CHICAGO – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre’s second musical of the 2019-20 season will be WORKING, based on Stud Terkel’s landmark book in which he interviewed Chicagoans about their feelings toward their jobs. The musical, which opened on Broadway in 1978 and has since been revised to include jobs that didn’t exist in 1978, was originally directed by Stephen Schwartz, (the composer/lyricist of GODSPELL, PIPPIN and WICKED) and included songs by Schwartz as well as by James Taylor, Mary Rodgers, Craig Carnelia, and Micki Grant. The updated version to be performed at Theo Ubique from December 6, 2019 through January 26, 2020 includes most of the original score plus new songs by HAMILTON’s Lin-Manuel Miranda. The use of such a varied group of songwriters enables the score to reflect the diversity and individuality of its characters, who range from a waitress to a corporate executive, as well as a housewife and retiree. The press opening performances will be Monday, December 16 at 7:30 pm and Thursday, December 19 at 7:30 pm., following previews from December 6 – 15.
WORKING will be directed and choreographed by Christopher Chase Carter, who most recently choreographed Brenda Didier’s acclaimed production of A CHORUS LINE for Porchlight Music Theatre. Carter has choreographed many of the top musical theater productions in Chicago over recent years, including Porchlight mainstage shows GYPSY, MEMPHIS, DREAMGIRLS, and IN THE HEIGHTS; and “Porchlight Revisits” performances of THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG and CHESS; as well as FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE at Court Theater. Resident Music Director Jeremy Ramey will be music director for the production.
Carter today announced his cast of six, each of whom will play multiple roles. The cast includes Stephen Blu Allen, Cynthia F. Carter, Kiersten Frumkin, Jared David Michael Grant, Michael Kingston, and Loretta Rezos.
Allen’s recent credits include IN THE HEIGHTS (Porchlight Music Theatre), JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Paramount Theatre), SHREK (Marriott Theatre), and most recently he was seen in the world premiere of THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM (Chicago Children’s Theatre). Cynthia F. Carter was Mabel in the recent production of THE PAJAMA GAME at Theatre at the Center and previously was a standout in Black Ensemble Theatre’s WOMEN OF SOUL. Frumkin was seen in BoHo Theatre’s Chicago premiere of BRIGHT STAR earlier in 2019, and played Kathy in Mercury Theatre’s COMPANY. Grant appeared in THE WIZARD OF OZ for Chicago Shakespeare’s Theatre for Young Audiences as well as HANDS ON A HARDBODY with Refuge Theatre Project. Kingston was most recently seen in the long-running MIRACLE at the Royal George and previously was a cast member of Firebrand Theatre’s acclaimed CAROLINE, OR CHANGE. Rezos appeared in DISTANCE with Strawdog Theatre and MAY THE ROAD RISE UP by The Factory Theatre.
The design team includes Nicholas Schwartz (Scenic Designer, Technical Director), Robert S. Kuhn (Costume Designer), James Kolditz (Lighting Designer), Matthew Zalinski (Properties Designer), and Giselle Castro (Sound Engineer). The production team also includes Reneisha Jenkins (Assistant Director), and Daryl A. Ritchie (Production Manager).
All performances will be staged in the Howard Street Theatre, 721 Howard Street, Evanston. Tickets will be on sale soon at www.theo-u.com or by phone weekdays from 10:30 am to 5 pm at 773-347-1109.
based on the book by Studs Terkel
Book by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso
Music and lyrics by Schwartz and others, including James Taylor and Lin-Manuel Miranda
Directed and Choreographed by Christopher Chase Carter
Music Direction by Jeremy Ramey
December 6, 2019-January 26, 2020
Ticket prices previews (Fridays – Sundays December 6 -15): $35.00 – $45.00
Ticket prices regular run (Thursdays – Sundays December 19 – January 26): $42.00 – $57.00
Dinner (optional) is $29.00. Advance reservations required
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 7:00 pm.
All performances will be held at the Howard Street Theatre, 721 Howard Street, Evanston
More information at www.theo-u.com or by phone at 773-347-1109 weekdays.
Student/Industry Rush All Season Long!
(Starting 15 minutes before curtain, all unsold seats will be released for $20 for those with a valid student ID or for industry with biz card or headshot.)
Based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with American workers, WORKING paints a vivid portrait of the working men and women that the world so often takes for granted. Nominated for six Tony Awards, this classic has been updated for a modern age, featuring new songs by Tony Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as favorites by Stephen Schwartz, Craig Carnelia, Mary Rodgers, Micki Grant and James Taylor.
Christopher Chase Carter (Director and Choreographer) is a Liberal Arts Graduate from Grand Valley State University. Carter has traveled extensively performing, directing and choreographing. Some of his credits include A CHORUS LINE, GYPSY, MEMPHIS (Jeff Nomination and BTAA Recipient), DREAMGIRLS, IN THE HEIGHTS (Broadway World Award), Porchlight Revisits THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG and CHESS at Porchlight Music Theatre; FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE (Jeff Nomination, Court Theater); LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, HAIR (Mercury Theatre); PAJAMA GAME, THE WIZ, 42ND STREET, and GUYS AND DOLLS (Theatre at the Center); THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE (Northlight Theater); SHOW BOAT and OKLAHOMA! (Lyric Opera Chicago); SHOW BOAT (San Francisco and Houston Grand Operas); HAIRSPRAY (Drury Lane Oakbrook), JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (Paramount Theater); Duke Ellington’s Queenie Pie (Chicago Opera Theater); LEGALLY BLONDE(Northwestern); WONDERFUL TOWN, SWEENEY TODD (Grand Award), GODSPELL(Grand Valley State University); THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (Director of the MTI National High School Pilot). A former scholarship student of Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Director/Choreographer for the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s Summer Repertory Theatre Intensive for six seasons.
Jeremy Ramey (Resident Music Director) is a concert pianist, conductor and music director based in Chicago. This year, Jeremy received his tenth Jeff nomination and sixth Jeff Award for his work on THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY. He had previously received Jeff awards for THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE, RENT, and THE MOST HAPPY FELLA all with Theo Ubique. In 2016, he won his second Broadway World Award for Music Direction for his work on BETTE, LIVE AT THE CONTINENTAL BATHS with the production company Hell in a Handbag. He received his training in piano performance and music at Rhodes College, Northwestern University and The Juilliard School of Music.
ABOUT THEO UBIQUE
Theo Ubique was founded in 1997 by artistic director Fred Anzevino. Productions were first staged at the Heartland Studio Theatre, and from 2004 to May 2018, at No Exit Café, where the company began focusing on musicals and revues, reigniting the cabaret theatre trend in Chicago. The company moved to the Howard Street Theatre, a venue owned and developed for Theo Ubique by the City of Evanston, in fall of 2018. Theo Ubique has produced more than 60 shows and won more than 60 Jeff Awards, having received nearly 150 nominations. The company also earned three After Dark Awards.