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Archive for the ‘karaoke’ Category


Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

Chicago is an amazing city for many shows to shine. Whether it is a pre-Broadway production, post-Broadway tour or a one night only concert – this city has many wonderful options to choose from.

With Guy Laliberté, Founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel: A New Twist on Vaudeville is previewing at the Chicago Theatre until January 3, 2010 before it embarks on a new journey to Broadway in early February. The show has mixed reviews. It’s heavy on comedy and choreography, blending slapstick with tap and hip-hop dance forms. The show’s plot revolves around a producer named Schmelky who is trying to put together a variety show. This production is very different than other Cirque du Soleil shows. There aren’t as many aerialists, contortionists, etc. Come in with an open mind.

Another show that’s set to appear on Broadway is The Addams Family Musical, currently playing at the Ford Center/Oriental Theatre until January 10, 2010. Veteran actors Nathan Lane (Gomez) and Bebe Neuwirth (Morticia) star in this unique musical. The Addams Family musical takes place as Wednesday Addams is older and the show’s two hot topics were love and sex. Lane was amazing portraying Gomez and Neuwirth did a decent job as Morticia.

With Zachary James who plays Lurch and Kevin Chamberlin who plays Uncle Fester in The Addams Family Musical

In an interview, The Addams Family musical actors Zachary James (Lurch) and Kevin Chamberlin (Uncle Fester) noted the show has been cut down 30-minutes from the original time. It will be interesting to see what the show is like once it graces the Broadway stage.

The New Mel Brooks Musical, Young Frankenstein, just wrapped up their tour in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre last night. The production began on Broadway where 484 shows were performed. The musical features Desperate Housewives guest actor, Roger Bart, as Dr. Frankenstein. The actors in Young Frankenstein were brilliant and notable songs included “Puttin’ On The Ritz”, “Transylvania Mania” and “He Vas My Boyfriend”.

With Kleetus, Guy Fieri's friend and sous chef

With Kleetus, Guy Fieri's friend and sous chef

The Guy Fieri Road Show stopped for an evening of fun at the Rosemont Theatre. Fieri is known for hosting Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. He says the show “is food, rock n’ roll and everything they won’t let me do on TV!”

The opener for Fieri was Australian native and World Champion Flair Bartender, Hayden “Woody” Wood. Wood was dancing, clapping and twirling bottles during his presentation. He made apple spice martinis, pear margaritas and eggnog.

Once Fieri took the stage, he got the audience dancing to good ol’ rock music. A DJ was supplying all the tunes while Fieri shared his cooking stories, Thanksgiving turkey mishaps and answering questions from the crowd. Fieri also had a karaoke contest and pulled members of the audience up on stage to sing for prizes.

Coming soon to Chicago theatres near you are the following shows: In The Heights (which opens tomorrow), The 101 Dalmations Musical, Mama Mia!, Annie, Dreamgirls, Billy Elliot The Musical and more!

For ticket information, visit www.Ticketmaster.com or www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

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adrienenAdrienne Irmer, NBC Chicago Street Team

Actually, my birthday was last weekend, August 15th, but I was waiting on some pictures from the event photographer to include. As you can well tell, it was quite an affair, but believe me the planning involved would not have been so easy if it weren’t for the venue’s staff and event promoters that evening. If you have ever tried to plan a birthday, bachelorette or new promotion party at a night club, it’s not as easy as one thinks. The considerations that come into play are numerous, and the pricing, well, in a recession, is quite important.

After scouring the South Loop for a pre-existing, club-like party with moderately priced bottles of my favorite (Ketel One) and seating befitting a princess, I found Exposure, jointly known as Utopia, located at 1315 S. Wabash Avenue. On further investigation of the menu and venue, I was certainly drawn to the mood lighting, plush seating in my would-be [VIP] party area and the newly refurbished menu with Island cuisine—formerly this was a tapas restaurant. And whilst I am a huge fan of Ketel One-induced karaoke, I could not muster the courage to celebrate, that ambitiously, on a Wednesday evening… I just couldn’t, BUT on Saturdays they rotate (and boast) DJs such as Vince Adams, Malik Shabazz, Mustafah Rocks and Jay Illa, just to name a few. So with the sound, ambiance and accommodations in order, it was time to get down to business—cost. Bottles of Ketel One ran $200 and Absolut ran $175, pricey, but not exorbitant. Other venues I perused were asking closer to $300 (and up) for Ketel One. The plus side, too, is that, like CostCo, ordering in bulk pays off.

