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Milly's Orchid Show

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The opera world was shocked when Aristotle Onassis dumped Maria Callas for Jackie Kennedy--but not half as shocked as Callas herself might be to learn of her illegitimate daughter "Dagmar Onassis," who's existed for a decade now in the person of actor-dancer-singer John Kelly. Kelly, who blends Bizet and Bellini with Monteverdi and Mahler (not to metion the occasional Kurt Weill tune or black spiritual), started out lip-synching Callas's Carmen in gay bars and performance spaces in New York's East and West Villages. A chameleonic caricaturist, he's long since stopped lip-synching; Dagmar (an alto) is now noted for her vocal beauty and musical precision as well as her high-style emotionalizm. Having perfomred small- and large-scale works around the UlS., Europe, and South American since the early 1980s, the Obie Award-winning Kelly is finally making his Chicago debut this weekend as guest star of Milly's Orchid Show, Brigid Murphy's oddball avant-garde variety extravaganza. Besides Dagmar, Kelly will offer his eerily accurate impersonation of Joni Mitchell; the program also includes monologuist David Sedaris and Murphy herslef, in the role of hostess Milly May Smithy, modeling a line of nighties and leading the audience in a session of Milly-cize. Park West, May 2 (322 W. Armitage, 929-5959). Saturday, 8:30 PM (doors open 7:30 PM). $10.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/John Dugdale.

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