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Your Ukulele Halloween with Chicago Ukulele Cabaret

By Jason Kreke | Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween is normally a time for candy, costumes and…ukuleles? It might not be what most people think of what it comes to Halloween, but this Saturday, at 8:00 p.m. the Chicago Ukulele Cabaret is presenting Uke Horrifica at Silvie’s Lounge, 1902 W. Irving Park Rd., an open-mic night of ukulele jamming with a Halloween twist.

In the spirit of the season, musicians are asked to bring songs with themes that represent the season: witches, goblins, fright Chicago’s tax code. Full bands are welcomed, but each act must contain a ukulele and has about a 15 minute time limit. The event is free and 21 and over.

Long known as being the instrument of choice for Hawaiian music and Tiny Tim, the normally easygoing ukulele will attempt to create an atmosphere of ghoulish fright, or maybe just some interesting covers of the Misfits or Screamin’ Jaw Hawkins.

According to the group’s Facebook page, the Chicago Ukulele Cabaret is an open-mic style night of music that takes place every few months at Silvie’s Lounge. Each show has a theme (there have been Christmas and a food- and drink-themed one), and this time it is Halloween. Musicians are encouraged to use costumes, skits or props during the performance.

The brainchild of Anthony Bianchi and Mike Simons, Chicago Ukulele Cabaret was started about four years ago and inspired by a ukulele cabaret in New York City. “[Mike] had seen that show [in New York City] and wanted to start something like it here,” said Bianchi. “I knew how to play the ukulele, and forgetting Mike is a pretty determined guy, I said I’d be interested in helping, not realizing he would book a show two months away the following day.”

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