Chicago – Walter Stearns, Executive Director of Mercury Theater Chicago, and Artists Lounge Live announced today the upcoming Holiday programming in the Venus Cabaret Theater, with An Unforgettable Nat King Cole Christmas starring Evan Tyrone Martin, running from December 7 through December 15, and Merry Christmas Darling: Heidi Kettenring Sings Karen Carpenter running from December 20 through December 29.
Acclaimed Chicago actor Evan Tyrone Martin (Jesus Christ Superstar) celebrates Nat King Cole with a festive cocktail of signature songs and yuletide favorites. In a romantic evening of story and song, Martin intimately relates Cole’s journey with velvety vocals and debonair charm.
Chicago Tribune calls him “Destined for Stardom,” and critics cheer, “No one alive sings Nat King Cole’s ‘Nature Boy’ as well as Evan Tyrone Martin” (Sacramento Cultural Hub). Classics include, “The Christmas Song,” “L-O-V-E,” “Mona Lisa,” and “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.”
Chicago’s favorite leading lady Heidi Kettenring lends her signature warmth to the timeless treasures and holiday hits of Karen Carpenter. Award-winner Kettenring’s many memorable star turns include Broadway in Chicago’s Wicked; The King and I, Funny Girl, Cats, and Oliver!.
A storyteller sure to stir the heart, Kettenring tenderly chronicles Carpenter’s troubles and triumphs with a familiar angelic radiance. Around the Town Chicago calls the show, “Glorious… An elegant, tear jerking, sing along concert event.” Songs include “Close To You,” “Merry
Christmas Darling,” “For All We Know,” and “The Christmas Song.”
An Unforgettable Nat King Cole Christmas starring Evan Tyrone Martin will run from Saturday, December 7 through Sunday, December 15. The performance schedule is Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm, Sundays at 2pm, Thursdays at 7:30pm and Fridays at 7:30pm. More information HERE.
Merry Christmas Darling: Heidi Kettenring Sings Karen Carpenter will run from Friday, December 20 through Sunday, December 29. The performance schedule is Fridays at 7:30pm (There will be an additional Friday matinee on December 27 at 2pm), Saturdays at 2pm and 7:30pm, Sundays at 2pm, and Thursdays at 7:30pm. More information HERE.
Individual tickets for both shows are $65 and are available online at mercurytheaterchicago.com, over the phone at 773.325.1700, or in person at the Mercury Theater box office at 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago. The shows will run in the Venus Cabaret Theater, in conjunction with SPAMALOT on the Mercury main stage.
About the Artists:
EVAN TYRONE Chicago Sun-Times raves, “Evan Tyrone Martin is a golden-voiced actor of sweetness and grace.” Evan Tyrone Martin headlines concert stages nationwide in Unforgettable: Evan Tyrone Martin Sings Nat King Cole as well as his holiday offering An Unforgettable Nat King Cole Christmas. He proudly returns to Mercury Theater Chicago where credits include I Left My Heart: A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett (Jeff Award nomination), The Color Purple (Harpo) and Hair (Hud). Other outstanding theatre credits nationwide include the World Premiere of the critically acclaimed new musical The Black Clown, Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus, Black Theatre Alliance Award nomination), Oklahoma (Ali Hakim), Duke Ellington’s Greatest Hits, Far From Heaven (Raymond, Jeff Award nomination), Dreamgirls (Curtis, Black Theatre Alliance Award nomination), The Little Mermaid (King Triton), Rent (Collins), Side Show (Jake, Jeff Award nomination), Violet (Flick, Jeff Award nomination), Kiss of the Spiderwoman (Valentin, Jeff Award nomination, Broadway World Award nomination), and Pippin (Leading Player). He is a graduate of Ashland University. evantyronemartin.com
HEIDI KETTENRING is best known for starring as Nessarose in the blockbuster musical Wicked (Broadway in Chicago). National Tour credits include Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Belle). Other standout performances nationwide include The King and I (Anna, Jeff Award, Broadway World Award), Oliver! (Nancy, Jeff Award nomination), The Music Man (Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn), Annie Get Your Gun (Annie Oakley), Les Miserables (Fantine), Cats (Grizabella), My Fair Lady (Eliza), Hairspray (Penny, Jeff Award Nomination), Little Women (Jo, Jeff Award Nomination), Funny Girl (Fanny Brice, Jeff Award nomination), The Merry Wives of Winsor (Mistress Ford), The Taming of the Shrew (Tranio), All My Sons (Ann), Hero (Jane, World Premiere), Guys and Dolls (Adelaide, After Dark Award), and She Loves Me (Iloma). Film: Man of Steel. Television: Chicago Fire (NBC) and Cupid (ABC). Concerts: We’ve Only Just Begun: Heidi Kettenring Sings Karen Carpenter and Merry Christmas Darling: Heidi Kettenring Sings Karen Carpenter with Artists Lounge Live; also Ravinia Festival, Millennium Park, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Pensacola Symphony. Recordings: Heidi voices Disney Princess children’s books. She is the recipient of a Jeff Award, seven Jeff Award nominations, two Broadway World Awards, an After Dark Award, a Richard Kneeland Award, and the Sarah Siddons Leading Lady Award.
About Artists Lounge Live
Artists Lounge Live is a dynamic concert series featuring popular music of yesterday performed live by tremendous talent of today. Rising stars of stage and screen pay homage to the icons that influenced them in emotional evenings of storytelling and song. In addition to showcasing superb musicianship, powerful storytelling sets Artists Lounge Live apart. Shows explore the lives of icons with empathy and delve into the landscape of America when the music was being made. Headliners are not impersonators; rather, they are artistic descendants to the icon they cover. By sharing their gratitude, the artists offer audiences a piece of their heart. Artists Lounge Live hopes that as you fall in love with the music all over again, you’ll also fall in love with the featured artist dedicated to keeping your music alive for the next generation. Producer and performer Michael Ingersoll states, “Popular music is our shared heritage and we honor it the best way we know how: by gathering together to enjoy live entertainment. We believe in the restorative power of live entertainment, for both the individual and the community.” Artists Lounge Live is created and operated by husband and wife team Michael and Angela Ingersoll. artistsloungelive.com
About Mercury Theater Chicago
The beautifully renovated Mercury Theater Chicago is located in the heart of the Southport Corridor at 3745 North Southport Avenue, within a sophisticated neighborhood of restaurants and boutiques just steps from Wrigley Field. A delightful destination, Mercury Theater Chicago is a live-theater seating 290 people, adjoining Venus Cabaret Theater (seating 80). Guests are
taken care of from the moment they arrive with valet service and luxe farm-to-table dining at its adjoining restaurant, Grassroots.