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Spotlight on Cabaret: Virtual Reality

by Tracy Adams

The line between jazz singing and cabaret singing is often fine, blurred, and crossed—with frequently spectacular results that delight Chicagoland listeners. Chicago Jazz Magazine is thrilled to partner with Chicago Cabaret Professionals via the monthly column/calendar, “Spotlight on Cabaret.”

Along with much of the world around us, cabaret clubs are now “on sabbatical,” as a friend of mine has started saying. It has been hard watching the many shows that my musical colleagues have worked so hard to bring together come to a hard stop. Not to mention my own feelings of loss: What am I going to do with myself without shows to attend?

Leave it up to musical artists to quickly find creative workarounds. Several times a day, my online feed announces a new artist that is streaming or sharing a live video feed. Like their Broadway and opera compatriots, cabaret is now coming to a small screen near you!

Weather reporters and Jimmy Fallon are not the only performers coming to you direct from their living rooms. So far I’ve caught Chicago’s own Jeannie Tanner and Susan Werner, and I am now excited to see who is going to jump into the online waters. Facebook and YouTube are quickly muscling Netflix and Hulu out of the way on my viewing schedule.

Will this become the new normal for cabaret? I certainly hope not. It is not the same experience as sitting in a small, darkened room with 15 or 40 or 75 fellow live music devotees. But in the current times when that is no longer a possibility, it’s a worthy alternative.

Ways to tune in:

YouTube channel

Facebook page

Twitter @ChicagoCabaret

Chicago Cabaret Professionals, founded in 1998, is a non-profit alliance of advocates for the art of Cabaret. Cabaret has been at the heartbeat of intimate nightclubs for more than a century, where singers tell a story with music from The Great American Songbook to jazz and blues, from burlesque and Broadway to comedy and satire.

For a complete Cabaret calendar listing, visit


Tracy Adams has spent more than four decades on stages of every kind, from intimate cabarets to large auditoriums, hotel restaurants to European cathedrals. For seven years, he was the restaurant writer for Gay Chicago Magazine. He spends his days as a training manager for an accounting firm. All of these endeavors reflect his personal mission in life, which is to help people grow.

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