It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee is an entertaining and educational half hour radio show profiling the entertainment industry including stage, television, film, music, and literature. From platinum selling musicians, to Hollywood heartthrobs, to Broadway stars, to local artists, host Rikki Lee Travolta puts listeners in touch with the world of showbiz. In addition to headlining film, TV, and stage projects, Travolta has a unique brand of radio delivery that is seasoned by tenure as a journalist for the world’s leading publishers and complimented by improv technique studied at Second City.
An interview with Broadway & TV Star Andy Mientus playing in Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas
On this episode of It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee, host Rikki Lee Travolta is joined by Broadway and television star Andy Mientus.
Andy is starring in “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas” produced by The Jim Henson Company and iTheatrics at the historic Studebaker Theatre in the heart of Chicago.
Andy has starred on Broadway in “Spring Awakening” and “Les Misérables” and the national tour of “Wicked.” He was seen in key roles in the television hit “Smash” with Jeremy Jordan and Katherine McPhee and as supervillain The Pied Piper in the CW’s “The Flash.”
In this interview, Andy discusses what it’s like starring in a Jim Henson entertainment production and the tremendous respect he has for working with the talented puppeteers. He also lavishes praise on his other talented costars and what it was like working with director and choreographer Christopher Gattelli who won a Tony Award for “Newsies”. Another topic of discussion is the incredible score by Oscar and Grammy-winning composer Paul Williams – who was intimately involved in the rehearsal process for this production.
“Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas” is an absolute treasure that children and adults will love. To make plans to see this wonderful holiday musical at the historic Studebaker Theatre through December 31`, 2023, call the Fine Arts Building Box Office at (312) 753-3210 extension 102 or go online to www.FineArtsBuilding.com.
Steel Beam Theatre - Light Parade Viewing Party & Open House
It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee serves as a backstage pass to an array of fascinating avenues within the entertainment universe. One of the areas of focus is the world theatre. Chicago is known for its great theatre. There are phenomenal theatrical options both in the city and in the suburbs. One wonderful little gem of a theatre in Chicago’s western suburbs is Steel Beam Theatre in lovely St. Charles Illinois.
Steel Beam has been providing top-rate professional entertainment for over two decades. Steel Beam Theatre is among a number of organizations that have been hindered in receiving grants due to a document processing error. Although it is expected to be rectified, it leaves the affected organizations like Steel Beam Theatre without the funding they need to survive.
It would be so tragic for theatre companies like Steel Beam to claw and scratch to successfully survive COVID, only to be taken down by a clerical error or computer glitch. Let’s not let the happen.
This weekend, St. Charles celebrates the famous Electric Christmas Parade also known as the St. Charles Light Parade down Main Street on Saturday. It just so happens that Steel Beam Theatre offers a fantastic view of Main Street – so Steel Beam is opening its doors as a free venue for all to watch the festivities in a safe and warm environment. In fact, it’s going to be an event all unto itself.
This Saturday, November 25 from 3 PM to 9 PM members of the Board of Directors will be on hand to discuss the theatre company and its 2023-2024 season. There will be refreshments and live entertainment throughout the day. You’ll be able to enjoy the parade and also find out how you can show your support for the arts ranging from making donations to buying season ticket subscriptions to getting your company to sponsor a show.
On this episode of It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee, host Rikki Lee Travolta and Steel Beam Theatre’s managing director Catie Early discuss the upcoming Open House and Light Parade Viewing Party and all the fantastic reasons to show up and show your support.
Steel Beam Theatre is located at 111 W. Main Street in downtown St. Charles. For more details on the Light Parade Open House and the exciting 2023-2024 Steel Beam Theatre season visit www.SteelBeamTheatre.com.
An Interview with Jessica Fisch, Director of Marriott Theatre’s Hit “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”
On a new episode of It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee, host Rikki Lee Travolta welcomes theatrical director Jessica Fisch to discuss Marriott Theatre’s smash hit production of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”.
“Beautiful” marks the Marriott Theatre debut for Fisch, who has wowed audiences with her work at Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Royal George, Northwestern University, Writer’s Theatre, Northlight Theatre, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Windy City Playhouse.
During the interview, Travolta guides Fisch through a discussion of her background as a director and her general approach to the art. Special attention is given to the year of pre-production work with her design partners that went into creating the look and feel of "Beautiful".
