Downers Grove North graduate Nicholas Reinhart's dream is coming true.
Reinhart will premiere the result of his dedication and hard work, in the original musical "At the End of the Road."
The premise for "At the End of the Road" originated from an NPR radio broadcast of “This American Life” about a young man who decided to walk across the United States and record his journey. When a show time slot opened up at Circle Theatre, where Reinhart has served as Producing Director since 2012, he “jumped at the opportunity to create a devised musical based loosely on this idea.”
“The process of writing a new musical is a long and arduous journey,” said Reinhart, director of the production, “one very much akin to the journey our main character takes. I have been so lucky to take the journey with a cast of willing, dedicated, and supremely talented artists who not only bring these characters to life on the stage, but had a large hand in creating them on the page."
After combining a group of actors, from both his network of local Chicago actors and from auditions, Reinhart led the group in workshops to write the musical. Three cast members attended college with Reinhart at Illinois Wesleyan University, and one cast member—Heidi Buyck—actually attended high school with Reinhart at Downers Grove North, and even performed together in local community theatres.
Chicago actor Kyle Blair worked closely with Reinhart and the ensemble cast to create the script which brings to life the story of a young man named Adam, played by Sean Driscoll, who is fresh out of college at the age of 22, and finds himself on a 3,000-mile walk across America in a search to find the meaning in his life.
Through happenstance meetings and life-changing experiences, Adam discovers the purpose of growing up and moving on.
“'At the End of the Road' is a world-premiere musical unlike anything you've seen before,” said Reinhart.
Veronica Garza, a local Chicago actress, wrote additional music and lyrics to capture Adam’s journey, according to Reinhart.
“Veronica Garza was one of the most valuable assets to me as a director,” he said. “She was a total surprise as well: she had never played any of her music for a wide audience before, but instead used her songs for auditions. I am thrilled to be helping bring this fantastic new voice to light and I know people are going to just go crazy over this music.”
“The dedication and creativity of the ensemble cast has developed a musical work that far surpasses my initial vision for At the End of the Road,” said Reinhart. “I am thrilled to be directing this work for Circle Theatre and Garden City Theatre Project—my two Chicago theatrical homes.”
Written and performed by Kyle Blair, Jennifer Bludgen, Heidi Buyck, Marina Dee, Sean Driscoll, Veronica Garza, Erika Lecaj, Nick Roesler and Elizabeth Schwarzrock.
The musical plays January 23-25 at 8 p.m., Jan. 25-26 at 3 p.m. (5 performances) at the Madison Street Theatre, 1010 W. Madison in Oak Park. Tickets are $30 General, $28 Student/Senior, $15 Industry and are available by calling 773-904-8756 or online.
ABOUT CIRCLE THEATRE
Founded in 1985, Circle Theatre is an artist-based company whose mission is to produce exciting and innovative theatre accessible to our widely diversified suburban and city audience. Through variety-filled seasons including drama, comedy, musicals, and new works, Circle Theatre challenges, entertains, and educates audiences and artists of all ages.
ABOUT GARDEN CITY THEATRE PROJECT
Functioning primarily as a workshop, Garden City Theatre Project seeks to further the art form of the American musical. By presenting new works, both world and Chicago premieres, Garden City Theatre Project aims to challenge our audience by introducing them to unique, original, contemporary music theatre. At the End of the Road is Garden City Theatre Project's inaugural production.