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Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

REVIEW: Noël Coward’s masterpiece HAY FEVER Via City Lit Now Playing Through October 9, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

 HAY FEVER



by Noël Coward

directed by Terry McCabe

Now Playing Through October 9, 2022


REVIEW:

By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

In the microcosm of Chicago's theatre scene, it's amazing how many synchronicities there are. Just one week after reviewing Hay Fever, I'll be out to see yet another Noël Coward play, Private Lives, opening at Raven Theatre. It's exciting Chicago audiences can do a mini immersive in Coward's period pieces with City Lit's Jeff Recommended Hay Fever from 1924 and Private Lives from 1931. His artsy, eccentric, manipulative characters are delightfully funny. Horrible humans behaving badly are eternally timeless yet timely. 

Prior to Hay Fever, my most memorable Noël Coward experience was a 1985 college production of Blithe Spirit at Anderson University in Indiana, where the not so ethereal ghost was a plus sized actress who fell through the stage staircase mid act! They had to stop the play and help extricate her from the rubble. Thankfully she wasn't injured and the audience was patient and understanding about the whole debacle. 

Conversely, City Lit's Hay Fever went off without a hiccup and was an immensely enjoyable night out. We laughed at much of the dialogue and wacky plot twists and were well entertained. Betsy Pennington Taylor was a standout as narcissistic actress, Judith Bliss, and marssie* Mencotti was an absolute hoot as the housekeeper, Clara. The entire cast did some lovely ensemble work with impeccable comedic timing. Shout out also to Ray Toler for the charmingly hilarious scenic design. I'm still laughing at the boar head with ear tassels! 

* Lower case marssie is intentional

Hay Fever's nothing to sneeze at, though this country escape gone wrong may have you laughing so hard your eyes water. If you're itching for a fun production, the foibles of the Bliss bunch are comedic gold.

Recommended. 3 out of 4 stars ★★★

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theatre critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly). 


Producer and Artistic Director Terry McCabe will direct Noël Coward’s 1924 comedy HAY FEVER as the final production of City Lit Theater’s 41st season. It replaces the previously announced AZTEC HUMAN SACRIFICE, which has been moved to a slot in spring 2023. Both a comedy of manners and a farce, HAY FEVER has been proven to be exceptionally durable in the nearly 100 years since its first production, enjoying many successful revivals in the US, UK and Canada as well as multiple film and TV productions across the globe. The comedy lampoons the poor manners and deficient hospitality of the four members of an eccentric upper class English family, who each without the other three knowing it have invited a guest to spend the weekend at their country estate. 

McCabe’s cast will include Betsy Pennington Taylor as Judith Bliss, the absent-minded retired actress who is the wife and mother of the bad-mannered hosts; and Stephen Fedo (he/him) as Judith’s novelist husband David Bliss. Their children will be played by Travis Shanahan (he/him) as Simon, and Lizzie Williams (she/her) as Sorel. Appearing as the Bliss’s guests will be Robert Hunter Bry as Judith’s fan Sandy Tyrell, Elizabeth Wigley (she/her) as the vampish Myra Arundel, Melissa Brausch (she/her) as the dim but good-hearted flapper Jackie Coryton, and Gerrit Wilford as diplomat Richard Greatham. marssie* Mencotti will be the housekeeper Clara.

Tickets are on sale now at www.citylit.org and by phone at 773-293-3682.

Top row L-R: Melissa Brausch, Robert Hunter Bry, Stephen Fedo

Second row L-R: marssie Mencotti, Travis Shanahan, Betsy Pennington Taylor.

Third row L-R: Elizabeth Wigley, Gerrit Wilford, Lizzie Williams


On the production team are Ray Toler (Scenic Design), Rachel S. Parent (Costume Design), Chris Matteky (Lighting Design), David Yondorf (Violence and Intimacy Design), Carrie Hardin (Dialect Coach), and Hazel Marie Flowers-McCabe (Stage Manager).


Previews August 26 – September 3, 2022

Preview ticket prices $30.00, seniors $25.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)

Regular run September 4 – October 9, 2022

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm. Mondays September 26 and October 3 at 7:30 pm.

Regular run ticket prices $34.00, seniors $29.00, students and military $12 (all plus applicable fees)

Performances at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago 60660 (Inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church)

Info and tickets at www.citylit.org and by phone at 773-293-3682.

Noël Coward's masterpiece. The four members of the eccentric Bliss family have each, without the other three knowing it, invited a guest to spend the weekend at their country estate. But the Blisses wouldn't be successful hosts to one visitor; confronted with four, they put their guests through their self-absorbed version of hospitality, utterly oblivious to the train wreck they've engineered. An irresistibly heartless comedy.

 


HEALTH PRECAUTIONS AT CITY LIT

Proof of vaccination is required for all attendees of all performances (physical vaccination card or legible image of vaccination card. Refunds will not be issued if admittance is refused due to lack of vaccination documentation.


BIOS

Noël Coward (Playwright) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor, and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise.”  Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. Many of his works, such as HAY FEVER, PRIVATE LIVES, DESIGN FOR LIVING, PRESENT LAUGHTER, and BLITHE SPIRIT, have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. He composed hundreds of songs, in addition to well over a dozen musical theatre works (including the operetta BITTER SWEET and comic revues), screenplays, poetry, several volumes of short stories, the novel POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE, and a three-volume autobiography. Coward's stage and film acting and directing career spanned six decades, during which he starred in many of his own works, as well as those of others.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Coward volunteered for war work, running the British propaganda office in Paris. He also worked with the Secret Service, seeking to use his influence to persuade the American public and government to help Britain. Coward won an Academy Honorary Award in 1943 for his naval film drama IN WHICH WE SERVE and was knighted in 1969. In the 1950s he achieved fresh success as a cabaret performer, performing his own songs, such as "Mad Dogs and Englishmen", "London Pride", and "I Went to a Marvelous Party."

