Showing posts with label Jeremy Ramey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeremy Ramey. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 4, 2022


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre closes its 2021–2022 season with GODSPELL, the Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak beloved and timeless tale of friendship, loyalty, and love, based on the Gospel of St. Matthew. At the helm will be an award-winning creative team including Theo’s Managing Director Christopher Pazdernik (Director), Jenna Schoppe (Choreographer), and Jeremy Ramey (Music Director). GODSPELL will be performed June 10 – July 31. 

One of the most-produced musicals of all-time, GODSPELL’s sung-thru structure offers an eclectic mix of jazz, rock opera, pop, and gospel songs to journey audiences through a meaningful story of connection. Theo Ubique’s adaptation will take inspiration less from the parables of which the show is inspired and instead embrace a more modern thematic line of storytelling.

"As composer Stephen Schwartz has often said, GODSPELL is essentially about community. We look forward to leaning into that theme for our production at Theo, following a group of people who have been 'othered' by society in some way, coming together in their search for shared values and chosen family,” said Director Pazdernik. “This show was originally selected to honor GODSPELL’s 50th Anniversary in 2021 and I am thrilled to be able to still honor that anniversary with our production, albeit delayed. Additionally, the theater will be transformed into an urban park setting, making it the perfect summer destination for joy, togetherness, and of course, that incredible iconic score!" 

The cast offers audiences an inspiring group of emerging Chicago artists including Austin Nelson, Jr. (he/him), Anna Marie Abbate (she/her), Bryce Ancil (he/him), Izzie Jones, (she/her), Nathe Rowbotham (they/them), Alix Rhode (she/her), Laz Estrada (they/them), Matthew Hunter (he/him), Ashley Saul (she/they), Hannah Efsits (she/her), Juan Gonzalez Machain (he/him), Chamya Moody (she/her), Jon Parker Jackson (he/they), and Anna Blanchard (she/her). 

To build the world of the story, Theo welcomes designers Yeaji Kim (she/her; Scenic Designer), Maggie Fulliulove-Nugent (she/her; Lighting Designer), Rueben Echoles (he/him; Costume Designer), Lonnae Hickman (she/her; Properties Designer) and Stefanie Senior (she/her; Sound Designer). The production team also includes Jordan Ratliff (he/him; Assistant Director/Choreographer), Nicholas Reinhardt (he/him; Production Manager) and Kaitlyn Souter (she/her; Stage Manager).

Completing the Theo Ubique experience, Evanston’s La Cocinita, known for their Latin American street food, will be offering a 3-course meal available for an additional $29.00 per person. 

Single tickets for GODSPELL are on sale online or via phone 773-939-4101. Prices are $35.00 for previews June 10 – June 20, and $42.00 - $54.00 for regular performances June 21 – July 31. 



GODSPELL was the first major musical theatre offering from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Children of Eden), and it took the world by storm. Led by the international hit, "Day by Day," GODSPELL features a parade of beloved songs, including "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord," "Learn Your Lessons Well," "All for the Best,” "All Good Gifts," "Turn Back, O Man" and "By My Side."

A small group of people help Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and hefty doses of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, is employed as the story of Jesus' life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus' messages of kindness, tolerance and love come vibrantly to life.

Boasting a score with chart topping songs, a book by a visionary playwright (John-Michael Tebelak) and a feature film, GODSPELL is a sensation that continues to resonate with audiences, and has become a staple of theatre companies, large and small.



Christopher Pazdernik (any) Director: Who's Holiday (Theatre Wit), Colors of My Life (CCPA/Roosevelt University), Wonder Women (Chicago Musical Theatre Fest), Big River (Round Barn), Carrie (Ohio Northern University), former Artistic Director of Refuge Theatre Project (Jeff Awards, Best Director & Best Production, High Fidelity), multiple Porchlight Revisits. Casting: Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man (Chicago Premiere), Miracle (World Premiere; Royal George), The Nutcracker (add'l Casting; The House), Porchlight Music Theatre, CPA Theatricals. Currently: Managing & Casting Director for Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, where he directs Godspell this summer. An openly HIV+ artist, Christopher is the founder and producer of Belting for Life, an annual benefit concert for Howard Brown Health, and co-captain of Team Option Up! for AIDS Run/Walk Chicago. 

Jeremy Ramey (He/Him, Resident Music Director) is a concert pianist, conductor and music director based in Chicago. In 2019, Jeremy received his tenth Jeff nomination and sixth Jeff Award for his work on The Bridges of Madison County. He had previously received Jeff awards for The Light in the Piazza, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, RENT, and The Most Happy Fella, all with Theo Ubique. In 2016, he won his second Broadway World Award for Music Direction for his work on Bette: Live at the Continental Baths with the production company Hell in a Handbag. He received his training in piano performance and music at Rhodes College, Northwestern University and The Juilliard School of Music.

Jenna Schoppe (She/Her, Choreographer) Jenna’s previous choreographic endeavors include Yank!: A WWII Love Story (Pride Films and Plays - 2018 Jeff Award for Best Choreography), Nunsense, Call Me Madam, Do Re Mi and The Rink (Porchlight Music Theatre), MAMMA MIA!, (Highland Park Players), Bobbie Clearly(Steep Theatre) and The Producers (Nightblue Performing Arts - Jeff Award Nomination).


