Steven Lutvak | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Steven Lutvak 

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Steven Lutvak

Much admired in Manhattan from his engagements at venues ranging from the Russian Tea Room and Rockefeller Center's Rainbow and Stars to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, 33-year-old singer-songwriter Steven Lutvak has a gift for solidly structured yet unpredictable melodies, and his lyrics convey a wry but compassionate wit without verbal gimmickry. While his musicals have been performed at numerous regional theaters, his cabaret songs have won him the most attention, thanks to recordings by such artists as Julie Wilson and Karen Mason. His signature tunes include the cool-jazz chorale "Beware the Anger of a Soft-Spoken Man," which he performs with the aid of his own prerecorded vocal tracks, and the beautiful "Inside My Body Is a Dancer," an ode to a soaring spirit that transcends a limited physique. Lutvak's pop-flavored writing and delivery recall Billy Joel, Peter Allen, Craig Carnelia, and Michael Callen, but the gentle, complex personality that peeks through his songs is distinctive and appealing enough to make his material fresh. And his vocal technique is first-rate, which should come as no surprise: as his "day job" Lutvak coaches some of Broadway's busiest singer-actors. This is his Chicago debut. Tuesday through Thursday, 8 and 10 PM, and next Friday and Saturday, April 4 and 5, 9 and 11 PM, Toulouse Cognac Bar, 2140 N. Lincoln Park West; 773-665-9071. Albert Williams

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Steven Lutvak photo/ uncredited.

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