UnCabaret with Allee Willis, Greg Behrendt, Jordan Black, Sam Morrow and More!
Sun · March 18, 2018
Doors: 7:15 pm / Show: 8:00 pm (event ends at 10:00 pm)Au Lac
$10.00 - $30.00
The Showroom at Au Lac, Bar Fedora, serves food from their world class plant based menu, prepared by Chef Ito. You can arrive early, 6ish, and eat in the dining room before the show, or eat dinner, snacks, drinks during the show. You can even start your meal in the restaurant and have them carry over the rest of your meal in the showroom.
The showroom itself is a beautiful intimate room, with a speakeasy vibe.
It's located right across from Disney Hall.
Questions and more info call 213-706-3630 or uncabaret.com
We look forward to seeing you there!
Her hits-including Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" and "Boogie Wonderland," The Pointer Sisters' "Neutron Dance," Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield's "What Have I Done To Deserve This," and The Rembrandts' "I'll Be There For You (Theme From Friends)"-have sold more than 60 million records. Willis also co-authored the Oprah Winfrey-produced Tony-winning Broadway musical The Color Purple.
After running on Broadway from 2005-2008, The Color Purple returned to Broadway December 10, 2015, opening to unanimously rave reviews. New York Magazine called it "one of the best musical revivals ever” while The New York Times praised it as “a miracle on Broadway…a glory to behold.”
Willis is currently working on "The D". Recorded at over 50 sing-alongs all over Detroit and featuring more people in history than have ever been the original artist on a record - over 6000 people - Willis, along with collaborator Andrae Alexander, wrote "The D" as a theme to accompany the Motor City's re-invention. The song is accompanied by an eye-popping, Detroiters-as-they-have-never-been-seen-before video directed and co-animated by Willis. “The D" attests to Willis' motto of "from the ashes come the miracles" and that from the greatest of obstacles the greatest of things can happen.
Willis' live shows, including sold-out runs of "Ba-de-ya, Baby!" and "Allee Willis' Super Ball Bounce Back Review," have drawn raves as Willis celebrates her life in music and art with her greatest hits sing-alongs, stories, huge live band, dancers, special guests, motorized art, games, videos, mid-show foot massages via Manly Handz, all delivered with her signature party vibe (People magazine has written that "tickets to Allee Willis' ultra-exclusive parties...are the campiest hot tickets in LA"). In addition to future versions of her innovative, interactive, and inimitable stage review -- a "one-woman show with 25 people in it" -- Willis has also become a regular headliner at the legendary comedy review, UnCabaret.
Willis first returned to live performing after a decades-long absence in 2010. She broke the ice by going back to her college, the University of Wisconsin, to conduct the school's 350-piece marching band through a medley of her hits during halftime of the Homecoming football game, before 82,000 fans. In 2011, she launched "Allee Willis Marches on Detroit," an ongoing series of events and fundraisers dedicated to her beloved hometown-with another marching band event, this time in Detroit's historic Fox Theatre with students from her alma mater Mumford High-the school that became famous in the film for which Willis won a Grammy for Best Soundtrack, Beverly Hills Cop. The cast of the national touring company of The Color Purple sang along with the students as Willis conducted.
A second "Marching on Detroit" event took place in 2012 when Willis staged the "Last Call Before The Wrecking Ball" concert at Mumford, where students sang, danced, and played their way through her hits just a month before the school was demolished. On that same visit to Detroit, she was honored at Cass Technical High School, which was the first high school in the U.S. to license, and the second to produce, The Color Purple. Wilis also received a "Spirit of Detroit" award from the City Council for her work on behalf of Detroit to date (previously, in 2008 she received an official "Testimonial Resolution" from the City as well).
Willis is the curator of The Allee Willis Museum of Kitsch at AWMOK.com, a Willis-designed social network with galleries, art, music, chat, video and live events. Launched in late 2009, it features Willis' world's largest collection of Kitsch artifacts as seen on her popular "Kitsch O' The Day" blog as well as submissions made by visitors to the site. AWMOK.com promotes a vibrant and unique form of social interaction, inviting like-minded "aKitschionados" to upload images and descriptions of their own prized Kitsch.
Willis is an internationally shown visual artist as well, and her paintings, ceramics, motorized sculptures and furniture are widely collected. Willis' first solo gallery exhibition, 1985's "Wear The Right Clothes Even At Home," featured kinetic sculptures, many named after her hit songs, including "Neutron Dance" and "Boogie Wonderland." Her expansive vision further extends to art direction, set design, and animation. Many of the more than 2,000 pieces of art Willis has sold were done in tandem with her fearless alter-ego, Bubbles the artist. Within months of Bubbles' first painting in 1999, it was rumored in The New York Times that Willis actually was Bubbles the artist. In a feature on Willis, People magazine once called her artistic overdrive, "a multi-threat creativity that itself seems like a Godzilla out to conquer Lalaland."
