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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Stage Door Jonny
by JONATHAN ABARBANEL
2003-02-12

This article shared 1493 times since Wed Feb 12, 2003
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Hold your hats, kids! Is Naperville ready for Alexandra Billings? Or Daryl Nitz? Well, darlings, Billings, Nitz and Naperville will find out over the next four months, as the Crossroads Theater launches a bi-weekly cabaret series, beginning March 5 with Spider Saloff. This could be a lovely little godsend for south suburban and southwest suburban lovers of jazz, show tunes, standards and comedy, and Jonny knows you are out there.

Located in beautiful, downtown Naperville, the Crossroads Theater is owned (in part) by Vicki Quade, producer of the long-run hit Late Nite Catechism. Quade is producing the cabaret series in partnership with Ralph Lampkin, our town's sine qua non of cabaret impressarios. Others scheduled to appear over the next 15 weeks are 3 Girls 3, Dick O'Day and Becca Kaufman, Alanda Coon, Nan Mason and MaryMonica Thomas. For complete info: (630) 428-4730.

Speaking of cabaret, no one does it better than former Chicagoan John Herrera, especially in a romantic mode. Still popular here, Herrera generally returns to perform in Chicago at least once a year, which he did last Monday (Feb. 10) in a pre-Valentine's Day program upstairs at Ann Sather's on Belmont. Fans of Herrera will be interested to know that currently he's appearing on Broadway (again) in the new production of Man of La Mancha. His second CD, Whatever We Imagine, will be out in March.

About Face Theatre is down to a short list of candidates to fill the post of managing director, following a six-month national search. Co-founder and artistic director Eric Rosen is auditioning—oops, Jonny means interviewing—all 10 candidates, and reports are that Eric is very, very tired but smiling at the high caliber of talent he is uncovering. The new managing director is expected to be named on or about April 1. Mark Gagne—profiled in the Jan. 22 WCT—served About Face well as acting managing director from last spring through November. About Face is seeking an experienced arts management pro to help take the troupe to the next level of fiscal growth and national recognition.

Bill Pacholski, named by this paper in 2002 as one of Chicago's top GLBT leaders under 30, will produce his second theater benefit for the Center On Halsted through his UT/PR Productions. Acts of Providence will be performed Feb. 20-22 at the WNEP Theatre, 3209 N. Halsted, with a reception across the street at Spin following the Feb. 20 performance. The show itself features three one-act plays by author Edward Allen Baker. All ticket proceeds will benefit the Center, as will a special collection. Reservations: (312) 593-8110; tickets $25 ($30 including the Spin reception).

Cocktails, dinner, a revue of Broadway classics and Tiffany, too, will be among the delights at the March 1 dinner benefit for Windy City Performing Arts, presented at the Chicago Cultural Center's Preston Bradley Hall. The architecturally exquisite Bradley Hall features the world's largest Tiffany-stained glass dome. The dinner tables themselves will be part of the fun, with each decorated in the theme of a hit Broadway show, among them The Producers, Hairspray and My Fair Lady. The evening, which includes cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, dinner and entertainment, begins at 5:30 p.m. Single tickets are $125 and $150, but tables for 10 also are available; (773) 404-9242. Naturally, Stage Door Jonny is a wee bit miffed that there won't be a theme table devoted to him. Nonetheless, he urges readers to support this—and all other—good causes.

Jonny never has anything to say about politics, but he can't help observing that the President of the United States seems to have a Jesus complex. If you ask him what we are doing in Iraq, he says 'I am about my Father's business.'


This article shared 1493 times since Wed Feb 12, 2003
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