Meet the Bar Show Cast
Larry equates his wacky Bar Show experience to the fun of summer camp. In the show since 2000, Larry has played characters including Kermit the Frog, a bed bug, and a recurring role as Rahm Emanuel. Behind the scenes, Larry serves as the Bar Show's graphic artist, proudly designing the cover art and associated marketing materials for numerous productions. He serves on the board of Deerfield Family Theater and has performed in many of their productions, including Oliver, Willy Wonka, and Bye Bye Birdie. Larry is a senior partner with McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, where he focuses on patent prosecution in the telecommunications and software fields.
A cast member since 2002 and former "Spear Carrier" awardee, Sandy's retired from active general practice and campaign volunteering, but not from music or comedy. She is a performing singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, both solo and in her duo Andina & Rich. An award-winning songwriter (international organization Songsalive.org's "Songwriter of the Year" for 2013) and veteran of Chicago's folk music and comedy club scene, Sandy performs all over the Midwest (sometimes beyond) at clubs, cafes, festivals, house concerts (including chez vous if you'd like!), live radio appearances and anywhere else people will listen. She's received airplay on WFMT's "Midnight Special", WDCB's "Folk Festival", NPR's "River City Folk" and "Higher Ground", and the syndicated "Dr. Demento" show. Sandy has several CDs to her credit, both individually and collectively - and over a hundred more that she's bought over the years. She is married to Bob (a cardiologist), proud mom to improv actor, writer, director and occasional producer Gordy, and at any given time owned by one or more cats. You can find out more about her music and reach her at www.sandyandina.com.
Ron once dreamed of a career in theater until his childhood director informed him - in no uncertain terms - that he was too short to play a convincing romantic lead. Ron gave up "serious" acting soon thereafter, starting instead down a path that led him to the University of Illinois, Columbia Law School, and ultimately legal practice in the Class Action group at SmithAmundsen. The acting bug never fully left Ron's system, however, and he is thrilled to be part of the CBA bar show. Since joining the cast in 2013, Ron's favorite roles have included Kim Jong Un, Marco Rubio, Yoda, and strawberry-shaped Munchkin Number 2. When not on stage or practicing law, Ron spends much of his time obsessing about the (2016 World Series Champion!) Chicago Cubs.
Cliff Berman has performed in the Bar Show since 1985 and he has been co-head writer (with David Miller) since 2011. His favorite roles in the show have included Vladimir Putin (“To Life”), Chris Christie (“Let it Go”), Chief Justice William Rehnquist ("Music of the Night"), Jerry Reinsdorf ("Pagliacci"), Mayor Richard M. Daley ("Figaro"), Ken Starr ("Stars"), and Stanley Tigerman ("Putting it Together") in 1989, for which Cliff won the Horse's Ass Award. Cliff is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Option Care, a national home infusion pharmacy provider. In addition to being a lawyer, Cliff is a pharmacist and he holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. Cliff and his wife Lori reside in Lincolnwood and they have three children, Gregory, Jeremy and Melanie.
Kate is just happy to be here. She's come a long way from her shy take on the role of the month "November" in grade school. An avid theater fan, she lived out her high school musical dreams by splitting time between sports (scoring 42 points in a single basketball game) and performance (an enthusiastic supporting role in Oklahoma!). She's still in awe of the immense talent and camaraderie of the Bar Show cast. Kate is a proud double Illini, graduating from the University of Illinois with a B.S. and J.D. After moving to Chicago, she studied improv at The Second City and iO Theater. Kate largely credits this robust education in earning her the coveted role of Associate General Counsel at Avant. Perhaps Kate's greatest performance was the first dance at her wedding, co-starring a fellow bar show cast member turned husband. In fact, the two first met at their Bar Show audition. In Kate's own words: "It's the role of a lifetime!"
