Dead Writers’ “Oh, Coward!” Review – Cabaret-Style Coward Fest

Pianist Howard Pfeiffer and Ian Rigg


Watching bright young star Ian Rigg maintain a high bar of debonair as he acts out a stumbling and singing happily drunk Noel Coward might be the make-you-smile moment that tells it all. 


Truth to tell, there is no shortage of such moments in this Jeff-nominated production that includes 37- Coward songs.  All words and Music are by Noel Coward in Dead Writers Theatre Collective’s  homage to his wit, tunes, and above all style.


“Oh, Coward!”, devised by Roderick Cook, simply oozes with heartfelt admiration for the man they call “the master”.


(left to right) Pianist Howard Pfeiffer, Michael Pacas, Joanna Riopelle, and Ian Rigg


You are immersed in the cabarets where Coward nourished his storytelling song craft.


As the pianist strikes the evening overture, you get a chance to take in the sumptuous art deco set ,  which fans know is a Dead Writers’ trademark (Scenic Designer: Eric Luchen; Property Design: Jim Schneider).


Ian Rigg and Joanna Rioppele


Rigg is joined by triple threat Joanna Riopelle, an ensemble regular,


Michael Pacas recently appeared in Oak Park Festival Theatre's Pygmalion


and silver-haired Michael Pacas, whose flair with shtick we smile to learn in the program has probably also helped him win titles in the Mr. Leather “Pecs and Personality” competitions.    


The three stars perform medleys in both acts


If you are tickled by the opener, know that the second act charms all the more. 


Michael Pacas, Joanna Riopelle and Ian Rigg


This is a must-see for all devoted fans of Noel Coward.  Any lover of well-told tales,  and especially those told by song lyrics with lightly lilting tunes ,will find much to treasure here too. 


This is a short run with only 18 performances.


The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm, special Wednesday evening performances August 31,September 7 and 14 plus with Sunday Matinees at 2:30pm.


Single ticket price for all shows is $40 at the Box Office -- 773-935-6860. 


Or, visit the Dead Writers Theatre Collective website to order your tickets online.


Photos:  Emma Meyer

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