Hudson Shad | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Hudson Shad 

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This internationally acclaimed Chicago-based male vocal quintet performs German and American popular music of the 1920s and '30s with a combination of high musical artistry and wry theatrical humor. Formed in the late 80s to back Marianne Faithfull on her Brecht-and-Weill project, the ensemble--tenors Mark Bleeke and Timothy Leigh Evans, baritone Eric Edlund, and basses Peter Becker and Wilbur Pauley, accompanied by pianist Michael Fennelly--specializes in songs associated with the legendary Weimar-era group the Comedian Harmonists and its American counterpart, the Revelers. Their repertoire is eclectic and sometimes obscure, but they sing gorgeously blended harmonies in perfect German accents and employ lightly comic staging by Broadway veteran Patricia Birch. At this show they'll perform classics like "When Yuba Plays the Rumba on the Tuba," a 1931 hit for Rudy Vallee, along with its German version, "Mein Onkel Bumba aus Kalumba Tanzt nur Rumba." Also on the bill: "Veronika, der Lenz Ist Da" ("Veronika, Spring Is Here") by Marx Brothers tunesmith Walter Jurmann and "Happy Days Are Here Again" by Chicagoan Milton Ager. The show's second half is an all-Weill program featuring standards like "Mack the Knife" and "Speak Low" as well as numbers from works such as Weill's little-known collaboration with Alan Jay Lerner, Love Life. Thu 11/3, 6:30 PM, Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630. Free. All ages.

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