Hit Cabaret Show OPTION UP! to Return Aug 10 at Stage 773

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Hit Cabaret Show OPTION UP! to Return Aug 10 at Stage 773

Option Up!, the acclaimed musical theater cabaret and talk-show, returns Sunday, August 10, 2014 in The Cab at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago. Featuring Aaron Benham and Christopher Pazdernik, Option Up! runs the second Sunday of each month through November 9 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available by calling 773.327.5252 or by visiting www.stage773.com.

Jeff Award and Broadway World Award nominees Christopher Pazdernik and Aaron Benham have once again teamed up to create a unique event for the Chicago musical theater scene! A new show is performed one night each month, featuring both performances and interviews with guest musical theater performers. Option Up! will also feature musical theater analysis and trivia, spotlight on an up-and-coming collegiate performer, and spontaneous appearances from Benham and Pazdernik's alter egos, Carol Channing and Patti LuPone. Each evening will close with an open mic set.

Of the show, New City Stage raved, "Pazdernik demonstrates a near-encyclopedic knowledge of musicals...Option Up! could evolve into a Chicago stage mainstay." Previous guest artists have included Cooper Grodin and Ben Jacoby from the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera, Jeff Award winners Callie Johnson (Pal Joey, Porchlight) and Michael Lindner (Sweeney Todd, Porchlight) as well as Chicago theater legend, Barbara Robertson (Wicked). The August 10 show is set to feature Jeff Award winner Ryan Lanning and theatrical wunderkind Patrick Andrews in a special queer-focused Market Days edition, nicknamed Option OUT!

Previous collaborations between Pazdernik and Benham include four hit cabaret revues at Davenport's: It's an Art: the Songs of Stephen Schwartz; Nobody's Side: Broadway's Cult Classics; Un-Type Cast; and Carol and Patti: Together Again for the First Time. They also worked together on Porchlight Music Theatre's concert production of Anyone Can Whistle and the hit revue at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theater, Time After Time: The Songs of Jule Styne.

Aaron Benham has worked across the Chicago-land area as a music director, composer, arranger and pianist. His music direction credits include The Fantasticks (Promethean Theater Ensemble), Avenue Q and Spamalot (NightBlue Performing Arts), The Second City aboard the Norwegian Epic, A Cole Porter Songbook (Theo Ubique), Anyone Can Whistle (Porchlight), We Three Lizas (About Face), Sweet Smell of Success (Kokandy Productions) and Carrie (Bailiwick Chicago). His original music has been heard at Hey Ladies!, Democracy Burlesque, FunEmployed, and The Fine Print Theater. He also runs a private studio for piano and voice instruction and is a Collective Member with Bailiwick Chicago.

Christopher Pazdernik has been a Chicago-based director, choreographer and producer for the last five years. His directing credits include Miracle on 34th Street and Anyone Can Whistle (Porchlight Music Theatre), Songs for a New World (Elmhurst College), A Streetcar Named Desire and Evita (Jedlicka), and workshop productions of the new musical Perpetual Possibility (Theo Ubique & Kokandy Productions). His choreography credits include Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Bailiwick Chicago), The Full Monty (Village Players), Bombs Away (Bailiwick Repertory) and Spamalot (Jedlicka -- Broadway World nomination & Nightblue Performing Arts -- Jeff Award nomination). He serves as the Artistic Producer for Bailiwick Chicago, and as an Artistic Associate at Porchlight Music Theater.

Option Up! runs August 10 - November 9, at Stage 773 -- The Cab, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago. Performances are the second Sunday of each month at 7:30 PM. Cover charge is $7. Tickets are available by calling 773.327.5252 or by visiting www.stage773.com.

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