Chicago's Cabaret Queen Denise Tomasello Receives Impresa Award

Crowned Chicago's Cabaret Queen by the Tribune, Sun-Times, Daily Herald, Skyline and WGN Radio, Denise Tomasello is a Chicago legend.

By: Sep. 17, 2023
Chicago's Cabaret Queen Denise Tomasello Receives Impresa Award
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Chicago's Cabaret Queen Denise Tomasello has received yet another honor. On Sunday, September 10th, Denise received the prestigious Impresa Award. Bestowed by the JCCIA Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, the Impresa Awards acknowledges the lives and accomplishments of Chicago Italian-American women.

Crowned Chicago's Cabaret Queen by the Tribune, Sun-Times, Daily Herald, Skyline and WGN Radio, Denise Tomasello is a Chicago legend. From belting a Broadway showstopper, to her spine-tingling delivery of an emotional ballad, or her sultry way with a jazz standard, Denise possesses a rare and unique musical versatility, putting her indelible stamp on every song she sings. The way she engages the audiences with her spontaneous, sharp, quick-witted repartee, Denise makes every performance a unique and special experience. A true original, nothing compares to a performance by the exhilarating Tomasello. She is one of the most talked about and exciting performers around, with the Chicago Tribune exclaiming "let's make one thing clear about Densie Tomasello: She was cabaret before cabaret was cool."

The recipient of the Chicago Cabaret Professional Gold Coast Award and winner of the After Dark Award for "Outstanding Cabaret Performer," Denise Tomasello is, without a doubt, Chicago's most exciting and in demand entertainer, with the Chicago Tribune's Rick Kogan saying, "wildly glamorous and wickedly amusing, when she sinks her teeth in a belter's delight, the room sizzles." Chicago's four-decade love affair with Denise Tomasello continues, proving she is the one and only Cabaret Queen of Chicago. In the past several years, Denise has performed triumphant SRO concerts at The Auditorium, The Metropolis Performing Arts Center, Empire Room, Park West and The Cabaret Room at Drury Lane. A major career highlight has been her four consecutive, sold out concerts at the Gold Coast's Drake Hotel Grand Ballroom, where she has the honor of being the first and only entertainer to ever give a concert at the legendary hotel.

She has headlined with show biz legends Don Rickles, Alan King, and Jackie Mason. Mason was so impressed by Tomasello's talent, he demanded that Denise have equal billing alongside his name at The Tropicana/Atlantic City. Mason went on to say "She is an amazing singer and a brilliant comedian. She is so natural onstage. She is the female Dean Martin."

A Chicago original, in unprecedented and rapid succession, Denise went onto headlining and selling out the city's most prestigious nightclubs and concert halls: The Chicago Theatre, Park West, the Empire Room, The Pump Room, George's Supper Club, and a record-breaking six-year engagement at Sage's. Denise followed that with a two-year run at The Fairmont's Metropole Room, that was greeted by audiences and the press with the excitement of Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall. The Sun Times raved "with a voice that rivals Liza Minnelli in scope... those that have heard her once can't wait to hear her again." The Tribune was equally ebullient saying "a nightclub firmly has she stamped the room her own she should stay there forever." Her record-breaking residency at Sage's and The Metropole have been compared to Bobby Short's run at The Café Carlyle in New York. She also performed on the mainstage at Chicago's largest outdoor music events at Taste of Chicago and Festa Italiana.

Her dazzling, renowned Chicago performances brought Denise national recognition performers dream of and resulted in sold-out shows at the country's top nightspots and stages: New York's Town Hall and Eights Eights in Manhattan; Michael Feinstein's Cinegrill in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, and The Gardenia and Rose Tatoo in Los Angeles.

Denise was chosen to be the finale in the recently released documentary film Live At Mister Kelly's, while Barbra Streisand opened the film. A movie about the legendary night club, it also featured Bette Midler, Bob Newhart, Herbie Hancock and Tom Dreesen. It has since went on to win Best Documentary at the Western Canadian International Film Festival, and is an official selection in the Palm Beach International Film Festival and the Boca International Jewish Film Festival.

Denise is also known for her generosity and philanthropic activities. In 2022, she established The Denise Tomasello Scholarship for young and aspiring cabaret performers. She is also very active with The Service Club of Chicago, the city's oldest charitable organization helping Chicago's most vulnerable. She will also be launching The Don Conover Foundation, in loving memory of her late husband who passed in 2020.

Denise Tomasello is a must-see, one-of-a-kind, special performer. Witness first-hand why California's Orange County Register calls Denise and her one-woman concerts "the best show of its kind in the country!" For further information and upcoming solo concerts, please visit, friend on Facebook or follow on Twitter @CabaretQueen.


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