Barbara has been part of every show since joining in 1991. She began with bit parts, including a show where she whispered only one word. Being a non-chorus member for ten years gave her the opportunity to develop her role in props and costumes. Being a lifelong seamstress and a former kindergarten teacher gave her skills to spare. Some memorable props and costumes include a birthday cupcake for Hillary Clinton's 50th birthday scene, building a Stanley Cup to celebrate the last winning season and an array of Lady Gaga costumes. Barbara is honored to be a winner of the Spear Carrier and Quilici Cup awards.
Jacqueline remembers seeing the Bar Show as a little girl and planned her life so she could perform in it one day. Jacqueline began acting as a child at the Piven Theater and has studied at Steppenwolf, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and Stella Adler in New York. After her parents made her get a real degree, which she did at Northwestern University, she headed to L. A. to pursue acting. Then came Bush v. Gore and her obsession with the law. And The Daily Show. After graduating from law school at Loyola, Jacqueline became an Assistant State's Attorney by day and a Lady Gaga/Sarah Palin/Lindsay Lohan impersonator by night. Jacqueline now works at the Bernstein Law Firm.
Sharon Cruz is thrilled to be part of the Bar Show cast. After participating both on stage and backstage in several productions in the Indianapolis area, she came to Chicago in 2013 and was very excited to join both the cast of the Bar Show as well as the CBA's Symphony Orchestra Chorus in 2017. She works for the State of Illinois and is very lucky to have such a supportive husband.
Much like her legal and musical theatre idol Elle Woods, Jacque Donahue quite literally “woke up one morning and said: I think I’ll go to law school today.” Before shifting gears and joining the legal field, Jacque spent her life in theatre as far back as she can remember. A classically trained vocalist, Jacque grew up learning arias but always longed to sing popular music and show tunes. That dream came true as a theatre major at Indiana University – Bloomington, where Jacque performed with the Grammy Award winning show choir The Singing Hoosiers in addition to performing in several plays and musicals. (Her favorite role was when she got to play Marta in Stephen Sondheim’s “Company”). After graduating from her bachelors, Jacque moved to Chicago to pursue a career as a musical theatre performer only to change lanes when she discovered a new love: stand-up comedy. After four years performing stand-up in the city, Jacque decided to take another risk and make “the best decision I ever made”…to follow in the footsteps the aforementioned fictitious idol and go to law school. Jacque is a proud graduate of The University of Illinois College Of Law where she had the honor of receiving every trial advocacy related award that is offered. She currently can be seen zealously advocating for her clients interests in court as a trial attorney with Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen.
Ellen's been singing for decades in various school, church, and community choirs, and joined the Bar Show cast in 2010. Ellen is the Bar Show's production manager, supporting the creative and production teams by planning, organizing, and troubleshooting to help make sure the show will be ready by opening night. (Strangely enough it all turns out well. How? We don't know, it's a mystery.) Ellen is of counsel to Rachlis Duff & Peel, LLC, where she handles corporate and business law matters. Ellen has received the Spear Carrier and Quilici Cup awards.
After some time away from the stage, Stacy is thrilled to be performing again in the Bar Show! Stacy received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Illinois and, after graduating, briefly toured the country performing with a musical theatre troupe. Realizing that an actor’s life was usually more grueling than glamorous, she returned to Chicago to attend law school at DePaul University. Since obtaining her juris doctor, Stacy has practiced family law throughout the Chicagoland area and, along with her exceptional business partners, founded Beattie Freeman Onorato Family Law Group, LLC in January of 2019. Stacy would like to thank her husband, Eric Olson, for his unwavering support of all her crazy endeavors, her business partners, Nicole Onorato and Michelle Beattie, for always having her back, her family and friends for all of their love, and her castmates for being so gosh darn fun!
Since childhood, Annette has been involved in musical and theatrical productions, but took a hiatus after participating in her law school’s annual musical. Ms. Guzman is now happy to be returning to her musical roots and joining such a fun cast for the annual Bar Show. Annette is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and practiced finance law in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin LLP before moving into work in government accountability. In her free time, Annette enjoys spending time with her fiancé, singing in the choir at the Church of Our Saviour Episcopal Church and taking music classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music.
