Cast Set for Theo Ubique's AN ANTHONY NEWLEY AND LESLIE BRICUSSE SONGBOOK
The British songwriting duo of Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse, who together wrote some of the most enduring and loved songs of Broadway and Hollywood, will be celebrated in Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre's 2016 summer cabaret.
The pair, who burst onto Broadway and the pop charts in 1962 with their musical Stop the World, I Want to Get Off, became an instant sensation when the show's big number, "What Kind of Fool Am I?" was recorded by Sammy Davis Jr. The song rose to #17 on the Billboard Top 100 list and won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year. Their next musical, The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd ran less than a year on Broadway, but its score introduced the standards "Who Can I Turn To?," "Feeling Good" and "On a Wonderful Day Like Today." For films, Newley and Bricusse wrote the songs "The Candy Man" (another big hit for Sammy Davis Jr.) and "Pure Imagination," for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as well as the lyrics for the title song of the James Bond film Goldfinger.
The cabaret will include these and many more, including gems from lesser-known musicals like the 1972 West End musical The Good Old Bad Old Days and the experimental movie musical Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?
Newley and Bricusse's two Broadway musicals, in addition to giving the music world an amazing number of hit songs, were groundbreaking in their use of then avant-garde theatrical techniques. Characters were symbolic, and costumes and sets were minimal and non-realistic. The Roar of the Greasepaint had parallels to Beckett's Waiting for Godot in its characters and settings. An Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse Songbook, as conceived by co-directors Fred Anzevino and Courtney Crouse, will pay tribute to the pair's theatrical aesthetic.
The summer cabaret's cast of four men and one woman will include four newcomers to the No Exit stage along with Theo Ubique veteran Ryan Armstrong, who appeared in the company's Jesus Christ Superstar as Pontius Pilate and had roles in their productions of Blood Brothers and Passion. The cast's sole female will be Paige Hauer who appeared in Black Ensemble Theater's Sounds So Sweet.
The other men in the cast are David Wesley Mitchell, who has appeared in Urinetown and Little Shop of Horrors with Awkward Pause Theatre and The Merry Widow with Light Opera Works; Averis I. Anderson of BET'sDynamite Divas and Raggedy And for Pride Films and Plays; and Graham Heacock, who has played The Artful Dodger in Oliver! and Prince Dauntless in Once Upon a Mattress for Wilmette Center for the Arts.
Resident music director Jeremy Ramey will be music director. Maggie Portman, choreographer for Theo's Blood Brothers and My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra earlier this season, will create the dances for this cabaret. The design team includes Bill Morey (costumes) and Adam Veness (sets). Mina Slater will be Stage Manager.
Performance days and times for the cabaret are Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 7 pm (no performance Sunday, June 26). Ticket prices are $29.00 on Thursdays and Sundays and $34.00 on Fridays and Saturdays. There is a $5.00 discount for seniors and students. Dinner is available for an additional $25.00 per person and must be ordered in advance. Tickets will be on sale at www.theo-u.org as of May 1.
Theo Ubique was founded in 1997 by artistic director Fred Anzevino. Productions were first staged at the Heartland Studio Theatre, and then in 2004, at No Exit Café, where the company began focusing on musicals and revues, reigniting the cabaret theatre trend in Chicago. Since then, Theo Ubique has produced more than 50 shows and received more than 40 Jeff Awards, having received more than 100 nominations. It has also received three After Dark Awards.