Suzanne Petri at Davenport’s
Read the review here!
“Book of Mercy” by Carson Grace Becker at Chicago Dramatists Suzanne Petri and Richard Henzel
“Waiting For Lefty” at American Blues Theater Suzanne and Manny Buckley
Thank you for visiting! I’m very excited to share with you my new website. Thanks to the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Community Arts Assistance Program and most of all to my wonderful designer, Kevin Buckstiegel!
Upcoming Suzanne Petri Events:
Weds, May 22nd
8 pm -11:30
“Songs In the Key of Diva”
American and European Cabaret with Award Winning Cabaret Artists Suzanne Petri and Bob Moreen Songs of Brel, Piaf, Porter, Gershwin, Weill, Mercer, Dietrich, Coward, Bea Lillie and more!
June 26 and 27th the return of our SOLD OUT show at Davenport’s!
Last chance to see it in 2013
News flash!! We've got a limited engagement, back by popular demand performance of "A Little Touch of Coward in the Night" on Wednesday, June 26th and Thursday, June 27th @ 8:00pm at Davenport's Cabaret. Come check out a powerful night-- one in which Howard Reich said, " Every word mattered; no phrase was tossed off. In effect, the trio shook the dust off the tune, holding it up for re-interpretation… for listeners who wish to get underneath the skin of a song – to its center – Petri serves as fearless tour guide... at once dramatically penetrating and musically evocative." Please call 773.278.1830 or visit davenportspianobar.com for tickets! There's more information about the show below....
*Back By Popular Demand!*
“A Little Touch Of Coward in the Night”
The Words and Music of
With Suzanne Petri, Musical Director Bob Moreen
Director Bob Breuler and special guest John Eskola
Wed, June 26th and Thurs, June 27th @ 8 pm
Davenport’s Cabaret 1383 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago IL
Call 773.278.1803 or visit davenportspianobar.com
“Suzanne Petri happens to be the exception that proves the rule, her work at once dramatically penetrating and musically evocative… superb singer John Eskola, veteran pianist-vocalist Bob Moreen and formidable actor-narrator Robert Breuler. Together, these artists interchangeably performed…the evening sketched the arc of Coward's career.”
Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
Suzanne Petri brings a fresh eye, and ear, to songs of Noel Coward
HOWARD REICH Arts critic
5:56 p.m. CDT, March 17, 2013
...Suzanne Petri's "A Little Touch of Coward in the Night" will remind audiences of the rewards of seeing a small troupe of performers addressing a single composer's work.
Much more than just a recitation of tunes, this homage to playwright-songwriter Noel Coward – which Petri performed Friday night at Davenport's – amounted to a substantial musical revue. Petri stood at its center, but she shared the stage with superb singer John Eskola, veteran pianist-vocalist Bob Moreen and formidable actor-narrator Robert Breuler (Petri's husband and the evening's director). Together, these artists interchangeably performed solos, duets and trios (only Breuler did not sing), while the evening's script sketched the arc of Coward's career
Though many cabaret singers dabble in music of Coward, Petri and company dug deeply into its meaning and context. Indeed, it would be difficult to imagine many American artists who could get closer to the British tone and style of this work than Petri and friends.
Consider "Mrs. Worthington," Coward's withering indictment of ungifted young performers and their oft-delusional parents. After a bit of spoken background on Coward's youthful introduction to the stage, Petri launched the tune gently. At first, she delivered Coward's put-downs with delicacy, as if hoping to spare the feelings of the clueless stage mother yearning to foist her daughter onto the public.
As Coward's insults acquired additional venom, however, Petri inexorably raised the tone of her rage, viscerally expressing Coward's contempt for the amateur performers in our midst. How satisfying.
"Mad Dogs and Englishmen" turns up wherever Coward is performed, but rarely with the freshness and attitude that Petri, Eskola and Moreen offered. Every word mattered; no phrase was tossed off. In effect, the trio shook the dust off the tune, holding it up for re-interpretation.
