From childhood, the question was not whether to be a singer, that was not really a choice, but, what kind of singer? After all this time, the reality is, why choose? Especially when there is so much music to be sung. Music was always a part of Charlene's life, and the clearest way to express herself. Listening to Broadway show music, and dancing around her living room as a child was only the beginning.

Joining a top 40 band, rock was next on the road to a multi-faceted singing career. Moving on Chicago’s Rush Street when the many amazing night clubs were just starting to disappear, was next. There she learned the joys of working with an audience seated at tables close enough to share the spotlight. From The Pump Room to the Back Room, jazz became her new voice.

Musicals and comedies at Wisdom Bridge Theatre, and traveling every summer for almost ten years with the “Noon Show" with Orion Samuelson on WGN Radio, country music became a new love. The “Manure Tour", as it was lovingly called was broadcast live from State and County Fairs all over the country, was truly an experience for this city girl.

Chicago born singer, cabaret performer, writer, lyricist, and actress, Charlene Brooks, whose voice has been compared to Barbra Streisand, with classic jazz and Broadway stylings. Brooks has performed her popular show, ""LIFE STINKS!", and other things my mother taught me.", and "Brooks Sings Barbra" across the country.

"I'm not happy unless people laugh and cry during a performance!"

Comedy is strongly incorporated into her Sold Out One Woman shows in every kind of venue including Cabarets, theaters, Fairs, Taste of Chicago, Milwaukee Summerfest, and Chicago Fest.

“This was a grand performance. Charlene has an amazing voice, and her tales bring down the house"-T. Shuman, Cabaret Hotline

Charlene's original shows combines the writer, actress and singer. “Brooks on Broadway", “Life Stinks! (and other things my mother taught me)..", “Gersheim", a tribute to George Gershwin and Stephen Sondheim, “Brooks Sings Barbra", "Big Band Meets Broadway", "Confessions of a Cabaret Cantor!", and "Love Stinks", are among her sellout shows. Not happy unless the audience experiences a full range of emotions, Charlene has succeeded in her goal. These shows have spurred her on to the concept of “Custom Cabaret", where Charlene performs a customized show honoring the guest of honor at a private party.

After joining a rather unique temple in her Chicago suburb of Skokie, Charlene soon realized that singing liturgical music was a way to fill a spot in her life that also needed fulfillment. Being the child of Holocaust survivors, with all the conflicts that created, led her to embrace yet another type of music. Now, this temple is unique because it was founded as a temple for the deaf. Most everyone there actually hears, yet, everything that is sung or said is also sign language interpreted. Now it was time to learn sign language as well. So when she is not wearing an evening gown performing her show at a club or corporate event singing Broadway, and jazz, including her own songs, she dons a choir robe and sings traditional liturgy and many songs of her own. Now that’s a way to create balance!


“The show was like something I'd expect to have to pay a lot of money to see in some cabaret in New York. How nice to be able to just see you in downtown Skokie!"……..............J. Szczepaniak

“What a professional she is. Charlene had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand for 1-1/2 hours. And she seemed to be enjoying every minute of it!"…………........................Bonnie Mrowka

Your show was an absolute delight. I couldn't stop raving about it. Your voice is a sheer joy to listen to. Thanks again for such an entertaining evening. (By the way, I am also a survivor's child so boy could I completely relate to your stories!!) .......................Kathy Rabin


“Thanks so much, what a fabulous performance! Everyone loved it! May angels kiss you as they have kissed your vocal cords!"………....................Rita Herskovitz

“The only thing that exceeds Charlene’s talent and ability to make an event special, is my appreciation"......................Susan Bass

“Charlene is a brilliant performer. She performed my mother's favorite songs, with such energy and grace, we felt they were her favorite songs too"..............Paul Graller

“Charlene customized her Cabaret Show for our party. She used song, words, humor, wit and her unique talents to entertain and truly captivate all who were there. Charlene is full of energy, fun, warmth and passion. Combined with her beautiful voice, she is a gem!!! It was a show that made our hearts sing!"........................................Mary Schreibstein

“Your show touched home for me".....Morry Lieberfeld