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Artistic Director Fred Anzevino directs the Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht classic for Theo’s 25th Anniversary in tribute to the revues that were a part of the company’s founding cabaret years.
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre announced today the cast and creative team for their upcoming production of The Threepenny Opera playing at Theo’s Howard Street Theatre March 10 through April 30, 2023. Arguably the pinnacle production of Theo’s 25th Anniversary season, the show reunites Artistic Director Fred Anzevino with Music Director Ryan Brewster, both of whom won back-to-back Jeff Awards for their collaboration on Theo’s Evita and Chess. Returning for her fourth production with Theo is Jeff Award-winning choreographer Jenna Schoppe as Associate Director/Choreographer (choreographer for Theo’s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Godspell and Once Upon a Mattress.)
As a tip of the hat to the company’s 25th Anniversary season, this production of The Threepenny Opera honors the theatre’s founding history with Kurt Weill. Theo originally opened its doors at the No Exit Cafe in Rogers Park with A Kurt Weill Revue: Songs of Darkness and Light during the 2004-2005 season, marking the beginning of the working relationship with the Kurt Weill Foundation. Notably, the company later gained permission to create an original cabaret show featuring two sets of Weill music; the first act focusing on Weill's Berlin years and the second act featuring Weill's time and experiences in New York and on Broadway.
“The Threepenny Opera is the "mother" of all cabaret shows,” says Anzevino. “I'm excited to be revisiting this show primarily because it touches on many of the same issues that we, as a society, are dealing with today, particularly political corruption and the growing gap between the haves and have nots. This will be Theo's third Kurt Weill production - audiences have always been very enthusiastic with our attempts in re-imaging his work.”Audiences will yearn for more as the cast brings life to bold text and Weill’s sexy songs that have evolved into classic standards including “Mack the Knife,” which has been covered by everyone from Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra to Michael Buble.
The crooner cast welcomes the return of familiar Theo faces; Carl Herzog (he/him) in the role of Macheath, Megan Elk (they/she) playing Mrs. Peachum and Chamaya Moody (she/her) as Polly Peachum. Also returning to Theo is Nathe Rowbotham (they/them) as Lucy Brown and Liz Bollar (she/her) as Jenny. Making their Theo debuts are Thomas M. Shea (he/him) as Mr. Peachum, Michael Mejia (they/them) as Tiger Brown, Rusty Allen (he/him) as Filch along with Tyler DeLoatch (he/they), Isabel Garcia (they/them), Peter Stielstra (he/him) and Luiza Vitucci (she/her) in the Ensemble. Rounding out the cast are Danielle Kerr (she/her) and Larry D. Trice II (they/them) as Swings.
Howard Street Theatre will transform to the world of Macheath at the hands of scenic designer Mara Ishihara Zinky (she/her), lighting designer Maggie Fulliulove-Nugent (she/her), costume designer Cindy Moon (she/her), properties designer Lonnae Hickman (she/her), and sound designer Daniel Etti-Williams (they/he). The production team also includes production manager Matthew R. Chase (he/him), stage manager Caitlyn Birmingham (she/her), intimacy and violence director Charlie Baker (they/he), dialect coach Kathy Logelin (she/her), assistant music director Isabella Isherwood (she/her), technical director Manuel Ortiz, production electrician Josiah Croegaert (he/him) and audio engineer Isaac Mandel (he/him).
The Threepenny Opera is a "play with music" by Bertolt Brecht, adapted from a translation by Elisabeth Hauptmann of John Gay's 18th-century English ballad opera, The Beggar's Opera, and four ballads by François Villon, with music by Kurt Weill.
Tickets can be purchased online at theo-u.com or via phone at 773-939-4101. Single tickets are $35 for preview performances, and range between $45-$55 during the regular run of performances. Box office hours are Wednesday-Sunday 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Theo continues to offer its one-stop dinner and theatrical experience with pre-show dinner courtesy of a local Evanston restaurant partner. All performances take place at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre located at 721 Howard Street in Evanston.
The Threepenny Opera
By Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill
In collaboration with: Elisabeth Hauptmann
Based on “The Beggar’s Opera,” by John Gay
English translation: by Marc Blitzstein
Director Fred Anzevino
Associate Director/Choreographer Jenna Schoppe
Music Director Ryan Brewster
Previews: March 10-18, 2023 (Fridays-Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 6:00pm)
Run: March 23-April 30, 2023 (Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 6:00pm)
The Threepenny Opera is a biting satire of the post-war rise of capitalism, wrapped up in Kurt Weill’s jazzy score, and the tale of Macheath, a debonair crime lord on the verge of turning his illegal empire into a legitimate business. Songs from Threepenny have become classic standards, including “Pirate Jenny” and, most notably, “Mack the Knife,” which has been covered by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Michael Buble. Theo’s Artistic Director Fred Anzevino will direct this production for our 25th Anniversary Season, in honor of the many Kurt Weill revues that were part of the company’s founding years.
ABOUT THEO UBIQUE
Theo Ubique was founded in 1997 by Artistic Director Fred Anzevino. Productions were first staged at the Heartland Studio Theatre, and from 2004 to May 2018, at No Exit Café, where the company began focusing on musicals and revues, reigniting the cabaret theatre trend in Chicago. The company moved to the Howard Street Theatre, a venue owned and developed for Theo Ubique by the City of Evanston, in fall of 2018. Theo Ubique has produced more than 60 shows and won 64 Jeff Awards, having received 154 nominations. The company also earned three After Dark Awards. theo-u.com