Norridge troupe loves old-style musical comedy
Norridge Thursday Jan 31 2013 Dan Roberto of Elk Grove Village (left to right,) Frieda and her husband Jim Zeidel of Norridge, and Jorge Soto of West Chicago and make up the entertainment group It's So About You Entertainment. Roberto, Soto and Frieda Zeidel perform, while Jim Zeidel manages the group. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 8, 2013 6:08AM
NORRIDGE — Songs, comedy and audience interaction are on what members of “It’s So About You” thrive.
“Humor is what people need,” said Frieda Zeidel of Norridge, who provides the female vocals for the trio. “Each performance is different because you have to feel out the audience.”
Serving as equal partners in these endeavors are Jorge Soto, lead male singer, and Dan Roberto, whom Zeidel describes as the “DJ extraordinaire” when it come to providing the sound.
“We try to keep people animated with crazy songs and comic relief,” Roberto said.
“And if the audience is laughing, we know it’s Dan doing something silly behind us,” Zeidel added, with a smirk.
Soto compared the troupe’s performances to that of a variety show.
“No one really does that anymore,” he said. “It’s PG humor, like the old Milton Berle Show.
“Remember how he used to dress up in dresses?”
The group evolved through friendship.
Zeidel met Jorge through her husband, Jim, who also serves as the group’s manager. Soto struck up a friendship with Roberto, who then became friends with the Zeidels.
What binds the group is their love of music and humor.
“We just don’t want to grow up,” Zeidel explained.
And the audiences seem to buy that attitude.
“They get the little jokes,” Roberto said. “They really get it.
“They understand improv.”
Performance bits include slowing down “The Chipmunks” tunes and speeding up the sounds of such songs as “High Hopes.”
“It’s really funny to see live,” Roberto said.
What people don’t realize is the amount of time spent behind the scenes, preparing for each performance.
As the DJ, Roberto works on sequencing tracks to fit the scenario.
“I have some secret, studio tricks,” he explained. “You have to mix it up.”
Zeidel works on her voice, using lessons learned early in her training.
“A good singer reaches the note,” Zeidel said. “Many today climb to it.”
The repertoire works at many special occasions, including weddings, parties and charitable events, according to Zeidel.
That included an October performance at the Norridge Park District.
“They were funny and engaging,” said Julie Gersky, Adult Recreation Club coordinator for the park district. “They can cover any genre of music.”
The group so was entertaining that they have been invited back for the club’s St. Patrick’s Day celebratory lunch.
Then there was a recent gig for an animal rescue group.
“There was a dog singing with us while we were doing ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ by Eric Burden and the Animals,” Soto said.
“We like to hear people laugh — whether it’s with us or at us,” Roberto said.
Zeidel said working with the park district is one way of giving back to the community.
“My mom lived just a couple of blocks away,” Zeidel said. “She was so close, she could hear the summer concerts from her backyard.”