Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot takes over VJ duties for Pride Edition of Show Tunes at Sidetrack

Tue. June 25, 2019 2:52 PM by Ross Forman

photo credit // sidetrack

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The celebrity VJ for a portion of Sidetrack's special Pride Edition of Musical Monday on June 24 arrived at the popular Boystown bar in an oversized black SUV, with several handlers and security.

Hey, it was Chicago's mayor, Lori Lightfoot who was spinning in the DJ booth.

"Mayor Lightfoot indicated she's wanted to stop by Show Tunes for some time, but her very busy schedule hasn't allowed," said Sidetrack general manager Brad Balof.  "Her team contacted us and floated the idea.  (Sidetrack) co-owners Art Johnston and Pepe Pena were excited by the idea."

This week's Musical Monday featured many popular LGBTQ videos from Broadway, film and TV mixed into the standard playlist.  Plus, there were performances Monday by Dixie Lynn Cartwright, Debbie Fox, Alex Kay, Dymond C. Calloway and JerFay.

"I'm not sure we've ever had anyone else VJ," said Balof, who noted that Lightfoot is a fan of the musical Oklahoma.

"We wanted to make sure some favorites were included.  When she came (into) the booth, she had a conversation with our VJ, Bryan Smith, and they talked about the library and how the equipment works."

Musical Monday, of course, featured popular songs from Evita, plus an original version of We Are the Champions from the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, which included special footage of the LGBTQ movement dating back to Stonewall leading to footage of Lori Lightfoot's victory becoming mayor of Chicago.

Her team was sent an advance playlist.

VJ Lightfoot led to cheers, pictures, videos and, of course, attendees singing along, Balof said.

Lightfoot's VJ visit was unannounced, though it leaked on social media.

There were about 100 people at Sidetrack when she arrived.

"It's remarkable that we are sharing Pride Month with the Mayor of the City of Chicago, who is a member of the LGBTQ community," Balof said.  "When Sidetrack opened, there were no windows, no signs, and people often didn't want to be identified coming in or out.  Now, 37 years later, we celebrate our advances, including the election of Lori Lightfoot," an out lesbian.

Lightfoot's wife, Amy, also is a big Show Tunes fan – and she too was at Sidetrack on Monday night.

Related: Lightfoot named Honorary Grand Marshal of 2019 Chicago Pride Parade