Barbara E. Robertson is Firebrand’s Queen of the Mist

Barbara E. Robertson is Firebrand’s Queen of the Mist

Barbara E. Robertson. Photo by Janna Giacoppo.

Firebrand Theatre has announced Barbara E. Robertson will headline as Anna (Annie) Edson Taylor in its Chicago premiere of QUEEN OF THE MIST featuring book, music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party, Marie Christine) direction by Elizabeth Margolius and music direction by Charlotte Rivard-Hoster. QUEEN OF THE MIST will play May 25 – July 6 at The Den Theatre. Additional casting is to be announced.

QUEEN OF THE MIST is based on the real-life Anna Edson Taylor, who in 1901 set out to be the first person to go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel of her own design.

“Anna (Annie) Edson Taylor was an extraordinarily accomplished and vibrant woman who made her own rules in a time when women had very few opportunities,” said Artistic Director Harmony France. “To play such a phenomenal woman, you need to find a truly phenomenal woman. We are so fortunate to have Chicago legend Barbara Robertson, an extraordinarily accomplished and talented actor, filling these shoes. She and Elizabeth really enjoy working together and Barbara is passionate about Firebrand Theatre’s mission of empowering women. It just seems like it was meant to be, and I believe that Chicago is in store for a rare and unforgettable performance.”

Normally featuring three men and two women, LaChiusa has approved for the production to be re-arranged by Andra Velis Simon for an ensemble of five women. “We are also thrilled that Michael John LaChiusa, a feminist who writes beautiful material for women, has given us the go-ahead to make the quintet in Queen of the Mist exclusively for femme voices,” France continued. “While our mission is to employ and empower women on and off the stage, it can be a daunting task to achieve with our current musical theatre canon. However, with allies like Mr. LaChiusa supporting our efforts, the task gets easier. We thank him, all our allies, and our fellow feminists for being cornerstones of a great movement. Creative casting is the key to Firebrand’s survival, and supportive, visionary artists like Mr. LaChiusa help us expand and enrich the beautiful art form that gives so much to our community and our culture.”

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