Carter is delighted to be a member of the Bar Show. She greatly enjoyed performing in shows during high school and college, including favorite roles as Brunnhilde in Das Barbecu and Janet in The Rocky Horror Show, and is glad to be back on stage. Originally from Southern California, Carter studied music at the University of California at Davis, then attended Notre Dame Law School. When not pursuing her hobbies, Carter enjoys working with law students and attorneys in her position with LexisNexis, and is a member of the Young Professionals Board for the Public Interest Law Initiative.
Christopher Johnson is ecstatic to be a part of the Bar Show cast. An avid musical theatre enthusiast, he has performed in 30+ productions over the past 10 years. Among many others, he has portrayed the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar, Melchior Gabor in Spring Awakening, Robert Martin in The Drowsy Chaperone, and Gabey in Leonard Bernstein's On The Town. Christopher is a 2016 graduate of the IIT Chicago-Kent School of Law and is the Assistant Director of Education at Lawyers for the Creative Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal assistance to artists and arts organizations.
In the Bar Show, Amy has enjoyed entertaining audiences with such diverse and varied roles like "hot cop," and "prostitute number 3." Amy pretended she was a ballerina for the first 18 years of her life, and then danced a bit in college at the University of Michigan. She also sang in the choir for one semester in middle school, making her abundantly qualified to perform with her (actually-talented) colleagues. When not pretending to sing and dance, she is a consumer protection, class action, and complex litigation attorney as a partner at the law firm of DiCello Levitt & Casey LLC, the Executive Vice President and Director of Preservation Advocacy of the Chicago Art Deco Society, and board member of the Public Justice Foundation. She likes long walks on the beach, bourbon, and Led Zeppelin. Amy is a proud resident of Old Town, living with her beau Jeremiah, and two goofy pekingeses.
Kate joined the show in 1993. She has played roles from Miss Piggy to Hillary Clinton and from Paula Jones to Michelle Bachman. As Road Show coordinator, Kate works with local charities to schedule smaller versions of our December production at other venues. Kate sings at church, in the community and in the shower. She works for the federal government by day.
Mathew started entertaining as a five-year-old playing his triple-stringed plastic guitar and singing Elvis. He gave up pursuit of the guitar to play sports but that didn’t stop him from teaching himself to breakdance at the age of 13 and showing off his moves in a surprising amount of breakdance circles for the northern suburbs of Chicago. After discovering that he could beatbox, he began blending his original style with classic nursery rhymes and video game music. Mathew was a lead in his high school’s One Act plays and would later enroll in a single acting class in college. While in college, he was a lead dancer and co-director of his fraternity’s show choir team. Mathew taught himself to play the piano and has written an album’s worth of original songs that will never see the light of day. Mathew is an attorney at Condon & Cook, LLC with a focus on civil litigation and advising small business owners.
Fred is a past president of the Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, American Board of Trial Advocates and Decalogue Society. He is the founder of Fred Lane Trial Technique Institute of the Illinois State Bar and co-founder of the International Academy of Dispute Resolution. He has been a Bar Show cast member for over 60 years. Also known as The Great Fredini, Fred performs feats of magic for hospitals, senior centers, schools and various charitable organizations. He remains of counsel to the litigation firm of Lane & Lane and is an author and lecturer on trial technique and mediation.
Marla is happy to return to The Bar Show again as director/choreographer. Prior to that, she choreographed the show for many years. Marla's work has been seen at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, and Northlight Theatre. She also served as an artistic associate at Apple Tree Theatre. Marla worked as a choreographer on the five-year Sondheim celebration at the Ravinia Festival. Those productions featured Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, George Hearn and Michael Cerveris. She stages many live corporate shows, and has been a guest artist at Northwestern, DePaul, Roosevelt and the Shanghai Conservatory. She won a Jeff Award for Outstanding Choreography for Kiss of the SpiderWoman, and is a member for the Society of Directors and Choreographers. www.marlalampert.biz
Lindsey T. (Millman) Lund
Lindsey is thrilled to be part of such a talented cast. Originally from Los Angeles, Lindsey grew up singing, dancing and performing. She considers dance her first love and has trained and danced professionally across the country from Millennium Dance Complex in Hollywood to Steps on Broadway in Manhattan. Lindsey is a proud Wisconsin Badger. While at the University of Wisconsin, she was a member of the Dance Elite Team and she wrote, choreographed and directed two award winning original musicals. She attended Vanderbilt Law School, where she performed throughout Nashville in an A capella group. When she isn't litigating at Quarles & Brady, she teaches dance and performs as much as she can. She is an active member of the Chicago dance community and The Old Town School of Folk Music.
