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Ken Payne

Ken Payne

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 00:00

Trent Carlini Brings The King to Life

When you think of Las Vegas many things come to mind – gambling, bright lights, monstrous hotels and casinos to which one can easily get lost, glamorous showgirls, dry heated air, the Bellagio fountain, The Rat Pack, Bugsy Segal and Seigfried and Roy. But maybe the largest association one has with Vegas is none other than the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley himself. After flopping in Las Vegas during the 1950s (they just weren’t ready for rock n’ roll), Elvis returned with a vengeance in the late 1960s and had several highly successful years as a residency and touring act until his death on August 16th, 1977.

Since the King’s passing there have probably been more Elvis impersonators than one can count, and though most may go unnoticed, Trent Carlini does not. Formerly known as the Las Vegas Hilton where Elvis performed with regularity, Carlini currently performs an amazingly inspired tribute at what is now called Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Known as one of the best Elvis impersonators in the business, Carlini does not disappoint.

Set in the Shimmer Cabaret, a 350-seat theatre, fans are treated to a very intimate Elvis experience that is a true celebration of Elvis’ life and music. Trent Carlini packs an accurate, and highly entertaining, musical chronology into his 75-minute show that starts with Presley’s earliest hits like “Blue Suede Shoes” and keeps on rolling through the 1970s. Touching on the movie years, we hear classics like “Rock-A-Hula”, “G.I. Blues”, and of course “Viva Las Vegas”, before Carlini appears in that famous leather suit for some ’68 Comeback Special action. Carlini also dons Elvis’ legendary white suit for an emotionally stirring rendition of “If I Can Dream”.

“The King starring Trent Carlini” gives audience members a taste of Elvis Presley’s music in a way many thought could not be done. Carlini’s vocal ability to sound like Presley is haunting, his likeness almost uncanny at times, his movements right on and he even captures some of the late legend’s renowned charm whether it be in joking with the crowd or letting off a simple impish grin. Band members play along with Carlini but are not exposed until a few songs in, adding another dimension to the show. Expect a good amount of audience participation, as Carlini prods the crowd to sing along on occasion (or on their own!), invites the ladies to step up to the stage for a kiss, personally greets a good amount of the crowd during “Love Me Tender” and later passes out scarves to the adoring women in true King fashion.  

With each period of Elvis’ life, Carlini sports the proper attire from Presley’s Lansky collection to his well-known jumpsuits (complete with karate demonstrations). We get a little history lesson along the way though the main focus is on the music, as it should be in a tribute show. Pumping out the Elvis faves like “Hound Dog”, “Jailhouse Rock” (one of Carlini’s self-proclaimed top choices), “Burning Love”, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “The Wonder of You”, fans leave the theater feeling as though they got their full dose of Elvis-mania. The show concludes on an apropos note with Carlini’s powerful version of “American Trilogy” that really gets the goose bumps going. Carlini hits the song’s final note with precision and might – a note that so many other tribute artists substitute with a lower octave.

There is a huge variety of shows to see in Las Vegas, but this is one that should be on your must see list, Elvis fan or not. It is a show for all ages and one that anyone who likes to rock can enjoy. “The King starring Trent Carlini” is completely entertaining and thoroughly engaging. Trent is one of the best in the business and what better place than to relive, or get a taste of, the musical performance of Elvis Presley.

“Thank you. Thank you very much.”   

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 00:00

Evil Dead the Musical - Blood and Laughs Galore

Granted, fans of the Evil Dead films starring our favorite B-list star, Bruce Campbell, will certainly enjoy this stage version more than most, having already consumed a taste for the unconventional humor that made the trilogy such a big cult following success.  Still, though maybe not for everyone, Evil Dead the Musical, is a raucous night of deadpan deliveries, inappropriate slapstick, splattering bodily fluids, sexual innuendos, campy stereotypes and jokes so bad you can help but laugh. All the elements of a winning production.