Terry McCabe (Producer, Artistic Director, Director) has been City Lit’s artistic director since February 2005 and its producer since July 2016. He has directed plays professionally in Chicago since 1981. He was artistic director of Stormfield Theatre for four years, resident director at Wisdom Bridge Theatre for five years, and worked at Body Politic Theatre three separate times in three different capacities over a span of 14 years. His City Lit adaptations of HOLMES AND WATSON, GIDGET (co-adapted with Marissa McKown), THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, SCOUNDREL TIME, and OPUS 1861 (co-adapted with Elizabeth Margolius) were Jeff-nominated. He won two Jeff Citations for directing at Stormfield and has been thrice nominated for the Jeff Award for Best Director, for shows at Court Theatre, Wisdom Bridge, and Victory Gardens. He has directed at many Chicago theatres either long-gone or still with us, as well as off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre and at Vienna’s English Theatre. His book MIS-DIRECTING THE PLAY has been denounced at length in American Theatre magazine and from the podium at the national convention of The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas but has been used in directing courses on three continents and is now available in paperback and Kindle e-book.

 

ABOUT CITY LIT

For over forty-one years, City Lit Theater has been dedicated to the vitality and accessibility of the literary imagination. City Lit produces theatrical adaptations of literary material, scripted plays by language-oriented playwrights, and original material. City Lit Theater was founded with $210 pooled by Arnold Aprill (at the time the Body Politic Theatre’s box office manager), David Dillon, and Lorell Wyatt on October 9, 1979, and was incorporated on March 25, 1980. There were still so few theatres in Chicago that at City Lit’s launch event, they were able to read a congratulatory letter they had received from Tennessee Williams.

The United States Library of Congress has selected our Civil War Project blog for inclusion in its historic collection of internet materials related to the American Civil War Sesquicentennial. Check it out at citylitcivilwar.blogspot.com.

City Lit is in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church building at 1020 West Bryn Mawr Avenue. We are two blocks east of both the Bryn Mawr Red Line stop and the #36 Broadway and the #84 Peterson buses. We are one block west of the #147 Sheridan and #151 Sheridan buses. Divvy bike stations are located at Bryn Mawr & Lakefront Trail, and at Broadway & Ridge at Bryn Mawr. The metered street parking pay boxes on Bryn Mawr have a three-hour maximum duration and are free on Sundays. There are additional details about parking and dining options at www.citylit.org 

City Lit is supported by the MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Ivanhoe Theater Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and is sponsored, in part, by A.R.T. League. 

For more information and to donate, visit www.citylit.org and by phone at 773-293-3682.


Friday, September 23, 2022

REVIEW: Southern Gothic In Open Run at Windy City Playhouse South at Petterinos' Beginning Sept 15th, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar


Review
By Catherine Hellmann, Guest Critic 

I now have bragging rights that I have seen Southern Gothic in all three of its manifestations and locations. Each time, I appreciate the piece even more. It’s rare to witness the “same” show three different times and feel like you saw a new show each performance. I described the play to my sister, a first time viewer, as a “choose-your-own-adventure” concept. I explained how the audience can move around the staged “house” to select a new vantage point. My sis liked her window seat in the living room and chose to watch the shenanigans in their entirety from the exterior wall. I moved to the outside area near the kitchen to eavesdrop on the conversation there. It’s a hoot to be such a “voyeur” in other people’s private dramas. 


    All Production Photos by Michael Brosilow

In case you are unfamiliar, the setting is June 30, 1961 at the home of Beau Coutier (Max Stewart) and his perky wife Ellie (Sarah Grant, reprising her original role). It’s the 40th birthday for Beau’s sister Suzanne, and all of their old crowd are invited to celebrate. We see the hosts frantically preparing for their guests, and we are in their house with them as “flies on the wall.”  The set is truly remarkable and one of my favorite parts of this clever show, as the designer, Scott Davis, has created a “home” with open walls and added details so we feel transported to Beau and Ellie’s actual residence. The audience is free to move about, as long as we remain “invisible”: don’t speak, sit on the main furniture, or interact with the cast. You can even eat the snacks, popcorn and crackers with cheese and spam (!) on the dining room, kitchen, or back patio tables. Drinks are even served to all as part of the show. 

The first time I saw Southern Gothic, I watched the majority from the dining room. I was a bit shy about moving locations. I overheard some financial travails affecting a few of the male characters. The second time, I focused on being in the kitchen and had a couple passionately kissing only like a foot away from me! Omg. There was heat in the kitchen! It was a bit shocking; I wasn’t expecting that! This third viewing, I wandered out back. Each time, I have caught a different aspect of the intertwining plots. It’s delightful. There is a LOT going on and a bunch of backstory with these “old friends.” My sis caught a detail about two characters that I hadn’t connected before.    

I spotted co-creator Amy Rubenstein in the crowd just before curtain, and blurted,”I fucking love this show! This is my third time seeing it.” She was as gracious as the Southern Hospitality on display in the Coutier Home in Ashford, Georgia. The large glass of wine I had pre-show may have been partly responsible for my outburst, but my appreciation of this spectacle is sincere. It’s a blast, and I recommend that everyone see it just because it is so fascinating and unique. 

New to the cast is Windy City Playhouse favorite Carley Cornelius as Lauren Lyon, who is the daughter of a politician and now married to one who is equally ambitious as her powerful father. She is a wonderful addition to the show, and I marveled at how she was sitting forlornly on the patio while chaos stormed nearby. Reese Parish is lovely as Cassie Smith, an unexpected surprise at the party. 

The costumes by Sydney Moore are to die for, especially the gorgeous women’s dresses. My sis, a shoe fanatic, nudged me to point out the fabulous shoes on the party guests.  

Windy City Playhouse South is right next to Petterino’s and the Goodman Theatre. You can catch dinner, then meander over to Georgia to witness some Southern hospitality and mayhem. You’ll be so glad you did. And order a whiskey sour to go with the bedlam. Cheers! 

Highly recommended. 4 out of 4 stars ★★★★

Catherine Hellmann is usually at a theater production, exploring Chicago, or in school trying to mold young teenage minds. She has three awesome kids and thinks being an empty nester is simply astounding.  