Jeffrey is a civil trial attorney with over 100 jury verdicts and has been in the show for over 35 years. He's a judge for the Chicagoland theatre Jeff Awards (not named after him), seeing 150 shows per year, and volunteers with Lawyers for the Creative Arts. He's performed in too many musicals to list. Memorable Bar Show roles include tap dance numbers (where he has portrayed all of our Governors, Mayors, and some Vice-Presidents), and singing and touring for many years with the show's a cappella quartet (now disbanded). He's married to director/musician (he'll show you her Grammy Award if you ask) Stevi Marks, and his son Zack is the drummer in the show's pit band.
Mghnon has a Bachelors of Music in Music Business and Entertainment Industries from the University of Miami, where she was a violin principal and jazz vocal secondary. Mghnon continues to sing professionally and has produced, toured, and performed internationally in places like NYC, Guadalajara, Nashville, Shanghai, and Orlando. Notable past roles include Asaka (Once on This Island), Chiffon (Little Shop of Horrors) and Romeo (a "gender blind" Romeo and Juliet). Mghnon received her Juris Doctor from the John Marshall Law School in 2015 and immediately started her own legal consulting business. She has been a law clerk in the commercial law division of Circuit Court of Cook County and currently serves as a judicial law clerk in the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court.
David has been a member of the Bar Show cast since 2005 and has been co-writing the show with Cliff Berman since 2011. He was always interested in doing community theatre and, because he is an ambulatory male who can breathe on his own, he was able to do a good number of shows, including his two favorites: "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and Two By Two" (look it up - Richard Rogers wrote the music). He currently practices creditor's rights law with the firm of Blitt And Gaines in picturesque Wheeling. He is grateful to Carol, his beautiful wife, for her constant support and inspiration. Unfortunately, space limitations made it impossible for him to mention his fabulous daughters Emily, Jill, Toni, Laura and Ellen and his equally fabulous daughter-in-law Luma . Maybe next year, girls!
Originally from Northwest Indiana, Joe participated in a competitive show choir and barbershop quartet competitions before becoming an original member the stellar all-male acapella group "Freshman Fifteen" at Northwestern University. Joe's first Chicago Bar show was an amazing experience as he was cast as Frankenstein. After leaving for a few years to practice in Indianapolis, he happily returned to Chicago and to the Bar Show. Joe attended Chicago-Kent College of Law and now works at the catastrophic defense litigation firm Patton & Ryan, LLC in River North.
Steve began his acting career when he was abandoned at an early age by his parents after falling off a turnip truck in Pavelich, Russia. That led to him being adopted by an Albanian Circus troupe that emigrated to Iowa. The rest was show business history. After singing professionally in choirs and doing summer stock theater as a kid, Steve now chooses to do his performing in the courtroom as a labor and employment litigator at the firm of Robbins, Solomon & Patt. But he couldn’t suppress the urge to perform under the lights, joining the Bar show in 2011 where he has had recurring roles playing Conservative Republican candidates and judges ever since.
Valerie first performed "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid at her second-grade talent show and has been hooked on singing and performance ever since. She studied classical voice at Lawrence Conservatory prior to attending law school. After joining the bar in 2014, Valerie was slightly confused but delighted when she found out that the Chicago legal community had a group of talented, theatrical-types who put on a musical every year and also happened to practice the law. She joined the Bar Show in 2015 and has enjoyed bonding in the dressing room with constant sing-alongs and musical theater references ever since. For her day job, she works for the federal government. She thanks her brother Willy, her partner Curtis, and her wonderful friends for their constant love and support.
