Seventies hit maker Helen Reddy is returning to the spotlight at the Arcada Theatre this month. Coming out of Australia she went from troubled waters to international success with fifteen singles in the top 40. “I Am Woman” roared into households becoming an anthem for feminists. She won many awards including being the first Australian to win a Grammy. She hosted a variety show along with her numerous television appearances over the years.
In the ‘80s she worked in musicals including Anything Goes and Shirley Valentine. Afterwards she took a break from performing but now heads out on tour on her own terms. We talked about her long history and new lease on life on the phone.
Jerry Nunn: Hello, Miss Reddy. Where in the world are you?
Helen Reddy: I’m in LA where it is one minute after eight.
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Here is my top ten favorite albums of 2012. Last years top ten was my most widely read piece on ChicagoPride thanks to artists retweeting it. I was lucky enough to meet many of these up and coming performers and interview them as well. There were tons of honorable mentions but these were the ones I listened to the most last year. Please check them out and let me know what you think!
10 Rumer/Boys Don’t Cry
Unpredictable covers from the ’70s
9 Tracey Thorn/Tinsel and Lights
A surprisingly good holiday album
8 Paloma Faith/Fall to Grace
Missing Amy Winehouse
7 Emeli Sande/Our Version of Events
6 Scissor Sister/Magic Hour
“Let’s Have a Kiki” soared along with several other tracks
5 Ellie Goulding/Halcyon
Electronic goodness and a sweet person as well
4 Steve Aoki/Wonderland
Who can get Weezer frontman to rap on his debut album?
3 Marina and the Diamonds/Electra Heart
Replayed uncountable times this creative version of Katy Perry
2 Tanlines/Mixed Emotions
New wave indie percussive New Yorkers
1 Passion Pit/Gossamer
Falsetto frontman with unusual music
Many of the artists will be back live and in person in Chicago including Emeli, Ellie and Passion Pit. Bring on 2013 with even bigger and better music!
There are so many holiday shows in Chicago right now that it’s almost impossible to make them all. I missed A Christmas Carol at the Goodman and Christmas Schooner at the Mercury Theater although I found it too sweet for my taste years ago. If you like things a little more bitter head over to Rudolph, the Red-Hosed Reindeer at Mary’s Attic. The story has been adjusted throughout the 15 year run but the message is still the same, don’t bully someone who is different. Where else this time of year will you see a deftly played alcoholic Ruth Claus played by Ed Jones?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is still sour after all this time with the Cadillac Palace performance being modeled after Dr. Seuss cartoon. The Grinch looked a little matted in the fur costume but h
is jabs at the audience were hilarious even hitting them with snow and confetti in the pricey front seats. Take a break from shopping downtown and take this one in before it leaves on December 16.
Gather your friends and make the yuletide gay with We 3 Lizas presented by About Face Theatre at the Steppenwolf Garage. With table side seating and wine bottle service this show was festive before it even started.
The cast turns in some nice performances especially Danielle Plisz as Liza Was channeling Minnelli’s golden years.
Drink some spiked hot cocoa and tell them a Nunn sent ya!
Gather your friends and make the yuletide gay with We 3 Lizas presented by About Face Theatre at the Steppenwolf Garage. With table side seating and wine bottle service this show was festive before it even started.The cast turns in some nice performances especially Danielle Plisz as Liza Was channeling Minnelli’s golden years. Drink some spiked hot cocoa and tell them a Nunn sent ya!
Independent locally made movie Scrooge & Marley takes the classic tale and turns it gay. This festive flick screens at Gene Siskel Theatre on December 21, 22, and 27. Directed by Richard Knight Jr. and Peter Neville pictured here at the after party at Sidetrack.
You will be ho ho ho-ing in the aisles at these theater attractions that will surely put you in the holiday spirit!
Jose Cuervo sponsored a night at Gallery 1028 on Thursday Nov. 8 that featured 10 artists and their murals. The Tradicional Mural Project 2012 gave each talented artist from around the United States a chance to express their Latino heritage and earn a grant of $15,000 as well as a $15,000 donation to the community they represent. These communities range from Peru to Puerto Rico representing states from Nevada to Florida.
Jose Cuervo Tradicional had to be an influence to their art and they were given a limited 30 days to put their pieces together. Cuban Nereida Garcia Ferraz mentioned how challenging the time constraints were at the showing. All the artists attended this evening posing by each mural for the camera. A DJ was spinning tunes while guests tried a black cocktail made with coffee liqueur or white cocktail with coconut water all mixed with shots of Jose Cuervo Tradicional.
Openly gay JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound commanded the stage at the end of the evening with rocking good time that brought the evening to a close.
Vote today at www.facebook.com/losamigosdejose for your favorite work of art.
At the Chicago Cultural Center TPAN or Test Positive Aware Networkcelebrated their 25th anniversary of service to Chicago’s HIV community this past Thursday. The community came out in return to support the organization that has contributed so much over the years. Located conveniently at 5537 North Broadway their office is complete with a health library and HIV testing services.
Restaurants were well represented with Big Jones house benne cracker. Cru Cafe and Wine Bar had delicious short ribs but needed a bigger portion but they get points for recognizing Nunn on the Run. Speaking of big portions Hearty showed their namesake by having a nice sandwich. Heaven on Seven was a show stopper with a spicy sausage gumbo. The Purple Pig brought their beets and Tavernita made sweet potato soup.
Timeless was the signature cocktail for the evening created by Charles Joly of Aviary. The open bars were hopping but not overly crowded and the overall space worked well with the fundraiser.
DJ Marc Moose Moder spun some tunes before the Charles E. Clifton Leadership Award was given to Jeff Berry that became quite emotional.
Singer Jamar Rogers from The Voice sang cover versions of “Seven Nation Army” and “Hallelujah.”
A raffle was offered at the end including a trip for anywhere in the United States.
Overall, it was a fundraiser that both celebrated the organization and raised money at the same time.
Visit www.tpan.com for more upcoming events and information.
At the DoubleTree this past week was a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity full of fun for a good cause. A nonprofit housing organization has provided housing for people in need for decades. The theme was Building a Sweet Home Chicago and people came out with donations from the Windy City.
The event was hosted by Windy City LIVE’s Ryan Chiaverini who described the cause as very dear to his heart. He introduced 34th ward Carrie M Austin as well as their executive director Jennifer Parks.
Rob Mondavi, Jr. brought his wines and a clown out for a good cause including the merlot donating money for AIDS awareness.
There was lots of good food on hand from a variety of restaurant establishments. IPO had an espresso scallop and mercadito’s tacos are always a hit with me.
Support places that support good causes such a Kendall College and Atwood. Visit www.windycityhabitat.org
to donate today!