Coward may be widely admired for his wit, but he also showed a great deal of heart in love songs, an overlooked point that this show underscored. Eskola's supple tenor was well applied in "Matelot," Petri meanwhile bringing considerable warmth to duet passages. And for all the gutsiness of Petri's work elsewhere in the show, she showed ample vulnerability in "If Love Were All."
Breuler's made more of his role as narrator than most, turning some of his soliloquies into brief character studies. His turns of phrase and physical gestures succinctly portrayed Coward's early 20th century world, no small feat.
But Petri, by nature, emerged as the evening's focal point. The intensity of her performance and the degree of attention she gave every syllable pointed to a cabaret artist of unusual rigor. She may hit a stray note now and then, and she rarely pursues lovely vocal tones (except in the occasional ballad).
Yet for listeners who wish to get underneath the skin of a song – to its center – Petri serves as fearless tour guide. And nowhere more than in the work of Coward.
with Bob Breuler, John Eskola
and Bob Moreen
A LIttle Touch of Coward in the Night
Led by Suzanne Petri, Bob Breuler, John Eskola and Bob Moreen make an entertaining ensemble saluting both the wit and heart of songwriter Noël Coward, the songwriter. Influenced by Gilbert and Sullivan, Coward wrote comedic songs with dense lyrics, and Petri holds her own. She was especially good in “(Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage) Mrs. Worthington,” building it from minor irritation to nearly homicide-producing frenzy. Her simple, direct delivery of “If Love Were All” added the contrast that this high-energy show needed. John Eskola can boast one of the best vocal instruments around, but what made this often frenetic performer shine in this show was his focused, grounded deliveries. His duet with Petri of “Mad About the Boy” took on new dimension being sung by a straight woman and a gay man. It’s grand to see popular musical director Bob Moreen performing again. The understated Moreen gets the Coward mojo—letting words shine above all. His “Nina” is a hoot. Yes, even comedy must come from a true place and Moreen’s gift is understanding its location well. “l’ll See You Again” was the perfect, gentle closer.
September 5 - October 6, 2013
“Hank Williams: Lost Highway” at American Blues Theater
at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago Professional Premiere
Hank Williams: LOST HIGHWAY
Written by Randal Myler and Mark Harelik
Directed by Damon Kiely
Hank Williams: Lost Highway follows Williams' rise from his humble beginnings to his triumphs on the Grand Ole Opry stage, to his self-destruction at the age of twenty-nine. This unforgettable tribute includes more than 20 Williams hits, such as "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," "Move It on Over," "Hey, Good Lookin'" and "Jambalaya." The production features Ensemble members Matt Brumlow as Hank Williams, Dara Cameron, Michael Mahler, Suzanne Petri, and guest artists Sean Blake and Dana Black.
November 8- November 24, 2013
“Gambit” at Artemisia Theater at Signal Ensemble Theatre 1802 W Berenice Ave in Chicago
A seemingly innocent game of chess symbolizes the battlefield between a brilliant but troubled law student, and her aunt, a powerful U.S. attorney, as they fight over the law student's imperiled future.
Ross Tedford Kendall's smart and uncompromising examination of the relationship between an ambitious US Attorney and her violently rebellious niece won the audience vote at Artemisia's 2012 Fall Festival of Staged Readings. This world premiere will open for an exclusive, limited run in November 2013. Julie Proudfoot will direct Suzanne Petri and Miriam Reuter in this entertaining, insightful two-hander that challenges the perception of women.
Stay tuned for “Duo” news, our next permutation…coming up soon.
ONE IS ONE. TWO IS MATH
A PLAY WITH MUSIC
BOOK & LYRICS BY BILL C. THOMAS
MUSIC BY ELIZABETH DOYLE
PRODUCED & DIRECTED BY BOB BREULER
PRODUCER: SUZANNE PETRI www.duothemusical.com
“100th Anniversary Garland" of Poetry Magazine Rush Hour Concerts at St. James Cathedral RushHour.org
Poetry & Music: Pianist Kuang-Hao Huang, Readings of the poems by performers Suzanne Petri and John Mohrlein.
Listen to the simulcast on WFMT here: http://rushhour.org/audioclips/7-24-12_concert.mp3
Co-sponsored by Rush Hour Concerts
This program is partially supported by a grant from
the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.