Showing posts with label cast announced. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cast announced. Show all posts

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Cast Announced for NEW FACES SING BROADWAY 1984 With Host Honey West April 25-26, 2023

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar






The Popular Series Returns this Spring. New Faces Sing Broadway 1984, Directed by Tommy Novak and Music Directed by Micky York, Takes Audiences Back in Time to the 1984 Broadway Season with Chicago’s Newest Talents Performing Songs from the Hit Shows La Cage Aux Folles, Sunday in the Park with George, Baby, The Rink and others

Porchlight Music Theatre announces the roster of new faces starring in its latest 2022 – 2023 season offering, New Faces Sing Broadway 1984, hosted by Honey West*, directed by Tommy Novak^ with music direction and arrangements by Micky York+. New Faces Sing Broadway 1984 takes place Tuesday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave. in Evanston and Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. There will be a pre-show lobby gathering at The Den Theatre beginning at 6:30 p.m. with complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. Tickets are $37 and are now on sale at I'll be catching the show on the 25th, so check back soon after for my full review. 

Now in its eighth season, Porchlight Music Theatre’s New Faces Sing Broadway series returns, taking audiences on a musical journey from the start to the finish of an entire Broadway season in 90 minutes. Host Honey West will introduce the audience to the next generation of Chicago music theatre artists while serving as the guide to the stars, songs and stories of the past. New Faces Sing Broadway 1984 includes hit songs from the seminal age of Broadway musicals including La Cage Aux Folles, Sunday in the Park with George, Baby, The Rink and others.

(L to R) The  New Faces Sing Broadway 1984 cast

The cast of new faces includes, in alphabetical order, Teddy Gales+ (national tour of The Spongebob Musical (Nickelodeon));  Isabel Garcia^/+(Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Kokandy Productions)); David Gordon-Johnson+ (And Neither Have I Wings to Fly (First Folio Theatre)); Mai Hartwich* (Avenue Q (Music Theater Works)); Nikki Krzebiot* (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Kokandy Productions)); Justin Grey McPike^ (Disney Deep Dive (The Beautiful City Project)); Nora Navarro* (Songs for a New World (Theo)); Patrick O’Keefe+ (Jeff Award winner - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Kokandy Productions)); Lincoln J. Skoien= (Merrily We Roll Along (CCPA)) and Luiza Vitucci* (The Threepenny Opera (Theo)).

Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs). = (any with respect)

Many of the artists who have appeared in Porchlight’s New Faces Sing Broadway series have continued their careers on television, and local and national stages including Neala Barron (Porchlight's Merrily We Roll Along), Frankie Leo Bennett (Porchlight's In the Heights), Dawn Bless (Waitress-national tour), Katherine Bourne (School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play at Goodman Theatre), Kayla Boye (Call Me Elizabeth-national tour), Anna Brockman, Tim Foszcz, Haley Gustafson, Josiah Haugen, Cam Turner, Jerod Turner and Evan Wilhelm (Porchlight's Cabaret), Lydia Burke and Molly Kral (Jeff Award winners [ensemble] - Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies), Darilyn Burtley and Max Cervantes (The Light in the Piazza at Lyric Opera of Chicago), Kyrie Courter (Broadway's Sweeney Todd), Maddison Denault and David Moreland (Jeff Award-nominees, Cruel Intentions), Gilbert Domally (Broadway's The Lion King), Andres Enriquez (Jeff Award nominee-Porchlight’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Nik Kmiecik, Ziare Paul-Emile and Alix Rhode (Porchlight's Rent), Theo Germaine (Showtime’s “Work in Progress”), Lucy Godinez (Jeff Award nominee-Oliver), Emily Goldberg (Jeff Award nominee-Porchlight’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Nicole Michelle Haskins (Jeff Award winner-The Color Purple), Michelle Lauto (Jeff Award winner-Spamilton), Yando Lopez (Broadway’s Wicked), Henry McGinniss (Book of Mormon-national tour), Brandy Miller and Bryce Ancil (Jeff Award-nominees She Loves Me), Chloé Nadon-Enriquez (Broadway's Bad Cinderella), Anthony Norman (The Prom on Broadway, Dear Evan Hansen-national tour), Patrick Rooney (Les Miserables-national tour), Aalon Smith (Porchlight’s Gypsy), Katherine Thomas (Jeff Award winner-Ragtime), Aeriel Williams (Oedipus Rex at Court Theatre) and Nicole Lambert, Courtney Mack, Mallory Maedke and Samantha Pauly (SIX on Broadway).

The 2023 season of New Faces Sing Broadway concludes with New Faces Sing Broadway NOW, coming this summer. Tickets go on sale May 2 at 12 p.m.

(L to R)  New Faces Sing Broadway 1984 host Honey West director Tommy Novak and music director Micky York. 


Honey West (she/her/hers) was most recently seen in Clue and as “Bernadette” in Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Mercury Theater Chicago, (the role she previously received a Jeff Nomination for Best Supporting Actress, in addition to a Best Actress award from  La Cage Aux Folles as “Jacqueline/U/S Albin'' at Music Theater Works, “Danni” in Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn at Drury Lane Theater and “Mrs. Cratchitt/Electra'' in Gypsy at Porchlight Music Theatre. She starred in Dirty Dreams Of A Clean-Cut Kid, Vampire Lesbians Of Sodom, Diva Diaries, Jerry’s Girls, Tony And Tony’s Wedding, As You Like It and Pussy On The House. She was a 2012 inductee into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Currently she is working on a new cabaret act and an autobiographical one woman show. She also landed a co-starring role on Fox's “Proven Innocent.” 


Tommy Novak (they/them/theirs) is a non-binary Chicago-based theater artist, international director, vocal coach and movement specialist. They return to Porchlight where they were seen in Billy Elliot The Musical and Porchlight Revisits Do Re Mi. They directed The Spongebob Musical For Young Audiences (First Stage), Romeo and Juliet (Arkansa Shakespeare Theatre), Songs for a New World (Carthage College) and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Coastline Theater). Additional credits include Fiddler on the Roof (Lyric Opera of Chicago), The Producers (Night Blue; Jeff nomination); Little Shop of Horrors (Mercury Theater Chicago), Hairspray (Skylight Music Theatre), Love’s Labour’s Lost, King John (Utah Shakespeare Festival), The Music Man and Taming of the Shrew (Arkansas Shakespeare Theater), Rudolph In The Red-Nosed Reindeer™: The Musical and Robin Hood (First Stage). Novak is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency. 

ABOUT MICKY YORK, music director

Micky York’s (he/him/his) Chicago theatre credits include Porchlight Revisits Call Me Madam (Porchlight), Whisper House and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (Black Button Eyes Productions), Happy End (2007 After Dark Award - Outstanding Music Direction) and Jacques Brel (Brown Couch, RIP) and a variety of musicals over the past 20 years for other theatres that no longer exist. He's a current member of Dancing Queen: An ABBA Salute and can likely be seen at a street festival near you.


Porchlight Music Theatre, now in its 28th season, is the award-winning center for music theatre in Chicago. Through live performance, youth education and community outreach, we impact thousands of lives each season, bringing the magic of musicals to our theatre home at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in the Gold Coast and to neighborhoods across the city. Porchlight has built a national reputation for boldly reimagining classic musicals, supporting new works and young performers, and showcasing Chicago’s most notable music theatre artists, all through the intimate and powerful theatrical lens of the “Chicago Style.”

Porchlight's history over the last 27 years includes more than 70 mainstage works with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Porchlight’s commitment to the past, present and future of music theatre led the company to develop the Porchlight Revisits and New Faces Sing Broadway program series, both quickly becoming audience favorites. 

