Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31



MUSIC Dynamic duo: Levi Kreis, Anne Steele on upcoming show
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

This article shared 2027 times since Mon May 27, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

City Winery is about to have a gay ol' time with two performers on Pride Month. Out singers Levi Kreis and Anne Steele began their careers at Opryland, a country-music theme park that has long since been torn down, in Nashville. Now, they are performing together with their own toe-tapping music and original stories for one night only in Chicago.

Tony Award winner Kreis began his career with the national tour of Rent, then landed the unforgettable role of Jerry Lee Lewis in the jukebox musical Million Dollar Quartet. He's released many albums over the years including his most recent titled Liberated last year.

Steele just released her new EP, Made Out of Stars, in January of this year. Her single "Love Can Take Us There" benefits victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting and was chosen as the official Provincetown Carnival anthem in 2016.

Windy City Times: How are you both?

Levi Kreis: Great. I just saw you in Puerto Vallarta last year!

WCT: Yes. We talked after your show there. Anne, I don't know you, though. You are a New Yorker?

Anne Steele: I live in New Jersey now. I lived in New York for 22 years. I'm originally from Louisiana, so a Midwestern girl.

WCT: We will get along fine; I thought you were a Yankee, at first. How did you two team up for the tour?

LK: I met Anne online years later, but we used to work together at Opryland USA's final season of performing. I just fell in love with her. She's really talented and a total sweetheart.

AS: We were dance partners, right?

LK: Yes, with big lifts, Jerry, that would still impress you 20 years later.

AS: Levi, your mom said she has photos.

LK: Two photo books full, absolutely!

WCT: Opryland was my first job at 15 years old. I worked in the games and had to guess people's ages or weight.

LK: How ironic—because those are the two things you are not allowed to guess now!

WCT: Did you know singer Kristin Chenoweth used to work at Opryland, too?

LK: I didn't know that, but I could totally hear her sing "I Hear America Singing."

WCT: Tell the readers about this show together.

AS: It's really a co-bill. I will do my own set, we will take a break, then Levi will do his set, each for about an hour and 10 minutes.

LK: We decided to do something around Pride weekend. I haven't had a chance to perform in Chicago for a Pride event since Market Days years ago.

Back during Opryland, we didn't know we would find ourselves like this later on. We are now more comfortable in our own skins. We have that journey in common and want to give back to the community.

WCT: I usually ask it the other way around, but is there anything for straight people at this show?

AS: We love our straight allies.

LK: Yes, like my entire straight band. Let's start there! Both Anne and I have band members that are from Chicago. They are also well known in the theater community.

WCT: Are you singing George Michael's "Freedom," like I saw on YouTube, Anne?

AS: I don't know if that will be on the playlist. This set has a strong foundation of original music. I plan on doing my new EP Made Out of Stars that I recorded in LA. I will do my last EP and some covers with gay anthems.

WCT: There's a cover of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" on the latest record, Anne.

AS: Yes. I wanted something familiar that people know on the album. I picked it because a song written so long ago still resounds so well in our political environment today. When I listened to the words, it just made so much sense to me right now.

WCT: The lyric "turn your back on Mother Nature" struck me as something that now could apply to climate change.

AS: It was written in the early '80s, but still very relevant today. When you hear a song covered in a different way sometimes you hear the lyrics differently. I wanted to get the message across with those lyrics.

WCT: Levi, you dropped to albums last year, so are you performing Christmas songs at City Winery?

LK: It's Christmas in June! No, we do a holiday show every year with it. I will be singing songs from Liberated. There will also be songs I have written for Del Shores' Souther Baptist Sissies and Sons of Anarchy.

I will just represent the high points of my entire catalogue. I might venture into new material just to get some of it under my belt. I know fans will discover some unreleased material that evening.

WCT: Do you have a favorite musical?

AS: I am obsessed with Jagged Little Pill, which is about to come to Broadway. The tickets are just going on sale for New York, but I saw it in Boston. It is going to explode. It's the music of Alanis Morissette, but not her story.

Jagged Little Pill was one of those albums that changed me as a singer and a person.

LK: The very first musical I saw at a young age was Sweeney Todd. I have an affinity for a dark story. I can't get Dear Evan Hansen out of my brain. It is like velcro. It will never leave!

AS: I just had a Hamilton cast member named Euan Morton on my podcast, #ilovemywifepodcast. We have been doing it for almost a year and a half now. Our producers asked us to do the podcast. They felt there needed to be more lesbian voices out there in the world. We are parents and my wife owns a travel company for LGBT families. I'm a singer and songwriter. We have an interesting family life. We have talented friends on the podcast every week.

WCT: What else do you have coming up?

LK: I have a new single coming out in September leading up to a new album release next year. At this stage when I am laying the ground work it drives me crazy. I know what's coming but I can't share it yet. I can't be quiet much longer!

