European Premiere of STAND UP IF YOU'RE HERE TONIGHT to Play La Cave Cafe Starting This Month

The show will run Thursday, October 27 through Saturday, November 12.

By: Oct. 22, 2022

European Premiere of STAND UP IF YOU'RE HERE TONIGHT to Play La Cave Cafe Starting This Month

Rohm Literary and American Blues Theater will present the European premiere of a new play, STAND UP IF YOU'RE HERE TONIGHT, written and directed by John Kolvenbach (Olivier Nominee Love Song) and starring Jim Ortlieb (Broadway's The Farnsworth Invention by Aaron Sorkin) and featuring Julie Kalya. STAND UP IF YOU'RE HERE TONIGHT will preview on Thursday, October 27 at 7:30pm and Friday, October 28 at 7:30pm; will open on Saturday, October 29 at 7:30pm and run Thursdays - Saturdays through Saturday, November 12 at 7:30pm at La Cave Cafe, 134 Rue Marcadet.

"You've tried everything. Yoga. Acupuncture. Therapy. You floated in salt water in the pitch- black dark. You juiced, you cleansed, you journaled, you cut, you volunteered. You got a mattress that fitted itself to your fetal form. You ate only RINDS for three days and nights. You reached out, you looked within, You have tried. and yet here you are."

So begins a new play by Olivier-nominated playwright John Kolvenbach. Jim Ortlieb delivers a tour-de-force performance as a man desperate for connection, bent by isolation, and deeply in love with the audience itself.


John Kolvenbach (Writer/Director) On the West End: Love Song (Olivier nomination, Best New Comedy, directed by John Crowley) and On an Average Day (with Woody Harrelson and Kyle MacLachlan, also directed by Mr. Crowley). Love Song premiered at Steppenwolf in 2006, directed by Austin Pendelton. It has been produced in New York, Zurich, Melbourne, Sydney, Wellington, Seoul and Rome. There have been over fifty productions in the U.S. Average Day was produced in Los Angeles by VS. (with Johnny Clark and Stef Tovar) and in Chicago by VS. and Route 66. Average Day has been produced in Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, and Lisbon. Goldfish premiered at South Coast Repertory, then at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, directed by Loretta Greco. The play was done in repertory with Mrs. Whitney, which was directed by the author. Most recently, Reel to Reel received its premiere at the Magic and Sister Play and received its premier at The Harbor Stage Company and at the Magic, both productions directed by the author. Other plays include: Fabuloso, (Premiered at WHAT, subsequent productions in San Juan and Zurich, in Spanish and Swiss German) Bank Job (Amphibian Stages) and Marriage Play or Half 'n Half 'n Half (Merrimack Rep.) Film: "Clear Winter Noon," an original screenplay, was selected for the Blacklist in 2008.

Jim Ortlieb

Jim Ortlieb has been a member of Chicago's American Blues Theatre Company since 1998. His association with Chicago artists has led him across the US and to Europe including Paris. When the artist Bob Meyer of the Gare St. Lazare Players moved to Paris in 1988, to spend more time with his son, Charlie, Jim joined him to collaborate on numerous productions with an expanded group of English speaking artists including Judy and Conor Lovett who carry on the name of Gare St. Lazare Players. Plays include Eugene O'Neal's Hughie, The Homecoming, Faith Healer, Dark Pony and Requiem for a Heavyweight.

Ortlieb's successful relationship with John Kolvenbach began with The Marriage Play where Jim was nominated for an IRNE award for his lead performance and continues today with Stand Up If You're Here Tonight! Jim won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award and is nominated for the Joseph Jefferson Award in Chicago for best actor in the play you're witnessing tonight.

A few other acting credits include: Broadway in Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention, Of Mice and Men with James Franco and Chris O'Dowd directed by Anna Shapiro, and Guys and Dolls with Lauren Graham and Oliver Platt, the upcoming Elton John's The Devil Wears Prada, and the 1st National Tour of Billy Elliot the musical for two years in Chicago and in Toronto.

