An Evening With the Divas

Chicago-area theater boasts an especially strong pool of singing actresses; Jeff Duke and his M.A.M. Records has put 13 of them on one album. Second City Divas–Women of Chicago Musical Theatre features Hollis Resnik, Paula Scrofano, Mary Ernster, Alene Robertson, Kathy Santen, Susan Moniz, Felicia Fields, Kathy Taylor, Ann Arvia, Peggy Roeder, Nancy Voigts, Roberta Duchak, and Joan Krause in songs associated with local productions they’ve appeared in: Ernster’s gorgeous rendition of Frank Loesser’s “Somebody, Somewhere” (from The Most Happy Fella, in which she starred at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace); Santen’s jittery, lyrical “Another Hundred People” (from Drury Lane’s Company); Fields’s bluesy “Alone and Yet Alive” (from Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre’s Hot Mikado); and Resnik’s soaring pop interpretation of “Tell Me on a Sunday” (from Song and Dance at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse) are highlights. One thing the recording can’t capture is the strong stage presence these women have displayed in leading and ensemble roles. This concert, whose program varies considerably from the recorded material, should show them at their best–as live performers. The evening also heralds the album’s release; proceeds from the concert, as well as from record sales, benefit Season of Concern, the Chicago theater community’s AIDS-support project. Monday, 7:30 PM, Royal George Theatre Center, 1641 N. Halsted; 988-9000 or 559-1212. Albert Williams

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Suzanne N. Plunkett.