Sunday September 24th 2017

“Some Enchanted Evening”

The miracle on Glenwood Avenue continues as the marvelous TheoUbique continues to bring wonderful performers to this little “cabaret” store-front known as No Exit Cafe. Their mix of large scale Broadway hits scaled down to an intimate theatrical experience and Cabaret musicals makes of solid entertainment for all generations of theater-goers. Often, I am asked to keep it a secret by those sitting around me. I guess they are fearful that the more people know about this special spot in Rogers park, the harder it will be for them to get a ticket- well, I for one will never keep this special little theater a secret. This is a place where the audience gets to know the performers who also seat them, serve them and bring them that second cup of coffee. And what makes this theater company so special is that the talent they find is dynamic and new talent ( as well as some of the regulars) want to be in their shows, even though they don’t make the money they might at one of the larger regional theaters- they love what they do, and in every production I have seen at No Exit, I can see just how much!

Their current production “Some Enchanted Evening” is a musical revue featuring the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein. More than 30 songs with six powerful singers and one grand piano compose the delightful evening, bringing back some fond memories of these classic musicals.If you have ever been to No Exit, you realize how small this venue is; around 60 seats and a very small stage, on which the grand piano sits. The intimacy of this venue is of course part of what makes it so special- nothing fancy, just quality performances from talented young people who truly love making their music and pleasing their audiences. Under the direction of Fed Anzevino ( who started this company) with choreography by Ben Mason ( who makes  the stage seem larger than it really is) and musical direction by Austin Cook, who uses his own piano and has magical fingers as well as a pleasant voice( he does it all!), this is an evening that will be remembered for time to come and if you are a couple, an evening of pure romance.

The show begins with a fifteen minute call, as our waitstaff leave their posts and begin to warm up and vocalize in preparation for the show- this is all a part of the show, but as they come by the tables, they will pour that glass of water or cup of coffee and they begin to bring Rodgers and Hammerstein back to live, through their music. The shows represented are those most familiar to theater audiences, “Oklahoma”,”Sound Of Music”, “The King and I”, “Allegro”, “State Fair”, “Carousel” ( Jeremy Trager’s “Soliloquy is absolutely powerful),”Flower Drum Song”, Cinderella”,”Pipe Dream”, and of course “South Pacific”. Most of us are familiar with these shows, although “Allegro” and “Pipe Dream” haven’t been done in years. The other male in the show is Evan Tyrone martin, who has a range as high as how tall he is( which he shows off in a adaptation of the song “Maria) . The three women, all solid singers are also actresses in that they don’t just sing a song, they live it as if it was their own. Sara Schoch really shows her stuff when she solos with”Out Of My Dreams”, Danni Smith is delightful to watch and listen to , in particular her”Love,Look Away” and last but not least, Theoubique veteran ( along with Trager), the adorable Dana Tretta who does a delightful “I Can”t Say No”. I just love watching her on stage. 4 of the six performers in this show are new-comers and let me say this for all of you who see this production, WELCOME!! You are all great additions to the “stable” of actors/singers/dancers that are part if the extended family known as TheoUbique.

This wonderful piece ends with a rousing “Oklahoma” where the audience can join in and the is followed by the title song “Some Enchanted Evening” with some wonderful harmony from these very talented youngsters. I strongly urge you to find the time to enjoy this troupe and learn more about TheoUbique who as their mission statement states” they want to engage actors and audiences in an intimate and honest conversation with great theatrical works! They do just that! This show will continue until  April 30th with performances on Thursdays at 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at  8 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 ( $30 on Saturdays) and for $20 additional you can enjoy a three course dinner ( plus beverages, tax and tip) which is served one hour prior to the 15 minute call.

To order your tickets ( and they do fill up fast, with only 60 seats) call 800-595-4849or online at www.theoubique.org or www.theo-u.org

The theater is locate at 6970 N. Glenwood ( just a short walk from the Morse Avenue Red Line stop) and although there is parking on the street, it is not easy and most of it is metered ( on Morse), but there is FREE parking available at the lot located at Morse and Ravenswood with free shuttle to and from the theater. Enjoy your enchanted evening- I know I did!

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