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 and video producer, proudly designing the cover art and associated marketing materials for numerous productions, and doing the video editing and production work for the Bar Show's virtual show during the pandemic as well as videos and graphics for other productions. He has also served on board of Deerfield Family Theater since 2000 and has performed in many of their productions, including Oliver, Peter Pan, 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 networking, telecommunications, and software fields.
Sandy Andina is a retired lawyer and still active singer, songwriter. instrumentalist, and humorist. She's been in the Bar Show since 2002 (when it was still called "Christmas Spirits"). Sandy's played myriad roles: Bears; Cubs fan (both jubilant; frustrated), grumpy health-food-bar patron, decluttering housewife, legislator, loan-hungry exec, "herbal-enlightenment"-seeking Baby Boomer, Southern bathroom security guard (you hadda be there), extremely klutzy gym rat, lawyer, lawyer, lawyer...but her favorite was Angela Merkel. She is a past recipient of the Spear Carrier Award--an actual spear, which conveniently gave herself confidence as she carried it down a dark deserted side street to her car after the awards banquet. (She wisely decided not to bring it on the L). Sandy's toured locally; regionally as a solo; in duos; trios, at concerts, clubs, coffeehouses, live in-studio radio performances, internet TV comedy shows, folk festivals and music conference showcases. Sandy has one solo album and several more as part of her various ensembles and on compilations, but is proudest of appearing on one of Dr. Demento's annual "Basement Tapes" anthologies. She lives on the city's North Side with her husband Bob, has a son who grew up to be an improv comedian; writer, and at any given time serves as support staff for at least one cat. You can hear her music at sandyandina.com, andinaandrich.com, YouTube, AppleMusic, and Amazon.
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.
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 saw the Bar Show as a little girl and planned her life so she could perform in it one day. Jacqueline 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. After graduating from law school at Loyola, Jacqueline became an Assistant State's Attorney and civil rights attorney by day and, since 2011, a Lady Gaga/Sarah Palin/Lindsay Lohan/Stormy Daniels/MTG impersonator by night. Jacqueline left law to work for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization, and is the Director of the Mobile Museum of Tolerance, a free traveling human rights education center which teaches the lessons of the Holocaust, Civil Rights movement, and combating propaganda and online hate.
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.” Before shifting gears and joining the legal field, Jacque spent her life in theatre as far back as she can remember. As a theatre major at Indiana University – Bloomington, Jacque performed with the Grammy Award winning show choir The Singing Hoosiers in addition to performing in plays/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. Four amazing years later 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 and she currently can be seen zealously advocating on behalf of victims of violent crime.
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.
Georgette L. Greenlee is a social enterprise and community development attorney with significant experience in governance, criminal law, real estate law, real estate development, business law nonprofit law, urban planning, estate planning and probate. Currently she serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Transit Authority. Prior to joining the CTA she served in the Office of the Cook County State’s Attorney as an Assistant State’s Attorney and the Warrant Coordinator for the Safety & Justice Challenge Initiative. A skilled attorney licensed to practice law for over 30 years. She has also worked in the community development arena and has been the lead on over $33 million dollars’ worth of affordable and market rate housing developments in both Chicago’s Woodlawn and Bronzeville communities. From 2003 through 2013 served as the coordinator of after school and out of school programs that provided social and creative outlets for hundreds of at-risk teens and children. She is a skilled grass-roots organizer and has coordinated violence prevention initiatives, work-force development programs for ex-offenders and assisted with the delivery of substance abuse treatment and counseling services. She is a graduate of the Lindblom Technical High School, Howard University in Washington, DC, Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, MO, the Harvard Divinity School Summer Leadership Institute in Cambridge, MA, and the Chicago ULI/REAP Alumnae Class of 2020. She is an active member of Trinity United Church of Christ, the Chicago Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Howard University Alumnae Club of Chicago, the Cook County Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association and serves on the Board of the Timeless Gifts Performing Arts and Youth Mentoring Organization.