People interested in how things work behind the scenes will be fascinated by Fisch’s search for the perfect leading lady to play Carole King. The actress not only has to look the part, act the part, and sing the part, she also has to be a skilled pianist. Fisch found the ideal star in Kaitlyn Davis, who previously played the title role in the First National Tour.
The Jessica Fisch-helmed crowd-pleaser “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” is captivating audiences at Marriott Theatre through December 31, 2023. For ticket information to “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” visit www.MarriottTheatre.com or call the box office at (847) 634-0200.
It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee is your backstage pass to the world of entertainment.
Award-winning director Regina Belt-Daniels discusses It’s a Wonderful Life at Elgin Theatre Company
In 2022, noted director Regina Belt-Daniels won the
Life and Times Heartstrings Award for her brilliant direction of I Hate Hamlet at Elgin Theatre Company in the far suburbs of Chicago. That production starred Rikki Lee Travolta.
Returning to Elgin to direct the company’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Gina joins It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee to discuss her new production that runs November 10 through November 19, 2023 at Elgin Art Showcase.
On this episode soaked in seasonal cheer, host Rikki Lee and his guest Gina discuss the history and virtues of the classic It’s a Wonderful Life film and the special differences that make this live radio play production so worth seeing.
The cast of local stars includes John Mayhall, Jim Pierce, William Athow, Gordy Whiting, Audrey Gniech, Brian Rabinowitz, Paul Lockwood, Dwight Brown, Jami Johnson, Devon Ortiz, Shirley May Byrnes, Sebastian Rus, Teagan Nauman, and Rhys Read. Sign language interpretation by Andrew Ross.
For ticket information to Elgin Theatre Company’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life from producer Richard Greiger go to www.Elgin-Theatre.org or call Elgin Theatre Company at (847) 741-0532.
An interview with Jesse Borrego of Fame and Blood In Blood Out
On a classic episode of It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee, host Rikki Lee Travolta gets nostalgic about one of his childhood heroes – the great actor, singer, and dancer Jesse Borrego.
Jesse burst to fame as the fiery Jesse Velasquez on the hit television series FAME in the 1980s. A young Rikki Lee Travolta was fascinated by how Jesse combined classic dance skills with inherent masculinity and sexuality.
In fact, those who saw Rikki Lee in Grease and Bye Bye Birdie might recognize the Jesse Borrego influence in the way he would lower his center of gravity to his pelvis to achieve an inherent seductive sensuality,
In their discussion, Rikki Lee and Jesse run through the star’s historic career starring not only on FAME but also in the groundbreaking cult classic film Blood In Blood Out. It probably comes as no surprise, it’s one of Rikki Lee’s favorites.
Sit back, relax and take a trip back to Rikki Lee Travolta Land circa 2021 as he gets the chance to talk to one of the biggest influences in the development his own trademark musical theater style of emotional vocals and sensual hips.
An interview with Singer/Songwriter Susannah B - Vienna
Singer/songwriter Susannah B has music in her blood. She is the daughter of the late Broadway composer and lyricist Carol Hall, whose credits include the 1978 classic The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and its 1994 Broadway sequel The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public.
As a Broadway Baby, Susannah B grew up immersed in the arts. She excelled in many areas, but music is the one focus that truly resonated with her as an artist.
After experimenting with different music styles, Susannah B eventually found her own sound – a sultry jazz-inspired approach to pop with a contemporary edge. The recording artist has just released her newest single, a tempo-adjusted cover of the Billy Joel hit “Vienna.”
On a new episode of It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee, Susannah B joins host Rikki Lee Travolta to discuss the new single “Vienna” which will also be featured on a new album from the artist – POV – coming in 2024.
Arrangements for the Susannah B cover of “Vienna” are by Michael Farrell, who is known for his work with Alanis Morrisette, Macy Gray, and Morrissey. He is also the associate music director for American Idol, with past credits including America’s Got Talent. He collaborated with Alanis Morrisette on music for the Broadway musical Jagged Little Pill – which earned 15 Tony Award nominations.
Susannah B also serves as executive producer for the film Gonzo Girl starring Willem Dafoe and Camilla Morrone. It marks the directorial debut for revered actress Patricia Arquette who also appears in the film.
For additional information on Susannah B and the single “Vienna”, visit www.SusannahB.com.