AS: I am still on my Made Out of Stars Tour and touring it this whole year. I am doing several LGBT charters such as RSVP Vacations, R Family Vacations and an Atlantis cruise. So that is my summer!

Roll out a barrel of wine for Steele and Kreis at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., on Tuesday, June 18, at 8 p.m., with tickets at .

This article shared 2027 times since Mon May 27, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

'Gays and Gospel' on Oct. 11 at Northwestern University 2022-10-05
- "Gays and Gospel"—a tribute to the LGBTQ+ community and all the contributions it has made to gospel music from its genesis in the 1920s until today—will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 11 (National Coming Out Day), ...

Gay News

MUSIC Janet Jackson to release deluxe edition of 'The Velvet Rope' 2022-10-04
- Five-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Janet Jackson will release a new deluxe edition of her sixth full-length album, The Velvet Rope, on Friday, Oct. 7—the 25th anniversary of the original ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Hallmark film, Oprah, Janelle Monae, 'Dahmer,' Met Gala 2022-10-02
- As a part of its "Countdown to Christmas" event, Hallmark Channel announced its first holiday movie that focuses on a gay romance, according to Out. The Holiday Sitter will be released on Sunday, Dec. 11, on ...

Gay News

World Music Festival Chicago Sept. 30-Oct. 9 2022-09-29
- World Music Festival Chicago will return Friday, Sept. 30-Sunday, Oct. 9 in venues across the city. The festival returns with 34 bands (including three DJs) representing 22 countries and spotlighting 10 local music groups. Now in ...

Gay News

MUSIC Jessie Mueller and Seth Rudetsky at Steppenwolf on Jan. 14, 2023 2022-09-28
- On Jan. 14, 2023 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theater, 1650 N. Halsted St., Steppenwolf Theatre and Mark Cortale will present Tony winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful; Waitress) for a hometown concert, hosted and music directed by Sirius XM ...

Gay News

EVENTS Fahrenheit heats things in the cool autumn 2022-09-26
- In the early throes of autumn, the LGBTQ+ organizational development service Lord, Rustin, and Bates Inc. presented part one of the yearly Fahrenheit Humanities Festival at Haven, an entertainment and performance space at 932 E. 43rd ...

Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-09-26
- "I just heard about Leonardo DiCaprio's 25-year rule. His loss. You don't know what you're missing."—Dionne Warwick tweeted her disdain over reports that DiCaprio does not date anyone over 25. Where were you during Queen Elizabeth ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Cardi B, Sam Smith, 'Wednesday' series, Sean Hayes, Serena 2022-09-25
Video below - Cardi B clapped back at someone on Twitter who declared her a celebrity who "came out as bisexual but never dated someone of the same gender," per Out Magazine. The tweet,—featuring pictures of Cardi, Grimes, Lady ...

Gay News

THEATER Underscore to permanently close; festival gains new home 2022-09-23
- The board of directors of Underscore Theatre Company announced the company will close its doors permanently after eleven dynamic years of producing musical theatre in Chicago, including 16 world premieres. However, the company's Chicago Musical Theatr ...

Gay News

MUSIC Cabaret singer Jeff Harnar talks Sondheim, coming out 2022-09-23
- Jeff Harnar wasn't born in Chicago, but he will tell you first-hand that it is his home. Having spent his formative years in this city, Harnar discovered a passion for musical theater. Decades later, he has ...

Gay News

MUSIC 'A Boy Band Christmas' coming to Hard Rock Live on Dec. 18 2022-09-22
- A Boy Band Christmas is coming to Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana's Hard Rock Live venue in Gary, Indiana on Sunday, Dec. 18. Doors open at 6 p.m. The event will feature Jeff Timmons, Drew Lachey ...

Gay News

Artemis Singers to present 'Samhain - Encounters through the Veil' Oct. 29 2022-09-22
-- From a press release - CHICAGO─Artemis Singers,, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will present a unique, timely concert, "Samhain - Encounters through the Veil," about the time of year when we reflect on those who have gone before and honor t ...

Gay News

Riot Fest heats up (through music and controversy) in 2022 2022-09-22
- For three days, Riot Fest took rock and roll fans on a rollercoaster of a ride in Douglass Park. Located in Chicago's North Lawndale community area at 1401 S. Sacramento Dr., this loud outdoor celebration of ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Watermelon Woman,' 'Dragula,' Indigo Girls, 'Dahmer' series 2022-09-18
Video below - Cheryl Dunye shared a photo on Facebook confirming that her 1996 groundbreaking lesbian-themed film Watermelon Woman is now officially part of the National Film Registry Library. According to the library's website, some of the other movies ...

Gay News

THEATER 'Cabaret' at Metropolis through Oct. 22 2022-09-17
- Musical Broadway classic and hit film Cabaret re-creates the decadent and complicated world of 1929 Berlin at the Arlington Heights venue Metropolis Performing Arts Centre through Oct. 22. Cabaret is Kander and Ebb's legendary musical masterpiece ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.