Fans of Dodge City Days know they can count on the Patty Ahern Trio to bring the Intimate Cabaret to the Depot every July.

    People look forward to Ahern's blend of jazz standards, classic 1930s and ‘40s hits and blues, performed in a retro nightclub setting intended to evoke the golden age of American popular music.


Fans of Dodge City Days know they can count on the Patty Ahern Trio to bring the Intimate Cabaret to the Depot every July.
    People look forward to Ahern's blend of jazz standards, classic 1930s and ‘40s hits and blues, performed in a retro nightclub setting intended to evoke the golden age of American popular music.
    But Intimate Cabaret fans also look forward to the variety of featured guest artists who join the trio every year.
    Ahern's commitment to providing a showcase for local talent pays off in a big way for Dodge audiences, who have learned to expect a level of professionalism commonly associated with much larger cities.
    This year's cabaret guests are a few hometown girls with big voices billed as the Three Divas. They'll be raising the roof at the Depot tonight through Saturday, along with the Patty Ahern Trio — and all signs point to a packed house, so grab a reservation while you can.
    These particular divas are no strangers to Dodge.
    Everyone connected with our public schools, along with at least half the town, knows Joni Clark, who works as USD 443's human resources director when she's not belting out blues and gospel tunes from Dodge City to Texarkana.
     A certain third-grade class in Cimarron might not recognize that cabaret diva with the sultry voice as none other than their own teacher, Dee Dee Royle.
    And readers of the High Plains Journal may be surprised to learn that the advertising department's mild-mannered model of respectability, the reliable Karen Deno, doesn't spend her off hours reading farm manuals. Deno is far more likely to be found treading the proverbial boards, belting out renditions of old standards and show tunes in local musical theater productions.

Proud of them all
    Ahern is proud of all three divas and points to them as an example of the abundance and quality of talent in this area.
    "Each of them is so talented, and even more impressive, each is so in command of their talent," she said. “Actually, it's pretty extraordinary how committed all of the artists in this community are. They continually give their all to provide first-class entertainment. Dodge audiences have come to expect a high standard, and that's what they deserve."
    Ahern's trio will back up The Three Divas, who will give both solo and group performances. They'll cover everything from old classics, such as Hoagy Carmichael standards, to a few works by contemporary artists Diana Krall and Norah Jones.
    "We even toss in a little Motown," Ahern said. "The main thing we want people to know is that this is music for everyone. Since we also appreciate country music, we know that country fans will have a good time too. Just dust off your cowboy boots and let us transport you back to another time and place." 
    The cabaret takes place tonight, Friday and Saturday.

Reach Claire O'Brien at (620) 408-9931 or e-mail her at claire.obrien@dodgeglobe.com.