CHF 2013: Animal

Birds Do It, Bees Do It...

The William and Greta Wiley Flory Concert

So much art expresses what we think of as the most human of feelings: romantic love. But our species may not be the only one that deploys the grand gesture in pursuit of a romantic partner. The animal kingdom has examples as well. Penguins, for instance, appear to propose to one another, presenting a perfect pebble to potential mates. And the male bowerbird is renowned for his unique courtship behavior—he builds a structure and decorates it with sticks and brightly colored objects to attract a companion.

To celebrate this year’s Animal theme, and to pay homage to grand gestures in service of love, CHF collaborators and perennial favorites Rob Lindley and Doug Peck have joined forces again. They have created what may be the first all-star cabaret revue exploring the odd mating habits of animals, paired with songs from the Great American Songbook. Hosted by Lindley and Molly Brennan (company member of 500 Clown), the concert features the brightest stars of Chicago’s theater and cabaret community—Sean Blake, Felicia Fields, Beckie Menzie, and Robbie Fulks, among others—and songs including Baltimore Oriole, Glow Worm, One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show, and more. The evening will be hilarious and sexy and give us a peek into how similar we all are in our pursuit of love, sex, and happiness.

This program is generously underwritten by a gift from Greta Wiley Flory in memory of her late husband Bill, a longtime friend and supporter of the Festival.

Painting by Yuehua Qiao

Speakers and Performers

Rob Lindley

Rob Lindley's past CHF events include Follies: In Concert; A Night at the Oscars; Assassins; and last year’s Birds Do It, Bees Do It. Directing credits include: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill; and 50 Shades!: The Musical. Rob has appeared on stage in James Joyce’s The Dead; Caroline or Change; Carousel; and many others. Rob won a Jeff Award for his performance in Oh Coward! and his cabaret trio Foiled Again has won an After Dark Award for Outstanding Cabaret Performance.

Doug Peck

Doug Peck returns to the Chicago Humanities Festival after Follies, A Night At The Oscars, Assassins, and last year’s Birds Do It, Bees Do It. Peck is the winner of six Joseph Jefferson Awards, two After Dark Awards, the Sarah Siddons Award and the Guy Adkins Award for his music direction and orchestrations in Chicago and across the country. He is a creative partner with the Goodman, an artistic associate with Porchlight Music Theatre, and a faculty member of the National High School Institute of the Arts. 

Molly Brennan

Molly Brennan is the Artistic Director of Barrel of Monkeys, a creative writing and performance program that facilitates collaboration between professional Chicago actors and musicians and Chicago Public School students. A Company Member of Chicago's industrial-strength physical theatre crew 500 Clown, Molly has lent her brand of ferocious stage comedy to such productions as Goodman Theatre's Animal Crackers, Lookingglass's Alice and Peter Pan, and the Lyric/Second City's Guide to the Opera. She currently inhabits the body of Madam Barker in Red Tape's musical boxing match The Life and Death of Madam Barker. AEA Member, Jeff Award Winner, Animal Lover.