Out in the northwest suburbs, in Arlington Heights to be precise, there is a treasure trove of entertainment called Metropolis Performing Arts Center. This charming venue located in their “downtown” area offers plays, musicals, “Cabarets”, concerts, comedy revues and much more. The tourist numbers in town are not like that of a major metropolitan area ( although during the race track season, I am sure the numbers rise) thus their visitors are primarily “local”, so they put on many types of productions to keep the place filled. Over the years, I have enjoyed and reported on many of these shows. Coming up, on October 24th is a show that I cannot wait to see. Cabaret artist Lisa Rock will be performing “Close To You: The Music of The Carpenters” live onstage at The Metropolis.
I spent some time conversing with Ms Rock to learn more about the production. She tells me that from the time she was 13, Karen carpenter was her “absolute favoritete” singer. We talked about the voice and sound of Ms. Carpenter- the way the notes and words came across to the listener and themagic that one felt from hearing this young woman make the music come alive. I asked her how the Cabaret show would be performed as I know many Cabaret singers imitate or mimic the “real thing” ( some do this well, others fail badly) and Lisa assured me that her show is in fact, NOT a Cabaret type show, but instead should be considered a concert- a concert to
celebratete the life and music of Karen Carpenter so that despite the tragedy in her life that caused her early death, her memory and music will continue to live on, in our hearts and our souls.
We spoke about some of the music and touched on the subject of the inner struggles that Karen had with her body appearance, the thing that led the way to her early death. While many people don’t talk about this, it is still an important part of a young woman’s life as the social pressures mount. The more aware they are, the better off they will be ( as long as they have parents and friends that will help them along the way) Paying Tribute to Karen carpenter, a voice that still brings chills up my spine whenever I hear one of her recordings. I don’t admit it often, but I fell in love with her from the first time I heard her sing ( along with her brother Richard of course) and when she sang, she was beautiful- in face, mind and heart. In speaking with Lisa, I think she felt the same thing I did ( except, many years later).
The concert will take place on Sunday, October 24th at 7 P.M. at The Metropolis Performing Arts Centre located at 111 West Campbell. It may already be sold out, but you can still check it out by calling 847-577-2121 or online at www.MetropolisArts.com. Downtown Arlington Heights is filled with lots of fun and affordable dining and there is loads of free parking.
If you cannot get into this special evening, a TRIBUTE ( yeah, I guess that would be the best word) to Karen Carpenter, filled with 20 PLUS songs like “Rainy Days and Mondays”, “We’ve Only Just Begun” . “Close to You” ( I am getting chills just writing this article) and many more. Be a pert of this event, or stay tuned for my review and future dates for Ms. Rock and company. If you do get in on the 24th, say hello! I will be the guy who appears to be in heaven!