Porchlight's education and outreach programs serve schools, youth of all ages and skill levels and community organizations, most notably the ongoing collaboration with Chicago Youth Centers. Porchlight annually awards dozens of full scholarships and hundreds of free tickets to ensure accessibility and real engagement with this uniquely American art form. 

The company’s many honors include 178 Joseph Jefferson Award (Jeff) nominations and 49 Jeff awards, as well as 44 Black Theatre Alliance (BTA) nominations and 15 BTA awards. In 2019, Porchlight graduated to the Large Theatre tier of the Equity Jeff Awards and has been honored with seven awards in this tier to date including Best Ensemble for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies (2019) and Best Production-Revue for Blues in the Night (2022). 

Through the global pandemic, Porchlight emerged as one of Chicago’s leaders in virtual programming, quickly launching a host of free offerings like Sondheim @ 90 Roundtables, Movie Musical Mondays, Porchlight by Request: Command Performances and WPMT: Classic Musicals from the Golden Age of Radio. In 2021, Porchlight launched its annual summer series, Broadway in your Backyard, performing at parks and venues throughout the city. 

Porchlight Music Theatre announces the roster of new faces starring in its latest 2022 – 2023 season offering, New Faces Sing Broadway 1984, hosted by Honey West*, directed by Tommy Novak^ with music direction and arrangements by Micky York+. New Faces Sing Broadway 1984 takes place Tuesday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave. in Evanston and Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. There will be a pre-show lobby gathering at The Den Theatre beginning at 6:30 p.m. with complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. Tickets are $37 and are now on sale at

The New Faces Sing Broadway series is sponsored by Elaine Cohen & Arlen D. Rubin

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from Allstate; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Elegant Event Lighting; Glimpse Vision; James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation; Hearty Boys; A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation; The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity and the Arts at Prince; the Pritzker Traubert Foundation; Ryan and Spaeth, Inc.; Daniel and Genevieve Ratner Foundation; The Saints and Dr. Scholl Foundation.

The season program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency, and by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events. 

Porchlight Music Theatre wishes to thank members of the Matching Gift Corporate Program including Abbvie; Allstate; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Peoples Gas; Pepsico; Polk Bros Foundation and The Saints. 

Monday, February 20, 2023


 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar


A Different Genre Musical Performance Every Friday 

Starting March 3, 2023

Otherworld Theatre Company, the premier science fiction and fantasy production company in North America, today announced casting and details for its brand new recurring improvised musical show, LOST REALMS: IMPROVISED MUSICALS FROM BEYOND. Opening March 3, 2023, the show is performed every Friday night at 10 p.m., with no two performances the same.

Each week, LOST REALMS visits a different genre of sci-fi and fantasy, transforming audience suggestions into an entirely original full-length musical packed with comedy, drama, otherworldly spectacle, and epic melodies, featuring live music from in-house band The Lost Band.

Creator and director Keenan Camp has deep experience in the Chicago musical theatre and improv scenes, having performed in productions including THE VERSE: AN IMPROVISED FIREFLY STORY and WHOPROV: IMPROVISED DOCTOR WHO, as well as co-writing and directing ALL THAT JAWS! A SHARKTASTIC MUSICAL, the musical adaptation of cinema classic JAWS. Most recently, Camp has been using his show RIFF: CHICAGO’S MUSIC IMPROV PARTY at iO Theater as a vehicle to teach improv and musical skills to aspiring performers. 

“I don’t believe there’s any type of comedy or theatre out there that’s more difficult to do than an improvised musical. Not only are the performers responsible for creating the plot, characters, and dialogue as they go, but they’re also creating lyrics, melodies, and harmonies all on the spot,” said Keenan Camp, creator and director of LOST REALMS: IMPROVISED MUSICALS FROM BEYOND. “Otherworld has offered us a great opportunity to showcase the profound talents of the LOST REALMS cast, letting us really dive deep into some niche areas of sci-fi and fantasy, all through a musical lens.”

The cast of LOST REALMS rotates from week to week, and includes Austin Packard, Barb Jackson, Ben Hebert, Carlos Rivera, Christian Torres, Cosmo Coniglio, Derek Demkowicz, Hayley Karlson, Hugh Walker, Jono Mammel, Kaitlyn Nibbelin, Kimberly Perry, Lily Ludwig, Margaret Hunsicker, and Will Nicholson. 

LOST REALMS: IMPROVISED MUSICALS FROM BEYOND opens March 3, 2023, and is performed every Friday at 10 p.m. at Otherworld Theatre (3914 N. Clark St.) before being streamed on Otherworld’s YouTube page. Each performance is approximately 90-100 minutes with one intermission. Tickets are $20, with some Pay-What-You-Can tickets available for each performance. Tickets are available online at


Otherworld Theatre Company (3914 N. Clark St.) was founded in 2012 to bring a theatrical experience to the science fiction and fantasy genre. The Company’s work celebrates the depth of human imagination by engaging spectators in high quality storytelling. Otherworld Theatre Company stages original works in its pay-what-you-can Chicago, Illinois venue, presents virtual programming online, and produces immersive Live-Action Role Playing events through its partner company, Moonrise Games. For more information:

More Fun Otherworld Shows On Our Radar:

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Barbara Gaines' Final Production as Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Artistic Director: THE COMEDY OF ERRORS March 9–April 16, 2023

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces 

the cast and creative team of


March 9–April 16, 2023

Barbara Gaines celebrates a legacy of joyful collaboration in her final production as artistic director


In her final production as Chicago Shakespeare Theater artistic director, Barbara Gaines stages Shakespeare’s riotous The Comedy of Errors, imprinting her legacy of inventive and captivating interpretations of the Bard’s work for today’s audiences. The production features original framing scenes penned by Second City veteran Ron West and showcases an ensemble cast of beloved Chicago Shakespeare collaborators whose combined credits span the Theater’s 37-year history—from the first production on the rooftop of the Red Lion Pub to last fall’s searing Measure for Measure. The Comedy of Errors runs March 9–April 16, 2023, in the Courtyard Theater.

An eccentric group of stage and screen actors gather on a London movie set in 1941 to film Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors as much-needed comic relief for the troops. Backstage antics and hilarious complications abound as Antipholus and Dromio search for their long-lost identical twins. In over three decades with Chicago Shakespeare, Gaines has directed scores of productions, including nearly all of Shakespeare’s 38 plays and six world premieres. She now revisits Shakespeare’s high-spirited comedy with longtime collaborator Ron West, newly adapted from the Theater’s 2008 production.

"This project is a love letter to theater making—that ineffable process of an ensemble coming together to create something wholly new and magical," said Gaines. "That’s true in our framing of Shakespeare’s comedy on a film set, but it’s also reflected in our incredible company, a group of esteemed artists that I so admire and who embody the collaboration that has infused my time in the theater with joy and love."

Each cast member performs both a role on the London movie set and a character in The Comedy of Errors. The cast includes: Breon Arzell (David/Angelo), Adia Bell (Fanny/Merchant), Melanie Brezill (Alice Boggs/Luciana), Lillian Castillo (Marian/Courtesan), Dan Chameroy (Phil Sullivan/Antipholus of Ephesus), William Dick (Charles Chittick/Second Merchant), Kevin Gudahl (Brian Hallifax/Dromio of Ephesus), Ora Jones (Doris/Aemilia/Abbess), Bill Larkin (Eddie Philpot/Dr. Pinch), Ross Lehman (Dudley Marsh/Dromio of Syracuse), Michael E. Martin (Tom/First Officer), Steve McDonagh (Cyril/Nell), Russell Mernagh (Patch/Balthasar), Susan Moniz (Veronica Marsh/Adriana), Robert Petkoff (Emerson Furbelow/Antipholus of Syracuse), Maya Vinice Prentiss (Priscilla/First Merchant), Greg Vinkler (Admiral Philpot/Egeon), and Bruce A. Young (Monty/Duke Solinus). Understudies include Isabella Abel-Suarez, Michael Joseph Mitchell, Ian Reed, and Jonathan Schwart.

