"A Little Touch of Coward in the Night" with Suzanne Petri, Robert Breuler, John Eskola and Bob Moreen.
The Words and Music of
Award Winning Performer Suzanne Petri Stars in Tribute to Sir Noël Coward (1899-1973) with John Eskola, Robert Breuler and Musical Director Bob Moreen
Chicago’s acclaimed Jefferson Award nominated actress and winner of the After Dark Award for “Outstanding Cabaret Artist” and the Chicago Cabaret Professionals Gold Coast Award, Suzanne, John Robert and Bob bring “ A Little Touch of Coward in the Night” to New York’s Metropolitan Room. This ensemble will perform some of his many songs, including “Why do the Wrong People Travel?” “I’ve Been to a Marvelous Party,” “If Love Were All,” “Mad About the Boy,” “Mrs. Worthington,” “Ziguener,” “Nina,” “Matelot,” as well as scenes from his brilliant plays.
“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. 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.”
Howard Reich, Chicago TribuneMusic and lyrics by Noël Coward. Composer. Lyricist. Playwright. Screenwriter. Actor. Las Vegas Cabaret star. And more. Coward was an English composer, lyricist, playwright, screenwriter, actor, Las Vegas cabaret star and more, publishing more than 50 plays and composing hundreds of songs during his lifetime.
Suzanne Petri’s passion for Coward’s work has spanned most of her performing career and she is very excited to bring his words and music to the Metropolitan Room. From stage to TV, from nightclubs to concert halls such as New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, Suzanne Petri has established herself as one of the Windy City’s premier entertainers, performing at some of the Chicago area’s top stages including Pritzker Pavilion Millennium Park, Park West, Drury Lane, Davenport’s, Maxim’s, Katerina’s and Toulouse on the Park. Suzanne has been featured at the Chicago Humanities Festival and the Mabel Mercer Foundation’s Cabaret Conventions in New York City and Chicago. She was honored with the Gold Coast Award for Cabaret Excellence, the After Dark Award for Outstanding Cabaret Artist and is a Jeff nominated actor and an ensemble member of American Blues Theater. She recently appeared in acclaimed stage productions Hank Williams: Lost Highway with ABT, which returns this summer, and Gambit with Artemisia Theatre, Waiting for Lefty, Tobacco Road, Zorba, Follies, Twelfth Night, The Threepenny Opera and Oklahoma! She has produced, directed and appeared on dozens of Chicago stages including the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Victory Gardens and Northlight Theatre and motion pictures such as Milwaukee, Minnesota with Bruce Dern and Randy Quaid, Disney’s Just Visiting with Jean Reno and Indy film Lac Du Flambeau; TV roles include Early Edition and Evil Has A Face with Sean Young. She has appeared in many of Second City founder Bernie Sahlins’ productions including Lysistrata, Bertha the Sewing Machine Girl and Under Milk Wood. The Chicago Tribune raved about her cabaret tribute to Marlene Dietrich at Millennium Park: “She Torched the Place.”
Suzanne and her husband Bob Breuler (SuzBo Entertainment) bring their original musical Duo: 1 is One; 2 is Math to the Steppenwolf Theatre’s After Party. Her CD's, Das Grand Tour, A Marvelous Party and Marlene Muzik are available at www.suzannepetri.com and digitally online. Suzanne is President Emeritus and a founding member of Chicago Cabaret Professionals and she was a 2000 Cabaret Symposium Fellow at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, studying with such master teachers as Julie Wilson, Shelly Markham, Carol Hall, Lina Koutrakos, Rick Jensen, Lincoln Mayorga, Tex Arnold and other Joining Suzanne is her husband and one of Chicago’s most respected actors Robert Breuler (director), in one of their many collaborations, including SuzBo Entertainment Inc’s “Duo: 1 is 1, 2 is Math” their original musical, recently presented at Steppenwolf Theatre. From his first role at Joe Papp’s New York Public Theatre where he played Kress in David Rabe’s The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel to Mornings at Seven at Drury Lane Water Tower, he has played over one hundred roles, including Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Moe in Riverview and Dean Strauss in Spinning Into Butter, at the Goodman. Bob is a member of the Steppenwolf acting ensemble where he has performed in over 40 roles in 27 years. Some favorites: Botvinnic in A Walk in the Woods by Lee Blessing, Father Lux in Our Lady of 121st Pa Joad in the Grapes of Wrath, Charlie “Blackie” Blackwell in John Olive’s Killers which he recently directed at the Mary Arrchie Theatre. Broadway credits: The Grapes Of Wrath, Carousel, The Song Of Jacob Zulu and Death Of A Salesman. Favorite plays: Cherry Orchard, A Lesson Before Dying, The Time of Your Life, Mother Courage and Her Children, Uncle Vanya, The Infidel, and Molly Sweeney. Television credits:
Prison Break, Early Edition, NYPD-Blue, The Untouchables, Angel Street and made-for-TV movies such as Open Admissions, The Father Clements Story, and Keeper of the City with Lou Gossett Jr. Films include The Crucible, Trial by Jury, The Company, Love and Action in Chicago, Miles from Home, A Piece of Eden, and Suspended Animation. He recently performed at Millennium Park where he was in Studs Terkel’s Will the Circle be Unbroken? One of his favorite roles was with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra where he played The Devil in Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale. He is a recipient of the William and Eva Fox Fellowship Street,
Pianist/vocalist Bob Moreen (musical director) has been performing, accompanying and teaching in the Chicago area for more years than he has fingers and toes with which to count. He has appeared in theaters, clubs, hotels, restaurants, department stores, symphony centers, parks, on street corners, cruise ships, flat-bed trucks, casinos, food-courts, trash centers, etc., etc., etc. The Chicago Reader called him a "mellow saloon crooner"; in the Sun Times he was "a special, eclectic piano player"; the Tribune's Howard Reich said he is "the complete entertainer." He is a founding member of Chicago Cabaret Professionals and a winner of the 2007 After Dark award for "Outstanding Cabaret Artist" and the 2009 CCP Lifetime Achievement Award.
