Hot Beans and Chuck | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Hot Beans and Chuck 

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Set in a Joliet nightspot, this one-act takes the form of a cabaret revue by vocalist Frankie Beans (Kelly Bailey), accompanied by unimpressed pianist Benji (played perfectly by Benjamin Nelson), and stand-up comedian Chuck Knoll (Jeremy Kruse). Bailey is magnificent as the jaded but engaging singer--in her mellifluous, unpredictably cadenced voice even "Cool Ranch Doritos" sounds lovely. "You Can Have the TV" is positively moving. Kruse is convincing as Chuck and Gary, a blank-faced groupie flaunting his salmon jacket. But Chuck's vulgar Ellen-esque narrative of a normal day gone awry stalls the momentum until Gary returns to join Frankie in a rousing, delightfully off-key medley of cheesy pop songs, including "That's What Friends Are For" and "Let's Get Physical." Through 5/27: Sat 10:30 PM, no show 5/6, Davenport's Piano Bar & Cabaret, 1383 N. Milwaukee, 773-278-1830, $10, 2 dr. min., 21+.

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