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PrideArts to present cabaret nights in May and June
-- From a press release
2022-04-27

This article shared 670 times since Wed Apr 27, 2022
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CHICAGO — PrideArts Artistic Director Jay Espano (he/him/his) today announced a series of four Monday night cabaret performances by Chicago area musical theater and cabaret artists at the Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway. Performances will be May 9 and 16, and June 13 and 20. Each performance will be preceded by a reprise screening of one of three short LGBTQIA films that were audience favorites in past PrideArts film festivals, along with THE WASHING MACHINE (LA LAVADORA), a six-and-a half minute film from Spain written and directed by Diane Malherbe.

The cabaret series, themed "Songs That Kept Me Sane When the World Met the Pandemic," will launch on Monday, May 9 with Carl Herzog (he/him/his), a Jeff Award nominee in 2019 for Theo Ubique's THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, accompanied on the piano by Bryan McCaffrey. Herzog appeared with PrideArts last summer in THE THINGS I COULD NEVER TELL STEVEN as the father of the titular Steven. He will sing a mix of folk, spiritual, jazz, plus some original songs, cabaret standards and songs from THE THINGS I COULD NEVER TELL STEVEN. Herzog's May 9 show will follow an "opening act" of a screening of THE WASHING MACHINE and the short film EAT THE RAINBOW, a 20-minute musical comedy film about a man with a "different" appearance (he's purple) who moves into a conservative suburban neighborhood and finds an unlikely ally. EAT THE RAINBOW was directed by Brian Benson and written by Brian Benson and H.P. Mendoza.

Second in the series, on Monday May 16, will be Joe Lewis (he/him/his, below) and Korinne Yonan (she/her/hers, below) performing a set they call "A 21St Century Romance: the Love Story Between Fag and Hag." The duo will sing musical theater love duets that also applies to best friends who have no chance of dating each other, like "First Impressions" from FIRST DATE," You Shine" from CARRIE, and "Wishing for The Normal" from SOHO CINDERS. Bryan McCaffrey will be their accompanist. Lewis and Yonan's performance will be preceded by a screening of PERFECT FIRST DATE, an 11-minute film written and directed by Kyle Hamlin, and THE WASHING MACHINE.

After a two-week hiatus, the series will return on Monday, June 13 with Scott Gryder (he/him/his), accompanied by Nick Sula (he/him/his), performing "Gryder and Sula Celebrate Kander and Ebb." Scott Gryder has previously been seen at PrideArts for his Jeff Award-winning solo performance of BUYER AND CELLAR, and in last December's CHRISTMAS KAROL: A HOLIDAY INTERVENTION CABARET). Their show will open with reprise screenings of EAT THE RAINBOW, and THE WASHING MACHINE.

The series will conclude on Monday, June 20 with a cabaret performance by Kyra Leigh (she/her/hers), seen most recently at PrideArts in last summer's THE THINGS I COULD NEVER TELL STEVEN. Leigh has also appeared with PrideArts in SOUTHERN COMFORT. On other stages, Leigh has played Sister Mary Hubert in NUNSENSE and has performed her cabaret show at Davenport's, Trans Voices Cabaret - Chicago, Rhinofest, and Labyrinth Arts. She will perform an eclectic set of songs ranging from pop to rock to TV/film music. Opening the evening will be screenings of THE WASHING MACHINE and GOD'S DAUGHTER DANCES, a 25-minute film from Korea about a transgender dancer who is called for a military draft physical. GOD'S DAUGHTER DANCES was an audience favorite from last summer's PrideArts film festival.

Tickets to each cabaret performance are $20.00 and will be available soon at www.pridearts.org .

SONGS THAT KEPT ME SANE WHEN THE WORLD MET THE PANDEMIC

Mondays, May 9 and 16; June 13 and 20; 7:30 pm

Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago

Tickets $20.00, on sale soon at www.pridearts.org or by phone at 773-857-0222

Chicago musical theater and cabaret artists perform their favorite pop and show tunes, with program-opening screenings of short queer-themed films.

