Showing posts with label Bertolt Brecht. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bertolt Brecht. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 18, 2023


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

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 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.


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.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

SAVE THE DATES: Bertolt Brecht's FEAR AND MISERY OF THE THIRD REICH at Haven Theatre 2/8-3/11

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Haven Theatre Announces Final Production of 2017-18 Season:

By Bertolt Brecht
Translated by Eric Bentley
Directed by Artistic Director Josh Sobel
February 8 – March 11, 2018 at The Den Theatre

Haven Theatre is pleased to announce the final production slated for its 2017-18 Season, Bertolt Brecht’s unsettling and unflinching drama FEAR AND MISERY OF THE THIRD REICH, translated by Eric Bentley and directed by Artistic Director Josh Sobel, playing February 8 – March 11, 2018. Casting will be announced at a later date.

As Germany careens toward war, an entire society begins to crack, and the seeds of chaos and tragedy take root in the minds of its citizens. Josh Sobel (We're Gonna Die) helms an ensemble-driven production of Brecht's 1938 classic with a contemporary eye – a warning of how insidiously a culture can make space for atrocity, and a call to never allow it to happen again. 

Comments Artistic Director Josh Sobel, "As the world finds itself in the midst of its next great cultural shift, Brecht's examination of the common citizen and how a society can be led to accept the inhumane feels strikingly immediate. Brecht wrote this play reflecting and pulling back the curtain on the news of the day as it was happening around him, providing an unnerving and – in our current moment – all too important call to confront injustice as it happens and to firmly and proudly say: No. With this production we seek to serve one of Haven's core values – the Future – through an intimate and personal look at the our past and how such fatal mistakes were allowed to take place."

Haven’s 2017-18 Season also includes the previously announced DIRECTORS HAVEN, three short plays showcasing the talents of early career directors Kristen Johnson, Ian Martin and Lexi Saunders (October 16 – November 1, 2017) and the world premiere of THE DISPLACED, written by Isaac Gomez and directed by Jo Cattell, an electrifying thriller exploring the heartbreak of gentrification and the scars we leave on each other (May 31 – July 1, 2018).

Haven’s Theatre 2017-18 Season will be staged at its resident home, The Den Theatre's Janet Bookspan Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Single tickets for DIRECTORS HAVEN (pay-what-you-can) are currently available at Additional productions will go on sale at a later date.


Bertolt Brecht (Playwright) 1898-1956, playwright, poet and director, was born in Augsburg, Germany in February 1898. He established himself as a playwright during the 1920s and early 1930s with plays such as Baal, Man is Man, The Threepenny Opera and The Mother. In 1933, as Hitler came to power in Germany, Mr. Brecht fled to Scandinavia before eventually settling in the USA where he remained until 1947. During the war years, he wrote many of his best-known plays, including The Life of Galileo, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Mother Courage and Her Children and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. He returned to Europe in 1947 and shortly after his arrival formed the Berliner Ensemble. He died in Berlin on August 14, 1956 but remains a hugely influential theatre practitioner.

Eric Bentley (Translator) was born in England in 1916, became an American citizen in 1948, in 1998 was inducted into the (American) Theatre Hall of Fame, and in 2011 won a gold medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Scholar, critic, teacher, performer, translator and, finally, playwright, he has had many books published and many plays and adaptations performed, the latter feature making him a star of the Samuel French catalogue. Several of his critical works have become classics, notably The Playwright as Thinker, Thinking about the Playwright and The Life of the Drama. Today, nine of his plays are published by Northwestern University Press in three volumes entitled Rallying Cries, Monstrous Martyrdoms and The Kleist Variations. Four more Bentley titles have recently been published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc: Round One, Round Two, A Time to Die and A Time to Live and The Sternheim Trilogy.

Josh Sobel (Director) is a Chicago-based director and Artistic Director of Haven Theatre Company. Recent credits include We're Gonna Die at Haven, Bobbie Clearly at Steep, The Long Christmas Ride Home and Hunting of the Snark (also Edinburgh Fringe) at Strawdog, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead at Metropolis and The Importance of Being Earnest featuring Lisa Tejero at Iowa Summer Rep, University of Iowa. Additional credits include work at Chicago Dramatists, Red Orchid, Victory Gardens, Sketchbook, The Ruckus, Greenhouse Theater Center, Abbie-Fest and New Leaf. From 2010-2013 Josh served as Associate Director of the National Theater Institute summer "Theatermakers" program at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Recipient, Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC) Observership, Hamlet at Writers' Theatre. Associate member, SDC. 

About Haven Theatre:

We exist to be a Haven for The Future. We achieve this through championing the next generation of playwrights, directors and actors by producing and promoting plays and performances that are staking their claim as the immediate future of this art form, and by investing in those at the very beginning of their professional journeys. Through this inspiration, we seek to ignite in each audience member a hope for the Future - the Future of theatre and performance, the Future of each other, the Future of our community.

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