Jason Graae | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
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JASON GRAAE

Born in Chicago and raised in its burbs, Jason Graae (pronounced "grah") has built his reputation on the coasts--he was in Falsettos on Broadway and played Houdini in the LA production of Ragtime--and on disc, where his supple tenor has brought to life various classic Broadway scores, including the Gershwins' Strike Up the Band. (For several years he was also the voice of the cartoon leprechaun in the Lucky Charms cereal commercials.) But he's performed only rarely in his hometown: he starred in the pre-New York tryout of the ill-fated, underrated Theda Bara and the Frontier Rabbi in 1992, made a one-night stand at the Arts Club of Chicago last year, and in January played the lead in the Auditorium Theatre's concert revival of Burt Bacharach's Promises, Promises, lighting up the stage whenever he appeared. Equally at home with whimsy, camp, and heartfelt romanticism, he's back for a short cabaret engagement with a program called An Evening of Self-Indulgence--an idiosyncratic selection of show tunes that includes the gorgeous "What More Can I Say?" (from Falsettos), "I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You" (Evita), "Wrong Note Rag" (Wonderful Town), "It Would Have Been Wonderful" (Annie Warbucks), "She Touched Me" (Drat! The Cat!), and the wryly eccentric "The Moment Has Passed," from the cult hit Promenade. Capable local pianist Chuck Larkin provides accompaniment. Wednesday and Thursday, June 6 and 7, 8 PM, and next Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9, 8 and 10:30 PM, Davenport's Piano Bar & Cabaret, 1383 N. Milwaukee; 773-278-1830.

ALBERT WILLIAMS

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