By Josh Zagoren
Directed by Andrew Marchetti
Production by Hobo Junction
At the Apollo Theatre
Is your Friday evening a bore? Are you seeking something more than re-runs on TV, but also affordable? You might try the Studio at The Apollo Theater where Hobo Junction is presenting an original musical called “Bad Guys In Suits” written by Josh Zagoren ( who also wrote the lyrics of the four musical numbers- and some of the music along with Dan Pearce and Mike Powers). This is a little more than 60 zany minutes with non-stop action and some very clever writing.
The story is about mobsters during the Depression era circa 1930’s having a “bad day at the office”. We center in on four individuals who are just trying to do their jobs, in spite of the hard times, to keep their boss happy as well as their girlfriends, wives fathers and others. Is it worth it? Oh well, you got to make a living! The four songs are fun with a standout number “The Chophouse Song” where the butcher ends up harmonizing and leading a “dance” number with the fruits of his labor on the chopping table- this number is a hoot! ( Andrew Marchetti truly has a ball with this number).
“The Lounge Song” is another very funny piece with Keith Redmond handling the role of Nataja Goodnutsgetuffins, a nightclub singer/transvestite that will also have you in stitches. In fact, this is just a fun show- the irony is that it deals with dealing with hard times ( something that we are experiencing right now) and allows you to forget about those things and just have fun. the cast, William Cummings III, Douglas R. Bowman,Bryan Campbell, Christopher Rex Jacobs ( the Boss), Beau Forbes, Luke Harmon ( a wild Scorpion), Derek Elstro, Sean Patrick Ward, Breahan Eve Pautsch, Madeline Chilese, Meghan Phillipp and Andrew Marchetti are all up to the task as directed by Marchetti who uses this tiny stage to its best advantage.
The music directed by Dan Pearce who also handles jazz guitar is performed by “The Panda Feathers”: Heather Desouza on violin, Jason Grey on percussion, Bob Kessler on clarinet and harmonica, and Josh Zagoren on the keyboard- they do a great job for the show and for about 15 minutes prior to the start, finishing up with an audience sing-along of “Happy Days Are Here Again” ( not the Streisand version). They opened the show with a
short play that won their annual competition called “Ozma and Harriet” with Dan Krall as Ozma and Cyra Polizzi as Harriet written by Dan Caffrey and directed by Ashely Bagot. I am sure , based on the 13 minutes that we saw, this will be further developed into a full play, possibly with music, but it does set the tone for the evening with some great laughs.
Once they start, they never end.
There is only one problem with this production by Hobo Junction. You can only see it on Friday nights at 8 p.m. at the Apollo Theater studio located at 2540 N. Lincoln Ave. Lower level- through May 29th. The venue only seats about 50 people , open seating, so you might want to recheck your schedules and rearrange them to get a Friday night free. See the show and then go out for dinner or a late night snack- I guarantee you will be in a wonderful mood!
Tickets are a mere $15 (just a bit more than a movie and here you get live theater- this is a no-brainer) and can be reserved by calling 773-935-6100 or online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.apollochicago.com