Willis has long braved new worlds of creative endeavor integrating music, art, video, multi-media technology and lifestyle via a series of works in which she co-composes, sings, plays, produces, draws, animates, directs, designs web worlds for and stars in. The first such release, "Allee Willis Presents Bubbles & Cheesecake "It's A Woman Thang"--- part of a 6-song collaboration with singer-songwriter Holly Palmer (a.k.a. Cheesecake) -- was selected as Official Honoree in The 2008 Webby Awards, and won three 2008 W3 Awards. Her second video, "Allee Willis Presents Bubbles & Cheesecake "Editing Is Cool", was also 'featured' on YouTube and won three 2008 W3 Awards. At one point, Willis' 2009 video "Hey Jerrie"-- co-starring Jerrie Thill, a 91-year-old female drummer on an oxygen tank -- was the 12th most popular video worldwide on YouTube.
Willis is also a cyber-pioneer who conceptualized Internet realms and was an outspoken advocate for them back when "new" media was unknown to most. In 1991, a positively Paleolithic age in terms of mainstream computer use, her home was the first fully-wired, networked location in Los Angeles (in the next decade, it went on to become one of the fst all-fiber houses). From 1992 until 1997, she and partner Prudence Fenton dove headlong into developing willisville, the first social networking portal. Willisville featured a radically new approach to interactive content, employing narrative frameworks to navigate the site intuitively, and merging multiple technologies and platforms into one story-driven interface. In 1994, willisville's CEO was seminal entrepreneur Mark Cuban. Early on, Fortune Magazine cited it as one of the emerging Internet's most exciting companies, and its progress was also tracked by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times throughout the 1990s. In 1999, with Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner -- and in tandem with Bubbles the artist -- Willis also designed lilytomlin.com, a non-linear journey through Tomlin's life, characters and Tony-winning play, The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe.
Starting in the early 1990s, Willis consulted for Intel, Microsoft, AOL and Disney and created virtual worlds for a variety of other entertainment and technology companies. In 1997, representing 3,000,000 BMI songwriters, she addressed the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property regarding artist rights in cyberspace. Regularly called upon to speak on the nascent Internet, she keynoted the very first Digital World conference in 1992 with AOL founder Steve Case and Intel founder Andy Groves, and in 1996 lectured on interactive journalism to a group of prominent print and television journalists at Harvard University.
Willis credits her hometown of Detroit, where the music of Motown got in her blood, as her creative inspiration. She earned a degree in Journalism at the University of Wisconsin before moving to New York in 1969. She landed a copywriting job at Columbia and Epic Records, and in 1972 turned to music and songwriting. Her first ten songs were released on the 1974 Epic album, Childstar. Bonnie Raitt, a fan of the album, gave Willis her first cover that year as she was working as a hat-check girl at the fabled Manhattan nightspots Catch A Rising Star and Reno Sweeney's.
Willis then moved to Los Angeles, where she landed a publishing deal at A&M in 1977 after being turned down by almost every other publisher in town. In 1978, she sold ten million records and has since collaborated with Bob Dylan, James Brown, Herbie Hancock, and literally hundreds of other music luminaries. A Grammy winner for Best Soundtrack for 1985's #1 album Beverly Hills Cop, Willis is one of pop music's most prolific songwriters. In 1987, Willis authored a column for Details magazine, "Some Like It Smog," in which she introduced her proudest musical kitsch discovery, The Del Rubio Triplets, mini-skirted octogenarians who went on to tour the world and appear on over 20 network television programs.
At the same time that Willis' music was regularly climbing the charts, she became a renowned impresario of inspired parties and events-as-performance art. Many took place at her architecturally historic L.A. home, a William Kesling-designed Streamline Moderne gem known as "Willis Wonderland," in a nod to her hit song, "Boogie Wonderland." The house, which has been featured in the NY Times and the LA Times, is filled with Willis' various collections, which represent one of the world's largest assemblages of Kitsch (Willis was actually in the dictionary.com definition of kitsch). Her thematic soirees draw A-list celebrities, art world stars, pop culture icons and other notables. Always press magnets, the parties were early vehicles through which Willis freely expressed all her multi-media talents to serve one fabulous end. Among the most memorable are: "The Night of the Living Negligee, 1-3," a series of all-girl pajama parties, and the "Borscht Belt Birthday Party." The latter was a wry-on-rye affair commemorating Willis being named, "one of the most dangerous subversives living in the U.S." by Russian newspaper Pravda because they mistranslated her hit song "Neutron Dance" as a nuclear-themed "Neutron Bomb". Willis' party-throwing-as-artistic-expression continues to this day.
