August 22nd: BERLIN IM LICHT - Ein Cabaret

"But if you want to see the city of Berlin, the sun isn't enough.
To see everything in it properly, you're going to need a few watts...
Come on turn on the lights, so we can see what there is to see!" ~Kurt Weill

Inspired by Berlin and their mutual love of Kurt Weill, Michelle Jasso and Aaron Benham take the Davenport's cabaret stage for a special, one-night-only event. Join them as they take their audience through a selection of beloved known and (very) unknown songs about some of Weill's favorite topics: love, heartbreak, temptation, politics - and of course, drinking!

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1919058411487552/

Wednesday, August 22nd, 8pm
21+ / $12 cover + two drink minimum (drinks need not be alcoholic)

Davenport's Piano Bar Chicago

Tickets: http://davenportspianobar.com/make-reservations/

Aaron Benham is a music director, arranger, composer, and performer. Chicago credits include: Merrily We Roll Along, Side Show (Porchlight), Grand Hotel (Kokandy), Marie Christine (Boho), Xanadu (ATC), Wild Party (Jeff Award), Carrie (Bailiwick Chicago); also work with About Face, Chicago Opera Theater, Circle, Flying Elephant, Montana Shakespeare, Pride Films, Second City, Theo-Ubique, Timberlake Playhouse, and Writer's. His original score to Bewildered premiered last fall with Hell in a Handbag. Up next: The Book of Merman Off-Broadway! BFA, Emerson College.

Michelle Jasso is a versatile, active performer with credits encompassing opera, cabaret, theatre, television, commercial, and voiceover. Within her repertoire of over 25 leading and supporting roles, favorites include the title role in Puccini's Suor Angelica, “Sally Bowles” (Cabaret), “The Witch” (Into The Woods), “The Beggar Woman” (Sweeney Todd, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle award), and “Ursula” (The Little Mermaid). Most recently seen onstage as Elizaveta Grushinskaya in Kokandy Productions’ highly-acclaimed production of Grand Hotel, she has also worked locally with Teatro Vista, Lifeline Theatre, Oil Lamp Theatre, and Porchlight Music Theatre. Next up Michelle will reprise the role of The Witch in Music Theater Works’ December 2018 production of Into The Woods. Michelle is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) and of the Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists (ALTA), and is represented in Chicago by Big Mouth Talent.

GRAND HOTEL closes its doors - and what a stay!

Kokandy's Jeff Recommended production of GRAND HOTEL closed its highly successful run at Theater Wit on May 27th, 2018. Read what critics had to say about Michelle's performance as Elizaveta Grushinskaya:

 

"What blooms for the baron is love, in the form of one of the characters we really do care about: a once-great Russian ballerina now approaching 50, still beautiful but now feeling the inexorable toll of age on bodies. Michelle Jasso is radiant as a dancer whose heart seems to break in a new place with each increasingly flawed performance." ~Lawrence B. Johnson, Chicago On the Aisle

https://chicagoontheaisle.com/2018/05/21/grand-hotel-at-kokandy-productions-lobby-teeming-with-life-fraught-with-secret-regrets/

 

"Played with class, style and an air of smoldering mystery, beautiful Michelle Jasso brings her considerable talents to the role that made Greta Garbo a legend on the silver screen." ~Colin Douglas, Chicago Theatre Review

https://www.chicagotheatrereview.com/2018/04/people-come-people-go/

 

"The lovely Michelle Jasso (Elizaveta Grushinskaya) plays fading diva with bittersweet poignancy. Her thirst for adoration is illustrated in a soulful duet with the smooth-talking Dohner." ~Katy Walsh, The Fourth Walsh

http://thefourthwalsh.com/2018/04/review-grand-hotel-kokandy-productions-grand/

 

"...the plight of dancer Elizaveta Grushinskaya (a brilliant Michelle Jasso) . . . Jasso and Dohner, together and separately, capture their once-grand and currently struggling characters beautifully and with little sentimentality."

~Karen Topham, Chicago Onstage

http://chicagoonstage.com/kokandy-presents-a-thoroughly-grand-hotel/

 

"Among the hotel guests is the aging, financially strapped prima ballerina Elizaveta Grushinskaya (Michelle Jasso, who combines grace and gusto)."

~Barbara Vitello, Daily Herald

http://www.dailyherald.com/entlife/20180425/kokandy-makes-sure-grand-hotel-musical-lives-up-to-its-name

 

"Michelle Jasso as the once prima ballerina is perfect as the tiny dancer whose identity is wound up with her fading career." ~Mira Temkin, Chicago Theater and Arts

http://chicagotheaterandarts.com/2018/04/23/check-into-the-grand-hotel-at-theater-wit/

 

"Michelle Jasso beautifully embodies Elizaveta, a faded prima ballerina in the midst of her eighth farewell tour." ~Bob Bullen, Chicago Theatre Addicthttps://chitheatreaddict.com/2018/04/22/kokandys-haunting-grand-hotel/
 


"Glover and music director Aaron Benham have uncovered magnificent talent in these Chicagoland performers, including Michelle Jasso as fading ballerina Elizaveta Grushinskaya." ~Bill Esler, Buzz Center Stage

http://buzznews.net/theatre/theatre-reviews/item/4447-in-grand-hotel-a-lively-broadway-musical-scales-elegantly-to-theatre-wit-stage.html

 

"The ballerina, Elizaveta Grushinskaya (deftly handled by Michelle Jasso)..." ~Alan Bresloff, Around the Town Chicago

http://www.aroundthetownchicago.com/theatre-reviews/grand-hotel-the-musical/

 

"Michelle Jasso is great as the famous ballerina on her second farewell tour. She expertly plays her lack of motivation to perform until she meets the Baron Feliz Von Gaigern..." ~Quinn Delaney, Playlist HQ

https://blog.playlisthq.com/2018/05/14/1920s-classy-and-funny-kokandy-productions-presents-grand-hotel-at-theatre-wit-through-may-27-2018/