As long-separated twins the Dromios, Jeff Award-winners Ross Lehman and Kevin Gudahl boast over 75 Chicago Shakespeare credits combined. Lehman’s notable roles include Feste in Twelfth Night and the Fool in King Lear, and he appeared on Broadway in The Tempest, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Gudahl was recently seen on the Chicago Shakespeare stage in Measure for Measure and As You Like It; other memorable credits include Hal in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Fredrik in A Little Night Music, and title roles in Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, and Troilus and Cressida. The play’s other set of twins, both named Antipholus, will be played by Dan Chameroy—who has performed in 15 seasons at the Stratford Festival and as Miss Trunchbull in the US national tour of Matilda the Musical—and Robert Petkoff, whose Chicago Shakespeare credits include Buddy in Follies, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and title roles in Sunday In the Park with George, Hamlet, and Troilus and Cressida. Petkoff appeared in Broadway’s Anything Goes and Ragtime and the US tours of Fun Home and Spamalot.

Jeff Award-winner Susan Moniz was last seen on the Chicago Shakespeare stage in an acclaimed performance as Sally in Follies and has played feature roles in US tours of Fun Home and The Phantom of the Opera, and on Broadway in Grease. In addition to appearing in last season’s hit As You Like It, Melanie Brezill’s credits include work at Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and Writers Theatre, along with the Broadway production and US Tour of The Book of Mormon. In addition to appearing on Broadway in Matilda the Musical and Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Ora Jones has been on the Chicago Shakespeare stage numerous times in roles such as Katherine of Aragon in Henry VIII, Queen Charlotte in The Madness of George III, and Maria in Twelfth Night, and most recently as the Countess of Rossillion in last season’s All’s Well That Ends Well. Lillian Castillo, recently seen in Drury Lane’s Steel Magnolias, appeared in Gaines’ The Taming of the Shrew and the US premiere of Ride the Cyclone at Chicago Shakespeare.

Bruce A. Young memorably spoke the first line of Chicago Shakespeare’s inaugural production of Henry V at the Red Lion Pub. He has returned to Chicago Shakespeare many times and performed on Broadway in Macbeth. Greg Vinkler has performed in dozens of Chicago Shakespeare productions, including as Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Falstaff in Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, and titular roles in King John and King Lear. William Dick’s Chicago Shakespeare credits include last year’s All’s Well That Ends Well, The Wizard of Oz, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and many more; he recently performed in the Jeff Award-winning ensemble of Choir Boy at Steppenwolf Theatre.

Bill Larkin is a comedian and actor who has performed with the Second City and played Genie in Chicago Shakespeare’s production of Aladdin. Russell Mernagh appeared in Chicago Shakespeare’s Ride the Cyclone and was last seen in Broadway in Chicago’s The Play That Goes Wrong. An actor and choreographer, Breon Arzell was recently listed as one of Newcity’s 50 Players of 2023—he has worked with theaters across the city and performed with Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks in 2021. Adia Bell performed in last summer’s Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks ShakesFest and her additional credits include work at Paramount Theatre and Music Theater Works. Both an actor and a Jeff Award-winning fight choreographer, Maya Vinice Prentiss has worked with Chicago Shakespeare in both capacities, most recently on Measure for Measure. Rounding out the cast are Steve McDonagh—a celebrated Food Network chef and actor with credits at the Kennedy Center, Royal George Theatre, and Drury Lane—and Michael E. Martin, who has appeared at Paramount Theatre and in the Jeff Award-winning ensemble of United Flight 232 at the House Theatre of Chicago.

Ron West has created new dialogue for the production to frame Shakespeare’s play. West’s illustrious career includes writing for shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway? and serving as writer and associate artistic director at The Second City. West collaborated with Gaines on an earlier adaptation of The Comedy of Errors, which garnered Jeff Awards for Best Production and Best Adaptation, as well as The Taming of the Shrew in 2017. West also wrote The Second City’s Romeo and Juliet Musical: The People vs. Friar Laurence, The Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet, which had a wildly popular run at Chicago Shakespeare.

Joining Gaines on the creative team are Scenic Designer James Noone, Costume Designer Mieka van der Ploeg, Lighting Designer Ken Posner, Composer & Sound Designer Lindsay Jones, Hair & Make Up Designer Richard Jarvie, Verse Coach Larry Yando, Music Director Charlotte Rivard-Hoster, Associate Director Peter G. Andersen, Intimacy Director Gregory Geffrard, Fight Choreographer Bruce A. Young, Dialect Coach Kathy Logelin, Dramaturg Martine Kei Green-Rogers, Assistant Intimacy Director Courtney Abbott, Production Stage Manager Katrina Herrmann, and Assistant Stage Manager Elisabeth Schapmann.

Chicago Shakespeare makes its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. Accessible performances for The Comedy of Errors include:

Audio-described Performance – Sunday, April 2, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.

A program that provides spoken narration of a play’s key visual elements for patrons who are blind or have low vision.

Open-captioned Performance – Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 1:00 & 7:30 p.m.

A text display of the words and sounds heard during a play, synced live with the action onstage.

ASL Duo-interpreted Performance – Friday, April 14, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

All dialogue and lyrics are translated into American Sign Language by two certified interpreters.

For more information, visit or on social media at @chicagoshakes at #cstComedy.

The Comedy of Errors will be presented March 9–April 16, 2023, in Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater. Single tickets ($35–$92) are on sale now. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at


Regional Tony Award-recipient Chicago Shakespeare Theater produces a bold and innovative year-round season—plays, musicals, world premieres, family productions, and theatrical presentations from around the globe—alongside nationally recognized education programming serving tens of thousands of students, teachers, and lifelong learners each year. Founded in 1986, the Theater’s onstage work has expanded to as many as twenty productions and 650 performances annually. Chicago Shakespeare is dedicated to welcoming the next generation of theatergoers; one in four of its audience members is under the age of eighteen. As a nonprofit organization, the Theater works to embrace diversity, prioritize inclusion, provide equitable opportunities, and offer an accessible experience for all. On the Theater’s three stages at its home on Navy Pier, in classrooms and neighborhoods across the city, and in venues around the world, Chicago Shakespeare is a multifaceted cultural hub—inviting audiences, artists, and community members to share powerful stories that connect and inspire.

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.

Friday, January 13, 2023

OPENING: World Premiere of VILLETTE Via Lookingglass Theatre Company February 8 – April 23, 2023

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Lookingglass Theatre Company Announces Cast  

for the World Premiere of 


Written by Artistic Associate Sara Gmitter 

From the Book by Charlotte Brontë, 

Directed by Ensemble Member Tracy Walsh 


 Taken by renouned photographer, Sandro

2 hours 30 minutes including 1 intermission 

Lookingglass Theatre Company announces the cast for the World Premiere of Villette by Sara Gmitter, adapted from the Charlotte Brontë novel. The cast features Mi Kang as Lucy Snowe, Mo Shipley as Ginerva Fanshawe, Helen Joo Lee as Madame Beck, Renée Lockett as Mrs. Bretton, Ronald Román-Meléndez as John Graham Bretton, and Debo Balogun as Paul Emmanuel.  

