CHICAGO TRIBUNE FEATURES at PARAMOUNT

Trio channels Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Patsy Cline

Chicago Tribune: Angela Ingersoll, who performs the songs of Judy Garland in the show "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues: A Salute to Ella, Judy & Patsy," has a simple formula for entertaining audiences. "We are just doing a concert and just being ourselves, presenting it with love," said Ingersoll about the show that she performs with two other singers, "and that creates the magic."

In "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues: A Salute to Ella, Judy & Patsy," Karen Marie Richardson emits the sultry sound of jazz great Ella Fitzgerald; Angela Ingersoll captures the emotional power of Judy Garland; and Katie Deal epitomizes the tender heartache of country legend Patsy Cline. "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues" will be presented at 3 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

"The title of the show is not attached to any one performer," she said. "It was done by Billie Holiday originally. But the title describes the three of them." Some of the songs featured in the show includes Patsy Cline's "Crazy" and "Walking After Midnight;" Ella Fitzgerald's "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" and "Summertime;" and Judy Garland's "The Man That Got Away," "Get Happy" and "Over the Rainbow."

"We sing together occasionally," Ingersoll said. "In the show Ella teaches Judy some things on 'I Got Rhythm.' Also, the three of us sing together on 'You Belong to Me' and the title, 'I Got a Right to Sing the Blues.'"

Richardson's credits include an Off-Broadway performance in "Sleep No More" and performing in the national tour of Duke Ellington's opera "Queenie Pie." Ingersoll is a long-time Chicago actress with credits at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook and Porchlight Music Theatre, among others. Ingersoll was nominated for a Jeff Award for her performances in "The Mistress Cycle" and "The Secret Garden." Deal has appeared in national tours of "Today, Tomorrow and Forever: A Tribute to Patsy Cline" and "A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline."

"We don't do impressions," said Ingersoll about the trio's performances in "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues." "I think impressions have the intention to fool someone. But there is a striking resemblance to the performers."

Although the genres are different, Ingersoll believes that there is a common factor among the artists. "They all had the ability to transmit feelings and work through the pain," she said. "Ella seemed to let pain go in the song. Patsy's songs were like a cut, the first time you feel pain. With Judy, the wound is getting deeper and deeper."

The show is being presented by Artists Lounge Live, a concert series developed by Angela Ingersoll and her husband, Michael. Michael Ingersoll is a member of Under the Streetlamp quartet and a former performer in the national touring company of "Jersey Boys." "Michael and I started Artists Lounge Live to bring talented friends to audiences across the country," Ingersoll said. "In this case I put together something about my three favorite singers and performed it with two talented friends."

Cover Photo: Artists Lounge Live / JPM Photography