By Leslie Witt

Planning an outing with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day? Ditch the quiet, candlelit dinner and let it all hang out with a 19-piece, 1930’s New Orleans style cabaret show playing at Martyrs’!

I had the good fortune to catch Vaud and the Villains’ Chicago debut a year ago November at Martyrs’. Those who piled into the north side venue were quickly transported to another time and place. The stage overflowed with instruments and musicians and dancers in vintage costumes, with names like Silky, Lady Creole and Blind Dog, who reveled in America’s finest music traditions. It was a journey from boogie woogie to blues to gospel to ragtime to Dixieland and back down home again, with dramatic flourishes, comedic moments and a few surprises along the way. Here’s a taste on the Pete Seeger song “Jacob’s Ladder.”

The ensemble is the brainchild of LA based actor Andy Comeau and his wife, Dawn Lewis. It is both an homage to his family roots in Louisiana and a weekly celebration inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s album We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. Individually V&V are great players, full of personality, and collectively they are over-the-top fun. So gather your friends, take a chance, find romance, and be ready to dance to Vaud and the Villains at Martyrs’ this coming Thursday.


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