Villette is Charlotte Brontë’s undiscovered gem, featuring one her most modern heroines, Lucy Snowe, on a solitary journey full of romance and intrigue. Ensemble Member Tracy Walsh directs Artistic Associate Sara Gmitter’s riveting adaptation of this novel by the author of Jane Eyre, running February 8 – April 23, 2023. Lookingglass Theatre is located in the Water Tower Water Works building, 821 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611. Tickets are on sale now! 

The creative team includes Yu Shibagaki (Scenic Design), Ensemble Member Mara Blumenfeld (Costume Design), John Culbert (Lighting Design), Deon Custard (Sound Design), and Amanda Herrmann (Properties). 


Click HERE for tickets

Phone: (312) 337-0665 

In Person: 165 E Pearson, Chicago, IL 60611  

The box office is open (phone and in-person) Tuesdays-Saturdays, 12PM-4PM. 


February 8 – April 23, 2023 

Lookingglass Theatre in Water Tower Water Works 


Charlotte Brontë’s undiscovered gem, Villette, offers a hero unlike any you’ve encountered before. Newly without means but freshly full of courage, Lucy Snowe travels alone to an unfamiliar land, determined to carve a path for herself. She is soon drawn into a maze of multiple doorways leading towards fulfillment or peril, in Artistic Associate Sara Gmitter’s haunting adaptation, directed by Ensemble Member Tracy Walsh. 

Villette Performance Schedule 


February 8 – 17, 2023 

Wednesdays – Saturdays 7:30PM 

Sunday 2PM 


Regular Run 

February 18 – April 23, 2023 

Tuesdays 7PM 

Wednesdays 7PM 

Thursdays 2PM & 7PM 

Fridays 7PM 

Saturdays 2PM & 7PM 

Sundays 2PM 


Please see the performance calendar on the website for full calendar and details. Click HERE for tickets

About the Artists 

Sara Gmitter (she/her/hers) (Writer; Lookingglass Artistic Associate) is a longtime Artistic Associate with Lookingglass Theatre. Sara’s playwriting credits include: A Long Fatal Love Chase (Translation and Adaptation Reading Series at Remy Bumppo); Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy, co-written with Jason Burkett (New Suit Theatre Company at the Raven Theatre); In the Garden: A Darwinian Love Story (Lookingglass Theatre Company & Malvern Theatre Company in Melbourne Australia). In the Garden was nominated for a Jeff Award for Best New Work. In 2022, the Adrienne Shelly Foundation named Sara as the first recipient of their Playwright’s Award.  

Sara has also served as a teaching artist, mentor, director, and playwright for the Lookingglass Young Ensemble. In Santa Fe, she has twice collaborated with the organization Creativity for Peace (now called Tomorrow's Women), first to devise Voices from Israel, Palestine, and New Mexico, and then with additional collaboration from students at the Institute of American Indian Arts, to create Tearing Down Walls: Voices from the Middle-East and Santa Fe.  

She has a BA in Theatre from the College of William and Mary and a Masters in Peace Education from the UN Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. She joined the Dramatist Guild in 2019. 

She earned a B.A. in Theatre from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. in Peace Education from the UN mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. She currently serves as Program Assistant for Girls Inc. of Santa Fe and is also the co-clerk of the American Friends Service Committee’s Nobel Peace Prize Nominating Task Group. Sara is the recipient of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation Inaugural Playwrights Award.  

Tracy Walsh (she/her/hers) (Director; Lookingglass Ensemble Member) is an Ensemble Member of Lookingglass Theatre Company where she has choreographed, appeared in and directed many productions including: The Old Curiosity Shop (Director), Acts of God, Blood Wedding, Around the World in 80 Days (Choreography), and The North China Lover (Actor/choreographer). Most recently, she choreographed dances for all productions of The Steadfast Tin Soldier and appeared in Her Honor Jane Byrne (Lookingglass). She was Movement Consultant for The Notebooks of Leonardo DaVinci (Goodman Theatre/Shakespeare Theatre Company) and was also an original cast member (Goodman Theatre/Seattle Repertory Theatre/Lincoln Center). She choreographed and appeared in Electra and Iphigenia in Aulis (Court Theatre/The Getty Villa) and choreographed Agamemnon (Court Theatre). She choreographed Don Giovanni and The Jewel Box (Chicago Opera Theatre) and directed, adapted & choreographed the recorded, live, original show All Wigged Out featuring musicians Marcy Marxer and Cathy Fink.  

About the cast 

Debo Balogun (he/him) (Paul Emanuel) Chicago credits include Measure for Measure (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Light Falls, Red Rex, Zurich (Steep Theatre Company), graveyard shift (Goodman Theatre), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Lookingglass Theatre Company), You Can’t Take It With You, Fair Maid of the West (Oak Park Festival Theatre), Moon Man Walk (Definition Theatre), Bobby Pin Girls (Nothing Without a Company). Regional credits include McCarter Theatre Center. FILM: The Christmas Pitch. Television credits include Power Book IV: Force (STARZ), Single Drunk Female (Freeform), Fargo (FX), Chicago Med (NBC), neXt (FOX). Debo is an Artistic Associate with Oak Park Festival Theatre and an Ensemble Member with Steep Theatre Company. He is represented by Gray Talent Group. 

Helen Joo Lee (she/her) (Madame Beck) is thrilled to be making her Lookingglass debut! Theatre credits include Sense and Sensibility (Indiana Repertory Theatre), The Great Leap (Asolo Repertory Theatre), Murder on the Orient Express (Asolo Repertory Theatre), Kentucky (The Gift Theatre), In the Canyon (Jackalope Theatre), You For Me For You (Sideshow Theatre). Film/TV credits include Power (Starz), Black Lightning (CW), Chicago Med (NBC), The Big Leap (Fox), Work in Progress (Showtime), The Chi (Showtime), Empire (Fox). She has lived in Melbourne, Seoul, and Rome teaching English as a second language. Big thanks to her agents at Stewart Talent for their warmth and encouragement!   

Mi Kang (she/her) (Lucy Snowe) is thrilled to be making her Lookingglass Theatre debut with Villette! Mi is a recent Northwestern MFA Acting graduate and select school credits include: Dance Nation, Peerless, and Hedda Gabler. Previous select theatre credits include: The Chinese Lady (TimeLine Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre), The Journal of Ben Uchida (Seattle Children’s Theatre), John (ArtsWest Playhouse), A Tale for Time Being, Jane Eyre (Book-It Repertory Theatre), and The Great Inconvenience (Annex Theatre). She is represented by Stewart Talent. 

Renée Lockett (she/her) (Mrs. Bretton) is thrilled to return to Lookingglass! Last seen in Her Honor Jane Byrne and First Floor Theater’s Jeff recommended Sugar in our Wounds. Other Chicago credits include: Familiar (Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Jeff nomination: Ensemble), Surely, Goodness and Mercy (Redtwist Theatre, Jeff nomination: Performer in a Drama, Black Theatre Alliance Award nomination: Best Actress), A Wonder in My Soul (Victory Gardens Theater), Crowns (Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, Black Theatre Alliance Award nomination: Best Ensemble). Renee has also worked with Babes with Blades, Court Theatre, Northlight Theatre, MPAACT, Prologue Theatre, Collaboraction Theatre Company, Three Cat Productions, Black Ensemble Theater, ETA Creative Arts, and Black Lives, Black Words. Renee is an ensemble member of MPAACT and an Artistic Associate with Black Lives, Black Words. Most recent Film credits include: The Plow and Freelancers Anonymous, as well as TV roles on The Chi and a recurring guest star role on Comedy Central’s South Side. Renee is represented by DDO Artists Agency. 

