Recommended*** Many Chicagoans are not aware of the wonderful “Cabaret” shows and showplaces in the area. While there are more today than in the past, the shining star is still Davenport’s on Milwaukee Avenue in Bucktown, a small, intimate space with great sound and affordable drinks, but of greater importance, a marvelous place to hear some of our top song stylists. Some of the Cabaret performers are known for taking on other persona’s, but my favorites are those who are just themselves, bringing us a variety of music and with it their own style.
This week, Davenport’s Cabaret stage was graced by Jan Slavin and her show “Friendshtick! The Joys and Oys of Friendship”, featuring music by Sondheim, Raposo, Blumenthal, Oscar Brown,Jr., Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields and Alan J. Lerner ( with Burton Lane, not Lowe) and many more. While many of the songs are about friendship, Ms Slavin truly shows hers, by having several other Cabaret performers take the stage with her and musical director Beckie Menzie ( who is THE musical director for tha majority of Cabaret performers and is a solid talent in her own right)- these are Michelle Greenberg, Carol Weston and the powerful Pam Peterson.
What we witnessed tonight was 90 minutes of musical magic where these ladies took us on a journey, not just through some wonderful old music, but the friendship between these ladies. Over the years, I have been witness to many Cabaret shows and the loyalty that these performers have to each other, but have questioned why more people don’t frequent these quality shows. Is our world becoming to electonic? Are we only interested in watching sporting events or old movies on TV?- come on people; we all have the ability to tape of save the tv shows and movies and sports- let’s get off the couch and go to Davenports where we can sit on a different couch, have a few drinks and enjoy some of Chicago’s bright talents as they “do their thing”. They love what they do and it shows! all of us need a little escape from the craziness that we are experiencing in life today. What better way than going to the Cabaret, hearing some wonderful music and meeting some new friends.
Jan’s dulcet tones and warm interpretations can be heard on January 29th at 7 p.m. at Davenport’s Piano Bar and Cabaret located at 1383 N. Milwaukee Avenue. To make sure you get your chance to enjoy Jan Slavin and friends call 773-278-1830 or visit www.davenportspianobar.com