Just got this press release from Theo Ubique about a new show opening this weekend at No Exit. Sounds like a winner.
No Exit Café is being reconfigured to resemble a late 1940s/early 1950s neighborhood cabaret by Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre for its next show, “Sweet and Hot: The Songs of Harold Arlen,” opening Sunday, June 20.
Theo Ubique is going back to its cabaret roots by producing a summer musical revue paying homage to an individual composer and/or songwriter. “Sweet and Hot” features 37 songs of the more than 400 Arlen wrote during his five-decade career, presented in two sets in two hours. Previous musical revues by Theo Ubique honored Kurt Weill, Jacques Brel and Stephen Sondheim.
Fred Anzevino is directing fresh from his Jeff Award-winning production of “Chess” that he co-directed with Brenda Didier. Steve Carson as music director is bringing his traditional cabaret style to the show and accompanying the cast on piano.
“The new staging will be cozy and intimate, using all corners at the No Exit,” said Anzevino. “The biggest change is bringing the audience on stage and creating an arrangement where the entire audience is part of the performance, so they can sing and dance along in the spirit of the old piano bar scenes.”
Arlen’s songs were made famous by legends in the industry, such as Judy Garland with “Over the Rainbow” and Ethel Waters and Lena Horne with “Stormy Weather.” He also wrote with nearly every famous lyricist from Ted Koehler, Johnny Mercer and Ira Gershwin. The “Sweet and Hot” song list is available at www.theoubique.org under 2009-2010 Season Sweet and Hot.
Previews are 8 p.m., June 18-19, and regular performances are 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays and 7 p.m., Sundays, June 20-August 8 at the No Exit Café, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave. in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. Dinner is served one hour prior to curtain with cast members as servers. Doors open at 6:45 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays and 5:45 p.m., Sundays.
Tickets are available online at www.theoubique.org and at 800-595-4849. Theo Ubique’s info line for updated theatre and show info is 773-347-1109. The emergency phone number to the box office, available at 5 p.m. on performance nights, is 312-898-0672.
Preview tickets are $15, and regular performance tickets are $25. A show/dinner package is optional for $45 (dinner reservations recommended). Patrons are encouraged to use the free parking at the corner of Morse and Ravenswood with free transport on the Lifeline shuttle van to and from the lot, because of construction on Glenwood and Morse. The No Exit Café is a half block north, west of the tracks on Glenwood from the Red Line’s Morse stop. Special discounts are offered through Theo Ubique e-news, available by signing up through the web site.