Ronald Román-Meléndez (he/him) (John Graham Bretton) is an actor, musician, and songwriter from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico and is thrilled to be making his Lookingglass debut! Most recently, he spent two years in Spring Green, Wisconsin working with American Players Theatre as a member of their acting ensemble. Credits with APT include: Moises in The River Bride, Faulkland in The Rivals, Dumaine in Love’s Labour’s Lost, and The Messenger in An Improbable Fiction. Other Regional Credits include: Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew, Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing, Shag in Equivocation, Edward Ferrars in Sense & Sensibility, Fred/Earl in The Willard Suitcases, and Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at American Shakespeare Center. He holds an MFA in Classical Acting from Illinois State University. Mil gracias a mami y a papi, y a mis amigos quienes me han apoyado en el medio de todo el caos—saben quienes son; ¡¡esta es para ustedes!! 

Mo Shipley (they/them) (Ginevra Fanshawe) is happy as a clam to be making their Lookingglass debut! Aside from acting, Mo is an arts administrator and visual artist. Previous credits include Clown 2 in Corduroy with Emerald City Theatre, Ellie Coutier in Windy City Playhouse's Southern Gothic, a puppeteer in Rough House/Adventure Stages' Stranger and The Shadow, and a collaborator/deviser within Free Street Theatre's 50 in 50! A City Wide Celebration. Mo has also worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Forks & Hope, Red Tape Theatre, Trap Door Theatre, Haven, and Strawdog Theatre. You can view some of Mo's most recent work in I Didn't Mean to go Mental, a new comedy series from Carly Glenn and Almost Pi Productions. Mo is immeasurably grateful to their partner and chosen family for the boundless support and love.  

About the Designers 

Mara Blumenfeld (she/her) (Costume Designer; Ensemble Member) has designed costumes for over 40 Lookingglass productions, including such company favorites as Lookingglass Alice, The Arabian Nights, Metamorphoses, and Cascabel. Based in Chicago, she has designed numerous productions for Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Writers Theatre, and Court Theatre. A frequent collaborator with fellow Ensemble Member Mary Zimmerman, their credits include the Broadway and Off-Broadway productions of Metamorphoses, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci at Second Stage Theatre, and Rusalka, Lucia di Lammermoor and La Sonnambula for the Metropolitan Opera. Regional credits include: 11 seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and numerous productions at the McCarter Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Asolo Repertory Theatre, and the Weston Playhouse, among others. Internationally, her work has been seen in Canada (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), the UK (Barbican Center and Donmar Warehouse), France (Opera du Rhin), Italy (Teatro alla Scala), Australia (Melbourne Theatre Company), China (Wuzhen Theatre Festival), and Japan (K-Ballet and Disney TokyoSea). She is the recipient of four Jeff Awards, and was the 2012 recipient of the Michael Merritt Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration. 

John Culbert (he/him) (Lighting Designer) John Culbert returns to Lookingglass Theatre where he previously designed Argonautika and S/M.  Other Chicago credits include: Arsenic and Old Lace, The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice, The Adventures of Augie March, The Hard Problem, All My Sons, Caroline Or Change, and Carousel at Court Theatre; White Guy on the Bus and A Civil War Christmas at Northlight Theatre; Twelfth Night and Arcadia at Writer’s Theatre; Regina at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Having Our Say, Two Trains Running, and Objects in the Mirror at the Goodman Theatre. Regional credits include productions with: Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Long Wharf Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company. International credits include productions with Singapore Repertory and Opera National du Rhin. Other projects include the lighting design for the Chicago Park District’s Buckingham Fountain. John served as a faculty member and Dean of The Theatre School at DePaul University for many years.    

Deon Custard (he/him) (Sound Designer) After completing BAs in English and Theatre (Directing) at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, Custard graduated in the spring of 2021 and began PhD study at Northwestern University. In addition to his work as a PhD student, Deon is a freelance director, lighting & sound designer, dramaturg, and teaching artist who has worked with Steppenwolf, the Goodman, and Underscore Theatre Company, among others. 

Amanda A Herrmann (they/them) (Props Supervisor) Lookingglass credits include: The Steadfast Tin Soldier (2018, 2019, and 2022 productions), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Act(s) of God, 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas, Plantation!, Hard Times, Moby Dick, Beyond Caring, Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth, and Life Sucks. Other credits include: Anna Karenina (Joffrey Ballet); How to be a Rock Critic (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); W;t (The Hypocrites); The Hollow, The Tin Woman (Peninsula Players Theatre); Hang, Pirandello’s Henry IV, Fallen Angels (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company); The Book of Will, Miss Bennet (Northlight Theatre); Montauciel Takes Flight, A Wrinkle in Time, Velveteen Rabbit (Lifeline Theatre); This Way Outta Santaland, Naperville (Theater Wit); Balm in Gilead (Griffin Theatre). Amanda is a graduate of Ripon College with a B.A. in Theater and Art. 

Yu Shibagaki (she/her) (Scenic Design) is a NYC based set designer, originally from Nagoya, Japan.  Recent designs include 1919 (Steppenwolf for Young Adults); Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Studio Theatre); Dishwasher Dreams (Hartford Stage); Her Honor Jane Byrne (Lookingglass Theatre); America v.2.1 (Definition Theater); School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play (Goodman Theatre); I, Banquo, I, Cinna (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); and more. 

Become A gglasspass Member 

See yourself here, Chicago. In the Lookingglass.  

A partnership with one of this city’s leading Black theatre companies. A homegrown holiday hearth warmer. Two original CHI-made works each featuring unconventional central characters. A twirl around five extraordinary homespun districts (from Englewood to Edgewater to Avalon Park and more). And a transcendent summer sunset ritual that draws us all back waterside.   

Distinct. Unique. Reflecting is our function.   

Become a member and come see yourself at Lookingglass. 

The 2-play package includes two World Premiere productions, Villette and Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon. Members also get the best seats at the best prices, and enjoy a bounty of benefits including priority seating, no ticket fees, unlimited ticket exchanges, savings when purchasing additional tickets for friends or family, a discount at our online store, and more!  

Visit to learn how to book your 2022-23 membership! 

Thank You to Our Season Sponsors  



HMS Media  

Shirley Ryan Ability Lab  

Waldorf Astoria   


Thank you to our Villette Sponsor 

The National Endowment for the Arts 


Thank you to our Villette Celebration Night Sponsors 

360 Chicago  

Food for Thought 


Become A Scene Maker 

Inside our 190-seat storycastle we work tirelessly to produce unique theatre that leaves YOU changed, charged, and empowered. Theatre making takes meticulous attention to detail and years of work, often unseen. We could not take that initial spark of an idea to the wonder we finally see on stage without you. While you might not be IN the room, you too are an artist and vital to the process. Through your support you play YOUR role in shaping a flourishing, arts-driven tomorrow. Become a Scene Maker, today. 

Become a Scene Maker and support Lookingglass at scene-maker 


About Health and Safety  

The health and safety of our audiences, artists, and staff are a top priority and we have invested our resources accordingly. As guidelines are constantly evolving, all policies are subject to change.  

As of September 1, 2022, Lookingglass Theatre Company will no longer require audiences to provide proof of vaccination.  

Facial coverings are currently recommended, but not required. 

We encourage you to confirm our current protocols prior to your visit to the theatre. Please refer to the health and safety page for more information about our current policies and safety measures regarding COVID-19. 


