In the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, one Chicago club was responsible for kickstarting some of the most iconic names in entertainment history. Now, a new documentary intends to shine the spotlight on its rich history. Live at Mister Kelly’s, which shares a name with the Ella Fitzgerald album she recorded there, takes a look at the rise and fall of its titular venue.
From director Theodore Bogosian, the documentary uses recent celebrity interviews, archival footage, music and photos to chart the course of the club—one that closed back in 1975, but in its heyday was referred to as a “supernova in the local and national night life firmament.” Talent like Barbra Streisand, Richard Pryor, Bob Newhart, Bette Midler and Steve Martin once performed on its stage long before they were household names, as the club’s owners George and Oscar Marienthal upending societal taboos around gender and race to showcase daring new voices since 1956.
The film was produced by Bogosian alongside Scott Dummler and executive produced by David Marienthal. It is set to hit VOD on October 12, with a DVD release date not far behind on October 19.
Check out Paste’s exclusive trailer below: