- Gregg Opelka
Gregg Opelka has written music and lyrics for 10 musicals, including The Beverly Hillbillies, The Musical, which had its Chicagoland world premiere in summer 2014 at Theatre at the Center, Munster, Ind. Based on the popular TV comedy, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Musical has a book written by two-time Tony Award nominee and veteran TV comedy writer David Rogers and his award-winning daughter Amanda Rogers. Additionally, Opelka has written scores for many other popular musicals including: Hotel d'Amour (based on Georges Feydeau's A Flea in Her Ear); his two-woman Edith Paif/French cabaret send-up C'est la Vie (American title: La Vie Ennui), which was named "one of the eight wonders of 2002 Chicago theatre" by Chicago Reader; Monky Business, which was dubbed the male version of Nunsense by the Houston Chronicle at its opening in Galveston, Texas; and his screwball comedy musical, Soup du Jour, winner of numerous awards around the United States, including two Jeff Awards in 2002 for its Chicago debut. His first children's musical, One Magic Kiss: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with book by two-time Emmy Award winner Donna Swajeski, premiered in 2013 at the Delaware Children's Theatre. Opelka's two nonmusical plays, the rom-com Marrying Terry and one-act thriller The Lavender Necktie, premiered respectively at Victory Gardens Theater in 2007 and at American Globe Theatre in New York City in 2011. C'est la Vie made its Russian debut in November 2014 at the Sverdlovsk Theatre of Musical Comedy. An off-Broadway production in 2015 is in the planning stage. For Evanston-based Light Opera Works, he created new English lyrics for seven German and French operettas, including The Merry Widow, The Duchess of Chicago, The Isle of Tulipatan and The Chocolate Soldier. His award-winning musicals and plays have been produced all over North America, Europe, Russia and Australia. Outside the world of theatre through his company Vox Poetarum (Voice of the Poets), Opelka has created the only complete audio book of Virgil's Aeneid in the original Latin.