About Accessibility 

Lookingglass Theatre offers ground floor seats for all patrons who use a wheelchair or a scooter, or patrons who cannot walk stairs. Assisted listening devices are available at the patron's request. Dates for shows for hearing and visually impaired audiences to be announced. 


Groups of 10 or More 

Bring a group to Lookingglass and save up to 25% off regular ticket prices. 

A trip to Lookingglass is the perfect outing for your school group, office, in-town visit, retirement community, social group, book club, scout troop, religious group, or alumni organization! To book a group, email 

For more information, visit 

About Lookingglass Theatre Company   

Inventive. Collaborative. Transformative. Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students. Now in its 35th Season, Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. The Company, located in Chicago’s landmark Water Tower Water Works, has staged 70 world premieres, received 161 Joseph Jefferson Award Nominations, and produced work all across the United States. In 2016, Lookingglass received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions and in 2017, was the recipient of the League of Chicago Theatres’ Artistic Achievement Award.    

Lookingglass continues to expand its artistic, financial, and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Heidi Stillman, Executive Director Rachel L. Fink, a 29-member artistic ensemble, 22 artistic associates, an administrative staff, and a dedicated board of directors led by Chair Diane Whatton.   

For more information, visit     

Engage with us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. #LookingglassTheatre 

About Chicago Theatre Week 

Chicago Theatre Week is an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago during which visitors and residents can access value-priced tickets. As a program of the League of Chicago Theatres, in partnership with Choose Chicago, Chicago Theatre Week takes place February 16-26, 2023.  

Lookingglass Theatre Company’s Villette is proud to participate in Chicago Theatre Week! Tickets for select performances from February 16-26 are now available for the special price of $30, while supplies last. Find more information at 

In Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, Lucy Snowe -- newly without means but freshly full of courage -- leaves home to carve a path for herself. An eclectic carousel of characters (and one mysterious ghost!) draws her towards multiple doorways of opportunity – but which door should she choose? 


February 8 – 17, 2023 


Regular Run 

February 19 – April 23, 2023 

Tuesdays 7PM 

Wednesdays 7PM 

Thursdays 1:30PM & 7PM 

Fridays 7PM 

Saturdays 2PM & 7PM 

Sundays 2PM 


Tickets start at $45. Please see the performance calendar on the website for full calendar and details. Click HERE for tickets

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Cast Announced for Chicago Premiere of SEX TIPS FOR STRAIGHT WOMEN FROM A GAY MAN at The Greenhouse Theater Center April 8 Through July 2, 2022

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 




Following smash-hit runs in Las Vegas and New York, this inventive and wildly entertaining show announces its cast as it prepares to hit the stage in Chicago!

Voted Best Comedy for Couples, Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man, presented by Matt Murphy and Shawn Nightingale, has announced the cast for its Chicago debut. Starring Adam Fane as Dan, Emma Jo Boyden as Robyn, and Bradley Allen Meyer as Stefan, Sex Tips will preview April 8th and open April 23st for a limited engagement at the Greenhouse Theater Center, located 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue. Becoming Off-Broadway's Longest-Running Comedy in New York and launching a national tour before making its Las Vegas debut, this “uproariously funny” show is finally bringing its "big laughs and naughty fun,” taking the audience on a hilarious and wild ride where no topic is taboo and the insider ‘tips’ come straight from the source: a gay man. 

“I feel incredibly blessed to get to work with such a talented and group of actors for our Chicago premiere,” said Matt Murphy, Playwright and Producer of Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man. “I have no doubt Adam, Emma, and Bradley are going to have the audience in stitches throughout our run and I can't wait to see them shine on the stage!”

The play is set at a local university auditorium where the English department holds its monthly meet the authors event. Robyn is the shy and studious moderator of the event and this month's featured author is Dan Anderson of Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man.  With the help of a hunky stage assistant named Stefan, Dan aims to turn this meet the authors event upside down with a highly theatrical, audience interactive sex tip seminar.

Written and directed by Matt Murphy, Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man is produced by Murphy and Shawn Nightingale. The cast features Adam Fane as seen in Rock of Ages (National Tour); Ms. Blakk for President (Steppenwolf) and Jersey Boys (Norwegian), Emma Jo Boyden, as seen in A Recipe for Disaster (Windy City Playhouse), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Drury Lane); and Hamlet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), and Bradley Allen Meyer, an actor who studied at the Atlantic Theater Company known for Chicago Fire (2012), Soundtrack (2019), and Black and Blue (2018). The production features Scenic Design by Luke Cantarella, Lighting Design by Brian Tovar, Costume Design by Tilly Grimes, and Projection and Sound Design by Randy Blair. 


Hailed by critics as “one of the best date-night shows of the year,” SexTips has recently been showcased on television in three different reality series whose stars performed in the show, including Kendra On Top, Real Housewives of New York, and Shahs of Sunset. The popularity of this production is no surprise given its source material is the international best-selling book of the same title, which has been published in over 50 different countries and translated into 17 different languages.  

Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man will run at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago previewing April 8 and opening April 23 for a limited engagement through July 2, 2022. The performance schedule is as follows: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm. The running time is 1 hour and 15 minutes with no intermission. Tickets range from $49.95 to $79.95 plus processing fees. For tickets and more information, visit or call the Greenhouse Theater Center Box Office at 773-404-7336. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


A Remarkable True Chapter in the Struggle for Women’s Suffrage: 
The English Suffragettes who Learned Jiu-jitsu

Babes With Blades Theatre Company (BWBTC) continues its 20th Anniversary Season: “Origins” with the Chicago premiere of The Good Fight, playing at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., January 6 – February 17, 2018.  Developed in 2011 through BWBTC’s Fighting Words program under the title Deeds Not Words, the play is written by Anne Bertram, executive director of Theatre Unbound, a Minneapolis/St. Paul company devoted to work by and about women. Elizabeth Lovelady, a Jeff Award-winning artist based in Chicago, directs The Good Fight, which features combat by Violence Designer Gaby Labotka with Assistant Violence Designer Almanya Narula. 

Preview performances are Saturday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 7 at 3 p.m., Friday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 14 at 3 p.m. Opening Night is Monday,Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. Regular performances are Thursdays – Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Preview tickets are $10, student and senior tickets are $15, early bird general admission (available online through January 15, 2018) are $20 and general admission (after January 15, 2018) are $25. To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit

The Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), led by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel, was the primary militant group pushing for women's suffrage in the United Kingdom. Under the slogan "Deeds, not words," the WSPU advocated targeting property as a form of protest, from smashing shop windows to burning and bombing buildings. Imprisoned WSPU members – including Pankhurst – launched hunger strikes, which were initially countered by the authorities with force-feeding; later the government introduced the "Cat and Mouse Act," under which starving suffragettes were released, only to be re-imprisoned once regaining their health. To defend their leaders and comrades, the WSPU established "The Bodyguard" – a secret, all-female security team, trained in jiu-jitsu – and the good fight began. 

“The Good Fight imagines the personal lives of the historical women who literally fought for the vote in London in the early 20th century. The parallel to continued struggles for women's autonomy and gender parity cannot be ignored,” says Co-Artistic Director Kathrynne Wolf. Co-Artistic Director Elyse Dawson agrees and adds, “Babes With Blades Theatre Company is proud to shed light on this neglected corner of women's martial history as part of our 20th Anniversary Season. We're premiering The Good Fight in Chicago to remind our audiences that our good fight is far from over.”

