John Herrera is one of Chicago’s best-known musical-theater performers; Harry Althaus is not. But Althaus’s delicious comic performance as the lovelorn opera queen in The Lisbon Traviata led Herrera to suggest they team up for a revue of songs and dramatic monologues about, as Althaus puts it, “what it’s like to be gay right here, right now”; a bit later, the team invited singer-director Liz Pazik to help shape the show. Now with a cast of nine in all, Another Evening Out features selections by such songwriters as Stephen Sondheim, Joni Mitchell, Jerry Herman, Amanda McBroom, Jerome Kern, Meg Christian, and the late Peter Allen, who recently died of AIDS. The material ranges from wistful (the romantically questing “Someone Is Waiting” from Company) and self-critical (Joni Mitchell’s “The Same Situation”) to torchy (the bluesy lament “You Can Always Count on Me” from City of Angels) and campy (Pazik’s rendition of “The Night Dolly Parton Was Almost Mine”). Herrera and Althaus also dish the dirt with “Bosom Buddies” and get unabashedly sentimental with the separated-lovers classic “I’ll Be Seeing You”–all of it well sung and thoughtfully acted. It’s just the thing to spark a laugh and a tear or two. Offered as part of the gay-and-lesbian-oriented 1992 Pride Performance Series, it’s performed as a benefit for Open Hand Chicago and Equity Fights AIDS. Bailiwick Repertory, July 6 and 7 (Theatre Building, 1225 W. Belmont, 327-5252). Monday and Tuesday, 8 PM. $15 suggested donation; $55 for tickets to six of the ten productions in the Pride Performance Series; $80 for tickets to all ten shows in the series.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Ron Volanti Jr..