MISSED CONNECTIONS– a live, intimate and interactive play with magic, conceived for virtual experience.
“MISSED CONNECTIONS is not a passive viewing experience, a livestream or a virtual magic show. It is a totally unique theatrical event, designed for a new performing arts media landscape, enabled by and co-created with its audience on a performance-by-performance basis.” - Kirsten Fitzgerald, Artistic Director of Chicago's MacArthur and multi-Jeff Award Winning A Red Orchid Theatre.
MISSED CONNECTIONS is a magician’s cosmic love story, inspired by the work of writer Haruki Murakami, philosopher Marshall McLuhan and magician Derek DelGaudio (IN & OF ITSELF). The play, which explores the fleeting, unspoken bonds that can emerge between total strangers, takes 20 audience members on a search for the invisible thread that connects them all. Chris Jones writes in his rave review in the Chicago Tribune that “our random, unfair and pandemoniac world dissolves” in MISSED CONNECTIONS, “healed by connective tissue that you just have been too unobservant to perceive.” Take a leap and be a part of its pioneering mission across the universe.
Please note that availability is limited! There are only 20 tickets available for admission, per performance. Only one ticket is required per household.
We recommend MISSED CONNECTIONS for ages 13+
Join Jon Tai to discuss the show with a VIP guest moderator immediately following these performances:
Friday, May 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Katlyn Carlson, Actress, Chloe Valentine in BE MORE CHILL on Broadway
Katlyn began her career in Chicago on the storefront theatre circuit and went on to originate the role of Chloe Valentine in the viral musical sensation BE MORE CHILL on Broadway. She’s the lead in indie Christmas film Holly Star, plays multiple characters in Jon Stewart’s Irresistible, stars opposite Doug Jones in My Name is Jerry, and appeared in Zach Braff’s Going in Style opposite Michael Caine. Katlyn has appeared in episodes of Happy Together, Master of None, Billions, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Henry Danger, Alternatino with Arturo Castro, and TruTV’s World’s Dumbest, and Almost Genius. She has a BA in English from the University of Chicago, and lives in Brooklyn with her husband/writing partner, Ryan.
Saturday, May 15 at 4:00 p.m. ET
Adam Cheyer, Co-Founder of Siri, Founding Member of Change.org
Adam helped start four successful companies: co-founder of Siri (sold to Apple to build the Siri assistant), co-founder of Viv Labs (sold to Samsung to build the Bixby voice assistant), co-founder of Sentient (a machine learning company), and founding member of Change.org (the world's largest petition platform with 440M+ members). Adam has authored more than 60 publications and 38 patents. In addition to his technology work, Adam is an award-winning magician. He has performed in stadiums for thousands, on TV for millions (including on the well-known Penn and Teller Fool Us TV show), entertained heads of state and presidents, and fooled some of the top pros in magic.
Sunday, May 16 at 4:00 p.m. ET
Billy Kidd, Magician
Billy Kidd is a magician based in the UK. Sometimes she performs in theatres such as Liberty Magic in Pittsburgh, Hales Ales in Seattle, or Hollywood’s Magic Castle. Sometimes she performs on television for such shows as Wizard Wars on Syfy, Masters of Illusion on CW, Breaking Magic on Discovery Channel, Game of Talents and Next Great Magician on ITV, and plenty of others for the BBC, CBC, CH 4, and Bell Fibe tv. Billy has performed her magic all over Europe, South East Asia, Japan, China, Turkey, USA, Canada, and soon to be outer space. She runs her own weekly venue called Krowd Keepers Magic Theatre in Bath, England. www.billykiddshow.com
Sunday, May 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Gerry Chiaro, Assistant Professor & Director of the Immersion Quarter Program at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.
Alex Gruhin, Co-Creator and Producer of MISSED CONNECTIONS
Gerry Chiaro joined the faculty of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications in 2009 and is currently assistant professor and director of the Immersion Quarter Program. He teaches graduate courses in brand management, brand communications decisions and IMC strategy. Before joining the faculty at Northwestern Chiaro's worked for PepsiCo, Gatorade and McDonald's and in senior executive marketing and strategic development leadership roles in venture capital-backed internet marketing technology start-ups. He is proud to support his former students following graduation and is thrilled to lead a talkback with his former student and the producer and co-creator of MISSED CONNECTIONS, Alex Gruhin.
Alex Gruhin is a polymath producer playwright and serial corporate intrapreneur. Favorite conceptions to date beyond MISSED CONNECTIONS include: over 75 magic, music and wellness inspired immersive event collaborations with Chef David Bouley, Nightcap Riot: Mombucha at Magick City, Natti Vogel’s Yom Kippur Spectacular at Feinstein’s 54 Below, the first ever classical music series for Bed Bath & Beyond, a leading-edge avatar-driven customer experience strategy for St. Regis Hotels, and a digitally transformed Helen Hayes Awards for theatreWashington during Covid 2020. Alex is a proud graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and also Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, where he was extremely proud to be one of Gerry Chiaro’s students. He lives in Hell's Kitchen, NYC with his far better half, Ariel, and their two cats – Golda Meir and Cali.
Wednesday, May 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Dennis Watkins, 3rd Generation Magician of Chicago’s “The Magic Parlour”
Dennis Watkins is a third-generation magician. actor and entertainer with awards and honors from the Joseph Jefferson Committee, the Society of American Magicians, the Desert Magic Seminar and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. His critically acclaimed, award-winning show, The Magic Parlour, has been running at the legendary Palmer House Hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago for more than 10 years. His performances have been seen on CBS, FOX, WGN, ABC, the A&E network, and he was recently featured on The CW's Penn & Teller Fool Us.
Thursday, May 20 at 8:00 p.m. EST
Sam Strasfeld, Broadway Actor and Ninja Trainer
Alex Gruhin, Co-Creator and Producer of MISSED CONNECTIONS
Sam Strasfeld is a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba who now calls New York City home. For the last two decades, he has appeared onstage in theatre across Canada, the US, London’s West End, and on Broadway. He also performed on TV with the Tony nominated productions of MARY POPPINS, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, CAROUSEL, and KISS ME KATE. This July, you can catch him in SCHMIGADOON on Apple+. Currently, Sam spends his time at Mark Fisher Fitness as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and nutrition coach where he helps artists and people of all walks of life unlock and amplify their inherent ability to live their best lives. He has developed a workshop called Foundational Habits for Performers which takes a holistic approach at nurturing the well being of young performers. Through functional movement, nutrition, and mindfulness, the artist’s instrument (their body) is primed to help ensure success and longevity.
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