The cast of The Good Fight includes Elisabeth Del Toro, "Mary;" Alison Dornheggen*, "Christabel Pankhurst/Edith Garrud;" Delia Ford*, "Harriet Kerr;" Jyreika Guest, "Gertrude Harding;" David Kaplinsky, "Mr. Dickinson/Charlie/Inspector McBrien/Constable;" Jean Marie Koon, "Emmeline Pankhurst;" Jillian Leff, "Cicely;" Arielle Leverett, "Grace Roe;" C. Jaye Miller, "Hilda;" Taylor Raye, "Emily Wilding Davison/Wardess;" Joseff Stevenson, "Home Secretary McKenna/Constable/Inspector Gray/Prison Guard" and Richard Traub, "Mr. Hunt/Bill/Constable/Jujitsu Demonstrator" with Tina Arfaee and Catherine Dvorak*, understudies.

*denotes BWBTC ensemble member

Anne Bertram is a founding artistic associate of Theatre Unbound, a Minneapolis/St. Paul company devoted to work by and about women. She currently serves as its executive director. Her work as a playwright has been seen in venues from off-Off Broadway to middle-school classrooms in Fargo, as well as successful runs with Theatre Unbound, including Murderess (2011) and The Good Fight (2012). Awards and commissions include Northwestern University’s Agnes Nixon Playwriting Award (lovehateforgive), The Playwrights’ Center’s Jones Commission (The Donner Gold), Studio Z’s Playwright in Electronic Residence Commission (St. Luke’s) and the Tennessee Williams One-Act Prize (Liability).

Elizabeth Lovelady is a director, playwright, arts administrator and sometimes performer. She won the 2016 non-equity Jeff for Best Adaptation for D.O.A. with Strawdog Theatre, which she also directed. She is an artistic associate of Red Theater where she directed Prince Max's Trewly Awful Trip to the Desolat Interior and 20% Theatre where she directed Fanny's First Play and Photograph 51. Other favorite directing credits include Lone Star/Laundry and Bourbon, Crimes of the Heart, The Dining Room (Oil Lamp); The War to End War: Los Alamos (The Island) and Off the Spectrum, a devised piece she created as part of Red Tape Theatre’s Fresh Eyes project. She also created and performed the one-woman show A Simple Lesson in Baking with Marie Antoinette. 

Gaby Labotka previously worked with BWBTC as assistant violence designer and Gloucester/Hartleur/John Bates for Henry V. Upcoming, Labotka is directing Wasteland Hero for the Reutan Collective, the violence director for Night in Alachua County presented by WildClaw Theatre and the fight choreographer/assistant director for 'Twas the Night Before Christmas presented by Emerald City Theatre.  She is an advanced actor combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) and is frequently a teaching assistant for stage combat classes at Movement and Combat Education (MACE), The Actors Gymnasium and regional stage combat workshops. She is a proud member of the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists (ALTA).

Almanya Narula is an actor, combatant, fight choreographer and voiceover artist from Bangkok, Thailand. She is affiliated with both the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) and the British Academy of Stage & Screen Combat (BASSC). Most recently she was the fight choreographer and lead actor in the music video for Nickelback's “Feed the Machine.” In Chicago, she is currently featured in the Factory Theater's production of Fight Cityand will be the fight choreographer for upcoming productions with Steep Theatre Company and Jackalope Theatre Company.

The Invisible Scarlet O’Neil
September 2 – October 14

Written by BWBTC Ensemble Member Barbara Lhota
Directed by BWBTC Ensemble Member Leigh Barrett
Violence Design by BWBTC Ensemble Member Libby Beyreis
Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard Street
Previews: Saturday, Sept. 2 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 3 at 3 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 7 and Friday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m.
Press Opening: Saturday Sept. 9 at 8 p.m.
Regular run: Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Ticket Price: Previews $10.00; Early Bird General Admission $20.00 (available through September 9); General Admission $25.00 (after September 9)

A mishap in her father's lab gave Scarlet O'Neil the power of invisibility – a power she promised him she'd never use. But Daddy never knew there'd be days like these….

It's the Windy City of the 1940s, and Dr. O'Neil's ex-lab assistant Evanna Keil is desperate to perfect her mind-controlling Ruby Red Lipstick before selling it to the KGB. The ensuing mayhem threatens everything Dr. O'Neil worked for, and everything Scarlet holds dear. Can Scarlet save her deceased father’s reputation, his scientific collaborators, AND their military secrets, plus her kidnapped landlady, a young prodigy, a small dog, the gals at the City News and all of Chicago – if not the world? It's the Invisible Scarlet O’Neil to the rescue! 

Gender parity is a hot topic, with news clip after article after report documenting how women, and women’s stories, are still underrepresented. Babes With Blades Theatre Company’s response – now, for the past 20 years, and moving forward – is to develop and present scripts focused on complex, dynamic (and often combative) female characters.

In each element of their programming, they embrace two key concepts: 
1) Women are central to the story, driving the action rather than responding or submitting to it
2) Women are capable of a full emotional and physical range, up to and including violence and its consequences.

The company offers participants and patrons alike an unparalleled opportunity to experience women as heroes and villains; rescuers and rescuees; right, wrong, and everywhere in between: exciting, vivid, dynamic PEOPLE. It’s as simple and as subversive as that.

BWBTC’s 2017-18 programming is partially made possible by the kind support of The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council Agency, and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Cast Announced For Porchlight's Upcoming Judy Garland Story, End of the Rainbow


All Photos by Michelle Leatherby. Angela Ingersoll as “Judy Garland”

Angela Ingersoll Stars in the Highly Lauded Play with Music Nominated for an Olivier Award and Three Tony Awards Featuring Garland’s Most Memorable Songs and the Story of the Events Leading up to the Final Days of Her Life

Porchlight Music Theatre announces the Chicago premiere of End of the Rainbow, November 4 – December 4,  featuring music from the songbook of Judy Garland, written by Peter Quilter, starring Angela Ingersoll as “Judy Garland,” direction by Porchlight Music Theatre Artistic Director Michael Weber, music direction by Jon Steinhagen, who also appears as “Anthony,” at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Previews are Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. and Monday, Nov 7 at 1:30 p.m. Opening night is Monday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. 

The performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. There is an added matinee performance Thursday, Nov. 17 at 1:30 p.m. and Friday, Nov. 25 at 4 p.m. NOTE: *There are no Thursday 7:30 p.m. performances November 10 and 24. Tickets for previews are $38 and for the regular run $45 - $51. Single tickets may be purchased at 773.327.5252 or at
Subscriptions to the entire season or Porchlight’s series, Porchlight Revisits, are currently on sale as well as single tickets for the entire season.  Subscriptions are available at or by calling 773.777.9884. Groups of ten or more may receive discounts on tickets purchased via Group Theater Tix at 312.423.6612 or

It’s December 1968 and Judy Garland (Angela Ingersoll) is about to make her comeback... again. In a London hotel room, with both her new fiancé (Kyle Hatley) and her adoring accompanist (Jon Steinhagen), Garland struggles to get 'beyond the rainbow' with her signature cocktail of talent, tenacity and razor-sharp wit. Featuring many of Garland’s most memorable songs, this savagely funny play with music offers unique insight into the inner conflict that inspired and consumed one of the most beloved figures in American popular culture. 

End of the Rainbow also features Felipe Jorge as ”The Radio Interviewer/The Porter/The ASM.”

The End of the Rainbow production team includes: Christopher Rhoton, scenic designer; Bill Morey, costume designer; Shelley Strasser Holland, lighting designer; Ross Hoppe, projection designer; Mealah Heidenreich, properties designer; Robert Hornbostel, sound designer; Christopher Pazdernik, assistant director and Alex Rhyan, production manager.