Skip is the Director of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and the ABA’s Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities. As director of these Commissions, Skip oversees and is involved in the planning and implementation of many of the ABA’s Hispanic and LGBTQ+ initiatives including national advocacy, ABA policy work, and legal educational programming. In his role at the ABA Skip helped create and implement the ABA’s ‘How to Be an Ally’ Toolkit and has presented both nationally and internationally on Allyship in the workplace. Skip is also a contributor to the publication, Out and About: The LGBT Experience in the Workplace. Skip is a native of Illinois with strong ties to the Midwest. He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Iowa and his JD from DePaul University College of law. While at DePaul, Skip began his association and non-profit crusade as a summer intern at Lambda Legal. Skip is the past Co-Chair of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) LGBT Committee and sits on the board of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago (LAGBAC). He is a past CBA Board of Members and CBA Young Lawyers Section executive committee member, a past at-large board member for the National LGBT Bar Association, and was extremely involved in the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago.
Peter is thrilled to be a part of the Bar Show Cast. Following up from prior theatrical endeavors as a Theatre major at Northwestern University, Peter is always excited to have the chance to provide theatrical entertainment. Peter is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and currently works as an associate attorney at Perkins Coie LLP where he focuses on data privacy issues. Peter would like to thank all of his friends and family for their ever-present support.
Christopher Johnson joined the Bar Show cast in 2017! By day, he serves as Associate Director of Legal Services at Lawyers for the Creative Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal assistance to artists and arts organizations. By night, he is a regular performer with non-equity professional theatre companies throughout the Chicago area, including Kokandy Productions, Music Theatre Works, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, Blank Theatre Company, and many others. Christopher is particularly proud of post-pandemic performances in several Sondheim musicals, including Kokandy Productions' Jeff-award winning production of Sweeney Todd
, in which he played Judge Turpin and understudied the Demon Barber himself, Blank Theatre Company's Merrily We Roll Along
, in which he starred as Franklin Shephard, and Big Noise Theatre's Into the Woods
, in which played the Baker.
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.
Julie has been a part of the bar show for 10 years, and has been acting, singing, and dancing on stage in local musical theater performances for much longer than that. She appreciates having had the chance to play with this incredibly talented cast of characters, both past and present, and hopes the tradition carries on for another 100 years.
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
Brienne is delighted to further her lifelong love of musical theater by performing in the Bar Show. Since joining the cast in 2013, she has played an assortment of roles including lawyers, law students, Senators, Supreme Court justices, first ladies, real housewives, and a variety of tap-dancing objects. Brienne graduated from the University of North Carolina, where she studied Dramatic Art and performed with Company Carolina. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she performed with the Drama Society and directed the 2010 Parody, "Ocean's Replevin.” Brienne is a partner in the Global Commercial Litigation Practice at White & Case LLP, concentrating her practice on fiduciary litigation, class actions, and other complex commercial disputes. Her performances are made possible by the love and support of her family (especially her husband, Richard, and their son and daughter).
Lindsey is thrilled to be part of such a talented cast. Originally from Los Angeles, Lindsey found the stage at a young age and has been performing ever since. 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. Since joining the Bar Show in 2015, she has played an assortment of roles including Alexa, Melania Trump, and a tap-dancing tree. But her favorite Bar Show “role” is that of Assistant Choreographer to the show. Lindsey is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where she earned her undergraduate degree, and Vanderbilt Law School. When she isn’t working as in-house counsel for a solar energy company, Lindsey is the lead singer of a disco-rock band, La Fete Du Funk, and proud co-owner of After Hours Productions, LLC, a music-event production company. Lindsey thanks her incredible husband, Evan, her two precious fur babies, and her amazing friends for all their love and support.
