Holiday Divas to Star Leading Chicago Area Cabaret PerformersNovember 30, 2009 | by Judy Moore
"Holiday Divas!" is open to the public and will be informally staged at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, on the University's Evanston campus.
Ross Lehman, Susan Moniz and Hollis Resnik will sing holiday classics and popular songs by Irving Berlin, Frank Loesser, Julie Styne, Sammy Cahn, and others. They will be joined on stage by co-hosts Cindy Gold, a professional actor and associate professor of theatre in Northwestern's School of Communication, and Chicago actor, singer, dancer and comedian Bernie Yvon.
"Holiday Divas" is directed by 40-time Joseph Jefferson ("Jeff") Award nominee and 11-time Jeff winner and Associate Professor of Music Theater David H. Bell, the Donald G. Robertson Director of Music Theatre at Northwestern's School of Communication. In his 25-year professional career outside the University, Bell has been a director, choreographer and author on projects worldwide.
‘''Holiday Divas' will not only be two evenings of fantastic song, but also will include funny, happy and moving holiday memories, as all five cast members share their favorite sights and sounds of Christmas and Hanukkah," said Bell. "These extraordinary artists are major lights in Chicago theater who will give audience members of all ages a lot to enjoy."
Among the songs, Ross Lehman will sing a medley of Irving Berlin tunes, Richard Rodgers' "You Took Advantage of Me" and "Lord Rendal," an Anglo-Scottish ballad. Lehman has appeared with numerous Chicago theater companies, including Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, Steppenwolf, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire and Writers' Theatre in Glencoe. He has toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon. His Broadway credits include "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "The Tempest" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
Holiday Diva Susan Moniz has appeared in many Drury Lane Theatre-Oakbrook and Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire productions. She won a Jeff Award as Marcina in "Kismet." Moniz can be heard on two recordings: "Second City Divas - Women of Chicago Musical Theater" and "Live At The Mercury Theater." Her repertoire for both evenings includes "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," a song introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM film "Meet Me in St. Louis."
Award-winning Chicago actress and vocalist Hollis Resnik is the recipient of nine Joseph Jefferson awards, three After Dark awards, and two Sarah Siddons Chicago's Leading Lady awards. Resnik starred in the American Music Theatre Project of Northwestern University's Summer 2008 production of "Dangerous Beauty" and the 2009 Summer Music Theatre Festival performance of "Diva! Diva! Divas!" She will sing "Make Someone Happy," "The Twelve Days After Christmas," "Scarlet Ribbons" "My Simple Christmas Wish" and in a duet with Lehman, "Baby, It's Cold Outside."
Cindy Gold's Chicago-area theater credits include Northlight Theatre, About Face Theatre, Tectonic Theater Project, Next Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater and Court Theatre. She recently appeared at Northwestern in "Arsenic and Old Lace," directed by Frank Galati as part of the 2009-10 TIC Mainstage season. She will appear in Northlight Theatre's winter 2010 production of "Awake and Sing!"
Bernie Yvon has appeared at numerous local and regional theaters, including Chicago's About Face Theatre and Goodman Theatre, and Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, Minn. Yvon, who was in the 1998 Broadway production of "Ragtime," can be heard on the original cast recording soundtrack CD of Stephen Flaherty and Frank Galati's "Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein." Gold and Yvon will join Lehman for a rendition of "Sleigh Ride."
Pianist Daniel Green, a Chicago-based composer, lyricist and music director and Northwestern University Theatre and Interpretation Center staff accompanist, will accompany the artists.
The 90-minute production will be performed without an intermission.
Tickets for "Holiday Divas!" are $30 for the general public; $25 for TIC Mainstage subscribers; and $22 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern faculty and staff, and area educators and administrators. Student "rush" tickets will be available on the day of each performance, subject to ticket availability. The price of student tickets is yet to be determined. Tickets are available through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online at www.tic.northwestern.edu.