When over-the-top S-Mart store manager Ash takes to the woods to stay in an unoccupied cabin with a couple friends and his annoying sister, we get an immediate sense that this story will not end well. As, expected, all hell breaks loose once the foursome realize spirits of the dead inhabit the cabin and surrounding woods – and they’re not happy. Ash stumbles upon The Book of the Dead, or Necronomicon, and frantically searches its flesh made pages for some answers. One hilariously spirit enters after another to claim their lives and Ash has no choice but to resort to superhero mode in order to prevent a full on bloody massacre. If you are familiar with the Evil Dead film franchise, there is no more need for story description. If you are not, the plot is pretty simple – defeat evil or die.

evil-dead-tour-2014-0310-jpg-20140924Though some moments are overly laden with campiness to the point of plain silliness, the brunt of the show’s humor is right on. Many of the props, including a three foot high bridge that seems to be the only way in and out of the woods, are very comical in their own right. Each character contributes their share of funny moments and then some, especially Creg Sclavi who is exceptional as “Scott”. David Sajewich takes on the tough assignment of “Ash”, but takes the role and runs with it to the point one forgets to keep comparing him to Bruce Campbell.

The show is filled with corny songs like “Look Who’s Evil Now” as one character becomes possessed after another but really hits its stride with its cheesy special effects and one-liners. From graphic limb dismemberment to the splattering blood that makes its way across the theatre’s first few rows (yes, the “splatter zone”), there is more than enough in this show to entertain and deliver one hell of a funny adventure.

Evil Dead the Musical is playing at the Chicago Playhouse through just October 12th, so be sure to fit this one in on your calendar. For tickets and/or more info visit www. http://broadwayinchicago.com/ or www. http://www.evildeadthemusical.com/.              

I just love a good whodunit. Who killed who, how and why – the suspects, the accusers, the whole shebang. The Game’s Afoot, currently running at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook, is just that – murder, suspense and also plenty of laughs.

The Game’s Afoot by Ken Ludwig, author of “Lend Me A Tenor” and “Moon Over Buffalo”, is a very engaging mystery/comedy that revolves around William Gillette, an actor best known for his on stage portrayal of the famous sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. We are taken back to Christmas Eve, 1936, where Gillette hosts a dinner party for some of the cast members in his latest production. It’s a wintry night as the guests arrive throughout the early evening to Gillette’s Connecticut mansion. Soon after guests acquaint themselves with each other, a murder takes place and Gillette calls himself into action as his Sherlock Holmes character in order to solve the mystery. Hilarity ensues as everyone becomes a suspect, including Gillette himself.

The Game’s Afoot is anchored with a fine cast, most notably Derek Hasenstab as the energetic and always deducing, William Gillette, and Angela Ingersoll as the vivacious Daria Chase. Hasenstab recalls, “I love William Gillette and I like Ken Ludwig’s writing. He writes fun stuff for the actors to play with.” Rod Thomas also makes a splash as Gillette’s longtime friend, Felix Geisel.

Incidentally, Gillette is based on an actual person. Gillette wrote the stage version of Sherlock Holmes back in the late 1800s, adding to the character the pipe and deerstalker cap. Hasenstab adds, “He was an eccentric person. He built a castle in Connecticut, he was an inventor and he loved keeping up with the technology of the day.”

The show is set in the inside the living room of Gillette’s mansion and is quite jaw-dropping once exposed as it is lavishly rich and has murder mystery written all over it. Snow constantly falls behind its large windows giving the desired effect of a winter storm, while an entire wall spins back and forth from fireplace and mantle to cocktail bar with the pull of a lever – a sconce near the living room’s entrance way.

The show has some pretty funny moments but is really consistently humor rich from beginning to end, at the same time presenting a compelling enough mystery to entertain on its own. The characters are quirky and likeable – more so as you get to know them, and one kind of gets the feeling that they are part of the dinner party even though they might be rows away from the stage.

The Game’s Afoot is simply fun. If you, like myself, enjoy whodunits, you’ll really find this show a treat.

For tickets and/or more show information, visit www.drurylaneoakbrook.com.

Ravinia plays host to so many memorable concerts throughout the year, but one of the most unforgettable came last Tuesday night when The Beach Boys shared the stage with the legendary Temptations. Amply called “Surf and Soul” audience members were able to take in some of the most celebrated classics in music history under the stars.

Taking the stage first were the Temptations led by Bruce Williamson and the band’s only original member, Otis Williams. Dressed in matching, brightly colored suits the band clapped, spun and added some fancy footwork to such favorites as “Treat Her Like A Lady”, “The Way You Do the Things You Do”, “Just My Imagination” and “My Girl”. Gracing the crowd with smooth harmonies and romantic lyrics, the Temptations still had women swooning as they probably did some fifty years ago.

