Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-08-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



MUSIC Dynamic duo: Levi Kreis, Anne Steele on upcoming show
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

City Winery is about to have a gay ol' time with two performers on Pride Month. Out singers Levi Kreis and Anne Steele began their careers at Opryland, a country-music theme park that has long since been torn down, in Nashville. Now, they are performing together with their own toe-tapping music and original stories for one night only in Chicago.

Tony Award winner Kreis began his career with the national tour of Rent, then landed the unforgettable role of Jerry Lee Lewis in the jukebox musical Million Dollar Quartet. He's released many albums over the years including his most recent titled Liberated last year.

Steele just released her new EP, Made Out of Stars, in January of this year. Her single "Love Can Take Us There" benefits victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting and was chosen as the official Provincetown Carnival anthem in 2016.

Windy City Times: How are you both?

Levi Kreis: Great. I just saw you in Puerto Vallarta last year!

WCT: Yes. We talked after your show there. Anne, I don't know you, though. You are a New Yorker?

Anne Steele: I live in New Jersey now. I lived in New York for 22 years. I'm originally from Louisiana, so a Midwestern girl.

WCT: We will get along fine; I thought you were a Yankee, at first. How did you two team up for the tour?

LK: I met Anne online years later, but we used to work together at Opryland USA's final season of performing. I just fell in love with her. She's really talented and a total sweetheart.

AS: We were dance partners, right?

LK: Yes, with big lifts, Jerry, that would still impress you 20 years later.

AS: Levi, your mom said she has photos.

LK: Two photo books full, absolutely!

WCT: Opryland was my first job at 15 years old. I worked in the games and had to guess people's ages or weight.

LK: How ironic—because those are the two things you are not allowed to guess now!

WCT: Did you know singer Kristin Chenoweth used to work at Opryland, too?

LK: I didn't know that, but I could totally hear her sing "I Hear America Singing."

WCT: Tell the readers about this show together.

AS: It's really a co-bill. I will do my own set, we will take a break, then Levi will do his set, each for about an hour and 10 minutes.

LK: We decided to do something around Pride weekend. I haven't had a chance to perform in Chicago for a Pride event since Market Days years ago.

Back during Opryland, we didn't know we would find ourselves like this later on. We are now more comfortable in our own skins. We have that journey in common and want to give back to the community.

WCT: I usually ask it the other way around, but is there anything for straight people at this show?

AS: We love our straight allies.

LK: Yes, like my entire straight band. Let's start there! Both Anne and I have band members that are from Chicago. They are also well known in the theater community.

WCT: Are you singing George Michael's "Freedom," like I saw on YouTube, Anne?

AS: I don't know if that will be on the playlist. This set has a strong foundation of original music. I plan on doing my new EP Made Out of Stars that I recorded in LA. I will do my last EP and some covers with gay anthems.

WCT: There's a cover of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" on the latest record, Anne.

AS: Yes. I wanted something familiar that people know on the album. I picked it because a song written so long ago still resounds so well in our political environment today. When I listened to the words, it just made so much sense to me right now.

WCT: The lyric "turn your back on Mother Nature" struck me as something that now could apply to climate change.

AS: It was written in the early '80s, but still very relevant today. When you hear a song covered in a different way sometimes you hear the lyrics differently. I wanted to get the message across with those lyrics.

WCT: Levi, you dropped to albums last year, so are you performing Christmas songs at City Winery?

LK: It's Christmas in June! No, we do a holiday show every year with it. I will be singing songs from Liberated. There will also be songs I have written for Del Shores' Souther Baptist Sissies and Sons of Anarchy.

I will just represent the high points of my entire catalogue. I might venture into new material just to get some of it under my belt. I know fans will discover some unreleased material that evening.

WCT: Do you have a favorite musical?

AS: I am obsessed with Jagged Little Pill, which is about to come to Broadway. The tickets are just going on sale for New York, but I saw it in Boston. It is going to explode. It's the music of Alanis Morissette, but not her story.

Jagged Little Pill was one of those albums that changed me as a singer and a person.

LK: The very first musical I saw at a young age was Sweeney Todd. I have an affinity for a dark story. I can't get Dear Evan Hansen out of my brain. It is like velcro. It will never leave!

AS: I just had a Hamilton cast member named Euan Morton on my podcast, #ilovemywifepodcast. We have been doing it for almost a year and a half now. Our producers asked us to do the podcast. They felt there needed to be more lesbian voices out there in the world. We are parents and my wife owns a travel company for LGBT families. I'm a singer and songwriter. We have an interesting family life. We have talented friends on the podcast every week.

WCT: What else do you have coming up?

LK: I have a new single coming out in September leading up to a new album release next year. At this stage when I am laying the ground work it drives me crazy. I know what's coming but I can't share it yet. I can't be quiet much longer!

AS: I am still on my Made Out of Stars Tour and touring it this whole year. I am doing several LGBT charters such as RSVP Vacations, R Family Vacations and an Atlantis cruise. So that is my summer!

Roll out a barrel of wine for Steele and Kreis at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., on Tuesday, June 18, at 8 p.m., with tickets at .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Considering Matthew Shepard concert st Ravinia Festival Sept. 12 2019-08-21 - On Thursday, Sept. 12, Considering Matthew Shepard will be performed at Ravinia Festival. The concert focuses on the brutal 1998 killing of a ...

Gay News

Muslim performers' event Aug. 30-31 2019-08-21 - On Aug. 30-31, at 8 p.m., the Muslim Writers Collective will host a program at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., with artists ...

Gay News

Maria Callas hologram performance Sept. 7 2019-08-21 - On Saturday, Sept. 7, at 7:30 p.m., legendary opera diva Maria Callas will return to the Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Upper Wacker ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE MUSIC Michael Feinstein, The legend returns to Ravinia 2019-08-21 - Cabaret king Michael Feinstein returns to Ravinia Festival this month with singer Haley Reinhart in her Ravinia debut. Songs will span over decades ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Tituss Burgess, IMDb, Halsey, Stephen Colbert, 'Queer As Folk' 2019-08-21 - Quibi has greenlit Dishmantled—described as "a high-octane cooking competition that will literally blow your socks off," with Tituss Burgess ( Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE CABARET Rizo's 'Chaos' theory 2019-08-20 - Teatro Zinzanni's Love, Chaos & Dinner is currently playing at the newly opened Cambria Hotel Chicago, 32 W. Randolph St., on the 14th ...

Gay News

CONCERTS Activate: Green Room, Alice Cooper, Hozier, Parker Milsap, Hunx 2019-08-20 - In case you didn't get enough queer cheer in June, July and August came packed with plenty of treats for every persuasion. ...

Gay News

Music Box calls on Parton and Poppins for 90th anniversary 2019-08-18 - An all-night Dolly Parton film festival and a Mary Poppins sing-a-long screening are among the offerings at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport ...

Gay News

London Gay Symphonic-Lakeside Pride Joint in concert Aug. 24 2019-08-16 - CHICAGO ( August 15, 2019 ) — Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles presents an international collaboration with London's only LGBTQ symphonic wind band, the ...

Gay News

Drag-and-dining venue Lips to open Aug. 22 2019-08-16 - Lips, a drag-and-dining venue, will have a grand opening Thursday, Aug. 22, at 2229 S. Michigan Ave. Just some of the drag performers ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.