Windy City Playhouse Announces Cast for the Downtown Debut of Immersive Smash Hit "Southern Gothic" Produced in Association with Goodman Theatre and Greg Schaffert 

Multiple Jeff Award-Winning Creative Team Including Director David H. Bell and Scenic Designer Scott Davis to Return for New Production, Set to Open Sept. 15 at New Playhouse at Petterino's Location, Adjacent to the Goodman

Windy City Playhouse Artistic Director Amy Rubenstein, together with Goodman Theatre and Greg Schaffert, announced the cast and creative team for the downtown debut of the hit immersive production “Southern Gothic,” created by Rubenstein and Windy City Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Carl Menninger. “Southern Gothic,” written by Leslie Liautaud and once again directed by David H. Bell, will transport audiences to a cocktail party in 1960s Ashford, Georgia where four couples gather to celebrate a birthday. The Chicago production will welcome 45 audience members per performance to the Playhouse at Petterino’s (150 N. Dearborn, next to the Goodman Theatre) beginning Sept. 15.  

Cast of SOUTHERN GOTHIC, from left to right: (row one) Joe Edward Metcalfe, Carley Cornelius, Max Bowdren, Sarah Grant, (row two) Reese Parish, Max Stewart, Anne Sheridan Smith, Miles Borchard.

The cast of “Southern Gothic” includes returning artists Sarah Grant as Ellie Coutier and Anne Sheridan Smith as Suzanne Wellington, in addition to new cast members Miles Borchard as Tucker Alsworth, Matt Bowdren as Charlie Lyon, Carley Cornelius as Lauren Lyon, Joe Metcalfe as Jackson Wellington, Reese Parish as Cassie Smith and Max Stewart as Beau Coutier. 

Anchored by several members of the original production’s multiple Jeff Award-winning team, the creative team for this production includes David H. Bell who won a Jeff Award for his previous direction of Windy City Playhouse’s two-year, 606-performance run of “Southern Gothic,” playwright Leslie Liautaud, co-creator Amy Rubenstein, co-creator and dramaturg Carl Menninger and scenic designer Scott Davis, who also received a Jeff Award for the original production. In addition, the production includes Sydney Moore (Costume Designer), Aaron Lichamer (Lighting Designer), Lindsay Jones (Sound Designer), Eleanor Kahn (Properties and Details Designer), Max Fabian (Fight Choreographer), Donica Lynn (Assistant Director), Lauren Nigri (Associate Scenic Designer), Andres Mota (Assistant Costume Designer/Costume Coordinator), Rebecca Lister (Production Stage Manager), Hannah Weiss (Assistant Stage Manager), Danny Halminiak, (Technical Director), Hannah Bolstad (Lead Electrician) and Joe Johnson (Assistant Technical Director).

Hailed by critics during its inaugural run, “Southern Gothic” received four stars from Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones, who called the set “astonishing;” the Chicago Sun-Times said, “Immersive ‘Southern Gothic’ makes you feel right at home;” the Chicago Reader called “Southern Gothic” a “memorable and unique theater experience;” and PerformInk declared the show is “superb and fascinating... the kind of play that could easily develop a cult following.”

During the intimate, immersive show, audiences will be free to roam throughout the Jeff award-nominated house set, exploring various spaces and eavesdropping on clandestine conversations. Each visitor will create their own unique perspective on the evening’s proceedings. The cast of “Southern Gothic” does not interact with the audience, leaving patrons free to watch the scenes happening around them like an invisible guest, traveling from room to room and sampling period-appropriate cocktails and snacks throughout the performance. 

“Southern Gothic” is presented in partnership with producer Greg Schaffert and Southern Gothic Nash LLC. Schaffert, a producer best known for the Tony Award-winning “Peter and the Starcatcher,” looks to open a commercial run of the show in Nashville later this year.   

Tickets to “Southern Gothic” are on sale now and will range from $65 to $105. Press performances are slated for September 15 through 18. The production will run Wednesdays through Sundays at the Playhouse at Petterino’s, located at 150 N. Dearborn. For more information and ticketing, please visit www.windycityplayhouse.com

About the Production 

Leslie Liautaud (Playwright) has worked for over 30 years in professional theatre as actor, director, choreographer and playwright. Leslie is the author of “Midnight Waltzes” (2006), “He Is Us” (2008), “The Wreck” (2009), “Saligia” (2011) and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Millennial Edition” (2012). Her screenplays/webisodes include “Taj Mahal” (2006), “Web” (2010) and Jimmy John’s/Whateverhollywood (2010) parody web series. Leslie directed her one-act play, “The Mansion” (2010) and directed Tennessee Williams’ play “The Chalky White Substance” (2011) for the “Tennessee at 100” series both at ParklandCollege in Champaign, IL. She wrote “Spectacle Lunatique” for Redmoon Theatre in Chicago, IL (2012). Leslie’s plays have been produced throughout the Midwest United States and her plays “Midnight Waltzes” and “The Wreck” both received translations for the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent where they are used as classroom curriculum. Both are archived at the Opendoek Library in Antwerp.

Leslie has performed and choreographed for various Midwest theatres and organizations such as Ibsen Theatre, Exposure Inc., Liberty Symphony Orchestra, Worlds of Fun and Westport Ballet Company. Leslie co-founded the “People in Motion” high school youth performance program (1995) in Kansas City, MO. She is the author of the coming-of-age novel, “Black Bear Lake” and the psychological thriller, “Butterfly Pinned.”  

David H. Bell (Director) returns to Windy City Playhouse after directing last season’s Jeff Award-nominated “The Explorers Club.” He is a professor and Director of the Music Theatre Certificate program and Artistic Director of the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University. David has worked all over the world as a director, choreographer, and author. 

His work has received 44 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations, for which he has won 11; the Dramalogue Award (L.A.); the Helen Hayes Award (Washington, D.C.); five Carbonall Award nominations (Florida); a Laurence Olivier Award Nomination (London); seven Atlanta Journal and Constitution Awards; the Atlanta Circle of Dramatic Critics Award; and three National Endowment writing grants. 

