The American Legion Post 42, 1030 Central St., was the place to be Saturday night, Oct. 1, for the launch of Evanston Live.  More than 100 people gathered for this community-based, retro-cool talk show featuring Evanston artists, musicians, chefs, local notables, and historians.  

The event kicked off with cocktails and professional event entertainer Michael Kett, with music by DJ Pound.  The show was hosted by Evanston Live creator Tammy Job and featured interviews with Shorefront Legacy founder Dino Robinson and Evanston actor Antoine McKay.   Mark Collins, 20-year Evanston resident, high school art teacher, and painter conducted the interviews.  Mr. Robinson shared the history of the founding of Shorefront Legacy Center and talked about how his extended family instilled in him a love of history and how his grandmother, Marjorie Rose, made it really click for him.  He discussed Shorefront’s current exhibit, “Legacies,” and upcoming activities. Mr. McKay spoke about his journey to becoming an actor, including his parents’ exposing him to famous comedians like Flip Wilson and Mark Twain.  He shared some of his favorite roles as well as information on his new project on Amazon, “Written Off,” and his theatre, McKay Arts. 

Nina Uziel-Miller took the stage for her first live performance of a story called “The Shoemaker,” a poignant and beautiful tale of parenthood’s struggles and celebrations. It was also the first live solo performance for Susan Abraham, who played guitar and sang vocals to “Different Drum,”  “You’re the One That I Want,” and “Smokin’ the Boys.”  Both first-time solo performers wowed the sold-out audience.

The night ended with a lip sync battle between two Evanston residents, Peter Fitzgerald and Erika Carey, who in Jimmy Fallon style, lip synced sections of famous songs including “Little Red Corvette” and “Interjections.”  The laughter from the audience could be heard a mile away.  

Closing out the night was the band The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, a Chicago-based power trio whose three members hail from the South Side of Chicago, Los Angeles, and Istanbul. Guests danced late into the night to classic rock tunes like “Folsom Prison” and “I Want You to Want Me”.

Tammy Job, Evanston Live creator said, “My hope was to gather people from our amazing community to share their music, art, and stories.  I wanted to connect folks who may not know one another and expose them to some great talent in our city.  The American Legion was the perfect place to host this event.  There is so much history in this 96-year-old building and community, and Brett Hallongren and his team are great partners.”

Evanston Live will take place every other month at the American Legion, and proceeds will support the American Legion and fund  a scholarship for a graduating Evanston Township High School student.  The next show is Dec. 10. Tickets for the 21-and-older event are $11 and are available online. The event is expected to sell out.  The line-up for the next show will be released online on Facebook @evanstonlive. More information is available