Pianist, vocalist, and composer, Brad Macdonald, is thrilled to once again serve as musical director for The Bar Show. After completing a Jazz Studies degree at Elmhurst College, he earned a Master’s of Music in Jazz Composition at DePaul University, and has built an almost two-decade long career in the Chicago music scene. Brad has performed at such venues as The Green Mill, Andy’s Jazz Club, and The Jazz Showcase, including performances with Jeff Hamilton, Phil Woods, Mark Colby, and Wayne Bergeron. He was also featured at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 2023 with the Zack Markstet. In addition to his jazz work, Brad also performs with his original singer-songwriter project at venues throughout Chicagoland. Having been the musical director of the Bar Show since 2012, Brad is looking forward to another great show performed by this wonderful cast! www.bradmacdonaldpiano.com
Jeffrey is a civil trial attorney with over 100 jury verdicts and has been in the show for over 40 years. He's a theatre judge for the Chicagoland theatre Jeff Awards (not named after him), seeing up to 150 shows per year, and volunteers with Lawyers for the Creative Arts on theatre law. He also chairs a Fine Arts Commission. He's performed in too many musicals to list. Memorable Bar Show roles include tap dance numbers (where he has portrayed Governors, Mayors, and some Vice-Presidents), and singing and touring for many years with the show's acappella quartet (now disbanded). 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 and Shanghai. Notable past roles include Asaka (Once on This Island), Chiffon (Little Shop of Horrors), Romeo (a "gender blind" Romeo and Juliet) and Bree (Fancy Nancy: The Musical). 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 at both county and state levels, and currently handles Intellectual Property, Commercial, and class action legal issues.
Larry has been a Bar Show cast member since 2023 and has been performing as an actor, singer, and drummer in the Chicagoland area for over forty years. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Uptown Music Theater of Highland Park and a member of the Board of Deerfield Family Theater where he has also been a cast member in or a producer of many productions. Off-stage, Larry is a Goldberg Segalla Partner where he dedicates his trial and appellate practice to insurance and reinsurance coverage, commercial litigation, environmental & toxic torts, and professional liability defense. Larry is grateful for this amazing professional team, spectacular cast, and his always supportive Susie, Samantha, Sarah, Zoe & Dolly.
Carissa has been a member of the Bar Show since 2012. She currently serves as the show's co-producer. Like so many of her Bar Show castmates, Carissa has been singing, acting, and dancing since an early age. A classically trained singer, dancer, and pianist, Carissa is also known to throw in a bit of humor to every performance. When not in the Bar Show, you can see her perform as the lead singer of The Motions alongside her drummer-lawyer husband, Carissa currently practices in the Insurance/Reinsurance Business Unit at Clark Hill, PLC.
David has been a member of the cast since 2005 and became a co-head writer along with Cliff Berman in 2011. He recently retired from the firm of Blitt And Gaines. He now reports to his remarkable wife and supervisor Carol, and their 10 grandchildren, any one of whom has developed a runny nose since you started reading this. He is a delusional Cub fan, which is an oxymoron.
Originally from Northwest Indiana, Joe began performing in competitive high show choirs and barbershop quartet competitions before becoming an original member the stellar all-male Northwestern University acapella group "The Freshman Fifteen." Joe's first Chicago Bar show was an amazing experience as he was cast as Frankenstein in 2006. After leaving for a few years to practice law in Indianapolis, he returned to Chicago and to the Bar Show. He attended Chicago-Kent College of Law and is now a partner at the Chicago Firm Gunty & McCarthy, working in catastrophic insurance defense and trucking litigation. Joe lives in Chicago with his lovely Lyric Opera wife Sandra.
Emmy-recipient** Rett re-joined the Bar Show in 2022, after a hiatus while serving as the Regional Counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 5 office in Chicago. In addition to 38 years of government service, Rett taught environmental law at Loyola University for 10 years. Retirement is treating him well, however; it allows time for, among other things, participation in CBA’s Lawyers in the Classroom program. Rett caught the acting/singing bug in high school, and no amount of immunization seems to cure it, though hanging out with the highly talented folks in the Bar Show helps treat the symptoms. He’s thrilled to be back. **Rett didn’t actually “win” an Emmy, but he did accept one (and thanked the Television Academy) as a Board member of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, which in 2012 produced the full-length documentary “Green Fire.”