PROGRAM DETAILS

Monday, May 9 — 7:30 pm

Carl Herzog, accompanied by pianist Bryan McCaffrey. Herzog will sing a mix of folk, spiritual, and jazz, plus some original songs and cabaret standards.

EAT THE RAINBOW (USA, 19:31). Directed by Brian Benson. Written by Brian Benson and H.P. Mendoza

A musical fable about an odd yet kind man named Bayani who moves into a conservative suburban neighborhood and disrupts the otherwise comfortable homogeneity. He doesn't look or act like anyone else which causes fear and panic and eventually a demand for him to leave the neighborhood. Cousin Wonderlette befriends Bayani and together they take on the opposition led by manipulative and unscrupulous realtor Lobelia Gerber.

THE WASHING MACHINE (LA LAVADORA, Spain, 6:30). Written and directed by Diane Malherbe.

Love is like a washing machine. There are many programs to choose from.

Monday, May 16 — 7:30 pm

Joe Lewis and Korinne Yonan accompanied by pianist Bryan McCaffrey, sing "A 21St Century Romance : the Love Story Between Fag and Hag." The duo will sing musical theater love duets that also applies to best friends who have no chance of dating each other.

PERFECT FIRST DATE (USA, 11:14). Written and directed by Kyle Hamlin. 20 year old Kelsie is nervous to go on her first date with Dylan. Dylan is suave and seemingly knows all the right things to say. When secrets are admitted, will they ruin this perfect first date?

THE WASHING MACHINE (LA LAVADORA, Spain, 6:30). Written and directed by Diane Malherbe.

Love is like a washing machine. There are many programs to choose from.

Monday, June 13 — 7:30 pm

Scott Gryder with Nick Sula — "Gryder and Sula Celebrate Kander and Ebb" — songs from CHICAGO, CABARET, and lesser-known gems by two of Broadway's greatest songwriters.

EAT THE RAINBOW (USA, 19:31). Directed by Brian Benson. Written by Brian Benson and H.P. Mendoza

A musical fable about an odd yet kind man named Bayani who moves into a conservative suburban neighborhood and disrupts the otherwise comfortable homogeneity. He doesn't look or act like anyone else which causes fear and panic and eventually a demand for him to leave the neighborhood. Cousin Wonderlette befriends Bayani and together they take on the opposition led by manipulative and unscrupulous realtor Lobelia Gerber.

THE WASHING MACHINE (LA LAVADORA, Spain, 6:30). Written and directed by Diane Malherbe.

Love is like a washing machine. There are many programs to choose from.

Monday, June 20 — 7:30 pm

Kyra Leigh performs perform an eclectic set of songs ranging from pop to rock to TV/film music.

GOD'S DAUGHTER DANCES (Republic of Korea, 24:53). Written and directed by Sungbin Byun.

A transgender female dancer, Shin-mi, gets a call from the Military Manpower Administration, to attend for the Military Service Examination. Shin-mi, with everything in readiness, takes her steps to the Military Manpower Administration.

THE WASHING MACHINE (LA LAVADORA, Spain, 6:30). Written and directed by Diane Malherbe.

Love is like a washing machine. There are many programs to choose from.

BIOS

Carl Herzog (he/him/his) is honored to be kicking off this Cabaret Series at Pride! Previous theatre credits CABARET (Paramount) MY WAY and THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (Theo Ubique), TOMORROW MORNING and LITTLE FISH (Kokandy), NOW & THEN and THE THINGS I COULD NEVER TELL STEVEN.

Joe Lewis (he/him/his) ecstatically returns to Pride Arts! Recent Credits: SOMETHING'S AFOOT (Geoffrey), 1776 (Courier), THE DROWSY CHAPERONE (George) with MadKap Productions; ORDINARY DAYS (Warren), RAGTIME (Younger Brother) with Art 4; THE ADDAMS FAMILY (Lucas) with Williams Street Repertory; SOMETHING ROTTEN (Nigel), SPRING AWAKENING (Hanschen) with Theatre Nebula.

