Acts of Kindness Cabaret: Life…Sunny Side Up

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Acts of Kindness Cabaret

Life…Sunny Side Up

Skokie Theatre, Skokie, IL, April 7, 2019

Reviewed by Carla Gordon for Cabaret Scenes

Acts of Kindness Cabaret

Acts of Kindness Cabaret pursues two objectives. The first is to partner with charitable organizations in fundraising; the second relates to the first in that what AOK Cabaret donates to charities is cabaret shows.

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It introduces new audiences to the art. As its own annual fundraiser, AOK brought Life…Sunny Side Up to the Skokie Theatre for an upbeat public performance. The opening, a well-sung and choreographed Kander and Ebb’s “Coffee in a Cardboard Cup” (with updated lyrics) made us reflect on how we long to mellow out. Caron Buinis and the Kander and Ebb songbook were made for each other. Her rich alto and sweet comic timing landed “Ring Them Bells” and “But the World Goes ’Round” with aplomb. “The Girl in 14-G,” about living between the opera and jazz singers, has deservedly become a signature song for Hilary Ann Feldman. Caryn Caffarelli captured both the optimism and the grit in Kander and Ebb’s “Life Is” from Zorba. Andrew Blendermann provided the right accompaniment, an excellent arrangement of Billy Joel’s “River of Dreams, and witty instrumental commentary during raffle.

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The ladies closed with Eric Idle’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Indeed, Life…Sunny Side Up helped us do just that.

Carla Gordon

Carla Gordon is a singer/songwriter, director, and producer. The Chicago Tribune cited her among “Chicago’s most accomplished cabaret performers….a major player in Chicago cabaret.” Reviewer Pam Peterson called her “Honey-voiced wisecracker!” Ageless Magazine called her performance as Sophie tucker, “A gem!” Gordon writes custom material for singers nationwide. Her flagship show, "Blacklisted," featuring songs made famous by artists blacklisted under McCarthyism, has toured to critical acclaim. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Cabaret Professionals and on the Advisory Board of the Skokie Theater. Her songs air on WFMT’s Midnight Special and are being performed performed by cabaret artists nationwide.