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Heidi Kettenring

Singer/actress Heidi Kettenring will perform "We've Only Just Begun: Heidi Kettenring sings Karen Carpenter" at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at Theatre at the Center in Munster.

Singer Heidi Kettenring has always liked the music of The Carpenters. Kettenring said Karen Carpenter's voice was truly special.

"I had never heard a voice like that," Kettenring said, adding she was exposed to The Carpenter's music when she was in high school.

Kettenring, an actress and singer working throughout Chicagoland, will pay special tribute to Carpenter in the show "We've Only Just Begun: Heidi Kettenring sings Karen Carpenter" running at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at Munster's Theatre at the Center.

The singer said she's always had a respect for Carpenter's voice, and though she doesn't try to sound like the popular singer in her show, Kettenring said she puts her own touch on the songs as her way of paying tribute to the late entertainer.

"We've Only Just Begun" is part of the Artists Lounge Live series developed by singer/entertainer Michael Ingersoll and his wife Angela. Various shows about iconic singers and entertainers are part of the series. They include "Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul," "Elvis: My Way," "Lean on Me: The Brotherhood of Rock and Roll" and others.

Kettenring actively started putting the show together nearly two years ago. The singer chose the songs she wanted to perform from The Carpenters' catalog and also researched information about the tunes and Karen and Richard Carpenter. Like in other Artist Lounge Live shows, she'll also talk a bit about the life and career of Karen Carpenter and The Carpenter's music.

The singer explained what it was like putting the show together.

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"Michael (Ingersoll) asked me to come up with a playlist. Then I got together with him and his wife Angela and we narrowed down the songs. Then Michael said 'Go write your show,'" Kettenring said, adding she was given complete artistic freedom.

"The songs are catchy and beautiful. And a lot of them are love songs," Kettenring said. "I've always been a sucker for a good love song."

Kettenring said she "learned so much" about Karen and the music while working on the show.

"Richard (Carpenter) was so fascinated by the concept of overdubbing," Kettenring said, explaining that much of the richness and unique sound of their vocals and music was achieved through their classic use of overdubbing.

With Kettenring's choice of songs and her relaying some of the history of The Carpenters, she said the concert kind of showcases "my journey with the music."

Kettenring promises a fun and intimate performance for people attending the show. "I like to talk to the audience like I'm in a living room with them," she said.

FYI: "We've Only Just Begun: Heidi Kettenring sings Karen Carpenter" will be performed at 3 and 7:30 p.m., Aug. 24 at Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster. Tickets are $45; $40 for subscribers; $20 for students; a cash bar will be available.The show is part of the popular Artists Lounge Live series. Call 219-836-3255 or visit TheatreAtTheCenter.com.

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Entertainment Editor/Features Reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.