Thomas Young Replaces Norm Lewis in Chicago Standup Shakespeare

Benefits and Galas   Thomas Young Replaces Norm Lewis in Chicago Standup Shakespeare
Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre will host the July 17 concert presentation.
HR - Alice Ripley.jpg
Alice Ripley

Grammy Award-winning opera singer Thomas Young has replaced Tony nominee Norm Lewis in the Chicago presentation of Standup Shakespeare: A Concert Reading, which sets passages from William Shakespeare’s plays and poems to original jazz, baroque, samba, and gospel-rock.

This “fractured love story” with music by Ray Leslee, book by Kenneth Welsh, and words by Shakespeare, is being presented July 17 in Chicago as a benefit for Steppenwolf. Tony Award winner Alice Ripley co-stars with Steppenwolf Theatre's co-founder Jeff Perry.

Lewis is currently starring Off-Broadway in the title role of Sweeney Todd. Young appeared in the original Off-Broadway production of the show. Here is the original announcement.

Ripley received the 2009 Best Actress in a Musical Tony Award for her work in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal. She starred in the original Broadway casts of Sunset Boulevard, Side Show (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), James Joyce’s The Dead, The Rocky Horror Show, and American Psycho.

Perry served as Steppenwolf artistic director 1982–1985 and 1986–1987. His Steppenwolf acting credits include August: Osage County (also Broadway and London),The Grapes of Wrath (also Broadway and London), and Picasso at the Lapin Agile (world premiere).

Accompanying the cast of Standup Shakespeare are Marshall Coid (violin), Dave Dunaway (bass), Ray Leslee (piano), and Josh Plotner (woodwinds).

Steppenwolf’s performance series LookOut is described as presenting work “across genre and form, emerging artists and performance legends, quintessential Chicago companies and young aspiring ensembles, familiar Steppenwolf faces and new friends.”

Standup Shakespeare will be performed at 6:30 PM in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre, 1650 North Halsted Street in Chicago, Illinois. Single tickets ($79–$99) can be ordered at (312) 335-1650 or A limited number of $15 student rush tickets will be available one hour before the show.

Ripley has been a special guest performer on Playbill’s Broadway on the High Seas cruises. Cabins are available for Broadway on the Rhine River cruise August 13-20, featuring Seth Rudetsky, Andréa Burns, Faith Prince, Terrence Mann, Charlotte d’Amboise, and Santino Fontana. Playbill Travel is also booking Broadway on the Danube River with Michael Feinstein for November 3-13, also featuring Carmen Cusack, Julia Murney, Christopher Fitzgerald, Marc Kudisch, Christopher Sieber, Brandon Uranowitz, and Rudetsky, as well as other exciting talent to be announced. Tickets are also now on sale for Playbill’s Broadway on the High Seas July 2018 cruise to Iceland, accompanied by Judy Kuhn, Christine Ebersole, Rob McClure, Jarrod Spector, and Sierra Boggess. Visit for booking and information.


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