Eleanor joined the Bar Show in 2007. She also has performed in The Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre's production of Merry Kwanzaa. In addition to performing onstage, Eleanor also enjoys doing voiceover work. She is very grateful for all the support of her family and friends, especially her two biggest fans -- her nieces, Alex, a star volleyball player, and Natalia, who does a lot of children’s theatre. Eleanor is hopeful that if Natalia becomes an attorney, they will perform together in the Bar Show! Eleanor is an Assistant State's Attorney in Cook County and works in the Asset Forfeiture Unit.
Nicole has been singing and swaying in the Bar Show since 2011. A singer from an early age, Nicole has performed throughout Chicago and the Midwest. She also once suffered through a tap dance class. She is a graduate of DePaul University College of Law and on the work stage, she serves as VP, Legal at Intelligent Medical Objects, Inc. focusing on healthcare technology transactions. She lives in Oak Park with her musical theatre loving wife, Kara, their daughter, Amelie, and their menagerie of (mostly) domesticated animals.
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 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. She thanks her husband Curtis, her brother Willy, and her wonderful friends for cheering her on every year.
Rainell Rains has been with the show, of and on, since 1980 along with fellow cast members Jeffrey Marks and Joyce Wixson. Rainell was honored to have portrayed RBG three times in the last few years, however, her favorite all time role was her 1984 Olympic portrayal of Mary Lou Retton and her “Walter Payton” thighs. She has also portrayed, Jany Byrne, Snow White, Nancy Peolosi, Sarah Palin, Paula Deen and Angela Merkel. Having performed pretty much since she could walk and talk, and also sing, it’s wonderful to be back on stage after the devastating effects of COVID on the performing arts. She was lucky to continue singing and is now also a part of the CBA Chorus, the Niles Metropolitan Chorus and All Saints Parish in Morton Grove. She is about to take on a role she has waited a long time for, a first time grandmother.
Melissa has been a proud member of the Bar Show cast since 2012. The performing arts have been an instrumental fixture in Melissa's life from a young age. She is a classically trained Soprano and participated in her first musical at age 10 and hasn't stopped performing since. Favorite past roles include Maria (West Side Story), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), and Marty (Grease). Whether on stage, at the local karaoke bar, or singing Disney tunes on command, she's always eager to share her passion. You can currently find her performing in Chicago as one of the lead singers in the epic 70's disco/rock band, La Fete du Funk.
Laura joined the Bar Show in 2022 and is honored to be part of such a talented cast. In law school, Laura rediscovered her love of live theatre and directed UChicago Law’s 2022 musical: “The Lawyer King.” She now works as a trademark attorney at Crowell & Moring LLP. When not working with lawyers or singing with lawyers, Laura enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, knitting, and running ultramarathons. She thanks her family for supporting her in everything that she does.
Dick is very excited to be a part of the Bar Show and to work with such a talented cast and production staff. Dick has performed in over 80 musical and non-musical productions over the last 30 years. 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 joined the Bar Show in 2012 and has been honored to receive both the Quilici Cup and the Horse’s Ass awards for his efforts. He is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory and has appeared in a variety of Chicago-area sketch comedy shows, in addition to an annual cabaret show he writes and performs. Jay is also the author of two books, one of comic personal essays and one of sketch comedy. While at the University of Illinois College of Law, Jay was co-director and co-writer of the annual Law Revue production. He graduated with degrees in music and English from Millikin University, where he was a member of the University Choir, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra. Jay is currently Counsel in the Enforcement & Investigations Group at Dechert LLP, representing corporations and individuals in responding to a wide variety of government inquiries.
Stan has been performing in the Bar Show for 15 years. You have seen Stan in roles such as Guy Fieri, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Trump, Pritzker, Ted Cruz, Bill Barr, Chuy Garcia, George Lucas, A Bed Bug, A Northwestern Pilot, and many other fun parts. For over 30 years, Stan has worked in the securities industry with individuals, families and business owners as a financial wealth management advisor with major national brokerage firms. Stan earned his Bachelor of science degree in finance at the Champaign – Urbana Campus of the University of Illinois. He graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. Stan is involved in charitable organizations focusing on mental health and children with disabilities. He loves traveling, plays in a rock ‘n’ roll band, and is the author of the book, “Better Listening: The secret to improving your professional and personal life.” Stan, his wife and two adult children are from the Chicagoland area. He loves the Bar Show History but mostly the amazing, cool and awesome friendships!!!