He has served as Artistic Director for the historic Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., and as Associate Artistic Director for Atlanta’s Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre. He has had more than 40 new plays and musicals produced internationally, including the Laurence Olivier-nominated Musical “Hot Mikado.” Recently, he collaborated withNorthwestern University and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in presenting “Atlantic,” a pair of new musicals at the Edinburgh Festival last summer. He has collaborated on world premiere musicals with Craig Carnelia, Cy Coleman, Russell Baker, Jimmy Buffett, Herman Wouk, David Crane and Marta Kauffman, Bob Gaudio, Henry Marsh, Barry Mason, Jim Stafford, Eddie Seago, and Mike Leander, among many others. He directed and coauthored “Knute Rockne: All-American” at The Theatre at the Center, and his adaptation of “The Boys from Syracuse,” for which he was nominated for 3 Jefferson Awards, played at the Drury Lane Oakbrook. He directed his musical “The Bowery Boys” at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire and directed and choreographed “Once on This Island” at Marriott and “Hot Mikado” at Drury Lane. In summer 2011, David directed his own “Fanny Brice” musical at Florida’s Asolo Rep Theatre; wrote a program of musicals to accompany the AIDS Memorial Quilt to Washington D.C.; directed “Hamlet” at Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival and a World Premiere of HERO at the Marriott Theatre and Asolo Repertory Theatre; and wrote “The Rules Of Love” in Istanbul with Turkish rock stars Sertab Erener and Demir Demirkan. David opened “Shakin’ the Rafters” for Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre in Atlanta; directed “South Pacific,” “9 to 5,” “Cabaret” and “On The Town” for the Marriott Lincolnshire; and directed “The Comedy Of Errors,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Pericles” for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. For Northwestern University’s Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, David has directed “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” and six Waa-Mu Shows: “Another Way West,” “Beyond Belief,” “What’s Next?” “Off The Map,” “Flying Home” and “Gold.” David is currently writing and directing “The Museum Of Broken Relationships” with composer Daniel Green. 

Carl Menninger (Co-Creator/Dramaturg) lived and worked in Chicago for many years. He won the 2020 Joseph Jefferson Award for his direction of “The Boys in The Band.” He also directed the 2016 production of THIS at Windy City Playhouse. Carl was one of the writers of “A Recipe for Disaster!” as well as the co-writer of our recent production of “Sons Of Hollywood.” He is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at American University, in Washington, D.C., where he ran the Theatre and Musical Theatre program for eight years. While in Chicago, Carl worked with Victory Gardens and Chicago Dramatists. In addition to working with D.C.’s Ford’s Theatre, Studio Theatre and Adventure Theatre, his play “Everything But You: A Modern Romance” received a staged reading at Keegan Theatre in D.C. Carl is the co-author of “Minding the Edge: Strategies for a Fulfilling, Successful Career as an Actor.” 

Amy Rubenstein (Co-Creator) is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Windy City Playhouse. Since the theater’s premiere in March 2015, she has overseen 17 mainstage productions, including the recent world premieres “Southern Gothic” and “A Recipe for Disaster!” of which she was also a co-creator and writer. During her tenure, the Playhouse has been lauded for its uniquely contemporary approach that focuses on audience experience and has received numerous industry accolades, including 23 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations, 11 Chicago Theater Awards including the 2018 Trailblazer Award, and 3 International Centre for Women Playwrights’ 50/50 Awards. Prior to her current role at the Playhouse, Ms. Rubenstein’s credits include performing with Long Beach Playhouse, Human Race Theatre, and Center Stage Theater, among others. She is a proud graduate of Brandeis University. She is also a partner at Windy City RE and Clear Investment Group, two leading Chicago real estate investment firms. 

Miles Borchard (Tucker Alsworth) most recently appeared in “A Recipe For Disaster!” with Windy City Playhouse and is returning for another exciting immersive piece. Prior to the pandemic, Borchard was featured as the Teenage Boy in “Dead Man Walking” at the Lyric Opera and as Paul Morel in “Sons and Lovers” at the Greenhouse Theatre. He has appeared on film in leading roles for DePaul Productions, Philhouse Productions, and SHOED! Productions. He is also a professional circus performer, working in cabarets and street performing across the city. Borchard graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. milesborchard.com 

Matt Bowdren (Charlie Lyon) is thrilled to make his Windy City Playhouse debut. In Chicago, Matt was most recently seen in “Rutherford and Son” (TimeLine Theatre).  Matt is a founding member of The Story Theatre where directed the inaugural production of “Leave Me Alone!” Regionally, Matt is an Artistic Associate for The Rogue Theatre where he has performed in over 30 productions including “Hamlet,”“The Crucible,” and“Waiting for Godot.” Other regional credits include Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Repertory Theatre, Hudson Shakespeare Company, and Southwest Shakespeare. Recent film credits include, “The Lot,” “The Coming” and “Happily Never After” (Lifetime). Matt is represented by DDO Chicago and holds an MFA in Performance from The University of Georgia. mattbowdren.com 

Carley Cornelius (Lauren Lyon) Carley Cornelius returns to WCP where she previously appeared in “A Recipe for Disaster!” and “Becky Shaw.” In Chicago she has had the pleasure to collaborate with Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Writers Theatre, Chicago Sketchfest, The House Theater of Chicago, and is an ensemble member of Definition Theatre  (“White, An Octoroon,” “The Dutchman”). Some regional credits include work with Colorado Theatreworks (“Venus In Fur,” “Constellations,” “Detroit”), Urbanite Theatre (“The Drowning Girls”), Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (“Shakespeare In Love”) TheatreSquared (“At The Wedding”), as well as productions with Montana, Texas, Door and Great River Shakespeare Festivals. You may have seen her telling you to “read a f*^#ing book” on The Onion, searching for multiple children on NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” drinking Maker’s Mark on Hulu or trying to find a home on HGTV’s “House Hunters.” Carley holds degrees from Ball State University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and is represented by Big Mouth Talent. #stayinit 

