Music

Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake to host new Cabaret Series

Jeff Jacobs will perform Aug. 19 as part of the Raue’s new Cabaret Series.
Jeff Jacobs will perform Aug. 19 as part of the Raue’s new Cabaret Series.

A new Caberet Series aims to provide more intimate nights of music at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake.

The series begins at 8 p.m. Aug. 12 with “The Real Royal Family: Kings and Queens of the Music Industry.”

It will be hosted on the Raue’s mainstage, with seating in a jazz club-type atmosphere, featuring area artists and their musical accompanists, said Richard Kuranda, the Raue’s executive director. It is the latest in the Raue’s mainstage offerings, which also include Lucy’s Comedy Café and a Dueling Pianos show.

“The Real Royal Family: Kings and Queens of the Music Industry” will feature Crystal Lake native Tina Naponelli. She will perform classics from Michael Jackson, Carole King and Whitney Houston, as well as today’s top hits from Adele and more.

“I’ve done many cabarets in café settings, but this will be a nice hybrid of ‘grab and drink and chill’ and ‘date night at the show,’ ” Naponelli said in a news release. “I love doing cabarets, especially at Raue Center, because the crowd is always fun, inviting and open to anything.”

Naponelli is a graduate of North Central College, where she studied theater performance. Her recent theater credits include “Tomorrow Morning” (Kokandy Productions), “Beehive” and “Suds: The Rocking 60’s Musical” (Williams Street Rep) and “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Columbinus 2.0” (American Theater Company).

A second performance in the new series will feature a solo rock ‘n’ roll piano show with Jeff Jacobs. “The Piano Man’s Piano Man” will be performed at 8 p.m. Aug. 19.

“My career in the music industry has been unique in that I have actually been able to work with some of my favorite childhood artists. I was only 25 years old when I first recorded and toured with Billy Joel, and was not much older when I became a member of Foreigner,” Jacobs said.

He said he will perform interpretations of giant songs of the era.

“I was there,” he said. “I’m excited to bring this show to Raue Center as a place that can truly appreciate the music and experiences of that time in rock ‘n’ roll history.”

Along with Joel and Foreigner, the show will feature songs form The Beatles and more, as well as some of Jacobs’ original music. The “one man, one piano” show is part of the National Piano Conference.

A member of Foreigner from 1990 to 2008, Jacobs now tours with Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm. He has appeared on several Joel albums and tours, most notably “Storm Front” and “River of Dreams,” and has earned the title of “The Piano Man’s Piano Man.”

Jacobs also has toured with Julian Lennon and performed as a keyboard player for artists such as Dennis De Young and Grayson Hughes. He’s recorded with Laura Brannigan and worked as a musical director for Australian giant Tina Arena. Jacobs has written and produced for blues artists, including Lonnie Brooks, Sugar Blue, Honeyboy Edwards, Pine Top Perkins, Carl Weathersby, Wayne Baker Brooks, Ronnie Brooks and Shemekia Copeland, as well as gospel artist Heather Headley and rappers Twista and GLC. His latest release is “All Blue To Me.”

Tickets to each concert of the series cost $10 in advance or $15 at the door and can be bought online at www.rauecenter.org or via the Box Office at 815-356-9212 or 26 N. Williams St. in Crystal Lake.

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