THE REEL THING: News & Notes

THE HIP HOP MUSICAL “Pluto: the Opera” with music by Justin J. Mayer lead audio designer at Swell’s audio division BOOM! and librettist Idris Goodwin runs June 10-26 at the Prop Theatre.

Directed by Tony Sancho, in the cast are Nate Delman, Khanisha Foster, Sharrieff Muhammad, Seemore Perspective and Ashley Winston. Mayer and Goodwin, also members of the band Farm Crew, conceived the opera last summer. Mayer’s been with BOOM! for five years.

“PRISON BREAK” the series has settled in at Chicago Studio City and will shoot from June 21 to November. Every episode will include a combination of interiors at CSC, Joliet prison and various locations. Producer is Gary Brown .

GARY SINISE returns to Chicago June 11 with his Lt. Dan Band. They perform a Rock & Remember benefit concert for the Pentagon Memorial Fund at Park West. FYI. Sinise’s father, editor Bob Sinise owned one of the biggest Chicago post housees and founded the very first editorial boutique in town.

KAISER CHIEFS AND GOOD CHARLOTTE BANDS were hosted last week as part of Leo Burnett’s musical artist-in-residence program.

LAWYERS FOR THE CREATIVE ARTS will receive a Special Citation Award for 30 years of providing pro bono services to Chicago theatres at the June 13 Joseph Jefferson Citations ceremony. Ceremony hosts are actor/director David Cromer and Marc Grapey, co-artistic director of Famous Door Theatre ? both Jeff winners. Ceremony will be held at Park West, 322 W. Armitage; doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 at the door. See

ROBERT NEUSTADT joins the Discovery as supervising producer for a new series. The producer/director created and produced the 65-episode TV series, “Mark Kistler’s Imagination Station.” He was also on staff at Orbis for five years. He will work out of the Discovery Channel’s Silver Spring, Md. headquarters.

STEVE NUBIE joined Draft Chicago as SVP/group VP heading the Nokia global account. Nubie was formerly McDonald’s director of advertising and earlier was a CD at Leo Burnett.

ARU CLIENTS can win music download iPod Shuffles, worth $100, by participating in a weekly drawing from now through Labor Day. Simple rules: Ad agency clients working in the studio fill out a ballot. No limit on the number of ballots. Drawings on Friday afternoons. Credit ARU engineer Mark Zeboski with the idea. For details, see

INTERSPORT ADDS TWO: Project managers Mollie McClelland, from Reebok as NBA team service specialists, and Grady Logan, director of Chicagoland Speedway’s and Route 66 Raceway’s marketing and sales programs. Intersport will manage Champ Sports’ 2005 ArenaBowl FanFest and ArenaBattle Celebrity Skills Challenge.

HERE’S A SUMMER DESTINATION?The James Dean Fest at the Marion, Indiana Municipal Airport, June 3-5 commemorates the 50th anniversary of James Dean’s death at age 25. Hollywood-style spectacular events and activities are planned, such as rock concerts, an air show and a three-day “Cool Car Show” and contest of pre- and post 1957 cars and motorcycles with cash prizes.

ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN turns her considerable attention to the arts. She’s honorary chair of “The Producer’s Preview” benefit June 12, featuring Paul Libman and Dave Hudson’s the award-winning “Bringers” musical. See Jonathan Abarbanel’s column for details.

MENTION THE CODE WORD “Hamlet” and get a free ticket June 9-11 for the premiere of Jeff Rogers Productions’ live interactive show, “Auditions Tonight.” It premieres June 16 at the Apollo Theatre Studio. Not unlike “Tony and Tina’s Wedding,” “Auditions” is about a currently separated creative couple who have called for auditions for their new show. When creative differences toss out the script, it’s up to the audience of “actors” to help write a new play. Call 773/935-6100 and don’t forget “Hamlet.”

GOT TIME TO VOLUNTEER? Chicago Scriptworks, stagers of monthly screenplay readers by professional actors, is looking for volunteer production managers, casting assistants, script readers, graphic artists, still shooters and market researchers. Interested? Call 312/802-8267; see

CRAMER-KRASSELT took Voices Unlimited up on its offer to preserve those great ideas that died-by-client. VU formed the Dead Spots Society to record those spots. C-K creatives will hear their VU-recorded spots and receive a CD copy at a June 9 fun and food fest presentation at Bosco Productions. Credit VU talents Karin Anglin and Jeff Lupetin with the idea.

DATELINE NEW YORK. The Big Apple’s “Made in NY” incentive program?a 15% tax credit and marketing credit?has attracted more than $300 million in new production business since January. In total, the new productions will employ at least 6,000 New Yorkers.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT. In less than five years, consumers will be spending $60 billion annually on DVR-like devices, satellite radio, iPods and mobile technology driving personalized media outside of the home.

One-fifth of all consumer spending will be on new content access and distribution technologies now in their early stages of growth, according to Bernstein Research.

Share your news with The Reel’s readership in Chicago and nationally. Send info Photos always welcome, too.