With everything converging, Willis' signature vision and creative intelligence have entered a new phase. As journalist Anne Stockwell wrote in a recent profile, "To understand where Willis is going, you have to open your mind to a degree of inventiveness that's frankly a little scary." And spectacularly fun
Behrendt currently lives in LA with his wife/writing and producing partner Amiira and their two daughters.
"In the past, I never really gave myself the opportunity to grow like I have since getting sober. I never really cared to learn about myself, my flaws, my strengths. I've been sober for long enough to where I see things coming back to me, but the fog of the chaos is only getting thicker, and that scares me."
It's been a busy year for newcomer Sam Morrow. Over the course of 15 months, he will have released his first two full length albums, a live in-the-studio EP with accompanying videos, be named an NPR "World Cafe Next" artist and play more than 100 shows, including an East Coast tour with blues legend John Mayall, kicking off The Bandit Town Festival and a successful SXSW.
In 2014, Forty Below Records released Morrow's first record Ephemeral, about which influential Americana magazine No Depression declared, "Sam Morrow has crafted a sterling debut LP that offers ready comparisons to the inspiring melancholia of Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska, Steve Earle's Train a Coming and Jason Isbell's more recent Southeastern."
While Ephemeral introduced the world to Morrow's story and sound with a collection of haunting vignettes, his sophomore effort, There Is No Map, goes a couple steps further, exploring the joy ride before the hangover. Infused with an explorer's soul and world-weary eyes, the structure and heart of this album mimic Morrow's own growth as a person and artist. It's an undeniable celebration of life, in all its unvarnished glory, as is evident right out of the gates where album opener, 'Barely Holding On', finds our thrill seeking maverick, thundering down the asphalt on a cocaine-fueled adventure.
"(Album producer) Eric Corne and I had a vision, since the end of our last record," says Morrow, "for this one to be daring. The last album dwelled on the darkness of growing up and running from reality, so I wanted this record to highlight the real adventures I had, and still have. We also wanted this record to be more of an ensemble, with the instrumentation helping to tell more of the story. We got some of our favorite musicians together in the studio for four days total; Matt Tecu on drums, Eamon Ryland on guitar, Ted Russell Kamp playing bass and Sasha Smith on keys. We recorded the first five songs in two days at Kingsize Soundlabs, in Eagle Rock. It provided a space where we could just go in and create, not simply record. The beauty of the ensemble that we put together is the ability for Eric and I to work together with them on a very raw idea. One of the songs we did at Kingsize was 'Wasted Time.' The interaction between Eamon's pedal steel playing, Sasha's organ part, and Matt's minimalist percussion approach wouldn't have happened tracking separately." Corne continues, "We topped it off with Eamon's iconic baritone guitar solo and gorgeous background vocals by Samantha Valdez. She added that classic country element, like an Emmylou (Harris) or Patsy (Cline) would have done. "It's easily my favorite track on the record," exclaims Morrow.
"I felt as though I was changing as a person and so my music should follow. My tastes had matured and I found myself digging deeper in the depths of traditional Americana; Little Feat, Hank Williams, Paul McCartney's RAM, Lucinda Williams, Merle Haggard. I found myself being influenced by things I wasn't before. Early in my life, I turned a shoulder to country music but once I started seeking out the sounds beyond what we're spoon fed, I found my home; the land of storytellers and outlaws picking against the grain. But I still wanted to stamp it with my own brand. I wanted to dip into psychedelia and make a record referencing all different kinds of music that I love." On, 'Am I Wrong,' you hear some Ray Charles crossed with The Doors; 'Green' blends country and gospel; and 'The Deaf Conductor' serves up acerbic Dylanesque wordplay over a rollicking Crazy Horse thump and guitars reminiscent of Lowell George (Little Feat).
Whereas Ephemeral was written amidst a fog of lingering depression and addiction, Morrow's turn with There Is No Map, is a wide-eyed journey through the past, careening into the future; Drenched in a childlike optimism and chemical-induced glee, the realities of this record are consequences of Morrow's own juxtaposed experiences. Even its artwork taunts the imagination with a provocative impossibility of conflicting worlds; There is No Map wrestles with paradox and invites the listener to take a seat, sweat along and tackle their own internal struggle.
In the end, there is no map to center of one's soul. It's an existential journey and one that promises to be a landmark for Sam Morrow and anyone willing to listen.
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