Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre Presents 8-TRACK: THE SOUNDS OF THE 70’S Review — Sounds of Back in the Day

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The moment we were expecting for some time came near the end of this 70’s music marathon. It was an easy-to-anticipate sing-a-long number, perhaps long overdue to most of the audience who could easily summon the tunes from their subconscious ether. The big surprise – at least to this reviewer — was that the most enthusiastic volunteer chorus member seemed about ten years old. “Y-M-C-A..” the cast sang and arm-mimed. He jumped out of his seat to do it too. One could presume that those were his parents and grandparents seated with him at their ringside cabaret table. But were it not a pandemic and a masked crowd, it’s also easy to imagine that the three generations were all smiling wide.

Theo Ubique 8 TRACK

There were many a contender for the title of first fan at this paean to the sounds of the 70’s. Scanning the scene, this reviewer would award Music Director and keyboardist Jeremy Ramey that trophy. When the music is sweet, he seems to wince with pleasure. When the tempo changes – or rather, as he leads an up tempo charge—his fingers dance as he leans in. Keep your eye on this much awarded Juilliard and Northwestern-trained pianist and you feel the music with perhaps a memory of how it first sounded to you back in the day – that is, if you are one of the 90%+ boomers in the crowd.

Theo Ubique 8 TRACK
L-R: Chamaya Moody, Roy Samra, Jasmine Lacy Young, Patrick O’Keefe, Mia Nevarez, Wesly Anthony Clerge’, Alli Atkenson, Matt Patrick. Photo by Liz Lauren.

Theo Ubique Brings New Talents to New Orchestrations

Devotees of Porchlight Music Theatre’s New Faces Sing Broadway series, and especially streams during the shutdown, will recognize many of the cast members. There are dozens of songs that remind of the 70’s lexicon embodied in song titles when we were urged to Shake, Shake, Shake Your Booty, explore the 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, do The Hustle, Get Down Tonight, and find fun in an Afternoon Delight.

Theo Ubique 8 TRACK

Like this writer you might especially appreciate when new orchestrations that differ from the classics burned in our memory banks let us hear the music anew. Three women’s voices meld to sing Cat Stevens’ Peace Train, for example. Similarly, one woman croons lyrics that automatically trigger visions of Marvin Gaye. Conversely, when a singer is tasked with going solo up against your memory of Roberta Flack or do The Eagles’ solo of Desperado, it almost seems unfair.

Curmudgeons like this writer might also find themselves scrambling through the program to see if it it’s really true that Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and even the sainted Beatles didn’t make the cut. Best advice, leave that critical instinct at home. Take a deep drag, sit back and let the music transport as it is designed to do.

8-TRACK: THE SOUNDS OF THE 70’S is a top pick for music lovers of a certain age. If you love the cabaret scene, this is a top pick too.

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Cast:

Wesly Anthony Clergé, Mia Nevarez, Patrick O’Keefe, Jasmine Lacy Young,  Alli Atkenson, Chamaya Moody, Matt Patrick, and Roy Samra.

Production team:

Mara Ishihara Zinky (she/her, Scenic Designer), Bren Coombs (they/them, Props Designer), Jazmin Aurora Medina (she/her, Costume Designer), Piper Kirchhofer (she/her, Lighting Designer), Stefanie M. Senior (she/her, Sound Designer), Isaac Mandel (he/him, Audio Engineer), Max Cichon (he/him, Audio Engineer), Alan Weusthoff (he/him, Technical Director), Kaitlyn Souter (she/her, Stage Manager), J Alan (J/she, Assistant Director/Assistant Choreographer), Nicholas Reinhart (he/him, Production Manager), Christopher Pazdernik (any, Managing & Casting Director), Fred Anzevino (he/him, Artistic Director). Scenic Painting by Altman Art Haus.

WHEN:

Through January 3rd

WHERE:

Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

(721 W Howard St)

TICKETS:

$42+

For more information on tickets, visit the Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre website

Photos By Liz Lauren

Note: Picture This Post reviews are excerpted by Theatre in Chicago.

Amy Munice

About the Author: Amy Munice

Amy Munice is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher of Picture This Post. She covers books, dance, film, theater, music, museums and travel. Prior to founding Picture This Post, Amy was a freelance writer and global PR specialist for decades—writing and ghostwriting thousands of articles and promotional communications on a wide range of technical and not-so-technical topics.

Amy hopes the magazine’s click-a-picture-to-read-a-vivid-account format will nourish those ever hunting for under-discovered cultural treasures. She especially loves writing articles about travel finds, showcasing works by cultural warriors of a progressive bent, and shining a light on bold, creative strokes by fledgling artists in all genres.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ARTICLES BY AMY MUNICE.

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