The Newberry presents A Night at Mister Kelly’s Through July 20, 2024

A Night at Mister Kelly’s
Mar 21–Jul 20, 2024
At the Newberry – Trienens Galleries
Admission for Newberry exhibitions is free. No advance registration required.

“Relive a night on the town in the mid-twentieth century.

“Mister Kelly’s was one of the hotspots of Chicago nightlife in the 1950s through the mid-1970s. Located on Rush Street in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood, the club was a welcoming venue where people could be entertained by top-shelf jazz and comedy talent and see rising stars who later gained international fame. Names like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Mort Sahl, Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, and Richard Pryor regularly graced the marquee of Mister Kelly’s. And club founders and brothers George and Oscar Marienthal thought of everything to ensure a quality experience for their patrons. This exhibition draws on the Mister Kelly’s Collection at the Newberry to re-create the excitement of a night at Mister Kelly’s.

“A Night at Mister Kelly’s is supported by the Rosaline G. Cohn Endowment for Exhibitions and the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation. The Newberry also thanks David Marienthal for his gift of the Mister Kelly’s Collection.

Live at Mister Kelly’s documentary film screenings (Registration required)

“At the Newberry – Ruggles Hall

  • March 23, Doors open 1pm, Screening 1:30pm
  • April 20, Doors open 1pm, Screening 1:30pm
  • June 8, Doors open 1pm, Screening 1:30pm
  • June 29, Doors open 1pm, Screening 1:30pm

Public Programs

  • “Nightlife on Rush Street, May 11
  • Comedy in Black and White, featuring Tim Reid and Tom Dreesen, May 16
  • Cabaret Night, June 13 (Winter’s Jazz Club)
  • Make Music Chicago, June 21 (Washington Square Park)

Adult Education

  • “People Get Ready: Chicago’s Rhythm and Blues Culture, 1958-1967, starting March 21
  • Inside Jokes: A Serious Investigation of Comedy, starting April 6

Programming for A Night at Mister Kelly’s is generously supported by the D&R Legacy Fund.”

Learn more and register at The Newberry

‘A Night At Mr. Kelly’s’ At The Newberry Offers Trip Back To Days Of Storied Chicago Nightclub; The exhibition, which opens Thursday, tells the story of the boundary-pushing Rush Street club that hosted legendary performers from Ella Fitzgerald and Barbra Streisand to George Carlin and Richard Pryor, Gwen Ihnat, Block Club Chicago, 3/20/24


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