Melissa couldn't be more excited to be part of such a talented cast. The performing arts have been an instrumental fixture in Melissa's life from a young age. A classically trained soprano who studied voice for over a decade, she participated in her first musical at age 10 and hasn't stopped performing since. Whether on stage or at the local karaoke bar, she's always eager to share her passion. Favorite roles include Maria in West Side Story, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and Marty in Grease. She earned her degree in Business Administration and Marketing at the University of Illinois and graduated from Loyola University School of Law. Melissa is the proud owner of a startup company and serves as its in-house counsel. She loves to indulge her wanderlust, cook, exercise, and experience all the cultural outlets this great city has to offer.
Dick is very excited to be a part of the bar show and work with such a talented cast and production staff. Dick has performed in over 75 musical and non-musical productions over the last 25 years up and down the north shore. Some favorite roles: Tevye (Fiddler); Daddy Warbucks (Annie); Luther Billis (South Pacific); and John Hancock (1776). Dick has also appeared in television commercials (Rivers Casino; Halomar Automotive; IBM), print ads (Merck Pharmaceutical; Pine Sol; Massachusetts General Hospital) and has been featured in independent films. When not obsessing about a new role or audition, you can find Dick honing his skills on unsuspecting juries, judges, prosecutors, police officers as a criminal defense attorney. A graduate of John Marshall Law School, Dick sends his love and appreciation and thanks to his beautiful wife, Lois, for putting up with him.
Jay Schleppenbach is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory in improvisation and comedy writing, and has appeared in a variety of Chicago area sketch comedy shows. While at the University of Illinois College of Law, Jay was co-director and co-writer of the annual Law Revue production. He has a music degree from Millikin University, where he was a member of the University Choir, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra. A former partner in the securities litigation and arbitration practice groups at Jenner & Block LLP., Jay currently works in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. Jay currently works in the White Collar Criminal Defense & Investigations Group at Dechert LLP.
Ebony C. Smith, a native of Birmingham, AL, has been a Bar Show cast member since 2013. Ebony graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2014 and has served as a law clerk for the Hon. Lewis M. Nixon in the Circuit Court of Cook County and Hon. Cynthia Y. Cobbs in the Illinois Appellate Court. Currently, Ebony is an associate at Hodges Loizzi Eisnehammer Rodick & Kohn LLP. Ebony's practice is focused on litigation issues related to labor and employment.
Kellie is an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Lane & Lane, LLC, and brings justice to those whose lives have been altered due to the wrongful and negligent acts of others. She is honored to carry on the Lane & Lane tradition of participating in the Bar Show. Kellie has been involved in musical theatre as long as she can remember. She has previously played Edwin Drood in The Mystery of Edwin Drood
(Troy High School), Marci in Almost, Maine
(as a Musical Theatre major at Bowling Green State University) and Lucille in Thoroughly Modern Millie
(Troy High School), Kellie has also appeared in Don Quixote
(Bowling Green Opera Theatre) and Carousel (Troy High School). Since graduating from DePaul University College of Law, Kellie has returned to her love of music and joined the CBA Chorus. She is grateful to the entire cast of the Bar Show for making this the most amazing experience and to Matt and her family for their unrelenting love and support.
Sally Pissetzky Steele
Sally is so grateful to be performing with this hugely talented cast. She has been acting, singing and skipping on stage since she was four, and plans to continue to do so for hundreds of years to come. Sally was a member of the University of Illinois Rip Chords a cappella group, is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory, Music Conservatory, and Writing Program, and was so excited to serve on the writing committee for this year's show! In addition, she enjoys volunteering for various local organizations, event planning, personal shopping, playing with her three dogs, and also moonlights as an attorney. Sally attended the John Marshall Law School and is now a partner at Pissetzky and Berliner, where she focuses on domestic relations, orders of protection and is a divorce mediator, in addition to criminal defense and real estate law with her fabulous and talented partners. Sally thanks her family, dogs, and husband Jonathan, also an attorney in domestic relations, for making her world a stage. If you made it to the end of this paragraph, thanks for reading and enjoy the show!
