Molly Ringwald Dazzles at City Winery

My inner child was squealing with excitement when I was in a room with the iconic Molly Ringwald on Wednesday night at City Winery in Chicago.  This amazing The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink actress is currently on tour with her new music project: the Molly Ringwald Quartet.  Yes, she sings and she is amazing.  Ms. Ringwald has hit the road to support her debut album; Except Sometimes, that features cover songs with a jazzy twist.

This was my first time at City Winery, a gorgeous establishment that features a fully functioning winery with intimate concerts.  They also offer food & wine classes and can host private events in many of their beautifully decorated rooms.

As I walked in, I was greeted at the entrance and was seated at a table in the middle of the venue.   I ordered a glass of delicious blended red wine and a scrumptious buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, tomato sauce flatbread (perfect for my vegetarian self). 

The lights dimmed and Ringwald’s band stepped on stage with or by their instruments.  Her band includes Peter Smith (who also produced her album) on piano, Clayton Cameron on drums, Allen Mezquida on alto saxophone, and Trevor Ware on bass.

Not a sound filled the space until Ringwald graced the stage with her presence, then loud applause filled the air.  I had to pinch myself to make sure this was real.  I have always been a fan of Ms. Ringwald and grew up on her films.  I never thought I would get the opportunity to see her face to face. 

She sang her way through an hour and a half of songs on her album… and off, with little stories in between.  The tunes she soulfully sang on the album were “I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)” and Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” which was sung as a tribute to her late favorite writer, director producer: Mr. John Hughes.  Off album songs performed were “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story, Fats Waller’s “Mean To Me” and “My Old Flame” from Billie Holiday.

Towards the end of the show, Ringwald had everyone raise their hands if they were married, had kids, or grandkids.  She then went on to let her captive audience know that she’s been married for 13 blissful years and has three kids.

On a side note, she hilariously spoke about some interesting tidbits on touring.  Her number one advice is that she will never eat an Applebee’s again and that you find out what your exes are up to in their current lives.  One of her ex-boyfriends is a District Attorney in Washington state and she’s actually performing at his campaign kickoff party next month.

Once the show concluded, Ringwald met with fans in City Winery’s lobby where she autographed her album and I chatted with her very talented band.  Did you know that her drummer was the drummer for Tony Bennett for 15-years? 

As I walked out of the venue to head home, I still felt like I was in a dream.  Did I really just watch Molly Ringwald perform?  I’m so glad she’s doing music now.  I only wish she began her solo music career a little sooner.  


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