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.

Friday, March 4, 2022

OPENING: Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre’s ONCE UPON A MATTRESS March 11 – May 1, 2022

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 


Directed by Landree Fleming

Music Direction by Jeremy Ramey

Choreography by Jenna Schoppe

Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre’s third show of the 2021-’22 season will be the hilarious musical comedy ONCE UPON A MATTRESS – a rowdy and mildly adult twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Princess and the Pea.” This “fractured fairy tale” will be directed by one of Chicago’s funniest ladies, Landree Fleming. Joining Fleming on the creative team will be Jeff Award winners Jenna Schoppe as Choreographer and Theo Ubique Resident Music Director Jeremy Ramey. ONCE UPON A MATTRESS will be performed March 11 – May 1, 2022. 

I'll be out for the press opening March 20, so check back shortly after for my full review at

In this offbeat version of Andersen’s fairy tale, the domineering Queen Aggravain has created impossible tests of any princess who might seek to marry her son, Prince Dauntless. This is a problem for the people of the kingdom, as the Queen has decreed no one shall marry until Prince Dauntless is wed. It’s a particular problem for the leading knight of the realm, Sir Harry, who discovers that his girlfriend, Lady Larken, is expecting. When Winnifred the Woebegone arrives, this brash and unrefined princess from the marshlands becomes the last best hope of the Kingdom to end Queen Aggravain’s virtual ban on marriage.

Director, Landree Fleming has played such classically comic musical theater roles as Penny in HAIRSPRAY (at Paramount Theatre), Frenchy in GREASE, and Kira in XANADU (the latter two at American Theater Company). Fleming does stand-up comedy, performs with her musical sketch comedy group Off Off Broadzway, and appears on her podcast Deep Dish. She was Assistant Director for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Paramount), NOISES OFF (Windy City Playhouse), and FIRST LADY SUITE (Circle Theatre). 

Leading the cast as Winnifred is Sonia Goldberg (she/they), an actress, writer, musician, and teaching artist who last fall was the understudy for Bethany Thomas in Northlight Theatre’s acclaimed one-woman musical SONGS FOR NOBODIES. Goldberg followed that assignment as the easily fooled Malvolio in Midsommer Flight’s TWELFTH NIGHT. Queen Aggravain will be played by Anne Sheridan Smith (she/her), whose many credits include SOUTHERN GOTHIC with Windy City Playhouse and FUN HOME with Victory Gardens. Prince Dauntless, the son against whom Queen Aggravain plots to keep him an ineligible bachelor, will be played by August Forman (they/them), winner of a Jeff Award for supporting actor in GIRL IN THE RED CORNER for Broken Nose Theatre, where they are an ensemble member.

The anxious couple Sir Harry and Lady Larkin will be AMDA graduate Michael Metcalf (he/him) and Parker Guidry (they/them). Guidry was seen pre-pandemic in Kokandy Productions’ HEAD OVER HEELS. The cast also will include Andrew Fortman (he/him, King Sextimus the Silent), Michael M. Ashford (he/him, Jester), Jasmine Lacy Young (she/her, Poet), J Alan (J/her, Wizard/Dance Captain), Sarah J. Patin (they/she, ensemble, U/S Winnifred and Poet), Nathe Rowebotham (they/them, ensemble, U/S Jester, Wizard), Peter Ruger (he/him, ensemble, U/S Harry, Dauntless, King), and Laura Sportiello (she/her, ensemble, U/S Lady Larkin, Queen Aggravain).

The production team will include Mara Ishihara Zinky (she/her, Scenic Designer), Uriel Gómez (he/him, Costume Designer), Piper Kirchhofer (she/her, Lighting Designer), Rick Sims (he/him, Sound Designer), Rowan Doe (they/he, Props Designer), Evan Tyrone Martin (he/him, Asst. Director), J Alan (J/her, Asst. Choreographer), Nicholas Reinhart (he/him, Production Manager), Jayce Lewis (they/them, Stage Manager), Amy Rappa (Asst. Stage Manager), Macy Kloville (she/her, Audio Engineer), Christopher Pazdernik (any, Managing Director/Casting Director), and Fred Anzevino (he/him, Artistic Director).

A three-course dinner catered by Cross-Rhodes Catering of Evanston is available for $29 per person. Reservations and payment for dinner must be made by Saturday, March 12. Please call the box office at 773-939-4101, Wednesdays through Sundays from Noon to 5 pm, to reserve dinners and make payment.

Theo Ubique is requiring all audience members to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19 this season. Photo ID and proof of vaccination (photos or photocopies are acceptable) will be required at the door. Masks must be worn at all times except while actively eating and drinking.

Single tickets for ONCE UPON A MATTRESS are on sale now at Prices are $35.00 for previews March 11-20, and $42.00- $54.00 for regular performances March 24-May 1. Optional three course prix fixe dinners are available for $29.00 per person, per show. Dinner reservations must be placed one week in advance of the desired performance date. 

Howard Street Theatre, 721 Howard St., Evanston

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