UPDATE: Passion wins the Jeff Award for BEST MUSICAL
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine‘s Passion will feature three Jeff-Award lauded performers in its lead roles, Artistic Director Fred Anzevino has announced. The role of Fosca, the sickly woman obsessed with a handsome young soldier in 19th Century Italy, will be played by Danni Smith, who just last year was honored with the Jeff Award for Actress in a Supporting Role for her work in Bailiwick Chicago’s production of the musical See What I Wanna See. Smith’s win came after two previous nominations in the same category, for Theo Ubique’s Pump Boys and Dinettes and Bohemian Theatre Ensemble’s The Glorious Ones. Playing Giorgio, the military officer who is the object of Fosca’s affections, will be Peter Oyloe, a three-time Jeff Award winner. Oyloe’s recent win as best leading actor in a musical for 2013’s Hank Williams: Lost Highway was preceded by wins for his leading role in Equus and supporting role in The Pillowman, both at Redtwist Theatre. Collette Todd, Jeff-nominated for her role as Giulietta in Theo Ubique’s Aspects of Love and recipient of critical and audience raves for her leading roles in Light Opera Works‘ productions of Man of La Mancha, Oliver! and Annie Get Your Gun, will play Clara – the third member of Passion’s love triangle. Ms. Todd will also understudy the role of Fosca.
The cast will also include John Leen (Colonel Ricci), Peter Vanvakas (Dr, Tambourri), Sean Knight (Lt. Barri, Ludovic), Anthony Apodaca (Torasso, Fosca’s Father), Christopher Logan (Major Rizzoli, understudy Giorgio), Ryan Armstrong (Lombardi, understudy soldiers), Sarah Larson (Mistress, Ensemble, understudy Clara), Sarah Simmons (Fosca’s mother, ensemble), and Thom Britton (understudy Dr. Tambourri).
The production will be directed by Theo Ubique Artistic Director Fred Anzevino, a four-time Jeff Award winner for his direction of musicals at Theo Ubique. Kory Danielson will be music director. Adam Veness, Brian Hoehne andÂ Bill Morey are designing sets, lighting and costumes respectively. Paige Keedy is designing props and will also serve as stage manager. Violence designers are R & D Choreography and Courtney Crouse will be assistant director.
Passion will preview at the No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave. Chicago, from March 7th through 9th, with performances at 8:00 pm Friday and Saturday and 7:00 Sunday. Press opening will be Monday, March 10 at 7:30 pm. The regular run will be Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 7 pm through April 27th.
The musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine opened at Broadway’s Plymouth Theatre on May 9, 1994 and ran for 280 performances, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Donna Murphy). The musical is based upon the film Passione d’Amore (1981) directed by Ettore Scola, and on the novel Fosca by I. U. Tarchetti. A filmed version of the Broadway production starring Murphy aired on PBS on September 8, 1996. The Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois presented a staged concert production of the musical, starring Patti LuPone, Michael Cerveris and Audra McDonald and directed by Lonny Price, in August 2003. Price again directed LuPone, Cerveris and McDonald in Passion in performances at New York’s Lincoln Center from March 30 – April 1, 2005 of which the March 31st performance was broadcast live by PBS.