Lastly, without friendly service and helpful promoters, your night could be a big ole mess with laps to and from the door querying list issues, untimely replenishing of the Ketel One and, worst of all, a disappointed birthday girl with the ability to produce a rancorous blog… luckily I am not the vengeful type (or wasn’t made to go there *wink*) and had a great time—witness accounts the next day and photo documentation are the proof in the pudding, folks. On working with the Black Alumni Network, Urban Upscale, InterTwine Chicago in conjunction with BYP Chicago and A-Squared Marketing, I must say that my first experience with planning an elaborate celebration was enjoyable and I highly recommend them, or using a promotions company of your choosing to help with the process, because counting RSVPs by yourself is not was I was looking forward to. For more information on Exposure/Utopia call (312)662-1082 as the site is under new construction or for FREE entry before 11:30pm on Saturdays visit: http://ourkindofpeople.rsvphub.com. Cheers!

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Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video) In this day and age of ringtone rappers, one-hit wonders, and soft-core sex-laden R&B, it’s like a breath of fresh air when a hidden gem can shine through all the filler. With a small selection of songs in commercial radio’s playlist, consumers sometimes are force-fed a daily dose of “microwave music” where the supply often overshadows the demand. Quality soul music is more abundant than one may think…you just have to “listen”. Julie Dexter is here to fulfill that demand. The world-renowned, Birmingham, England-bred, singer/songwriter displayed her dynamic range at a rare showcase this past weekend at the new “it” spot, julie dThe Shrine (located at 2109 S. Wabash). Julie Dexter’s vibrant style and jazzy vocals exude soul and her followers came out to support her. The showcase presented by IGM Entertainment had a record crowd turn out to hear the UK songstress perform favorites such as “Ketch A Vibe” and “Faith” off her 2002 album, “Dexterity”. The very popular jazz group, Zzaje, backed the intimate performance at The Shrine. Dexter, who has shared the stage with soulful legends such as Sade and modern heavy-hitters like Jill Scott, Eric Roberson, and Amel Larrieux kicked off her set with a tribute to another legend that inspired her by the name of Michael Jackson. She later transitioned to a jazzy bebop version of Beyonce’s “Déjà vu” that would have made the best “scatters” proud. After paying homage to other greats, Julie Dexter gave the crowd what they came to see…a one-hour set spanning her decade plus career from her first EP, 2000’s “Peace of Mind” to 2005’s “Conscious”. It’s not too late to get familiar with this classically trained musician who writes, arranges, composes and produces her own music. “The Julie Dexter Collection” drops this fall. Do yourself a favor and “Ketch the Vibe”. www.juliedexter.com

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Amanda Hunt, NBC5 Street Team

It’s official… I’m in love with American Idol, David Cook!!! I haven’t even watched the show but heard about his Billie Jean remix and have now found myself wrapped up in some You Tube replay fetish of his performance! The way he sang, how he held the mic *sigh*- Michael J would be crushed to hear of my unfaithfulness. What can I say, I’m a fan!!! So much so I found myself at Trader Todd’s karaoke spot, reenacting David’s stellar voice and heart throb moves…. well just the heart throb moves.

Trader Todd’s on 3216 N. Sheffield was packed by 10pm on a Friday. I along with hundreds of Chicago’s finest talent waited for our time to shine on stage AND on camera!!! Yes, it’s true-the entire performance, sober or not, is recorded and replayed for all your fans (or disgruntled co-workers) to relish in. Live the dream, there’s a David Cook in all of us… just stay away from the original- he’s mine!

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