Karaoke Fever | Chicago Reader

Karaoke Fever

Videographers Arthur Borman (who directed the flimsy 1993 mockumentary . . . And God Spoke) and Steve Danielson follow a handful of karaoke singers through the preliminaries, semifinals, and finals of a regional contest in southern California in 1999. Shot at 11 poorly lit venues, this diligent documentary has an amateur look that matches the limited vocal talents of its working-class subjects. One resourceful contestant plays to the judges by pulling out a framed photo of his late wife and dedicating his song to her on the anniversary of her death; another augments her five-octave range by performing a sword fight with her fiance during an instrumental break. The outcome of the contest is anticlimactic, but the aspiring singers earn our sympathy. 91 min.

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