Bonnie Koloc performs benefit concert at Mendelssohn June 1

Staff Report

Bonnie Koloc will perform a benefit concert at Mendelssohn Hall, 406 N. Main St., Rockford, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 1.

The enduring and versatile voice of Bonnie Koloc has been heard in Chicago since 1968. For a decade, Bonnie was a pivotal act at the Earl of Old Town, drawing crowds that stood in lines around the block, hoping, at least, for a place to stand to catch the hottest act in town. In time, her folk-oriented style merged with jazz and blues, and her versatility took her to Mr. Kelly’s, a long-time Chicago landmark. While continuing to play at the Earl, Orphans and Holstein’s, she began appearing at festivals.

Along the way, she received a Governor’s Award in 1973 for Best Singer, recorded 10 albums, two of them with Epic. In 1984, her career took another turn when she starred in the Public Theater’s production of The Human Comedy, first earning her the theater World Bronze Award for Outstanding New Talent on Broadway and a Drama Critics Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.

In 1997, Bonnie created a one-woman musical commissioned by the College of Du Page in Glen Ellyn, Ill. Set in the country of Trashmania, a land of artists and good dogs, the story centered on a woman’s attempts to fulfill her vocation as a singer while regaling us with stories of her eccentric aunts, also artists, in the Royal Trashmanian Circus. For this musical, Bonnie not only wrote music and lyrics for 19 songs, but designed and built the set (which included her own paintings, prints and drawings) and created all the costumes.

Bonnie continues to perform and record. Her latest CD, Bonnie Koloc-Rediscovered (2012), is preceded by 13 albums, including Timeless (2004), a double CD of selections from mostly live performances between 1970 and 1995; A Bestiary (2005), a CD accompanying the art book described above; Here To Sing (2006), a studio recording; and, most recently, Beginnings (2009), a CD of selections from early live recordings by Rich Warren, primarily of performances at the legendary Chicago folk club, the Earl of Old Town.

Admission to the benefit concert is $25 for adults and $5 for students. To purchase tickets, call (815) 964-9713, or purchase online at Proceeds from the concert will benefit the educational programs developed by Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center and Charlotte’s Web, a division of Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center.

From the May 29-June 4, 2013, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!