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Billy Corgan’s Culty 20-Minute Musical Opens in Highland Park Tomorrow

And it’s going to be supremely weird.

Photo: Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

Next up in the budding tradition of rock stars penning off-Broadway musicals is Smashing Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan, whose stage production Pretty Persephone premieres tomorrow in Highland Park. The show is Corgan’s maiden voyage into musical theater, and his first pet project since February’s eight-hour Madame Zuzu’s synth jam.

Pretty Persephone is a reimagining of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the circa-1500 B.C. initiation ceremonies for the cult of Demeter and Persephone involving a dramatic rendering of Hades kidnapping Persephone and dragging her to the underworld. So yes, things could get very, very weird.

But don’t let that scare you: Corgan’s musical is only 20 minutes long—roughly one-sixth the length of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness—and premieres as part of the Music Theatre Company’s reprise of 48 Hour Musicals (four shows written by four playwrights over the course of 48 hours each). Corgan’s show, which runs five extra minutes, will be the fifth and final performance of the night.

Go: The 48-Hour Musicals: Encore! runs through December 14 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at The Music Theatre Company, 1850 Green Bay Rd., Highland Park, IL. Tickets: $35–$45.

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