Players Debut A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine

The Tony award-winning musical double feature A Day in Hollywood/ A Night in the Ukraine is on the Peninsula Players stage now through July 26.

“As the title indicates, the musical’s two acts are like day and night,” said Players Artistic Director Greg Vinkler. “The first act is a musical revue in which the ushers from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood pay tribute to the films of the 1930s. Then, the second act is a spoof of Anton Chekhov’s one-act play The Bear a la the Marx Brothers.”

The revue pays homage to the golden age of Hollywood and its musical films with dancing/singing redentions of such classics as “Over the Rainbow,” “Hooray for Hollywood,” “Cocktails for Two,” “Thanks for the Memory” and many more.

The second act, A Night in the Ukraine, is presented as a straight-out, knock-about Marx Brothers movie musical. A lawyer wants to con a rich Russian widow into giving him 1,800 rubles so he doesn’t have to go to jail. Meanwhile, the staff is running amuck while the widow’s daughter looks for the ideal young man. With familiar characters, bicycles, horns, tap dancing, piano playing and rubber chickens, the Marx Brothers always brought audiences to peals of laughter.

A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine originated in London at the Majestic Theatre in 1979 and moved to Broadway in 1980 for a substantial run. This musical comedy earned Tommy Tune one of his nine Tony Awards.

Vinkler cast Peninsula Players veterans Maggie Carney, Kevin McKillip, Sean Fortunato and Carmen Roman and newcomers Jarrod Zimmerman, Katheryn Patton, Maris Hudson and Dan Collins. All bring their talent as musical theater performers.

The cast of the show is under the direction of the multi-talented Peter Amster, who directed the recent productions of Master Class and Born Yesterday for the Players. A seasoned professional, Amster has directed and choreographed productions for most of the Chicago area’s professional theaters and opera companies.

Working with Amster is musical director Valerie Maze and choreographer Linda Fortunato, both of whom worked on the 2006 production of Caberet for the Players. Maze is on the music staff at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and this past spring served as conductor/keyboardist for Seussical at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oak Brook. Maze has served as Music Director at Apple Tree Theatre and Theater at the Center where she won an “After Dark Award” for her work on Cats. Linda Fortunato returns for her ninth season at the Players where she performed in numerous productions and choreographed Little Shop of Horrors, Cabaret, and Into the Woods.

A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine will be on stage through July 26. Curtain times are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 7:30 pm. The closing performance on July 26 will be at 4 pm. Ticket prices range from $30 to $35. For more information, call 920.868.3287 or visit