Little Chicago Original Cast
A Pictorial Album: 1982


Click on each photo to see a larger view.
  Link to "Little Chicago" Program

The Road Company
Writer: Jo Carson
Director: Bob Leonard

Composer: Richard Blaustein

Little Chicago, a murder mystery set to music, draws on the memories and legends left to us today of Johnson City in the Roaring Twenties. Here, as elsewhere in the nation, people were reeling from World War I. The boys were back alright, but you couldn't keep them down on the farm after they'd seen Paree. It was true for the whole city, not just the veterans. The Train. The Radio. The Telephone. Johnson City was on its way to encountering other habits and other styles. Cincinnati. Chicago. New York. To some, these cities might as well have been Paris. For others they meant hope and a new life. "Couldn't we be like those people in the movies?" With this Johnson City entered the raceway toward progress. And ran smack into all that goes with it........

The excerpt above is from the original program.

Almost 30 years after being first performed in 1982, interest is high on having a troupe bring this play back to entertain local audiences. The play was controversial when originally performed as many Johnson City residents did not want the city's 1920s era reputation revisited.

Below are scenes from the original production performed by the Road Company.

"Effie & Rooster Robinson get friendly at the pool hall."

Emily Green &
Kelly R. Hill
Date: 1982


"Two out of towners from Chicago have a serious talk with
Little John."

Rhon Thomas,
Christine Murdock &
Dennis Frederick



"Singing and dancing at the Avalon Ballroom."
Dennis Frederick,
Rod Stipe,
Emily Green &
Kelly R. Hill



"Singing and dancing at the Avalon Ballroom."

Dennis Frederick,
Ed Snodderly, Doug Dorschug, Carol Clay, Kelly R. Hill &
Margaret Baker


"Singing and dancing at the Avalon Ballroom."

Dennis Frederick,
Rod Stipe,
Kelly R. Hill, Emily Green, Eloise Bruce, Christine Murdock
& Betsy Maynardie


Program Cover

The Play that revived all the legends.....




Blues Festival
Date: 2006
Keeping the Roaring 20s spirit alive, the 16th annual Little Chicago Blues Festival kicked off at the Down Home the first weekend in May. Sixteen bands blew into town beginning on Thursday, April 27, and lasting into early Sunday morning, all to raise money for 89.5 WETS-FM. Johnson City's own Bleu Jackson played along with bands from as far away as Mississippi and North Carolina. WETS's Wayne Winkler provided services as stage announcer and local radio promoter between bands. "This is the 16th year we've done this, and it's just gotten better every year," said Winkler. "This area's got a lot of local talent, [and] we do this to kind of celebrate our local talent."

Photos and program courtesy of Christine Murdock
Co-Founder of the Blue Plum Festival

If you have additional photos or memorabilia from
the Little Chicago play...

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