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 Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC. Ebony's practice is focused on litigation issues related to labor and employment.
Kellie is a Personal Injury attorney at Lane Brown, LLC. The majority of her practice is centered around representing clients who have been sexually abused or assaulted. She joined the Bar Show in 2019 and was invited to be one of its writers in 2023. Kellie extends her heartfelt thanks to the Bar Show's audience for keeping this beloved tradition alive. With a lifelong passion for musical theatre, Kellie initially pursued the Musical Theatre program at Bowling Green University. After a year, she transitioned to pre-law at Ball State University, dedicating her free time to the Ball State Debate Team. Kellie wants to give a big shout-out to her wonderful husband, Matt, for being her biggest cheerleader, and to her family for traveling all the way to Chicago to support her.
Nyshana was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. She attended The University of Illinois at Chicago where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences. Nyshana received her Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School now known as The University of Illinois Law School in 2004. Nyshana started working as an Assistant State’s Attorney with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in June 2004. Nyshana has dedicated her entire legal career to serving the public through her work as an ASA. She worked in the First Municipal Division, the Juvenile Justice Division, and the Felony Trial Division where she has litigated hundreds of misdemeanor and felony cases including over 40 felony jury trials. Nyshana actively gives back to the community through her participation on committees in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.- Chicago Alumnae Chapter and through her church, St. Mark United Methodist Church. She has served in leadership roles within a number of professional organizations including the Cook County Bar Association, the National Black Prosecutors Association, and the Chicago Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In her spare time, Nyshana enjoys singing, gardening, cooking, and traveling.
Courtney was encouraged to audition for the Bar Show by her wonderful colleagues and is absolutely thrilled to join the cast and perform with such a talented group of lawyers. Courtney grew up with a passion for performance and was arguably, at times, quite the drama queen. She participated in dance and show choir throughout her childhood and decided she wanted to continue her musical endeavors in college. An Iowa native, Courtney earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music degree, with an emphasis in vocal performance, and her Business Marketing degree at the University of Iowa. Courtney is a graduate of the John Marshall Law School and is an attorney at Elrod Friedman LLP where she focuses her practice on municipal law, land use and zoning, and economic development. Her parents always joked that she could be a “singing lawyer” and now she is! She would like to thank her husband Brian, her family, and her amazing friends for their constant love and support.
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.
Danny first joined the Bar Show cast in 1989. He was the winner of the 2018 Quilici Cup, among other contributions, Danny served as the CBA Entertainment Committee Chair for the 2005 Bar Show, "Spamalot," and won the Spear Carrier award for the 1999 Bar Show, "Virtual Legality." Danny's favorite roles include playing Lieutenant Columbo in a "Who's on First?" routine that dealt with his frustration over learning the performance times of retro rock and roll groups, President Number 45's disgraced former attorney Michael Cohen singing "Hush Little Lady" to Stormy Daniels, and former Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon singing "You Gotta Have Heart" while imploring his 2016 World Series winning team: "Just try not to suck." Danny has bred Thoroughbred racehorses and won a Sovereign Award as the breeder of FANTASY LAKE, Champion 2-Year-Old Filly of Canada in 1998. Danny also appeared in a scene with Tom Hanks (walking northbound on LaSalle Street) in the 2002 film "Road to Perdition." Danny represents city licensees, corporations, building owners, property owners, and individuals who are charged with alleged violations of municipal ordinances at the City of Chicago's central administrative hearing facility.
Upon seeing the film Sister Act at an early age, Valentine knew that they wanted to be on the stage. They pursued dance, acting, and vocal and instrumental all through their childhood, then fused those loves together into a bachelor's degree in musical theatre performance and a master's degree in arts management from Columbia College Chicago. Having worked as a professional touring burlesque and cabaret performer and creative business consultant to artists and creatives since 2007, they then expanded their passions further by embarking on their legal career, studying at DePaul University College of Law, with a focus on art, entertainment, and intellectual property law. Valentine has performed coast to coast, and as far as Madrid, Spain, but Chicago is home and they are so grateful and thrilled to be a part of the Bar Show cast. Valentine would like to thank their loved ones, especially their wonderful partner, Alex, for supporting all of their shenanigans since day one. "To the stage!"
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.
Mike Weaver never really wanted to be a lawyer, but here we are, and you've been stuck with him in the Bar Show since 2019. He has performed on many other stages in Chicago and its suburbs, but every road, every decision he has ever made, has led inevitably to this production, this moment. Cross your fingers that he is up to the challenge. All evidence is to the contrary.
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.
Hillary has been a member of the Bar Show since 2012. After an illustrious career on the high school bar show circuit, she felt drawn back to the stage in adulthood. She loves all of the friendships she has made with her Bar Show castmates. She also has a deep fondness for the Bar Show after parties. Hillary earned her Bachelor’s degree from Miami University where she majored in Political Science and minored in Japanese and Women’s Studies. Following her undergraduate studies, Hillary earned her law degree from Indiana University-Bloomington. Hillary is a partner at the law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson where she practices primarily in construction litigation. When Hillary isn’t billing her hours, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Troy, and their pugs, Harlow and Chubbles, in addition to watching all franchises of the Real Housewives. So in that respect, she owes a deep gratitude to Andy Cohen and Bravo.
Latham has been a cast member since 2000. During his college years, he became one of the original members of the Sounds of Blackness, a very distinctive and popular contemporary gospel group of the nineties. During his time, the group performed with the Pointer Sisters, Sarah Vaughan and The Jackson 5. After leaving college, he also left his singing career behind and joined a law firm that regularly bought hard-to-get tables to the bar shows. This was during the time when the shows were done at the big ballrooms in the large hotels in Chicago. His itch to sing again was renewed. His firm hired the road show version of the Bar Show to perform at its annual partner’s event at one of the Northshore country clubs. During the performance, members of the casts invited firm members to participate in a number. After a few beverages, Latham approached the stage, and the rest was history. He was invited to join the cast. That turned out to be his audition. He knew nothing about working in the theatre. Just ask him where he thought he was supposed to go when asked to move “upstage.” Much to his delight, he played wonderful roles such as Chief Justice Tim Evans, Spike Lee, Ben Carson and President Barack Obama. Too bad Mr. Obama wasn’t eligible for a third term, Latham certainly would have liked to continue that perennial role. And, to his greatest surprise and delight he was awarded the Horse’s Ass, which the Bar Show awards annual to the most outstanding performance of the year. Latham proudly displayed the award for the entire year on his desk at his law firm office. It drew a lot of attention which he proudly welcomed.
Joyce was awestruck by the wit, humor, and talent in the Bar Show when she first saw it in 1979. She tried out for the show in 1980 and has been performing on and off ever since. There were not many women in the cast back then; she found herself competing for stage time with the male dancing chorus dressed in drag. How times have changed! From backup singer to soloist, Joyce worked her way up to performing as the Queen of England, winning the Horse’s Ass Award (“Royals”). She has played other luminaries and celebrities, including Prime Minister Theresa May and Kaitlin Jenner singing “I Am Woman”. Joyce performed at Mount Holyoke College with the V-8s, the first women’s a cappella group. After graduating from law school at Boston University, she joined the Apollo Chorus of Chicago and sang the Messiah at Orchestra Hall. She also took a turn at script writing and acting in the Hinsdale Community Review, a parody of small-town life. Joyce is determined to keep singing beyond the grave so she can come back to earth and torment her Bar Show family. In her spare time, Joyce volunteers with CVLS helping homeowners in distress with loan modifications and foreclosure defense. A former litigator with jury trial experience, Joyce now focuses her practice on real estate transactions.