Uptown Underground Revisited Review- a very special performance venue where no 2 shows are alike

The Uptown Underground,  (UU), 4707 W. Broadway keeps expanding their repertoire of rollicking performances. The shows are simply too good to miss in the sophisticated and intimate venue with it’s rococo lounge and cozy bar serving delicious strong concoctions like “My Canadian Girlfriend”-their take on a Manhattan. This reviewer caught the 8PM act on Friday night, March 4, a snazzy jazz trio (keyboards, cello and drums) called “Sizzerella”, and it’s crooner, David Sherman, who also performs as the frontman for “TwilightCombination”, who will be performing in UU’s Tuesday Jazz Vocalist series on April 19th.  Don’t miss him- he snaps his fingers, jokes gently,  closes his eyes and sways in time to  old rock and roll numbers re-covered, notably The Beatles, along with show tunes and jazz classics. He hits all the notes and the band is clearly having a great time.That evening, Sizzerella were performing live music burlesque. In between such numbers as “Blackbird”, “A Whiter Shade of Pale”, “A Wicked Little Town”, “Mad World, ”and a sexy version of Tom Waits cut “Oh how we Danced with the Rose of Tralee”, female burlesque dancers took it off, shook it up and twirled it. Sherman was mostly cool, but his eyes took it all in.

Uptown Underground decorated for the holidays

After the set, the constantly upbeat and continually varied gender- defying burlesque shows alternated between the eye-popping attributes of spectacular host Muffy Fishbasket and her Good Time Galz, (MFGTG),Boy Toys Pocket Cabaret, (BTPC) and The Kiss Kiss Cabaret, (KKC). UU covers the gamut of sensually provocative performances, with all styles of diva participants strutting their stuff, dancing, singing, joking, winking, mugging and/or miming in the most professional and lighthearted manner possible. There are literally performers present “from all genres of the entertainment industry”. It is definitely the case that no two shows are alike. The costumes, whether worn or strewn over the stage, are astonishingly clever- tight, sexy, colorful and spangled- the dancers adorable, agile and nimble.

KissKiss Cabaret, New Years Eve

Last Halloween, this reviewer passed the night along with the rest of the happy sold-out crowd:in costume, entranced by Muffy Fishbasket, KissKiss and colleagues putting on “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”- as excellent a version of this enduring camp rock classic as you’ll ever see. And that was only the first act! For New Years, amid a welter of beautifully dressed and coiffed party-goers, fabulous and plentiful food and luscious libations, this reviewer cheered, laughed and cat-called with the best of them at jugglers, comics, musicians, and a myriad of burlesque kings and queens.  One guest shrieked at the girls, “You’re insanely talented!” All of the evening shows give great value and will show you a great time hour after varied hour.

KissKiss Cabaret, singing and dancing

On Tuesday nights, at 7PM and 9PM, patrons can attend the “Underground Jazz Vocalist Series”, a “hotbed of sultry jazz and lounge singers dedicated to THE VOCALIST”. The cover is $2 and there are half-priced bottles of wine available. On Thursdays and Saturdays at 8PM you can return to the era of the great bar magicians and surround yourself and friends with table-hopping magicians performing wondrous feats of bar and stage magic. After the main show, at 10PM, the “Close-Up Gallery” continues the magic in your amazed face.

KissKiss Cabaret dancer

 BTPC perform Friday’s at 10PM, demonstrating male burlesque at it’s best, alternating with the comedy and athleticism of   MFGTG, “some of Chicago’s best drag queens”, and the KKC, who also perform Saturdays at 10PM, and Wednesdays at 8PM. KKC has been called “Best Burlesque Troupe” by the Chicago Reader.

Brad French, "That Juggling Guy"

The variety on offer is almost too much! “The Cabaret Project “, great small stage entertainment performs select Fridays at 8PM “; “The Big Red Show “ with “sexy songstress Meghan Murphy”, will show you “a brassy, bawdy good time” on First Friday’s at 8PM. “Dramageddon” hosts “a series of experimental variety shows”on 4th Saturdays at midnight. Third Fridays at 8PM find “Acrobatica Infiniti Circus”, an “intimate variety show”, at UU.

"RedRum Jacob Marley"

There are always special one-time or month-long acts coming to this wildly entertaining venue. For instance, next month, April,  2016 on Fridays at 8PM, you can experience “An epic Nerdlesque Cabaret”! Grab your friends and partners,  check out the shows at www.uptownunderground.net, call 7738761946 for tickets, and hurry on down!

KissKiss Cabaret, New Years Eve

 

Photos courtesy of Greg Inda Images

 

 

 

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