Musical Revue Revisits SSP And Studio BE History

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Musical Revue Revisits SSP And Studio BE History

The Saint Sebastian Players (SSP), resident theatre company of St. Bonaventure Oratory, take a trip down memory lane with Studio BE, a children's musical theatre company that has also produced at St. Bonaventure, in "Side by Side by SSP and Studio BE: A Retrospective Musical Fundraiser." Performances take place Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 8 at 2 p.m. (refreshments begin 30 minutes prior to curtain at both performances) in the lower level of St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, Chicago (enter on Marshfield).

This musical revue fundraiser looks back on musical productions from the history of each company. SSP company members will perform excerpts from such past productions as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Fantasticks, She Loves Me, Side by Side by Sondheim (including songs from Company, Follies and West Side Story) and the company's original musical, Elvicula. Studio BE alumni will revisit such past productions as Sweeney Todd, Grease, Aida, Little Shop of Horrors, Urinetown and The Wizard of Oz.

Directing "Side by Side..." is SSP company member and Studio BE Artistic Director Robert-Eric West, who, along with his business partner and creator of Studio BE, Tamara Drew, helmed such memorable productions as Ragtime and Les Miserables and was the guiding visual force and resident designer behind their distinctive style in shows such as Little Shop of Horrors, Sweeney Todd and The Addams Family. For SSP, West has directed Popular Productions of Oliver! and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The cast includes SSP company members Sean Michael Barrett, Robert Dean, David M. Feiler, Russ Gager, Jim Masini, Ed McGuire, Renae Stone, Jill Chukerman Test and Robert-Eric West and former company/cast members Peter Kattner, Stephen Rader and Natalie Reff. Studio BE alumni in the cast include Charlotte Adams, Time Brickey, Tamara Drew, Sheree Wheeler Gudeman, Harper Leander, Amy Soria and Maya Thomas. Other SSP company members on staff include Brittany Eude as stage manager, Jim Masini as technical advisor and Nancy Pollock as reception manager.

SSP's 39th mainstage season continues with the 19th century farce Charley's Aunt by Brandon Thomas, running February 21-March 15, 2020, and Garson Kanin's comedy-drama Born Yesterday, running April 24-May 17, 2020. In addition to the three-play subscription season, SSP presents its third annual 10-Minute Play Festival in June 2020.

SSP began producing theatre in 1982 at its original home, the St. Sebastian parish, located at the corner of Halsted Street and Wellington Avenue on Chicago's North Side. When the parish closed, SSP relocated to its current home, St. Bonaventure, at 1625 W. Diversey. During its history, the company has produced original and previously produced dramas, comedies and musicals; an annual 10-Minute Play Festival; original audience-participation mysteries for special events; and the Monologue Matchup Competition, as well as provided support for Sebastian Studio Projects produced by company members. For a complete production history, visit

"Side by Side by SSP and Studio BE: A Retrospective Musical Fundraiser"
takes place Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 8 at 2 p.m.;
light refreshments will be served 30 minutes before curtain.
Performances take place at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey,
at Marshfield just west of Ashland, in Chicago. Free parking is available in two lots.
Tickets are $45. All programming is subject to change.
For tickets and information, call 773-404-7922 or visit

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