Theo Ubique is the ultimate small Chicago theater at the NoExit Cafe. Seats 55; you can buy a dinner-theater package; drinks are served; servers are the actors; tickets are inexpensive; the store-front space is located right next to the el, everyone is friendly and welcoming. They produce outstanding musicals. Every inch is the space is used for entrances/exits, performance platforms, stage. For Sweeny Todd, a small group of musicians was tucked behind a scrim next to the bathroom. Music surrounds the audience.
We left the theater floating inches off the ground from such a splendid experience. The actors/singers were masterful. Sweeny was poignantly played by Philip Torre, an operatic baritone. He did not let his vocal power overwhelm the small space. Torre is solidly built, and as close as we were, that enhanced his vulnerability. The rest of the performers were of equal caliber. The production by Fred Anzevino, Torre, and Jacquelyne Jones (Mrs. Lovett) and the Musical Director, Jeremy Rane--all won non-Equity Jeff Awards. Well deserved. And the musical itself, written by Hugh Wheeler, music and lyrics by Steven Sondheim – one of the best ever produced.