After a healthy set of soulful bliss, The Beach Boys then came out to perform headed by original members Mike Love and Bruce Johnston. Fun videos of 1960s nostalgia and band footage were displayed on each side of the stage throughout the show while The Beach Boys launched into an array of their famous surf hits. Strangely however, Brian Wilson seemed to be shunned from such footage barring a few quick shots were it was nearly impossible to exclude him. Obviously missing was Brian and Carl Wilson, but the band still managed to pull off a highly efficient performance taking on such songs (most Mike Love driven hits) as “”Do It Again”, “Sloop John B”, “Surfin’ USA”, “Catch A Wave”, “Be True To Your School”, “409” and “I Get Around”. Also thrown into the set, and maybe a bit unnecessarily, was Mike Love’s solo project number “Pisces Brothers”. The band did venture into a few Brian Wilson led songs with the touring musicians handling his high vocal range quite nicely – the same goes for the terrific harmonies in each song.

The Beach Boys played two songs from Pet Sounds – “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “God Only Knows”, the latter of which the band got creative with the jumbo screens to allow the late Carl Wilson sing the lead (as only it should be) while they gently played and sang harmonies underneath. Ending on a high note, Love and gang jumped into the band’s last big hit “Kokomo” from the late 1980s and their ever so popular anthem “Good Vibrations”.

Not to be a band that walks away from challenges, Mike Love was greeted with a bucket of ice water over his head in support of ALS awareness to put the finishing touches on a fully enjoyable experience.

Overall, though at times a bit sad to be reminded of our mortality and the inevitable aging process we all must endure, both bands were thoroughly entertaining, tight and most of all – fun. I can only hope both will return to Ravinia in 2015. Surf’s still up, boys! 

Everyone is looking to be loved and to give love though it’s not always that easy as we find out in Stupid Fucking Bird. In this twisted and very comical take on Anton Chehkov’s The Seagull that is filled with bird references relating to life, Stupid Fucking Bird is the story of dysfunctional friends and family who are defined by their own complexities, self-absorption and yearnings. Also relating theatre to life, Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird uses stage performance as insightful metaphors to human behavior.

Sideshow Theatre Company’s production of Posner’s adaptation of Chehkov’s boring and often hard to watch stage classic is nothing short of hilarious at times and funny all the way through despite a heavier ending than expected. Assembled in this witty play is a dynamite cast led by Nate Whelden who plays “Cody Proctor”, a tortured playwright who is in love with his subject “Nina” (Jeff nominated Nina O’Keefe) whom will never love him in return. Cody Proctor is incensed with commercial theatre that is not “world changing” and is determined to write provocative and meaningful art that has an effect on society. In the meantime, emptiness, loneliness and lack of purpose are ever present in those close to him and “Nina” wants to be a seagull – thus the title, Stupid Fucking Bird.

The story is filled with dark humor and clever parodies of the original it spoofs. There are moments where the actors interact with the crowd, whether to ask for advice on a specific situation or to simply vent to us. The set is modest but effective to which its simplicity actually adds to the show’s theme of hollowness and the constant longing to be complete. 

Stupid Fucking Bird is not only funny it is also heartwarming and can be thought provoking on occasion. It is a journey that most are all too familiar with and it is a struggle that can often be overcome. There is a good reason this play was a hit on the East Coast, that being it’s engagingness and cast of characters that are easy to identify with. 

Stupid Fucking Bird is playing in the upstairs theatre of Victory Gardens (2433 N. Lincoln) through September 21st. For tickets and/or more information, visit www.victorygardens.org or call (773) 871-3000.    

 

*Above photo - (left to right) Matt FletcherKaty Carolina CollinsNina O’Keefe, Nate Whelden, Cody ProctorStacy Stoltz and Norm Woodel in Sideshow Theatre Company’s Midwest premiere of STUPID FUCKING BIRD by Aaron Posner, sort of adapted from Anton Chekhov’sThe Seagull, directed by Jonathan L. Green.  Photo by Jonathan L. Green.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 00:00

A7X and Korn Fuel Mayhem Fire

The First Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Tinley Park was a metal haven on Sunday – all day long and going well into the night. That’s because the Rockstar Mayhem Festival was in town and we all know what that means by now – some twenty odd bands spread out onto four stages complete with some heavyweight headliners.

