OPTION UP! to Premiere 2/9 at Stage 773

Option Up! (with Chris and Aaron) premieres Sunday, February 9, 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 May 11 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available by calling 773.327.5252 or by visiting www.stage773.com

Frequent collaborators and Broadway World Award nominees Christopher Pazdernik and Aaron Benham have once again teamed up to create a brand new event for the Chicago musical theater scene! A new show will be performed one night each month, featuring both performances and an interview with a special guest musical theater performer. Option Up! will also feature musical theater analysis and trivia, spotlight on a 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.

For the inaugural show, special guests will include Lina Wass, currently starring in Ain't Misbehavin' at Porchlight Music Theatre and Henry McGinniss, a senior at The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. A third special guest for the February 9 performance will be announced in the weeks ahead.

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 the hit revue at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theater, Time After Time: The Songs of Jule Styne, with Pazdernik serving as Creative Consultant and Benham as Music Director and Arranger. Later this year, they will team up for the Chicago Premiere of Carrie with Bailiwick Chicago, in residency at Victory Gardens Theater.

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), and Sweet Smell of Success (Kokandy Productions). 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 (Jedlicka), and workshop productions of the new musicals Far From Freud and Perpetual Possibility. His choreography credits include Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Bailiwick Chicago), The Full Monty (Villlage Players), Bombs Away (Bailiwick Repertory) and Spamalot (Jedlicka). He serves as the Artistic Producer for Bailiwick Chicago, and as an Artistic Associate at Porchlight Music Theater.

Option Up! (with Chris and Aaron) runs February 9 - May 11, 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 $5. Tickets are available by calling 773.327.5252 or by visiting www.stage773.com.

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