His film and TV credits include: Bob Meyer's Drunkboat with John Malkovich and John Goodman, Flatliners, Home Alone, A Mighty Wind, Contagion, Chain Reaction, The Onion Movie, Latter Days, Bug, and Magnolia. Some of his television credits include Station 19, American Horror Story, 911: Lone Star, How to Get Away With Murder, Grey's Anatomy, West Wing, The Closer, Roswell, Six Feet Under, Gabriel's Fire, and The Shield. Jim has done more than 75 commercials and voice overs in his 45 years as an actor.

Both of Jim's daughters graduated from DePaul University. Grainne Ortlieb remains in Chicago and Helena is studying in Canada and Germany for her Masters degree in Intercultural German Studies. Jim is elated to return to Paris.


Impassioned and emboldened by studying Macbeth as a high school student in England, Julie auditioned and was accepted by the prestigious NATIONAL YOUTH THEATRE in London. Alumni include Daniel Day-Lewis, Orlando Bloom, Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Rosamund Pike and Colin Firth. She later moved to Sydney, Australia where she received exceptional theatre reviews for her 'extraordinary performance' of Rose in 'THE WOOLGATHERER' by William Mastrosimone at the Iron Cove Theatre. Other defining rôles singled out by the press include Katrina, in the musical comedy 'BAZAAR AND RUMMAGE' by Sue Townsend at the Iron Cove Theatre, Coral, in 'AWAY' by Michael Gow at the Zenith Theatre, Felicity, in 'THE ANGEL KEY' by CM Covington and Deborah, in 'A KIND OF ALASKA' by Harold Pinter at the Actors' Space.

Arriving in Paris, she joined the anglophone theatre company ACT playing mutiple rôles in: 'PYGMALION', 'HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES', 'AN EVENING WITH Oscar Wilde' and 'DETECTIVE STORIES'. She later joined ACT 2 THEATRE COMPANY which was invited to open the INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF EUROPEAN THEATRE in VO in London with their French production of 'LE MALADE IMAGINAIRE' by Molière in which Julie played the dual-rôles of Béline et M. Purgon. The play's season was extended to tour to Bath, England and then Paris and Île-de-France, France.

Commissioned by NELVANA TV, to write a play for children gave birth to 'LA PETITE GRAINE', a musical comedy in which she played the lead rôle, and also wrote the music and lyrics and created the baroque costumes. The play was performed to young audiences in Paris for several seasons.

She won the BEST SCREENPLAY award for her short film PREDATRICE, produced by WENDIGO FILMS, and in which she plays the lead rôle, Lea. Julie produced, wrote and acted in the French adaptation of the One Woman Show 'A SOLITARY CHOICE' by Sheila Duncan, in Montmartre, Paris and La Rochelle and which was perfromed in the Assembly Rooms at the EDINBURGH FESTIVAL.

She was most recently seen playing Sylvie in SYLVIE AND SLY part of the TRUTH LIES AND DECEPTION trilogy by Joanna Pickering at the Pavé D'Orsay in Paris. She is currently working on a dramatised podcast for RADIO France and will have her latest play produced at the LUCERNAIRE THEATRE in Paris in the spring of next year.


Rohm Literary, coproducer of Stand Up if You're Here Tonight, is devoted to nurturing literary endeavors and international collaborations between authors, playwrights, filmmakers, producers and creative artists across disciplines. Rohm was founded more than two decades ago by Wendy Goldman Rohm, a NY Times bestselling author, editor and literary agent who also founded Chicago's award-winning Element Theatre in the 1980s. Wendy's goal is to illuminate humanity through the arts, shining light on the dark places inside us and in the world, via great literature and theatre. For more information go to: or email


Winner of American Theatre Wing's prestigious National Theatre Company Award, American Blues Theater is a premier arts organization with an intimate environment that patrons, artists, and all Chicagoans call home. American Blues Theater explores the American identity through the plays it produces and communities it serves. American Blues Theater is committed to developing the classic plays and musicals of tomorrow.