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'Rooms: A Rock Romance' Musical to be Presented in Wicker Park

 The rock musical runs from July 14 to Aug. 11 in the Flat Iron Arts Building
Rooms: A Rock Romance
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CHICAGO — The modern musical "Rooms: A Rock Romance" hits Wicker Park on Sunday for its Chicago premiere, and Broken Nose Theatre Artistic Director Benjamin Brownson promises "it's going to feel like a party."

The show, which had an off-Broadway run in New York four years ago, tells the story of Ian and Monica, two Scottish musicians who meet in Glasgow in the 1970s and then embark on an international journey to fame while trying to hold their relationship together.

It marks the third show for Broken Nose Theatre, which began with "My First Time" nearly a year ago and went on to produce "Beautiful Broken" in March.

For its Chicago premiere, "Rooms" was adapted to fit an audience at the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., and Brownson said it makes for an up-close-and-personal experience.

"The New York production was in a larger space, so there was that distance" Brownson said. "The Chicago aesthetic is more raw, more intimate, more in your face."

What can make or break the two-person production is its performers, who are tasked with carrying the story through its 1½-hour run while belting rock tunes.

"The chemistry between them is really incredible" Brownson said of local actors Matthew Deitchman and Hillary Marren, who star as Ian and Monica. "I can't imagine anyone not being charmed by the two of them."

A five-person band accompanies the performers as they sing show tunes inspired by various styles of rock music.

"It is a love story at its heart" Brownson said. "It is a story about these two people and how they fall in love and fall apart and hopefully come back together."

"Rooms" opens July 14 at the Flat Iron Arts Building and runs at 8 p.m. Thursdays to Sundays until Aug. 11.