John Eskola has been singing around the Chicago area since the mid-1970's. On the concert stage he has appeared with the Chicago Symphony, Chicago Choral Ensemble, the Clinton Iowa Symphony, Chicago Choral Ensemble and William Ferris Chorale. On stage John has appeared in productions at the Shubert Theater: a National Tour of “Evita”, at the Goodman Theatre: “The Visit” and “The House Of Martin Guerre”, at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse: Maury Yeston’s “Phantom”, “Sweet Charity”, “Rags” and at Marriott's Lincolnshire: “Sweeney Todd”. He is a founding member of Chicago Cabaret Professionals and his cabaret performances include appearances at The Royal George Cabaret, Davenport's, Boombala, and The Cultural Center, among others. As a member of The Cathedral Singers, John has recorded over 20 CDs on the GIA label an independent recording ensemble under the directorship of Richard Proulx, a well respected Church composer and musician.
HOWARD REICH, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“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… 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. And nowhere more than in the work of Coward.”
MICHAEL J ROBERTS, SHOWBIZ CHICAGO
“There are few performers around that can captivate an audience more than Suzanne Petri. Possessing a sultry, sexy and powerful alto voice, Ms. Petri seems to get better every time I see her perform… For those that have a reverence for the old Maxim’s, this is a reworking of the successful show that had a sold out run there a few years back and that most people in Chicago that witnessed it still talk about. And for good reason; in about 70 minutes, you get to hear amazing songs, sung to perfection by this fabulous cast including This Is A Changing World, World Weary, Sail Away of course the standard bearer, Let’s Do It. But for my money, it is Ms. Petri’s sensational rendition of If Love Were All that is worth the price of admission and will bring a tear to your eye.”
KATHLEEN TOBIN, BEVERLY REVIEW, SUZANNE PETRI NOEL COWARD TRIBUTE
“Who could ask for anything better! Noel Coward is certainly fascinating and the show Suzanne Petri has put together catches him at his best! One of the most versatile and charming men on the entertainment scene in his time and thereafter, Coward is for the ages with his wit, benevolent sarcasms and just plain entertainment pleasure. Suzanne is just as fascinating in showing Coward at his best with a big dollop of help from noted Chicago area vocalist, John Eskola, Bob Moreen doing the piano virtuosos…along with Robert Breuler, recreate the music and times, 1899-1973, of Noel Coward. This prolific, lyricist, playwright, actor, …was not shy in proclaiming that charm was his greatest talent. His songs are memorable and Petri’s interpretation of them is as positively charming as the man was himself. … such classics as “I’ve Been to a Marvelous Party,” “Mad About the Boy,” “Mrs. Worthington and “Ziguener.”…A true Renaissance artist herself Petri moves easily from night clubs to concert halls to stage.”
DANIEL JOHNSON, BLOG REVIEW
“The event was narrated by Bob Breuler who also directed and plays short scenes with Ms. Petri (his spouse). This group represents the quintessential “old guard” of Chicago cabaret. Only a group of renowned performers would venture such a refined program. It was a delight for everyone (like me) who adores ‘the Master’ masterfully performed… She brings a unique and winning personality to material that Coward wrote for himself and leading ladies like Gertrude Lawrence and Lynn Fontanne… Petri showed great range and depth and with the able support of her collaborators brought Noel Coward back to the 2013 cabaret scene where, many times in his life, he found such a natural home.”