The Ensemble

Ken Baker began performing when he was seven years old, putting on shows in his backyard for the other kids in the neighborhood.  Among his credits since then, this actor/singer/director/producer has appeared on stages across the country in national tours of Sunday in the Park with George and A Christmas Carol, sung for the United States Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients at the famed Empire Room, directed the Carnegie Hall concert debut of Baritone Robert Sims and is one of the producers of the current Broadway revival of Godspell. He has been a featured vocalist for Jean Ann Ryan Productions and the Cunard Cruise Line, and has appeared as Abel Frake in  the Round Barn Theater’s Midwest Premier of State Fair and as Captain Albert Lenox in the Jeff nominated Apple Tree Theater production of The Secret Garden.  Other favorite roles include Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, The Padre in Man of LaMancha and Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd. Ken has staged concerts for Chicago’s acclaimed Music in the Loft and for over thirty years has encouraged the arts for children and young adults as an educational theater director and producer.

Jen-Chada-150pxJen Chada is an After Dark Award winning cabaret artist and has been a featured performer at the Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention and the Chicago Humanities Festival. Jen also has a wealth of theatre experience in the Chicago area including the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita.” Regionally, she has toured with “Scrooge” starring Richard Chamberlain and starred with Patti Austin and jazz legend Jack Sheldon in Cy Coleman and Alan & Marilyn Bergman’s premiere collaboration, “Like Jazz” at the Mark Taper Forum Theatre in Los Angeles. Jen is thrilled to appear alongside these amazingly talented artists and be welcomed so warmly into the Kevin Moore company.

George Howe is a multiple award winning songwriter and cabaret artist. His musical Queen Lucia won a 2006 Best New Musical Jeff Citation and in that same year he received an After Dark award for Outstanding Score for the musical Sleeping Ugly. Since 2001 he has written ten musicals for Lifeline Theatre’s Kidseries in Rogers Park with such amusing titles as Brave Potatoes, Lyle Lyle Crocodile and Duck For President. His musical Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type has been produced all across the US and its sequel Giggle Giggle Quack opens at Dallas Children’s Theater this summer before embarking on a year long national tour. George has been musical director for many cabarets and musical revues in Chicago and last year he created the arrangements for This One’s For You: The Music of Barry Manilow performed by 3 Girls 3 at the Skokie Theater. As an actor, his favorite roles include Nicely-Nicely in Guys and Dolls, Beadle in Sweeney Todd, Frankie in Forever Plaid, Charlie Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and an incredulous safe-cracker in Sherlock Holmes with Christopher Lloyd. George can be seen most nights playing piano and belting out pop, rock and showtunes at Davenport’s.

Laura Freeman is a regular performer at such sites as The Skokie Theatre, the Metropolis, the Acorn Theatre, Park West, Maxim’s, Davenport’s Piano Bar, The Humanities Festival and the Chicago Cultural Center. Miss Freeman “becomes the character reflected in the song. It shines in her face, in her voice, and above all, in her heart.” (Carla Gordon, Cabaret Scenes)   Originally from South Bend, Indiana, Laura began her career as a musical theatre performer. She toured the United States, Canada and Europe in such productions as Joseph, Hair, Christmas Carol and Into the Woods. Recently, she appeared in Ravinia’s production of Annie Get Your Gun, with Patti Lupone. Laura has created tribute shows for some of her favorite ladies: Doris Day, Julie Andrews, Judy Garland and the girls and groups of the early 60’s!


Heather Moran was born and raised in Illinois, and has been performing for most of her life. She studied voice as a child at New Trier High School and Northwestern University. As an adult, she studied opera at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pennsylvania, and the University of Colorado. She eventually returned to Chicago to earn a BA in theater from Columbia College. Ms. Moran has performed in many settings: nightclubs, weddings, private and corporate functions, and most notably, on Navy Pier’s two premiere dinner cruise ships, Mystic Blue and The Odyssey. Some venues she has appeared at include: San Francisco’s Empire Plush Room, Drury Lane Water Tower, Katerina’s, Grant Park, Andy’s Jazz, Park West, The Acorn Theater in Michigan’s Three Oaks, Caf Luciano, The Stonefire Restaurant, Tivoli, Tuscany-Wheeling, Webster’s Wine Bar, Magnum’s Wilson Center of the Arts in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Steakhouse, Davenport’s, Gold Star Sardine Bar, Martyr’s, and Joy Blue. She is also a Second City alumna skilled in improvisational theater. Ms. Moran’s newest sensational Rosemary Clooney hit show, “Rosie, A Tribute…” is currently touring regionally. She can also been seen singing in the critically acclaimed musical trio, 3Girls3, performing their newest hit Barry Manilow show.


Tom Michael, recognized by NY Backstage Magazine as “one of the most striking singers to emerge in the last few years”, has performed across the country to critical acclaim and is a two-time Chicago After Dark Award winner.

Appearing on such concert stages as New York’s Lincoln Center, Town Hall, and The Supper Club; Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre, Empire Room, Davenport’s, Millennium Park Pritzker Stage, and Park West; The Royal Room in Palm Beach; Houston’s Ovations; and Guild Hall in East Hampton, Tom has delighted audiences with his warm, expressive style.

His three solo CD’s, “Let Me Be Your Home”, “Written in the Stars”, and “Sailing On”, have received international critical acclaim and radio play, and were named “#1 CD of the Year” by such publications as ShowBusiness Weekly Magazine, After Dark Chicago, and WDVR-FM Radio. Both CD’s also earned positions on the album spotlight page of Billboard Magazine, and received praise from Playbill, The Advocate, and Chicago’s #1 Radio Station, WGN.

