ABOUT THIS SHOW
Steppenwolf ensemble member Austin Pendleton and his longtime singing partner Barbara Bleier perform the Chicago debut of their critically acclaimed tribute concert: Barbara and Austin Sing Steve and Oscar. Chicago’s own Beckie Menzie music directs and accompanies on piano.
We are in the capable hands of two seasoned songsters. Indeed, with their excellent accompanist, Paul Greenwood, the pair manages to extract depths of meaning and humour from the works of both the masters and from their other selections, some familiar and some new to us. In Britain, the term "national treasure" is often rather tossed around, but we'd say this duo would seem to qualify.
– JC, London Living Large
Pendleton and actor-singer Bleier, Astonishingly prolific.
– Adam Feldman, Time Out, NY
It is also a pleasure to watch and to listen to Barbara and Austin perform these compositions, with an occasional vocal assist from Maestro Paul Greenwood. All accomplished actors, the trio understands not only the lyrics that guide the audience through the journey, but the melodic lines and how their construction aids in the visceral experience intended for that journey.
– Stephen Mosher, BroadwayWorld, NY
Barbara and Austin history:
Barbara and Austin have been making music and art together for some time now. They met when Bleier was a student in Pendleton's acting class. Over the years they have gone from being teacher and student to being colleagues, creating several shows along the way. Both are respected multi-hyphenates. Bleier is an actor, singer, writer and a Doctor of Clinical Psychology. Barbara has acted on stage, screen and TV, playing opposite such luminaries as Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Paul Rudd and Adam Driver. She and Austin appeared in several films together, such as Sunset, which one the Best Ensemble award at the Los Angeles Film Awards.
About AUSTIN PENDLETON
Austin Pendleton is an actor, director, playwright and teacher of acting, who was recently seen onstage as the King in Lear at The Secret Theatre, a critically lauded run. Pendleton’s Broadway debut was as Motel the Tailor in the original production of Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Jerome Robbins and starring Zero Mostel. He has since appeared frequently on, off and off-off Broadway and can be seen in approximately 300 films. His many TV appearances include roles on Oz, Homicide, Law and Order and Billions. He recently appeared on Broadway in MTC’s production of Choir Boy, and the Wild Theatre's production of LIFE SUCKS! Austin appeared last on Broadway in Tracy Letts' play, The Minutes and will co-star with Jeff Perry in No Man's Land, this coming summer 2023 at Steppenwolf, where he is an ensemble member. As a director, Austin's credits include: the 2023 Stepphenwolf production of Describe the Night, Between Riverside and Crazy, CSC productions of Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, Ivanov and Hamlet. As a playwright, his plays, Uncle Bob and Orson's Shadow were international successes. He has most recently directed Luft Gangster for Nylon Fusion Theatre Company & Cloverleaf Collective, A Day at the Beach for the Mint Theatre Company and A Taste of Honey for the Pearl Theatre. He teaches acting in New York at HB Studio, where he studied with Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof. He also studied acting with Robert Lewis.
About BARBARA BLEIER
Barbara Bleier is a singer/actor/playwright who has appeared on stage, in film and on TV, as well as in solo shows/revues, nationally/internationally in the cabaret world. She played the mother of a psychopathic killer in the cult classic, Swoon; appeared in the film This is Where I Leave You, with Jane Fonda and Tina Fey and in They Came Together, with Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler. She and Austin are featured in the recently released award winning film, SUNSET. Her solo show, Who’s Your Mama?, was selected for production in the NYC Women at Work Festival. Her two-person revues with Austin Pendleton, Late Nights in Smoky Bars (New York, Chicago and Philadelphia) ‘Tis the Season to Be Morbid and Beautiful Mistake: the Songs of John Bucchino and Amanda McBroom among others received critical praise in the press. She has studied acting with Austin Pendleton, singing with Barbara Maier and musical performance with the late Julie Wilson at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center.
About Beckie Menzie
An award winning concert artist, Beckie has appeared at some of the nation’s top nightclubs and concert venues including the legendary Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Birdland in New York, Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre, The Ravinia Festival and Park West, as well as at concert halls and art series across the country. Hailed by Chicago’s WGN Radio as “one of the city’s finest cabaret performers,” Beckie is a three time winner of Chicago’s After Dark Award for Outstanding Cabaret Artist.
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