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Story and photos by Andy ArgyrakisWhile the bulk of this weekend's Haiti relief efforts were directed towards a telethon featuring a who's who of megastars representing every genre, the Chicago area was given a more personal way to get involved. The historically restored Arcada Theatre in St. Charles added to the growing list of star power its attracted over the past few years (Jerry Lee Lewis, Frank Sinatra Jr. and many Motown legends to name a few) with Dionne Warwick dedicating her set to the downtrodden and channeling all proceeds towards UNICEF (The United Nations Children's Fund) for Haiti.
Between the worthwhile cause, beautiful building and soulful superstar, it was a memorable evening, enhanced by the 69-year-old headliner turning in a graceful (albeit brisk) 70-minute set that showcased over five decades of chart action. Across classics like "Walk on By," "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?," Warwick's voice upheld like a finely tuned instrument, while her witty batter between tunes confirmed her status as a show business icon.
She did cover all her basic career crests, though many were relegated to a medley, a bit disappointing perhaps, but a necessity given the quantity of her catalogue. Nonetheless, there was little to be disappointed about as Warwick and a six piece band basked in the beauty of "I'll Never Love This Way Again" and jazzed up the golden oldie "I Say a Little Prayer," amongst all her other major staples. As the evening climaxed with "What the World Needs Now," it was an uplifting reminder for everyone to count their blessings, while reaching out in compassion to those affected by the recent devastation.
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