Stan started his “Thespian Hobby” back in Niles North High School Theatre (1776, Annie Get Your Gun, Carousel), continued at U of I (South Pacific), and has performed in the Bar Show since 2008 playing characters like Guy Fieri, George Lucas, a bed bug, J.B Pritzker & Rod Blogojevich. Stan is a proud member of the Show’s Social Committee, part of the Road Show and over the years has helped in the planning and marketing of various shows. Slovin has been in the Financial Services Industry for over 25 years and is a Managing Director, Financial Advisor and Senior Portfolio Manager with Wells Fargo Advisors. Stan is also in a Rock Band and Volunteer’s with Rebecca’s Dream, Friendship Circle and Buddy Baseball Charities.
Past CBA President Joe Stone has been a Bar Show cast member for over 50 years. In the early years BW (before women), Joe played a variety of female roles, including Mary Poppins and Jackie Kennedy. Of Counsel at Seyfarth Shaw, he founded the Business Law Clinic at Loyola School of Law, where he also teaches. Joe serves as an arbitrator in the Circuit Court and as a mediator in commercial disputes and remains an active tennis player even at this advanced age.
Diana has enjoyed performing with the bar show without interruption since 1990. With a broken leg in 2001, she began working on the costume and prop committee, resulting in the Quilici Cup Award. Among her many bar show projects include building and/or painting tables, chairs, briefcases, jail cell bars, giant card fans, a cardboard canoe, singing with "The Acappellants" (now disbanded), sports opera trio, tapping on a "dime" (that she repaired and painted as well), a dancing elephant, nun, sheep, Asian beetle, and a variety of "person #3" characters. Outside of the bar show, she has performed with the Philip Lynch Theatre, B.U. Dance Theatre, is a founding member of The Ecclesiastical Choral Society, Inc., and continues ballet at DuPage Dance Academy. She holds degrees from Boston University, Loyola University School of Law, and John Marshall Law School.
Kathryn R. Weber
Kathryn has been performing in the Bar Show since 2010, and was the 2018 recipient of the Spear Carrier Award. Favorite roles include Justice Sotomayor with her fellow women on the SCOTUS, Pippa Middleton as one of the “forgotten sisters,” pregnant woman accosting the mailman about the dysfunction of the U.S. Postal Service, and various journalists rattling off as many puns as possible in 1 minute. Before performing in the CBA Bar Shows, she was an acting student at Chicago's Act One Studios, a performer in the University of Minnesota Law School 2003 production of "The Wizard of Fitz," and a member of the Marquette University band and choir. Since 2004, Kathryn has practiced immigration law with Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., with a focus on family-based immigration, religious workers, removal defense, asylum, waivers, naturalization, and appeals. Kathryn would like to thank her husband and two sons for their support and encouragement.
Kelsey discovered the bar show when her colleague (and now fellow cast member) took her to the Rookie Show in 2019. Could it be true? There was a group of singing lawyers.. nothing seemed more fitting in her life. It became her goal this year to join the most talented group of singing lawyers, and she is so excited to be a part of it. Kelsey's first performance began at age 3 on her fireplace stage with her mom and aunts as her background dancers to the Lion King's "I Just Can’t Wait to be King." Singing is Kelsey's passion, and she has tried out for American Idol and The Voice. Kelsey's law ambitions were also sparked by Elle Woods, which lead her to her second passion in life, litigation. Kelsey works as a trial attorney at Patton & Ryan, where she focuses on catastrophic insurance defense. In her spare time, she also coaches for Chicago Kent's trial advocacy teams. Kelsey is from sunny Scottsdale, AZ, and thanks her friends and family for always being her biggest fans.