A review by Aaron Hunt
“A warm and fuzzy holiday haze.”
If you want a little sumthin-sumthin to slap you into a warm and fuzzy holiday haze, this is what you require. You can stream Christmas with The Peppermint Patties for a limited time at a price you can afford.
“This is your answer to the absence of the holiday TV specials of your youth.”
This is your answer to the absence of the holiday TV specials of your youth. (Unless you're young enough to be on all your first joints.) It's a little Andrew Sisters, a little Lennon Sisters, and a little cabaret. It's sweet, nostalgic, funny, and sometimes a tiny bit fresh, and these performers may help you forget the news for a hot minute. There is no higher compliment.
“Sweet, nostalgic, and a tiny bit fresh.”
Anna Caldwell can sing anything. Everyone in Chicago knows this. A larger geographical area needs this information. She sings all seven of her octaves in this thing and lands a Christmas Always Finds Me that you will never forget. Anna tells our current collective story with this song, and it is beautiful and heart-rending.
I know Laura Smalley Emery, but I'm ashamed to say this is the first time I've heard her sing. Again, (leitmotif) vocal range to burn, lovely, warm timbre to the voice, but she's also funny and wise and always reads the room for pace. She has an uncanny sensibility as a performer. She sings a Happy Days/Forget Your Troubles duet with Daina Fischer that will rock your world.
Daina Fischer’s sparkling voice defies classification, at least for me. She sings mostly alto with the Patties, but in her solo numbers, we hear the (rim shot) huge range on the lady. She gives some Sondheim and some Jason Robert Brown that you miss at your own peril.
Nikki Krzebiot (again, how many notes?) pops a couple of standards that are chocolate sauce on the heart.
The Feathered Beaus open for and sometimes join the Patties, and don't miss the boys–they're terrific and multiply the fun.
Slap some money down and deck your halls with The Peppermint Patties.
Aaron Ashton Hunt is a freelance opera, musical theatre, and theatre reviewer, with feature articles published in Chicago’s NewCity newspaper, and HowlRound. He holds memberships in ACTA and MCANA.
He is also trained in opera, musical theater and acting and has performed all over the country on professional stages. He is a sought after Director in the Chicago Storefront Opera Scene and theater educator with residences in Chicago, Malta (EU) and Los Angeles.
Starting April 20th The Peppermint Patties will perform at Rogers Park Social every third Thursday of the month from 8:00 to 10:00 PM.
Their sets feature close harmony arrangements of classic songs like Shoo Shoo Baby, Bei mir bist du schein, and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy as well as jazz standards, retro hits, a cappella numbers, and musical theatre favorites.
The Patties are thrilled to return to Rogers Park for a monthly show after performing a Valentine’s program there in February.
Patties member Anna Caldwell explains how the bar is a key part of the group’s origin story:
“In 2018, we walked into Rogers Park Social as three friends, and walked out as The Peppermint Patties! Over drinks that night we talked about our singing careers and it seemed that each of us was yearning for a little something extra in our artistic lives that season. The idea to put on a concert together came first, and the next thing I knew we had a name and a brand and we’ve never looked back! I’m not sure if it was the cocktails or good vibes but Rogers Park Social will always be a very special place for us.” - Anna Caldwell
Group members, Caldwell, Daina Fischer, and Laura Smalley are graduates of DePaul University where they studied Opera. They perform all genres of music and pack their shows with nostalgia, comedy, and plenty of heart.
Rogers Park Social is a unique and inviting neighborhood bar that reflects the soul of the community. The bar offers a unique and inviting atmosphere featuring craft beers and freshly prepared cocktails. Founded and operated by neighborhood residents, they strive to “mindfully infuse the spirit of community, diversity, and service in all that we offer.”
Rogers Park Social is located at 6920 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60626. There is no cover but cash tips for the artist are always appreciated. Seating is first come first serve.
In celebration of the role of Christmas in our origin story as The Peppermint Patties and our fondness for how food brings us together and anchors us in family tradition, we created this ebook featuring our favorite holiday treats!
By Anna Caldwell
As The Peppermint Patties celebrate three years of making music together, we share the story of how we became Chicago’s newest vintage vocal trio and reflect on our values and hopes for the future.
Among the many lessons learned over the past three years, one of the greatest has been the empowerment of producing our own shows and the joy of sharing that work both live on-stage and with a growing digital audience.
Please enjoy an excerpt from the poem "One Today" by Richard Blanco. We thought this poem and its message matched beautifully with the hope and unity of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
The song is an anthem for all who dream of a vibrant future where everyone is free to show the many colors of who they are.