Around the Town Chicago

“Close To You” Follow-up/Review
Around the Town Chicago
October 23, 2010

( highly recommended) As a follow-up to my recent story/interview with Lisa Rock about her cabaret show, “Close To You: The Music of The Carpenters”, I would like to report that I attended this special night at The Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights and had a delightful evening. Lisa does not try to imitate Karen Carpenter in any way shape or form, but her love for the music of Ms. Carpenter does show through in her performance and when she hits the lower range of her marvelous voice, if you close your eyes, you can see Karen Carpenter’s face.

The evening was filled with wonderful music- The Carpenters had lots of hits; “We’ve Only Just Begun”, Yesterday Once More” “Rainy Days and Mondays” , “Superstar” and many others. In fact, I think 22 songs took place in this marvelous two hour production featuring some truly top-notch musicians under the direction of Kenneth McMullen- Nick Anderson on the drums, Justin Boller ( magical fingers) on the Bass Guitar, David Orlicz, who played every reed instrument to perfection ( some great solos) and Mr. McMullen on the keyboards. Micky York handled the keyboards and did some vocal back-ups along with Amy Malouf- we were given what would be called a “Vegas Type show” in the intimacy of the Metropolis Theater in downtown Arlington Heights as a part of their “Live Music Series”.

I was very impressed by the quality of this “cabaret” show that was indeed a tribute to Karen and Richard Carpenter and the magic they created in our lives back in the 60′s and 70′s. These songs live on in our hearts and the way Ms.Rock presents them with some history along the way, it is obvious that she feels the same way. Wouldn’t it be great if some other venue picks up where the Metropolis started and brings this to their stage for more than one night. One night shows are nice, but once people see it , they want to tell their friends so they can share their experience. In fact, the couple next to me were asking where the show will appear next- they are ready to see it again. If the show were in a more permanent home, they could add some glitz to the production by using videos of The Carpenters to bring the story a little more realism and the tribute would be even greater as we keep Karen’s memory and her music alive.

To find out what else is in store at the beautiful Metropolis Performing Arts Center located at 111 West Campbell in Arlington Hts, check out This venue is perfect for concerts and plays (musicals and comedies) with loads of free parking and plenty of affordable dining within walking distance. We discovered a new restaurant ourselves tonight. Grand Station Restaurant, right on the corner, in the same building-a full bar and a menu that goes form pastas and salads- sliders and burgers to all kinds of entrees ( the pork chops looked wonderful as they passed us going to the next table)- maybe next time!