Sarah Grant (Ellie Coutier) is thrilled to be returning to “Southern Gothic” as Ellie. Other Chicago Credits include: “Mr. Dickens’ Hat” (Northlight Theatre, u/s); “Upstairs Concierge” (Goodman Theatre, u/s); “A Very Merry Madrigal” (Theo Ubique); “Sleeping Beauty” and “Godspell” (Provision); “Hamlet Is Dead. No Gravity.” and “A Hedda Gabler” (Red Tape); “Death and Harry Houdini” (House Theatre). Regional credits include: “The Dos and Don’ts of Time Travel” (Phoenix Theatre, IN). She teaches at the Chicago Academy for the Arts and holds a master's degree in the humanities from the University of Chicago. Sarah is represented by Lily’s Talent and thanks her family, friends, and partner Anthony who plays all the parts. https://sarahmgrant.com 

Joe Metcalfe (Jackson Wellington) Is beyond grateful to be returning to Windy City Playhouse! He was last seen at Windy City understudying in “A Recipe for Disaster!” where he went on a handful of times. CHICAGO: “Romeo And Juliet” (Kane Repertory Theatre), “Keely & Du” (Redtwist Theatre), “Bent” (Muse Theatre Co.) and “Grant In Othello” (Theatre Witt) – “Regional: Re-Entry” (Montana Rep), “Other Desert Cities” (Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol, FL), “Two Conversations”…  (WP - Humana) by Sarah Ruhl, “Dreamerwake” (WP - Humana) by Anne Washburn, “Dracula” (Actors Theatre of Louisville). TV/FILM: “Soundtrack” (Netflix), “NeXt” (FOX). TRAINING: Actors Theatre of Louisville PT Company, MFA – Northern Illinois University. He is represented by Big Mouth Talent. - JoeEdwardMetcalfe.com - For Cyndi, always. 

Reese Parish (Cassie Smith) Reese, current DePaul Junior, is elated to be making her Windy City Playhouse debut! As a Milwaukee native, she’s worked extensively with The Milwaukee Repertory Theater most recently seen in “West Side Story,” Love in “Everybody,” and also appearing as Wendy Darling in the world premiere production of “Lost Girl.” Other theater credits include Annie in “Annie Jump And The Library Of Heaven,” Cassandra in “Bliss Or Emily Post Is Dead” (Renaissance Theaterworks) and Dorothy in THE WIZ (First Stage).

This past year Reese has had the privilege of working on web-series “APT” (Everything Bagel Productions) and was seen as Anna in “Ferdinand Avenue” and Christina in “Afterword” (Paper Crown Productions). Reese is represented by Paonessa Talent and is thrilled to be back on stage doing what she loves! Special thanks to her village who is with her at every step and bow.   

Anne Sheridan Smith (Suzanne Wellington) is happily returning to the role of Suzanne Wellington and working with Windy City Playhouse again. Born and brought up in Chicago, Anne is rooted in its theatre community. Her Chicago theatre production highlights include “The Drowning Girls” (Jeff Nomination, Best Ensemble - Play, Signal Ensemble Theatre), “Once Upon A Mattress” as Queen Aggravain (Theo Ubique), “Fun Home” as Helen (Victory Gardens Theatre), “Bat Boy,” “The MusicAL” as Meredith (Jeff Nomination, Best Supporting, Griffin Theatre), “The Good Soul Of SZECHUAN” (Strawdog Theatre), 1776 as Abigail (Jeff Award, Best Musical, Signal Ensemble), “9 To 5, The Musical” as Violet (Firebrand), “Juno” as Maisie (TimeLine Theatre), “Mother Courage And Her Children” as Yvette Pottier (Vitalist Theatre). She received her B.A. in Theatre and Acting from Western Illinois University. Anne is represented by Shirley Hamilton Talent. 

Max Stewart (Beau Coutier) Max is a graduate of The Theatre School at Depaul University and has studied at the British American Dramatic Academy in Oxford.  He is a NFAA Young Arts Award Winner in Spoken Theatre and won a William Faulkner Literary Award for his play “Antarctica” which premiered at Curious Theatre Company in Denver.  Recent theatre credits include: “Walk on The Wild Side” (Pale Horse Playhouse), “Sons Of Hollywood” (Windy City Playhouse) and Romeo in “Romeo And Juliet” (Kane Repertory Theatre Company). Selected TV/Film Credits include: Chicago Fire (NBC), Soundtrack (Netflix) Dir. Joe Swanberg, Worth Dir. Austin Lewis, (Best Supporting Actor Winner Nashville 48 Hour Film Festival) and Never the Bride Dir. Alex Heller.  Max is represented by Gray Talent Group. Instagram: @maxflash4 CN Mason (Cassie Smith U/S) Candice (CN) is a proud native of the California Bay Area who is excited to be joining the “Southern Gothic” team. She was last seen onstage as an understudy in the 2022 production of “Middle Passage” at Lifeline Theatre where she made her Chicago debut. Recently signed to 10 MGMT, she hopes to use her platform to continue cultivating community and give life to stories of the global-majority on stage and film. When not acting you can find her being an educator.  

About Windy City Playhouse 

Windy City Playhouse is a professional theater and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, located on Chicago's northwest side. Premiering in March of 2015 with a mission to present contemporary, relevant, and approach art, the Playhouse has quickly become a mainstay of the Chicago theater scene. In 2018, its runaway hit, the immersive

“Southern Gothic” solidified the Playhouse as the first choice in Chicago theater for one-of-a-kind audience experience. "Experience driven. Audience first." 

For more information, visit www.windycityplayhouse.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

 

About Goodman Theatre 

Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community

organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play

development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earner two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fifth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters. As a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community, Goodman Theatre is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. Goodman Theatre’s Action Plan for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Access (IDEAA) was born out of the belief that progress means action, which includes building on the decades-long commitment to using art, assets and resources to contribute to a more just, equitable and anti-racist society. 

  



Thursday, September 22, 2022

REVIEW: World Premiere of The HOA At The Factory Theater September 9 - October 20, 2022

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

THE FACTORY THEATER ANNOUNCES CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM FOR THE WORLD PREMIERE OF 

THE HOA 

SEPTEMBER 9 - OCTOBER 20 

WRITTEN BY ANGELINA MARTINEZ AND DIRECTED BY CHRISTY ARINGTON



Guest Review 
by Catherine Hellmann

“We have to devolve to evolve,” proclaims Syd, the President of the HOA and guru of health, therapy, and mindfulness. Syd seems the local expert on all matters in this odd close-knit community that is not what it seems. If a neighbor needs a handyman, Syd “knows a guy.” Yardwork? Syd has someone he can recommend. Need happy pills to get through daily living?? Syd is certainly your connection for that…  and apparently he’s providing for everyone. 


