American Blues Theater, under the continued leadership of Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside, announces the first-ever event in the new music series, “The Garage.” For one night only, on Friday, January 22 at 7pm Central, American Blues presents a live, interactive tribute concert Dead Ringer by award winning Artistic Affiliate Zachary Stevenson, featuring highlights from his stage career, including the music of Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Phil Ochs, Hank Williams, and more. Valentunes, favorite love songs of the American Blues Ensemble and Artistic Affiliates, is on Friday, February 12, 2012.
The Garage’s inaugural 60-minute concert on Zoom kicks off American Blues Theater’s new music series featuring the musical talent of Ensemble members and Artistic Affiliates. “The Garage” will run monthly for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following every concert, stay in the virtual space to meet the artists.
Gwendolyn Whiteside comments, “Throughout the pandemic, American Blues has been actively programming for our audiences and creating work for our performers, whether it has been through It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, ‘The Room’ reading series of new plays, or, now ‘The Garage.’ The American Blues family of artists is a remarkable group—many of whom have extraordinary musical talent. We are kicking off ‘The Garage’ with Zachary Stevenson, who audiences will remember in the title role of The Buddy Holly Story.”
The next event in ‘The Garage’ series is Valentunes (February 12), featuring favorite love songs of the American Blues Ensemble and Artistic Affiliates sung by Audrey Billings, Matthew Brumlow, Dara Cameron, Austin Cook, Ian Custer, Cisco Lopez, Michael Mahler, Camille Robinson, Denzel Tsopnang, Zachary Stevenson, Adrienne Walker, and more.
Tickets may be purchased at AmericanBluesTheater.com or (773) 654-3103. Suggested donation for Dead Ringer is $25 or pay-what-you-can. Valentunes is $50. Both productions are expected to sell out.
Zachary Stevenson (performer / music director) is an Artistic Affiliate of American Blues Theater. He is an award-winning actor, musician and writer. Originally from Vancouver Island, Canada, Zachary has been coined a “dead ringer for dead singers” by the Victoria Times Colonist for his portrayals of Buddy Holly, Hank Williams, Phil Ochs and roles based on Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. In 2018, Zachary won the Jeff Award in Chicago for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Musical) for The Buddy Holly Story, a role he’s honed in more than a dozen productions across Canada and the United States. Other acting highlights include Million Dollar Quartet, Hair, Urinetown, Assassins, and Company. Zachary has produced and recorded five independent albums and tours frequently as a musician. He is also active as a music director on productions such as Ring of Fire and Million Dollar Quartet, American Idiot (upcoming). He is currently writing an American Blues commissioned solo show based on the life of folksinger Phil Ochs.
Cara Parrish (stage manager) is an Ensemble member of American Blues Theater where she is also the Office Manager / Human Resources. Chicago credits: Gem of the Ocean, Electra, Hard Problem, Photograph 51, Five Guys Named Moe, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, & Lady From the Sea (Court Theatre); WITCH, Port Authority, Yellow Moon, The Letters, The Caretaker, Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf, & The Blond, The Brunette, and the Vengeful Redhead (Writers Theatre); Too Heavy for Your Pocket & The Vibrator Play (TimeLine Theatre Company); James and the Giant Peach (Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook); Jabari Dreams of Freedom (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, Emma, (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Beauty’s Daughter, & Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (American Blues Theater). Cara is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
About American Blues Theater
Winner of the American Theatre Wing’s prestigious National Theatre Company Award, American Blues Theater is a premier arts organization with an intimate environment that patrons, artists, and all Chicagoans call home. American Blues Theater explores the American identity through the plays it produces and communities it serves.
The diverse and multi-generational artists have established the second-oldest professional Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago. As of 2020, the theater and artists received 221 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations that celebrate excellence in Chicago theater and 40 Black Theatre Alliance Awards. The artists are honored with Pulitzer Prize nominations, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades.