The Cast

Jillann Gabrielle

Jillann Gabrielle has created and written three original one woman musicals as vehicles for her prodigious performing talents. But if a major theatrical star has interest in any of the projects and can propel them to greater heights she will definitely consider that possibility.

Jillann Gabrielle is a highly skilled cabaret and musical theatre singer, actress, comedienne, host/MC, creator/writer/producer, and a vocal/acting/voice over instructor. She is actively writing and producing projects for the stage and screen as vehicles for her talents as well as to bring her unique kinds of stories to the ever-thirsty entertainment business. She currently lives in Crystal Lake, IL, with her long-suffering, musician, songwriter, and recording engineer husband, Phil Barrile.

Hedda! A Musical Conversation, The Garbo the Musical, and Joan & Bette Bette & Joan have a lot of music as well as strong books (stories). Jill’s goal as a writer is to put together compelling stories with great music which she can bring to life through her strong performing skills.

Jill recently spent a year and a half in Los Angeles. While there she created and produced a high-end open mic in Beverly Hills, L.A. She had a cast of L.A. regulars L.A. and “stars” who appeared from time to time. She also produced and directed an AIDS Benefit for “Hollywood Remembers.” Her co-host was Alan Rachins (LA Law and Dharma and Greg) and her performers included Ray Jessel (Carol Burnett and Dean Martin Shows). In L.A. she also appeared recently in a critically acclaimed new play, Ojala!, at Casa 0101 for which she received a Los Angeles theatre award for her performance. The play is currently in negotiations for being turned into a film.

Jill has developed producing, writing, and marketing talents to create vehicles to showcase her talents as well as the talents of her students and others. Alumni from her Paradise Productions theatrical ensemble (earlier incarnation of Paradise Playhouse) and vocal studio have gone on to work with such luminaries as Barbra Streisand and John Malkovich; on Broadway in Carousel and Hair; national tours that include A Chorus Line, Les Miserables, Ragtime; Oleander in London’s West End, and Show Boat for PBS’s musical specials; television’s Drew Carey Show, Early Edition and Even Stevens for the Disney Channel; the feature film The Babe; CBS’s Rock Star INXS; and numerous appearances in Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, and all the major theatre companies in the Chicago area.

Jill’s professional life has consisted of teaching voice, acting, and voice-over (see her website here); performing her one woman shows and original one-woman musicals for theatrical, corporate, private, and senior events in the Chicago and New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas (see video); performing her unique dinner show, The Uptown/Downtown Diva, in which she is glamorous and funny as she showcased her dual talents as an operatic and Broadway singer and shares the stage with some of her “star” students and other professionals; producing, hosting, and marketing an open mic for opera singers, SpaghettiArias, at the historic Italian Village Restaurant in Chicago’s loop; performing her one-woman cabaret show Starstrucker! in Manhattan and Chicago; and producing and hosting dinner showcases for her vocal students. Jillann currently has a studio at her town home in Crystal Lake where she sees students and creates her musicals. She also see students in the Oak Park area and has been a leading Chicago vocal instructor since 1981.

Jill has recently appeared on TV in “Pregnant and Injured”, “Unusual Suspects”, “Blue Movies” (short film spoofing Forrest Gump), the “Hellbent for Hollywood” web series, and on Chicago’s CBS-TV Morning Show, “CBS-TV News with Steve Baskerville” ‘Voice Lesson’ segment, and NBC-TV reality show hit “Starting Over” (stage presence instruction two episodes).

Jill created Paradise Productions (theatrical division) in 1993, and since has produced and starred in critically acclaimed productions of Into the Woods, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Jerry’s Girls, The Wizard of Oz, Rodgers’ & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, The Secret Garden, Steve Allen’s Alice In Wonderland, Two by Two, and Side by Side by Sondheim. Altogether she has appeared in 35 leading roles in musicals and comedy/drama including: Evita, The Robber Bridegroom and Born Yesterday.

Jillann has appeared with: Barbara Rush in The Unsinkable Molly Brown; Peter Palmer, star of Lil’ Abner on Broadway and film; Alan Rachins (LA Law and Dharma and Greg); Ray Jessel (Carol Burnett and Dean Martin Shows); Faith Prince, Broadway/film star; Tovah Feldshuh, Broadway/film star; Jason Graae, Broadway/cabaret/TV star; Sharon McNight, cabaret/Broadway star; Sally Mayes, Broadway/cabaret/TV star; Carol Hall, composer lyricist for Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; Julie Wilson, Legendary cabaret/Broadway star; Laurel Masse, cabaret/former Manhattan Transfer star; Shelly Markham (Naked Boys Singing), composer/arranger/pianist; Pamela Myers, Broadway star; legendary Chicago DJ Wally Phillips; Metropolitan Opera star Edyta Kulczak. James Mack, lauded writer, conductor, and arranger for Ramsey Lewis and Nancy Wilson, produced Jill’s first demo and utilized her talents for a Golden Book video series.

Jillann has a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, cum laude, from Dominican University; 3 years toward her Masters of Music in Voice from Indiana University; Meisner technique at The Actor’s Center; on-camera technique with casting director, Janet Louer; voice-over work with James Andelin; improvisational acting at Chicago’s famed Player’s Workshop of Second City; Kodaly music education techniques at Steckman Studio of Music. She has studied voice with Carol LoVerde, Dan Balestrero, Martha Lipton, and Eric V. Howe and coached with Stuart Leitch.

Creative Team


imageJillann Gabrielle, conceived and began writing “Hedda! Queen of Hollywood” in the summer of 2011. She has been a successful singer/actress/producer/instructor her entire professional life but always wanted to write. She started commuting to Manhattan to write and perform her one-woman cabaret show “Starstrucker!” in 2003. She then conceived and wrote with her collaborator, Erv Raible, a musical theatre piece on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor entitled “Wallis and Edward…The Love Story of the 20th Century?”

Jill has also more recently conceived and collaborated on a screenplay on Frederick the Great and Johann Sebastian Bach entitled “Stringendo” which has been read by the Academy Award winning director/writer Giuseppe Tornatore for whom it is currently being re-written. Her collaborators are Elizabeth Moisant and Todd Cook. She is currently writing another one-woman musical on the mysterious film legend, Greta Garbo. She is also visually designs her theatrical creations.

Jill has performed her entire life as a cabaret artist/comedienne/emcee, in musical (and non-musical) theatre, film, TV, and in voice over. She has also been one of the leading voice/acting instructors (30+ years) in Chicago, NYC and LA. Her career on the stage has included producing and starring in many book and revue stage shows and has appeared in 35 leading roles in musicals and comedy/drama including: Evita, Peter Pan, Into the Woods, and Born Yesterday.



Howard Pfeifer has worked extensively as a pianist, composer, arranger and musical director for 30 years in the fields of television commercials, feature films, variety shows, T.V. series and record albums in Los Angeles and Chicago. Some of the more “high-profile” performers Howard has worked with are Patti LaBelle, Take 6, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, Vonda Shepard, Cheryl Crow, The Chipmunks, Jim Brickman, B.B. King, Marie Osmond, and Buster Pointdexter.

Howard did the main title them and underscore for Mike Judge’s most recent animated T.V. series The Goode Family which recently aired on ABC and Comedy Central. Other TV series and variety shows for which Howard arranged and performed are The Chipmunks (over 200 songs for their records, films and 1980’s TV series), The Lennon Sisters Christmas Special, Fame, The Pink Panther and CBS Television Christmas Classics starring Marie Osmond

Howard has worked on more than 1000 commercials (as composer, music director and pianist) for clients such as Budweiser, Miller Lite, Coor’s, Burger King, McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Toyota, Mazda, Cadillac Coca Cola, Pepsi, Gatorade, Sears, Kellogg’s, Reebok, Nike etc…..

As a composer for musical theatre, “Beach Wars” was presented at the 2006 Stages festival, “Freddy The Flat-Faced Schoolbus” a children’s theatre piece was recently performed at Theatre Building Chicago and “Sun Queen” is currently in development. (





Collaborator on the book and lyrics for “Hedda!”   He has been in the entertainment business for over 50 years. A member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA he began his career as an actor/dancer and graduated to director/choreographer and producer.  He currently is the artistic director of Bugle Boy Productions which he founded and has produced numerous nostalgic musical revues.  Michael also free lances as a director/choreographer and writer.