Angela Ingersoll returns to Porchlight where she last appeared in The Secret Garden. Currently appearing in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at Marriott Theatre, other credits include: The Great Gatsby (Indiana Repertory Theatre); Shakespeare’s Greatest HitsThe Merry Wives of WindsorRichard III, The Comedy of Errors (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); The Game’s AfootThe 39 Steps (Drury Lane Theatre); The Mistress Cycle (Apple Tree/Auditorium); Carousel (Madison Rep); South Pacific (Light Opera Works); Disney’s Beauty and the BeastMan of La ManchaMacbethJekyll and HydeRagtimeNineThe Philadelphia StoryThe Wizard of Oz (Playhouse on the Square). Comedy: Second City Hollywood. TV: “Chicago PD.” Ingersoll and husband Michael Ingersoll produce the Artists Lounge Live concert series. Concerts: I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues (Paramount Theatre, etc); My Baby Just Cares for Me (Northlight Theatre, etc,) and The 12 Dames of Christmas. She’s the recipient of two Jeff Award Nominations, two Ostrander Award Nominations and four Ostrander Awards.

Kyle Hatley is making his Porchlight debut. He is an actor, director and writer. Hatley was born and raised in Memphis, TN and relocated to Chicago after graduating from Rhodes College. His television credits include a guest starring role on NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and co-starring in FOX’s “Prison Break” and CBS’s “As The World Turns.” He is a 2011 Charlotte Street Foundation Generative Artist Fellow and served as associate artistic director of Kansas City Repertory Theatre from 2008 until 2014, where he directed, performed and produced six seasons alongside Artistic Director Eric Rosen and Producing Director Jerry Genochio. After joining his wife in Chicago in August of 2014, he served as resident director for the 50th Anniversary Season at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and remains a board member and artistic associate of The Living Room Theatre. In the last seven years he has worked primarily in Kansas City, Missouri at KC Rep, The Living Room Theatre, The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and KC Fringe. In Chicago he has worked on Take Me Out (Steppenwolf Theatre), Execution of Justice (About Face Theatre), The Last Supper (InFusion Theatre), Picasso at the Lapine Agile (Noble Fool Theatricals), and Danny Casolaro Died for Your Sins (TimeLine Theatre Company) and, recently, The Iliad (Geva Theatre Center).

ABOUT JON STEINHAGEN, “Anthony” and Music Director/Conductor
Jon Steinhagen returns to Porchlight where he last music directed the Porchlight Revisits production of Fade Out – Fade In and where his critically acclaimed musical The Teapot Scandals made its world premiere. Last seen starring as “Artie” in The House of Blue Leaves at Raven Theatre, this prolific Chicago actor and playwright has appeared in Dividing the Estate, The Odd Couple and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Raven Theatre),1776, Six Degrees of Separation, The Real Inspector Hound, and ACES (Signal Ensemble); Mack & Mabel, Sweet Smell of Success, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Circle Theatre). Steinhagen is also a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, a past winner of the Julie Harris Playwriting Award, a finalist for the first Noël Coward Award and a member of the Dramatists Guild, He has received four Jeff Awards and six nominations (AEA and non-AEA).

ABOUT FELIPE JORGE, “The Radio Interviewer/The Porter/The ASM”
Felipe Jorge makes his Porchlight debut with this production. Recent credits include Parachute Men (Teatro Vista), The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Importance of Being Earnest and Cruel Intentions (White Mask Theatre Club), War of the Worlds (Gorilla Tango Theatre) and Spring Awakening (Teatro-Escola Celia Helena).

Peter Quilter's plays have been performed in major theatres in cities across six continents, including London, Cape Town, Rome, Prague, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Chicago, Madrid, Sydney and New York and translated into 27 languages. He is best known for his Broadway play End of the Rainbow and his West End comedy Glorious!. He has twice been nominated for the Olivier Award (Best New Comedy 2006 and Best New Play 2011) and his Broadway debut was nominated for three Tony Awards.

Artistic director of Porchlight Music Theatre, Weber previously served as artistic director for the inaugural season of Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place (now The Broadway Playhouse) and at Theatre at the Center (1998-2004). His productions of Side Show, Sweeney Todd, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Pal Joey and Assassins at Porchlight Music Theatre, Grand Hotel at Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place and She Loves Me at Theatre at the Center were each nominated for the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production-Musical. Most recently he directed Side Show (2016 Jeff Award-nomination) and Chess for Porchlight. Directing credits include Living the History-125 Years of The Auditorium Theatre starring Patti LuPone, John Mahoney and stars of Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and more, Fifth of July and Talley’s Folly at the Oak Park Festival Theatre, The Petrified Forest at Theatre at the Center, Beauty and the Beast at Marriott Theatre, Over the River and Through the Woods at The Mercury Theater, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Pheasant Run Theatre, and Cirque du Symphony at Sears Center Arena. The recipient of two Joseph Jefferson Awards, he has written and directed the past nine Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards ceremonies. Weber is proud to serve as a pledge host on WTTW, Channel 11, and he is author of the play, WAR of the WELLES.

(L to R) Kyle Hatley, Angela Ingersoll and Jon Steinhagen as 
“Mickey Deans,” “Judy Garland” and “Anthony" 

Porchlight Music Theatre, now in its 22nd season, is nationally recognized for developing innovative new works, reimagining classic productions and showcasing musical theatre’s noted veterans and rising stars. Porchlight elevates the genre in Chicago by providing intimate and powerful theatrical experiences for its growing and diverse audiences. With the vision of Artistic Director Michael Weber, Porchlight builds on its role as Chicago’s only Equity not-for-profit company exclusively specializing in music theatre. Porchlight’s rich history includes the staging of more than 60 productions with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Through Porchlight’s “Off the Porch” new works program, the musicals of the next generation are developed and given a first audience. The School at Porchlight is Chicago’s new center for music theatre training in the areas of performance, writing and appreciation. The company’s many accolades include 15 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and two awards, as well as a total of 126 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 35 Jeff Awards including three consecutive Best Production awards for Sondheim on Sondheim (2015), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (2014) and A Class Act (2013) as well as Sondheim on Sondheim being named one of the Chicago Tribune’s “Best Theatre of 2015.”

Porchlight Music Theatre announces the Chicago premiere of End of the Rainbow, November 4 – December 4,  featuring music from the songbook of Judy Garland, written by Peter Quilter, starring Angela Ingersoll as “Judy Garland,” direction by Porchlight Music Theatre Artistic Director Michael Weber, music direction by Jon Steinhagen, who also appears as “Anthony,” at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Previews are Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. and Monday, Nov 7 at 1:30 p.m. Opening night is Monday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. There is an added matinee performance Thursday, Nov. 17 at 1:30 p.m. and Friday, Nov. 25 at 4 p.m. NOTE: *There are no Thursday 7:30 p.m. performances November 10 and 24. Tickets for previews are $38 and for the regular run $45 - $51. Single tickets may be purchased at 773.327.5252 or at

Subscriptions to the entire season or Porchlight’s series, Porchlight Revisits, are currently on sale as well as single tickets for the entire season.  Subscriptions are available at or by calling 773.777.9884. Groups of ten or more may receive discounts on tickets purchased via Group Theater Tix at 312.423.6612 or

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from the Actors’ Equity Foundation, the Arts Work Fund at the Chicago Community Trust, the Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Cooper’s: A Neighborhood Eatery, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki, Family Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Prince Foundation, the National Association of Realtors, The Saints and the Service Club of Chicago. The season program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency. 

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