Tom regularly performs with his musical partner Beckie Menzie. In what has been called a “musical marriage”, Menzie & Michael have become one of the nation’s most in-demand duos. With their unique blend of whimsy, nostalgia and imaginative twists on jazz standards, contemporary pop, and show tunes, their concerts and duo CD “Better Two-gether” have won audience and critical acclaim nationwide. They have been described by the Chicago Tribune as “one of the most compelling duos in cabaret today”, and NY Cabaret Scenes Magazine as “sizzling”, “pure brilliance”, and “cabaret at its best!”


Beckie Menzie was hailed by Chicago’s WGN Radio as “one of the city’s finest cabaret performers”, and is a three time winner of Chicago’s After Dark Award for Outstanding Cabaret Artist Award.  A staple of the Windy City music scene, Beckie performs regularly at Davenport’s and Petterino’s in Chicago.  She has performed at Jazz At Lincoln Center for four different performances, Carnegie Hall in NYC and the Auditorium Theatre and the Park West in Chicago, as well as many concerts both nationally and internationally. As one of cabaret’s most in demand entertainers,  Beckie was featured in Michael Feinstein’s “Now & Then” Series for her Carnegie Hall debut.  She has been a featured performer at many of the Mabel Mercer Cabaret Conventions in New York, The Hamptons and in Chicago, as well as many performances for the Chicago Humanities Festival, where she has served as a performer, director and musical director. She has served as musical director for many acts including TV star Eydie Falco in her NYC cabaret debut.

She performs regularly with Tom Michael and as a duo they are the 2007 After Dark recipients of the Outstanding Cabaret Artist award. Their award-winning duo CD Better Two-gether showcases their unique “2 Singers – 1 Voice” duo style that has made them what the Chicago Tribune calls “one of the most compelling duos in cabaret.” Their acclaimed shows have consistently been named among the year’s best by After Dark Chicago and New York’s Cabaret Scenes Magazine. Beckie is an award winning songwriter and also teaches in the musical theatre department of Northwestern University.


KT McCammond is a 2004 Graduate of the Cabaret Conference at Yale, the recipient of the 2005 Chicago After Dark Award for “Outstanding Cabaret Artist”, and has appeared to acclaim at the city’s premier venues including Maxim’s, Davenport’s, The Cultural Center, The Peninsula Hotel, The Jazz Showcase, Park West, and the Drury Lane and Merle Ruskin Theaters. “Ms. McCammond gives her audience a musical experience that can set the heart pounding one moment and then shatter it the next. Whether she’s shaking the rafters or serenading with a tender lullaby, Ms. McCammond takes the listener (on) a richly rewarding journey.” (Chicago After Dark Magazine). KT has lent her vocal talents to corporate clients such as Xerox, Miller Corp., the Shedd Aquarium, and the Vero Beach Museum of Art and has 4 very successful solo shows. Through her debut album “Finding My Way Home” KT has emerged as an impressive cross-over artist, covering genres from the 1880s French Art songs to the music of Tina Turner.  Jazz, Gospel, Pop, Broadway and even Reggae are a part of her musical expression.


Daryl Nitz (Program Director) is an award-winning master showman with an arsenal of talent at his disposal that The Sun Times calls a “vocal tour-de-force.” His engaging personality, dead-on impressions, and quick wit, combine to make an unforgettable night of music. Hailed as “the best party in town,” Daryl, and his musical partner-in-crime, George Howe, host the longest running cabaret show in Chicago, every Friday and Saturday night, at Davenport’s Piano Bar. In addition, Daryl directs and produces many shows for theatres, corporations, not-for-profit organizations, and private events all over Chicagoland. He and his works have been seen at Drury Lane Water Tower, The Lakeshore Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Royal George Theatre, The Bailiwick, Navy Pier Grand Ballroom, The Park West, and Preston Bradley Hall.


Spider Saloff is the co-star and co-creator of the internationally syndicated Public Radio series Words and Music, and has received critical acclaim nationally and internationally. Her CD release Like Glass not only received praise as a recording, but Saloff’s original songs have charmed the critics.

Recently, Saloff was featured with the prestigious Chicago Jazz Orchestra in a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.  She received the honor of performing the American Premiere of a newly discovered song by the great Billy Strayhorn, “So This Is Love”. And as one of the rare officially sanctioned acts of the Gershwin Centennial, her concert, Spider Saloff Sings Gershwin, toured the U.S. and headlined the St. Petersburg Gershwin Festival in Russia.

Ms. Saloff has played such renowned jazz and night club venues as New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, Iridium, Joe’s Pub, Birdland,The Russian Tea Room, Michael’s Pub, and The Algonquin, as well as San Francisco’s Jazz at Pearl’s, and Plush Room and Seattle’s Triple Door. And Chicago’s famed Gold Star Sardine Bar, The Green Mill, and the Fairmont Hotel.

A five-time winner of the prestigious MAC Award, including one for Best Female Jazz Vocalist, presented by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets, she also received a special citation for her musical contributions from NARAS (presenter of the Grammy Awards).

Television and radio credits include: The Bonnie Hunt Show (CBS), The Steve Baskerville Show (CBS), Centerstage (PBS), Artbeat (PBS), Words & Music (syndicated series, 57 episodes), a one-hour feature on the Noteworthy Women series (Public Radio), and Studs Terkel (WFMT).