Korinne Yonan (she/her/hers) is so excited to make her PrideArts debut! Recent credits: GUYS AND DOLLS (Adelaide), SPRING AWAKENING (Ilse) with Theatre Nebula; YOU'RE…CHARLIE BROWN (u/s Lucy, Sally) with Citadel Theatre; FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY (Strawberry) with Uptown Music Theatre; THE ADDAMS FAMILY (Ancestor), FREAKY FRIDAY (Wells), and EMMA! A POP MUSICAL (Welcoming Committee) with Williams Street Repertory. She would like to thank her sister, Hannah, for being her forever duet partner.

Scott Gryder (he/him/his) has been seen throughout Chicagoland, with most recent appearances in ELEANOR'S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS WISH (DMT Productions) the Jeff-Award winning BUYER & CELLAR (Pride Films & Plays), JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Lyric Opera Chicago), and THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (Drury Lane Theatre at Water Tower Place).

He has performed in a multitude of cabarets, including SIMPLY SCOTTY (with Nick Sula), WOZ: A ROCK CABARET, and LIFE IS A CABARET - THE MUSIC & WORDS OF KANDER & EBB, at such venues as Davenport's, Skokie Theatre, and Auditorium Theatre's Katten/Landau Studio. Gryder has a B.A. in Theater from Texas Tech University. MeTV's Green Screen Adventures earned him three National Daytime Emmy Awards. www.thescottgryder.com

Nick Sula (he/him/his) is a pianist, arranger, and award-winning music director for theater and cabaret. Happy to be performing again at Pride Films and Plays, where he was music director for cabaret series HIS & HIS, BROADWAY AT THE BROADWAY. Theater music direction credits include productions with Porchlight Music Theatre, BoHo Theatre Ensemble, Black Button Eyes Productions, Chicago Theatre Workshop, Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. Nick has performed with vocalists at venues such as Davenport's Piano Bar, Drew's on Halsted, Skokie Theatre, Victory Gardens, and the Park West. He is an instructor, music director, and vocal coach at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Kyra Leigh (she/her/hers) is active as a musician and performer in the Chicagoland area. Originally from Louisiana, she's passionate about trans visibility and inclusion in music and theatre. She has music directed and/or composed and arranged for Kokandy Productions, Jedlicka PAC, Theatre of Western Springs, Prop Thtr, Chi Arts, and most recently Music Theater Works (for their production of La Cage Aux Folles starring Ginger Minj). Her cabaret experience includes shows at Davenport's, Trans Voices Cabaret - Chicago, Rhinofest, and Labyrinth Arts. She's an active church musician as a composer, section leader, and as needed pianist/conductor at North Shore Baptist Church. Her past compositions include commissioned choral pieces for The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus and La Caccina (a professional women's vocal ensemble); music for Chicago Fringe Opera's Sounds of Pride Series; a series of art songs for acclaimed baritone, Ryan de Ryke; and most recently was the Composer/Artist-in-Residence with Windy City Performing Arts. As an actress, recent credits include Sister Mary Hubert in NUNSENSE (Porchlight) and The Mother in PrideArts' North American premiere of THE THINGS I COULD NEVER TELL STEVEN.

ABOUT PRIDEARTS

PrideArts tells queer stories on a variety of platforms, including both live and virtual performances. Since its founding in 2010, PrideArts has had several chapters, including operating as an itinerant theater for their first six seasons, and as the developer and primary tenant in the Pride Arts Center from 2016-21.

The company produces a full season of plays and musicals, as well as events including cabaret, film, and more. PrideArts has earned 39 Jeff Awards and nominations, and six nominations in the most recent (2019) ALTA Awards from the Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists of Chicago. Programming has reflected the diversity of queer communities by including work made by and illuminating the experiences of women, gay men, transgender people, and BIPOC.

PrideArts is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago's City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, The Pauls Foundation, The Heath Fund, The Service Club of Chicago, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation, Arts and Business Council, and Alphawood Foundation.

PrideArts is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. PrideArts is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, Northalsted Business Association, Lakeview East, Uptown United, Buena Park Neighbors, and The League of Chicago Theatres.


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