This year’s headlining acts were goodies. Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) took top billing while Korn took on the supporting role with Asking Alexandria and Trivium kicking things off on the main stage. In all actuality, based on the crowd reaction, it wouldn’t have mattered who got top billing between Korn and Avenged Sevenfold, as both are major impact players and favorites in the metal scene, but I have to admit that I was glad it was A7X if just to get that extra fifteen minutes of stage time. Without question, the main stage acts were enough to pack the venue themselves, though it was nice to see a platform provided for the many more obscure, or lesser known, metal acts such as Mushroom Head, Cannibal Corpse, Wretched, Ill Nino, Suicide Silence and even Body Count featuring Ice-T.  

korn

After Trivium and Asking Alexandria got the crowd fired up, Korn proceeded to take the stage and promptly kicked it into overdrive (tuned down growling guitars and all) with “Falling Away from Me” and never looked back, playing more classic faves such as “Shoots and Ladders”, Freak on A Leash” and “Got the Life”. Also, touching on some material from their latest release, The Paradigm Shift, the band belted out “Prey for Me” and the anthem-like “Never, Never”. Korn ended their set with a driving performance of “Blind” where singer Johnathan Davis brought who appeared to be some of the band members kids on stage to rock out with the band. Though it was nice to hear some solo material from axe man Brian “Head” Welch during his seven-year hiatus, it was sure nice to see him back on the stage with Korn. Original lineup together again, barring longtime drummer David Silveria, Korn is men amongst boys with a veteran presence to be reckoned with that is not to be taken lightly. They are polished, professional and entertaining as hell.   

Should Korn have had a longer set, that probably would have been enough to close the show, the fans departing happy and fulfilled from the ten or so hours of metal. But then it was time for Avenged Sevenfold – massive set and all. As the band went into their opening number “Shepherd of Fire” they take the stage one at a time until explosions cue the charging entrance of singer frontman M. Shadows and the band quickly goes into full on assault mode.  Even with their shorter than normal set due to festival restrictions, A7X packs a nonstop punch with a deadly combination of thunderous drums and bass, blazing guitars and an insane amount of pyrotechnics. “Almost Easy”, “Afterlife” and “Bat Country” are always givens at an Avenged concert, but the band was also sure to include a handful of songs from their new album, Hail to the King, including its title track and “This Means War”.  The band ended their high energy attack on a high note with two fan favorites, “A Little Piece of Heaven” and “Unholy Confessions” before saying their goodbyes to which they spent a good amount of time tossing out keepsakes to the crowd and interacting with the fans as much as they could from the stage.

Bottom line – Korn was on top of their game and I for one look forward to the day they return to Chicago (or thereabouts) to play a full set. Avenged Sevenfold - dare I say such a cliché? Um, yes. I’ll say it – they kicked ass and took names as fully expected. But most importantly of all, ok, just as important - Rockstar Mayhem Festival offers a stage for so many deserving bands to be discovered by new fans and enjoyed by the supporters they already have.

Total success, Rockstar. Looking forward to next year’s lineup.   

 

*Top - Avenged Sevenfold

*Bottom - Korn

Having never seen this show, five minutes in I felt that I was really going to enjoy myself. Twenty minutes later, I knew that fifteen minutes ago I was correct in feeling so. As the minutes into the show increased, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee only got better and better.

The show, set in a high school gymnasium, starts with a janitor nonchalantly setting the clock on the scoreboard to a countdown while the house lights are still on and people are searching for their seats. Those already familiar with the show release scattered cheers knowing that show time is just around the corner. Sure enough the buzzer sounds as the theatre darkens and our attention is directed to a high school teacher who is clearly reminiscing about her days as a spelling bee champion. We are then introduced to the high school vice principal, a community service volunteer and a collection of nerdy, overachieving and socially awkward competitors and the cast breaks into the title song. Ms. Peretti then addresses the crowd from a center stage microphone and calls out for four other contestants who are randomly selected from the audience. The spelling bee begins.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee brilliantly parodies many of the distinguishing nuances of actual spelling bees, lightheartedly poking fun at the process and those involved while at the same time becoming a tribute that shows the dedication, intelligence and pressures involved. As each contestant approaches the microphone, Ms. Peretti reads aloud a fun factoid (often to the utterly ridiculous) about them. Vice Principal Panch reads the word to be spelled then, if asked, provides the language of origin, its definition and how it can be used in a sentence, which was always a hilarious highlight.