Cassie and Steve are a happily married couple who move to this strange new town after Steve lands an incredible promotion. Cassie loved her job developing pharmaceuticals, but she has stepped back on her own career momentarily while Steve settles in at his new position. He assures her that she doesn’t have to find employment if she doesn’t want to, they can afford their lifestyle without her job. But Cassie finds fulfillment through work. Strangely, all the other women in their subdivision are full-time homemakers, all of them having left successful careers behind, including Daphne who’d been a neurosurgeon. Huh?? Who walks away from being a neurosurgeon?? Things don’t make sense in this eerily Stepford-Wives World. 


The women are introduced as “belonging” to their husbands. “She belongs to Brent.” Hmmm… Every couple is in counseling. The women assume that Cassie’s big news is that she’s pregnant when she is about to announce she has found a new job; their enthusiasm is dimmed with the career advancement over the possibility of motherhood. It feels very retro, but not in a good way. Things are just…really “off.”   


Jennifer Betancourt as Cassie and Andrew Cawley as Steve really shine in their roles. I felt for Cassie as she begins to seriously question her marriage and her sanity. The large cast for this tiny space does a wonderful job. Even the scene changes got laughs as the fairy-like silly music prompted the actresses to wisk away furniture and props in an animated fashion.


Eric Frederickson as Syd has a great presence domineering all of the residents. He has to be larger than life for all of the influence he controls over his neighborhood association.


The set is awesome, and I love this theater. It’s impressive how such a big cast navigates the allotted room. The night I attended, I think the audience was comprised of the actors’ friends and family. While it is lovely to be supportive, the woman next to me acted like it was an interactive show. A character asked a question onstage, and she answered a response out loud.What the hell. It took all my self-control to not tell this woman to shut up…and I really credit the actress for not being thrown off in her performance. 


This is a great show in a truly Chicago-style storefront. Go support them. And---Be sure to wear your black spandex bike shorts. You’ll fit right in. 


Catherine Hellmann is a self-proclaimed “theater whore,” who teaches at a charter school where she can look at the Chagall mosaic during lunch. She loves that. She lives in Rogers Park, and the 49B bus driver is her new best friend.   



The Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard St., is proud to announce the cast and creative team for the first production in its 28th season, the world premiere of The HOA, September 9 - October 20, written by Angelina Martinez and directed by Christy Arington. The new season begins with an The HOA Launch Party, Thursday, Aug. 11 from 7 - 10 p.m. Previews for The HOA are Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. We'll be out for the Press Opening Sept. 16th so check back shortly for our full review. The performance schedule is Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets for HOA are $25 and may be purchased through the Box Office by calling 866-811-4111 or by visiting TheFactoryTheater.com

The HOA tells the story of two successful professionals, Cassie and Steve, moving to a new city after Steve receives a promotion. Their new neighbors seem nice, but it becomes clear to Cassie that something is really out of the ordinary. See what happens when a local couple finds their dream home in a neighborhood that’s not quite right.

The HOA cast includes Jennifer Betancourt~ (Cassie), Andrew Cawley (Steve), Moira Begale (Stephanie), Eric Frederickson✝ (Syd), Erin Stewart (Colleen), Ben Veatch (Brent), Devri Chism (Barb), Chase Wheaton-Werle~ (Max), Brittany Ellis (Maddie), Reginald Hemphill (Patrick), Ashley Yates~ (Daphne), TBD (Shawn), Sydney Back (Cassie U/S), Cooper Bohn (Steve U/S), Hilary Sanzel (Stephanie U/S), Daniel Vaughn (Syd U/S), Erika Rose (Colleen/Maddie U/S), Colin Jackson (Brent/Patrick U/S), April Lowery (Barb/Daphne U/S) and Ryan Blanchard (Max/Shawn U/S).

The HOA production team includes Angelina Martinez** (playwright), Christy Arington (director), Melissa Golden (associate director), Lindsey Chidester (stage manager), Rose Hamill (production manager), AJ Morely (set design and props), C.W. van Baale~  (master electrician), Pete Dully (lighting and projections design) and Jessica Van Winkle (costume design).

~ denotes Factory Ensemble

✝ denotes Factory Artistic Associate

**Denotes Factory Theater Ensemble Emeritus

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


ABOUT ANGELINA MARTINEZ, PLAYWRIGHT

Angelina Martinez is a proud Factory emeritus member. In addition to playwriting, she has been an actor, director and set designer (not all at the same time) for several productions during her tenure with the company. She has also done these types of activities for other theater companies as well. She might possibly do any of these things again in the future. 


ABOUT THE FACTORY THEATER

For more than 25 years, the Factory has created its shows from scratch, doing exactly the kind of theater they wanted to do. From writing workshops to the closing night bash, Factory shows are a unique experience that fits its exacting standards: original, bold, and full-tilt. Its shameless ensemble are ambassadors of a good time, making certain that Chicago remains heartily entertained.

The Factory Theater,1623 W. Howard St., begins its 28th season with the world premiere of The HOA, September 9 - October 20, written by Angelina Martinez and directed by Christy Arington. Previews are Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. The Press Opening is Friday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. and the performance schedule is Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets for The HOA  are $25 and may be purchased through the Box Office by calling 866-811-4111 or by visiting TheFactoryTheater.com

Thursday, August 11, 2022

REVIEW: Failure: A Love Story at Oil Lamp Theater in Glenview, On Stage Through September 4, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Failure: A Love Story 

at Oil Lamp Theater in Glenview

Review

By Catherine Hellmann, Guest Critic 

“Cool space!” we noted upon our arrival at the Oil Lamp Theater in Glenview. The front lobby has a nice bar, and complementary cookies are provided for patrons during every performance. Tucked away near the library and the Glenview House Restaurant, (where we had a lovely meal served by a young man with fabulous hair who reminded me of Patrick Swayze), this is the only Professional Theatre in Glenview. 

