Underscore Theatre Company is pleased to announce casting for its world premiere of Notes & Letters featuring book, music and lyrics by Annabelle Revak, based on Revak’s great-great grandfather's letters sent to his family upon his immigration to Chicago. The cast includes Katy Campbell, Tessa Dettman, Michael Mejia and Steven Romero Schaeffer. Swings include Nate Hall and Madeline Lauzon.
Directed by Leah Geis, with music direction by Anna Wegener and choreography by Ebrin R. Stanley, Notes & Letters will play April 17 – May 23, 2020 at Underscore’s newly-remodeled, permanent home, The Understudy, 4609 N. Clark St. in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Casting will be announced shortly. Tickets are currently available at underscoretheatre.org. The press opening is Tuesday, April 21 at 7:30 pm.
Notes & Letters follows Joe’s journey from war-torn Prague to Williams Piano Shop in Chicago in 1917. He quickly befriends the owner Charlie, his girlfriend Nora, and composer Olivia. The foursome become inseparable – until World War I hits the U.S. Businesses, relationships and lives are put to the test. Based on a true story and set to a jazz-contemporary score, four young people struggle to make choices amid complete chaos.
Comments Artistic Director Whitney Rhodes, “Notes & Letters is special to our team for a number of reasons. Not only is this a universally appealing, sweet and charming human story based on the writer’s family, it’s also a story set in Chicago, which is always a treat. The sound and feel of it will be very Chicago, which I think hometown audiences will adore. Additionally, this is the first show to go through Underscore’s full pipeline process – from reading to workshop to fully-realized mainstage production – which showcases the true heart of what our company is all about. We are excited to have had a direct hand in the growth of this project with Annabelle and look forward to seeing its continued life beyond us.”
The production team to date includes Milo Bue (scenic design), Christina Leinicke (costume design), Daniel Friedman (lighting design), Tim McNulty (sound design), Colleen E. Keith (props design), Nicholas Reinhart (production manager), Forrest Hejkal (technical director), Karla Meyer (board operator) and Christine Lauer (stage manager).
Title: NOTES & LETTERS
Book, Music and Lyrics by Annabelle Revak
Directed by Leah Geis
Music Direction by Anna Wegener
Cast (in alphabetical order): Katy Campbell (Nora), Tessa Dettman (Olivia), Michael Mejia (Charlie) and Steven Romero Schaeffer (Joe).
Swings: Nate Hall and Madeline Lauzon.
Location: The Understudy, 4609 N. Clark St., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Friday, April 17 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, April 18 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, April 19 at 4 pm.
Press performance: Tuesday, April 21 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Friday, April 24 – Saturday, May 23, 2020
Curtain Times: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 4 pm; Mondays at 7:30 pm.
Tickets: Previews: $10. Regular run: $25. Tickets are currently available at underscoretheatre.org.
About the Artists:
Annabelle Revak (Book, Music and Lyrics) is a composer, music director, arranger, and pianist. Cabaret: Antithesis (The Understudy); Keeper of the Keys (Davenport’s), TSCS (The Understudy). Arrangements/Orchestrations: Take Me (Strawdog Theatre), Wife Material (Underscore Theatre), Make Me Bad (Columbia College Chicago). MD: The Last Five Years (JPAC), The Ballad of Lefty and Crabbe (asst., Underscore Theatre), The Incredible 6,000-ft. Ladder, Something Blue, The Bone Harp (CMTF 2019), High Fidelity (Columbia College Chicago). BA in Music Composition & BA in Musical Theatre at CCC. www.annabelleleerevak.com
Leah Geis (Director, she/her), born and raised a Nebraska farm girl, is thrilled to be pursing her directing career in the “big city” and at Underscore Theatre. In the past year, her work has been seen at Firebrand Theatre, Pride Films and Plays, Brown Paper Box Co. and Otherworld Theatre. leahgeis.com.
Anna Wegener (Music Director) joins Underscore again after TSCS Talk Nerdy to Me and After Dark. A pianist and teacher, she loves collaborating on new, groundbreaking material like N&L. Recent appearances include The Addams Family, Evita, 9 to 5 and Davenport’s cabarets. www.88keysacc.com
Ebrin R. Stanley (Choreographer) was born and raised in Houston, TX. He graduated from the University of South Dakota with a B.F.A in Musical Theatre in 2017 and a minor in Dance. Ebrin has directed and choreographed many productions for the Children's Museum of Houston. In December 2017, Ebrin was given the chance to co-write, direct and choreograph, Home for the Holidays, a Children's musical in Houston. In January 2018, he starred in the world premiere of Dead Meat, a workshop performance written by Paige Zubel. Later that year he landed the role of Hercules Mulligan/James Madison in Hamilton: An American Musical (Chicago). Ebrin released his debut album, “For the Lovers and The Heartbreakers” in September 2019 and a Christmas EP in December 2019. Ebrin continues to write music and musicals in his spare time and continues to produce music for others.
About Underscore Theatre Company
Founded in 2011, Underscore Theatre Company is a team of producing artists dedicated to exploring stories of power and resonance through a musical lens; fostering the development of new musicals; and bolstering Chicago’s role as a national leader in musical theatre. Since its creation, Underscore has produced or co-produced 65 new mainstage and workshop musicals in Chicago. Underscore is proud to be Chicago's home for new musicals.
our most recent top picks
Blue Man Group ★★★