SPELLING-BEE-Zach-Colonna-

Playing Vice Principal Douglas Panch was Joe Dempsey who could be funny literally doing nothing at all. With a penchant for superior comic timing, northsiders, like myself, are very familiar with Dempsey’s talent to draw laughs as a Neo-Futurists alumn and his work in many other Chicago theaters. The exceedingly gifted Frances Limoncelli was also just terrific in every sense of the word as Rona Lisa Peretti while each and every cast member playing a contestant brought their own unique humor to the table providing a bus load of hoots and hollers to be had for a full night of entertainment.

Let’s not forget about the music. From the “I Love You Song” to “My Unfortunate Erection” to “Magic Foot” to the goodbye’s that were sang whenever a contestant was escorted off stage, we are never shorted of fun, catchy and witty songs.  

Nerd or not, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is deliciously delightful from beginning to end and will be playing at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook through August 17th. For tickets and/or more show information visit www.drurylane or call 630-530-0111. 

Here's hoping I did not spell any words in this review incorrectly.

* Top Photo - (L to R)(Back Row)-Stephenie Soohyun Park, Jordan DeLeon, Guest, Zach Colonna, (Front Row)-Guest, Eli Branson, Carolyn Braver

*Below Photo - Zach Colonna, (Back Table)-Frances Limoncelli, Joe Dempsey

this is our youthSteppenwolf Theater will be the testing ground for Kenneth Lonergan’s “This Is Our Youth” before the play goes to Broadway for its launch in September. Powered with young, talented actors Micheal Cera, Kieran Culkin and 18-year-old fashion blogger turned actress, Tavi Gevinson, we are taken to a lived-in Manhattan apartment in 1982 during the Reagan era. Archetypal slackers, “Dennis”, “Warren” and “Jennifer” are rich kids with all the drugs and self-indulgent worries a group of college-aged kids can ask for.

It all starts when Warren (Cera) intrudes on his self-absorbed pal, Dennis (Culkin) with fifteen thousand dollars that he had swiped from his father after the two had a major argument. Having spent some of the money already, Warren recruits Dennis’ help in trying to replace it before he returns the cash back to his father – hopefully undetected. Dennis, not at all cool with the fact that Warren has now made him accomplice, devises a hair-brained scheme where they would buy some coke, keep some for themselves, cut it and then resell it for a profit exceeding the amount needed to replace the full fifteen thousand dollars. Of course, nothing goes as planned.

In the meantime, throughout constant belittling of Warren by Dennis, Jennifer comes into play, a girl that awkward and nerdy Warren has had a crush on for some time. Plenty of clumsiness takes place between the two before common ground and mutual interests are observed. As the story develops we see plenty of layers shed from each character exposing various vulnerabilities.

Michael-Cera-and-Tavi-Gevinson-in-This-Is-Our-Youth-Steppenwolf-Theatre

The plot is not rocket science – simple and to the point, but the dialogue is plenty and engaging enough to capture one’s attention all the way through to where interest is never lost for a moment. For those whose youth enveloped those early 1980s years, plenty of references are made that will make you think, “Oh, yeah. I remember those – or that.” “This Is Our Youth” is a witty comedy that is refreshingly not overly dark, heavy and depressing. It’s a classic story of a bad situation that gets worse in a very realistic way. Cera and Culkin are a wonderful team and their chemistry is through the roof whether they are bickering or horsing around.

“This Is Our Youth” is a modern day classic that has been performed around the world and has had a revolving door of talent taking on its roles, most notably Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Paquin during a West End run over a decade ago. Anna D. Shapiro directs this production to perfection, brilliantly capturing all the character nuances and bringing this story to life in a theatre-in-the-round setting, creating an atmosphere to which one feels a part of the play.

Funny, charming and sharp, “This Is Our Youth” is pure theatre bliss. Cera, Culkin and Gevinson are electric.

