Theo Ubique Announces 2016-17 Season

Theo Ubique's upcoming season, announced today by Artistic Director Fred Anzevino, will include four productions of critically acclaimed works that are likely to be new to most Chicago audiences. The season will begin on September 23rd with the Chicago premiere of a 2015 Drama Desk nominee for Outstanding Musical - the off-Broadway hit Fly by Night, to be directed by Anzevino with music direction by Jeremy Ramey (below left). It will be followed in December by the Chicago premiere of Honky Tonk Angels - a book musical by Always... Patsy Cline writer Ted Swindley incorporating some of country music's greatest hits into a story of three women who form a country music singing trio.

Courtney Crouse will direct, with choreography by Cameron Turner and music direction by Ramey.

Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella, which premiered on Broadway in 1956 - one of the most golden years of the "Golden Age" of musicals - will open in March 2017 for a nine-week run. It was a pioneer of the sung-through musical and featured over 40 songs - a daunting challenge that has made productions of it rare. Anzevino and Ramey will be the stage and music directors respectively, with James Beaudry providing choreography. Finally, the company will present its first revival of Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night. This original musical revue conceived by Anzevino and Arnold Johnston premiered in the 2008-09 season and was nominated for that season's Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Musical. The revue will run from June 15 through August 6, 2017.

All performances will be staged in the intimate No Exit Café., 6970 N. Glenwood Avenue in Rogers Park. Season tickets will go on sale soon. Single tickets will be put on sale approximately one month before each opening.

Fly by Night
Conceived by Kim Rosenstock, Written by Will Connolly, Michael Mitnick and Kim Rosenstock
Directed by Fred Anzevino
Music Direction by Jeremy Ramey
September 23, 2016-November 6, 2016
Press Opening Monday, September 26, 7:30 pm
Ticket prices: Previews (September 23-25) all seats $20
Regular run: Thursdays and Sundays $34, Fridays and Saturdays $39 ($4 discount for seniors and students)
Dinner (optional) is $25 additional. Advance reservations required.

Fly by Night, produced by New York City's Playwrights Horizons in 2014, is a darkly comic rock fable that tells the tale of a melancholy sandwich maker and his humdrum life, which is intersected by two entrancing sisters. The musical is set against the backdrop of the Northeast blackout of 1965, and unfolds a story about making your way and discovering hope in the world beset with darkness. This original musical was nominated for the 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical. The New York Post said "Fly by Night will enchant audiences...Romance doesn't come any sweeter than it does in this winsome love triangle set around the time of the 1965 New York blackout. The score is charming and catchy. Its unabashed emotionalism could turn it into more than a hit. It could turn it into a cult phenomenon." Artistic Director Fred Anzevino will direct, with resident Music Director Jeremy Ramey providing the music direction.

Honky Tonk Angels
by Ted Swindley
Directed by Courtney Crouse
Music Direction by Jeremy Ramey
Choreography by Cameron Turner
December 9, 2016-January 29, 2017
(No performances Saturday, December 24 or Sunday, December 25)
Press Opening Monday, December 12, 7:30 pm
Ticket prices: Previews (December 9-11) all seats $20
Regular run: Thursdays and Sundays $34, Fridays and Saturdays $39 ($4 discount for seniors and students)
Dinner (optional) is $25 additional. Advance reservations required.

The perfect follow-up to Ted Swindley's Always Patsy Cline, a hit for Theo Ubique in 2014, Swindley's Honky Tonk Angels combines country hit songs combined with a hilarious story about three gutsy good ole gals who follow their dreams to Nashville. Taking its title from Kitty Wells 1951 song, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," the score includes 30 classic country songs including "Stand by Your Man," "Coal Miner's Daughter," "9 to 5," "I Will Always Love You," and "Harper Valley PTA." BroadwayWorld called it "a charming, foot-stompin' musical" with "a hilarious story."

This upbeat, all-family musical will play through the holiday season. Courtney Crouse, who directed A Marvin Hamlisch Songbook for Theo Ubique in 2015, will direct, and Jeremy Ramey will provide music direction. Cameron Turner, a Jeff award nominee for The Boy from Oz by Pride Films and Plays will choreograph.

The Most Happy Fella
Book, Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Directed by Fred Anzevino
Choreography by James Beaudry
Musical Direction by Jeremy Ramey
March 10, 2017 - May 7, 2017
Press Opening Monday, March 13, 7:30 pm
Ticket prices: Previews (March 10-12) all seats $20
Regular run: Thursdays and Sundays $34, Fridays and Saturdays $39 ($4 discount for seniors and students)
Dinner (optional) is $25 additional. Advance reservations required.

Following the success of his 1950 musical comedy Guys and Dolls, composer-lyricist Frank Loesser adapted the 1924 play They Knew What They Wanted into one of the most-song-filled musicals ever written. The Most Happy Fella tells Howard's story of Tony Esposito, an older Italian immigrant and wine grower in California's Napa Valley, through over 40 songs that are Broadway show tunes in their structure but melodious and plentiful enough to fill an opera. Loesser's score is filled with sweeping ballads, intense dramatic arias and tuneful splashy Broadway style numbers.

Loesser said of it "I may give the impression this show has operatic tendencies. If people feel that way - fine. Actually all it has is a great frequency of songs. It's a musical with music." Brooks Atkinson, longtime theatre critic for The New York Times, called it a "music drama," noting Loesser "has now come about as close to opera as the rules of Broadway permit." Its gorgeous score features classic Broadway tunes including "Somebody, Somewhere," "Standing on the Corner," "Big D," and "Joey, Joey, Joey." At its heart is an intimate love story that will gain new meaning up close at the No Exit Café.

Anzevino will direct and James Beaudry, who has two nominations for Direction of a Musical in this year's Non-Equity Jeff awards, will choreograph. Jeremy Ramey will be Music Director.

Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night
Original translations by Arnold Johnston
Conceived by Fred Anzevino and Arnold Johnston
Arrangements by Joshua Stephen Kartes
June 15, 2017-August 6, 2017
(No performance Sunday, June 25, 2017)
Press Opening Monday, June 18, 2017 7:30 pm
Ticket prices: Previews (June 15-17) all seats $20
Regular run: Thursdays and Sundays $29, Fridays and Saturdays $34 ($4 discount for seniors and students)
Dinner (optional) is $25 additional. Advance reservations required.

The last show of the season will be a remounting of Theo Ubique's highly acclaimed original musical revue, Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night, which was nominated for the 2008-2009 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Musical. Following the trials of two sailors at port in a bar in Amsterdam, we witness how relationships bloom and wilt through the musical lyricism of the Belgian singer/songwriter Jacques Brel. Songs include "Amsterdam," "Don't Go Away," "Alone," "Rosa" and many more.

Reviewing the original production in 2008, Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune called it "an entirely beguiling little show... positively bursting with the aura of European dislocation and humanistic emotional oomph... It makes you experience Brel's huge catalog of music in an entirely new way." The creative team will be announced at a later date.

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