Entertainment » Culture

Girls, guitars and more: 4 Women Only

by Sylvia Rodemeyer
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Feb 24, 2009

It's a Wednesday night at an intimately-lit, upscale but earthy restaurant. A girl at a piano takes the corner stage and plays a few notes. Her laugh hits the same notes as she brightly introduces herself: Diana Lawrence. Lawrence, a Natalie Portman look-a-like is just one of four women Uncommon Ground features in February at their weekly showcase "4 Women Only."

It is Kat Fitzgerald, one of Chicago's prominent lesbian voices, that is in charge of culling Chicago's music scene and placing the best of the best on stage every Wednesday at the Devon location of Uncommon Ground. Natural food gives way to natural talent as the pure sounds of acoustic guitars, lilting pianos and unplugged drum sets amplify the talent on stage.

"There are no other venues for rising women singer songwriters in Chicago, especially on the north side, so we created this showcase," says emcee Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is also the organizer of the showcase's sponsor, Labrys Chicago, an organization dedicated to sharing strength and independence among women all over Chicagoland.

"There are no other venues for rising women singer songwriters in Chicago, especially on the north side, so we created this showcase."
-Kat Fitzgerald

February features musicians Cindy Brandle, Elizabeth Bagby, Lauren Frost and Lawrence. Performer Frost got her start when she was portrayed and sang as "Young Barbara" in Barbara Streisand's Timeless concerts, and on the Emmy-winning FOX TV Special and Grammy-nominated CD Recordings. Now she is pursuing her own music with her band Blue Lou.

Lawrence, a professional musician, is just starting to explore her own compositions on the 4 Women Only stage. She says on her Myspace page, "I majored in voice and minored in piano in college, and now I work around Chicago as a pianist and singer. But now here I am, starting to write songs and perform them myself, and it's a little daunting, but the more I do it, the more I know I want to keep doing it."

Each Wednesday from 9 p.m.-11 p.m., the women take the stage at Uncommon Ground at 1401 W Devon Ave. For more information on 4 Women Only, visit www.uncommonground.com or www.labryschicago.com


  • , 2009-02-26 10:31:26

    Hi, while the venue may not be as "up-scale", there are actually several great places for new and established memebrs of the Rainbow community. Homolate, at Big Chicks, Queer Open Mike at Jenny Urban’s Cafe, PowWow, on the southside and a new one; "T" Mic, at Center on Halsted.

  • , 2009-02-26 10:33:31

    OPPS, that wasn’t suppose to be "anonymous", the comment came from me; June LaTrobe

  • , 2009-02-26 14:04:40

    Something to remember - "4 Women Only" is all about female performers and not necessarily in the queer community. Funny how some of the performers tend to be however, but straight allies, and all around fabulous female performers are what make this a great event!

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