Photo Credit for all Production Shots, Gosia Photography

I was not acquainted with Failure: A Love Story, which may have detracted from my enjoyment. The script was kind of hard to follow for those of us unfamiliar with the storyline. Having one actress play the three sisters, and their mother, (Kendal Romero) was confusing. Some of the action, especially of the Snake character on the floor, (yes, there are Pet characters. Weird.) was difficult to see. The staging needs to be considered, as the sightlines were tough to overcome for the Short of Stature. 

The Fail Family “got rid of their ‘Bottoms”” at Ellis Island when their name was shortened from “Failbotton” to just “Fail.” Owning a clock company, “A ‘Fail Clock’ is a working clock,” provides for the family. (All the clocks on the walls, and the actors mimicking clocks, reminded me of my childhood home because my Mom loved clocks.) When the parents die, the sisters take over the family business downtown. 

The cast was very energetic and enthused. I liked the chorus parts played by Jasmine Robertson, Jordan Zelvin, and Philip J. Macaluso. The Chicago storyline was cool, opening with references to the Eastland disaster of 1915 which killed 844 people, including nearly two dozen entire families. The setting was all in Chicago, and the parents perish the day of the worst shipwreck on the Great Lakes. The entire show focuses on loss and death. The Mom loses a baby in 1910 and is never the same. One of the daughters dies accidentally on her wedding day. Another sister tries to swim Lake Michigan from Chicago to Indiana (wouldn’t it be Michigan?) but disappears in the process. (“Have you ever smelled Indiana?” asks one of the characters.) 

Failure: A Love Story reminds us how “it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” (Thank you, Alfred Lord Tennyson). 

Catherine Hellmann teaches teens by day and attends theater by night. She thinks sleeping until noon on Saturday is an accomplishment. 


FAILURE: A LOVE STORY
By Philip Dawkins
Directed by Xavier Custodio

Oil Lamp Theater's 10th Anniversary season rolls on with this whimsical romp exploring life and death in the Roaring '20s. 


PLOT: The year is 1928 and we meet the Fail sisters: Nelly, Jenny June, and Gerty. Born in that order. The sisters were bubbly, determined, and brittle. Also in that order. Set in the family home and clock shop near the Chicago River, this magical, musical fable follows the Fail sisters’ triumphs and tragedies. As with so many things in life such as blunt objects, disappearances and consumption, the Fail sisters never saw death coming. Happily ever after can’t last forever. But in this upbeat look at life’s ups and downs, we learn you can either be a grump about death, or you can live, love, and sing some catchy songs along the way.



CAST:
Trevor Earley: Mortimer Mortimer
Van Ferro: John N.
Philip J. Macaluso: Chorus Member
Kendal Romero: Gertie, Jenny June, Nelly Fail
Jasmine Robertson: Chorus Member
Jordan Zelvin: Chorus Member

Esther Fishbein: Gertie, Jenny June, Nelly Fail (U/S)
Rae Hamilton-Vargo: John & Chorus (U/S)
Katie Luchtenburg: Chorus Member (U/S)
Brooks Whitlock: Mortimer Mortimer (U/S)


CREW:
Director: Xavier M. Custodio
Rochelle Hovde: Stage Manager
Philip Dawkins: Playwright
Greg Korak: Technical Director / Carpenter
Hannah Wien: Lighting Designer
Elizabeth Monti: Costume Designer
Ellen Markus - Co-Set Designer & Prop Designer
Jay Pastucha - Co-Set Designer


SHOWTIMES:
Thursday, 8pm
Friday, 8pm
Saturday, 3pm & 8pm
Sunday, 3pm

PRICE:
$35 - Previews July 21, 22, 23 (3pm)
$45 - Run July 23 (8pm) - Sept. 4
For tickets and more: https://oillamptheater.org

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Xavier M. Custodio is one of the Co-Founders and Artistic Director of Visión Latino Theatre Company. He feels honored to be directing Failure: A Love Story, and getting the opportunity to work with Oil Lamp Theater to bring this fun story to life. Xavier’s directing credits includes: Y Tu Abuela, Where is She?, Baskerville: A Sherklock Holmes Mystery, Stories of Us, Fame, In The Heights, Yellow Eyes, Revolt, and Parachute Man (Assistant Director). He has been in the following productions: The Scarecrow (Minster Dodge), Rent (Benny), Godspell (John the Baptist), Man of La Mancha (Juan), Nine Lives: A Musical Web Series (BFPS Manger), Evita, Ragtime, and The Wiz.



COVID-19 POLICY
Oil Lamp Theater recommends wearing masks when not actively eating or drinking.
Masks will be required for our Saturday 3pm matinees.



About OLT
Mission Statement

Oil Lamp Theater is a professional not-for-profit theater organization that is dedicated to the presentation of traditional theater in a unique, inviting and intimate venue. Its mission is not only to stimulate interest in the performing arts but also to promote a sense of, and provide a service to, the community.






Tuesday, July 26, 2022

REVIEW: Sister Act at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre On Stage Through August 27th, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Sister Act 

at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre 

in Arlington Heights


Review:

By Guest Critic Catherine Hellmann

“This is a beautiful theater! Everything here looks new,” marveled my sister and burgeoning theater critic. We made the trek to Arlington Heights for a performance of Sister Act. Having been raised in a big Catholic family and attending parochial schools, we knew the topic would be something we could relate to. (Well, ok, beides being a nightclub singer hiding in a convent from her murderous boyfriend…) Natalie “Nat” Renee Savoy has a blast as Deloris Van Cartier, the singer-in-disguise-as-a-nun. She seems more comfortable in the role of Sister Mary Clarence (“patron saint of prisoners!”) than as Deloris, even if she does want to accessorize her black and white habit.  :-) 

Monsignor O’Hara (Christopher Johnson, having fun in the role) convinces Mother Superior (a great Lauren Miller) that Deloris will be joining the order. Mother isn’t thrilled and questions the decision. Father reminds her that she took a Vow of Charity. 

“I take it back!” she yells. 