“This Is Our Youth” is playing at Steppenwolf Theater in the upstairs theatre through July 27th. For tickets and/or show information, visit www.steppenwolf.org or call 312-335-1650.      Captivate

Hell in a Handbag Productions has done it again, bringing yet another hilarious musical to the Chicago theatre scene, this time to Theater Wit. Caged Dames is one bad ass campy ride behind bars at a women’s correctional facility where “shocking” is just another day in the life. Writer and Artistic Director, David Cerda, brilliantly lampoons the old 1950s prison flicks, particularly “Caged” starring Eleanor Parker who lead character “Mary Anderson” is clearly created after.

Caged Dames, first produced in 2006, tells the story of innocent-natured Mary Anderson who, by a series of unfortunate events, winds up in the Calumet City Women’s Penitentiary. While in prison she comes across plenty of tough cookies while contending with a shady and sadistic prison matron and a warden who believes she can reach out to the inmates with psychiatric treatment and other unconventional methods. Matron Emerson and Warden Hope do not see eye to eye.

AJ Wright fantastically directs this Jeff Recommended production while each of the main characters bring something thoroughly entertaining to the table. Ed Jones is amazingly funny (as always) as the hard hitting “Matron Emerson” while Sydney Genco as “Big Lorraine” and Elizabeth Lesinski as “Myrtle Price” get constant laughs throughout along with the rest of this talentedly funny cast including lead Elizabeth Morgan as “Mary Anderson”. The show also comes with a live band and a larger than life set that takes its audience inside Calumet’s murky and dank prison walls.

Caged Dames is a fun take on film noir and then some, literally delivering laugh out loud moments nearly nonstop from beginning to end. We are treated to witty song and dance numbers with bite, Cerda’s delightfully genius humor and a smash performance by a very entertaining acting troupe that is considered among the funniest in Chicago. Cerda’s knack for parodying film classics is unbeatable. He has a keen ability to know when to push forward and when to hold back to perfectly capture, in some cases, the tiny nuances of a character while in other cases letting bold personality exaggerations fly to the extreme without going so far over the top the humor is lost.

Tickets are very reasonably priced at just $18-$37 leaving little reason not to see this greatly amusing production. Caged Dames – now Ken Recommended, as well – is running through July 13th at Theater Wit located at 1229 W. Belmont. For more information visit www.theaerwit.org or call 773-975-8150.

Engaging and uproariously funny, Caged Dames is also plenty affordable, making it a show to enjoy on more than one occasion.   

In what could be the sleeper theatre smash of the summer, One Hit Wonders has just about all the ingredients a show would need to have the staying power for an extended run. And Chicago theatre fans should hope that to be the case, as this is a production that can be enjoyed over and over again. Finely directed by Daryl D. Brooks, the audience is thrust into the middle of a hilarious play, a live concert and even a dance party that spreads like wildfire from stage to seats close up through farther back. Sitting high above the set, a rockin’ live band that is often incorporated into the show’s storyline, is led by musical director and drummer, Robert Reddrick. It’s only a matter of moments that one realizes this band can play with the best of them.

The story revolves around a show that is being put together based on popular R&B songs by artists that have, after releasing a successful hit, for the most part, vanished from the music scene never to recapture such fame and popularity again. In fact, though the songs played in One Hit Wonders were recognized immediately, it would be a challenge to know who the artist that created it. We are taken from the ground floor of this production (also called One Hit Wonders) to, as expected, a big finale full of flash and fervent celebration. In between there are many bumps in the road and several rotating mini plots that keep the story flowing ever so smoothly. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments and an arsenal of great R&B music delivered to the audience in rapid succession.  

Each of the cast members are very accomplished singers and get their chance to show it in their own solo numbers and even in the beautiful harmonies heard in the background. Songs such as “I Will Survive”, “Ring My Bell”, “It’s Raining Men” and even a lively version of “Da Butt” by Mark J.P. Hood incite spontaneous cheers from the crowd throughout, and deservedly so considering their polished and wholehearted performances.

One Hit Wonders is a feel good story that is power-packed and bursting with a bevy of enjoyable performances. Perhaps R&B’s answer to Million Dollar Quartet, this is a show that truly delivers in every facet and will have the toes tapping and the hands involuntarily slapping the thighs to the beat.

One Hit Wonders is playing at Black Ensemble Theater through June 29th. Black Ensemble Theater is located at 4450 N Clark and tickets are just $55-$65 depending on the show date. For more show information visit www.blackensemble.org or call 773-769-4451.

 

*photo - (from left) Ta-Tynisa Wilson and Kelvin Roston Jr.

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