The women’s choir at the convent is terrible; it’s laughable and impressive how bad their singing is. To describe the atrocious choir, Mother Superior says, “There are no words.” Sister Mary Clarence is given the challenge by Mother Superior of improving the choir; Deloris is to use her talents as a performer to elevate their singing. Under her guidance, the sisters bond, the Church’s finances turn around, the two “bachelors who liked the ‘gothic look’ of the church” and want to buy it end up declining, and an offer is extended to sing for the Pope. Sister Mary Clarence is making her mark. 

The breakout role was Sister Mary Robert played by understudy Athena Kopulos. She was so sweet and charming as the very shy novice who finds her voice and her courage. I love when understudies get a shot and shine. 

We assumed we’d recognize the songs from the Whoopie Goldberg movie. But all the songs were unfamiliar, penned by Alan Menken (“Little Mermaid,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” and “Newsies”) and Glenn Slater. Of course, the songs help with the characterizations and move the plot along. 

The choreography by Jen Cupani was clever and fun. The costumes were perfect by Sara Morrison; I especially liked the sparkled nun costumes at the end of the show. 

Sadly, I also want to address performance etiquette. An audience member next to me asked at intermission if children are allowed into the theaters in Chicago. I said most venues prohibit children under five. It’s very rare to hear a baby in the theater. But there was a toddler who kept making noise during the performance; I kept waiting for parents to remove her, but they never did. Plus, cell phones went off at least three times during the show. Ugh. It is so frustrating and distracting. I admire when the actors are able to continue on without being thrown off. 

The cast looked like they were having such a great time, which adds to the atmosphere. 

After the show, we had a delectable dinner at Carlos & Carlos Restaurant. Lobster ravioli, fresh bread with butter and olive oil, shrimp scampi, generous pours of wine. We enjoyed our lovely day in the ‘burbs. 

Catherine Hellmann loves her family, theater, and a good Chardonnay. 




HIT BROADWAY MUSICAL 
SISTER ACT 
MAKES A JOYFUL NOISE
AT METROPOLIS THIS SUMMER
 
Musical comedy smash Sister Act brings the hit film of the same name to life onstage at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre through August 27, 2022.
 
Based on the hit film, Sister Act is the musical smash that has audiences jumping to their feet. Featuring music by Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menken, this uplifting comedy was nominated for five Tony Awards. When wannabe diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a crime, she’s put in protective custody where she won’t be found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, Deloris finds herself at odds with her rigid new lifestyle. On a mission to bring new life into the church, Deloris introduces disco moves and powerhouse singing to the choir. The group’s unexpected popularity attracts newfound attention – blowing her cover. Sister Act brings a unique mix of Motown, soul, funk, and disco to the stage. A sparkling tribute to the power of friendship with glorious music and dazzling dance numbers, Sister Act is a reason to rejoice.
 

COVID Protocols: Metropolis COVID protocols continue to evolve as federal and state mandates relax and conditions improve. For current information on COVID protocols visit Metropolis’ website. Metropolis thanks you in advance for helping to provide the safest environment possible for the return to live indoor entertainment.
 
Regular Run Performances of Sister Act are July 21 – August 27, 2022. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online at MetropolisArts.com, via phone at 847.577.2121, or via email at customerservice@metropolisarts.com. The Metropolis Box Office is currently open Monday-Saturday 12:00-4:00pm. On performances Monday through Saturday, the Box Office will remain open from noon through at least the start of the performance. On Sunday performances, the Box Office will open one hour prior to show time.

 
Metropolis’ cast for Sister Act includes Henry Allan (Pablo; Ensemble), Justine Cameron (Sister Mary Robert), Jonathan Cortez (Curtis; Ensemble), Valerie Gorman (Sister Mary Theresa), Natalie Henry (Sister Mary Patrick; Ensemble), Mary Heyl (Sister Mary Martin-Of-Tours; Ensemble), Bob Hussey (Joey), Christopher Johnson (Monsignor O’Hara; Ensemble), Ania Martin (Tina; Nun; Ensemble), Natalie Mattson (Nun; Ensemble), Kedar Miller (Eddie), Lauren Miller (Mother Superior), Amber Parker (Michelle; Nun; Ensemble), Tuesdai B. Perry (Nun; Ensemble), Barb Rieger (Nun; Ensemble), Natalie “Nat” Renee Savoy [they/them] (Deloris Van Cartier), Michelle Tibble (Sister Mary Lazarus; Ensemble), and Brenden Zwiebel (Ernie; Ensemble). Understudies include internal members of the cast, Athena Kopulos and Daniel Rausch.
 
Sister Act has Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Glenn Slater; Book by Cheri Steinkellner & Bill Steinkellner; with Additional Book Material by Douglas Carter Beane. Directed by Sade’ May, Assistant Directed by Mikee Parangalan, Music Directed by DeMario Tribett, Choreographed by Jen Cupani. Designers are Jenna Houck (Scenic Designer), Patrick McGuire (Properties Designer), Christopher Moore II (Lighting Designer), David Moreland (Technical Director), and Sara Morrison (Costume Designer). Metropolis Production Manager is Chris Causer.
  
Supporting Show Sponsor for Sister Act is HKM Architects + Planners; Costume Sponsor is Marty Pfister & Maria Bradley; Season Costume Storage Sponsor is Jennifer Burnidge, State Farm, CLU, CHFC; Season Paint Sponsor is Marc Poulos Painting. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre is partially supported by grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and Ecolab Foundation.

 
Sister Act is the final show of The Metropolis 2021-2022 subscription series. The 2022-2023 subscription series includes Cabaret (September 15 - October 22, 2022), The Legend of Georgia McBride (January 26 – March 4, 2023), Ragtime (May 4 – June 10, 2023), and Xanadu (July 13 – August 19, 2023).
 
Metropolis is located in the heart of Chicago’s northwest suburbs in downtown Arlington Heights at the intersection of Campbell and Vail Avenue (111 West Campbell Street). Street parking is available. Due to Arlington Alfresco, there is modified street access and parking on West Campbell Street. Please allow extra time for arrival before your show. Free parking is available in the public garage behind the theatre. For more information about Metropolis and a complete performance schedule, visit MetropolisArts.com or call the Box Office at 847.577.2121.
 
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre provides professional entertainment and arts education, enriching our community.



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