Back at it: Buffalo Grove native Stuart Chaseman brings wit, vulnerability to Hey Nonny show

Rock musician Stuart Chaseman could easily give it a crack on the comedy circuit, he’s that funny even in normal conversation.

He displayed his wry humor last year in the first season of “Jewish Matchmaking” on Netflix, for which Chaseman was among nine suitors out of 2,000 applicants chosen to appear on the show.

Introducing himself by rattling off a series of attributes he’d bring to a relationship, Chaseman concluded by saying, “by far my greatest quality is my humility.”

Posts of his clips from “Jewish Matchmaking” have exceeded 24 million views on Tik Tok. A clip of Chaseman stating “any degree of intolerance” shown by prospective dates “is a deal breaker” even drew rebuke from a well-known conservative personality.

“Ben Shapiro picked a fight with me,” said Chaseman, a Buffalo Grove native and 1988 Stevenson High School graduate who lives in Wicker Park.

Stuart Chaseman

“I’m Tom Hanks-level famous within 100 feet of a Jewish event or a synagogue,” he said.

But fun and laughs weren’t on Chaseman’s mind while writing the songs for his 2023 album, “Secrets, Lies, & Alibis,” which he will perform during his concert Friday, Jan. 26, at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights.

Written and recorded in the wake of the deaths of his parents, Ed and Helene, he dedicates the album to them while his lyrics also address dashed relationships.

(In his liner notes he encourages his female subjects to record their own album called “Stuart’s No Picnic Either.”)

“Ultimately the songs are all about me, though,” said Chaseman, whose style has been compared with Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

“Sins,” a song off of “Secrets, Lie, & Alibis,” recalls Steve Earle. One of Chaseman’s current favorite recording artists is Jason Isbell, another contemplative songwriter.

“Not that I’m a miserable person by any means, but I just wouldn’t even know how to put an interesting spin on, ‘I’m so happy, today’s a great day.’ If I’m in pain, that’s something much more motivating to try to channel into my art,” Chaseman said.

He will perform Friday with the band that played on the “Secrets” album, The Born Again Sinners — guitarist and album producer Philip Amerson, bassist Andrew Hintz, drummer Matt Severing and keyboardist Marcus Smith.

This will be Chaseman’s first actual concert since 2015, though he’s sat in with other performers and played at singer-songwriter showcases.

In addition to songs off “Secrets,” Chaseman will host a meet-and-greet session, play cover songs and originals — he released a prior album, “Next Exit...Brigadoon,” in 2010 — and will be interviewed by journalist and podcaster Lou Carlozo while taking audience questions.

Stuart Chaseman will host a meet-and-greet session and play cover songs and originals during his Friday, Jan. 26, concert at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights.

“I’ll try to tell some behind-the-scenes stories about ‘Jewish Matchmaking’ and what reality TV is like,” Chaseman said.

Chaseman also is producing the first episode of an internet series, “The Schmooze,” a combination of current topics, interviews and music. His first guest will be Harmonie Krieger, another favorite from Season One of “Jewish Matchmaking.”

They’ll talk about things like how the Netflix show changed their lives.

“I get stopped in the streets. People ask me for pictures,” Chaseman said. “I get a lot of interesting proposals online. Interestingly enough, it’s not directly from the person who wants to date me.”

Somewhat of a loner at Stevenson, he said, more into literature and history than athletics, Chaseman started writing songs as a teenager. He later wrote a song about Michael Jordan’s first retirement from the Chicago Bulls in 1993.

Chaseman sent a copy of “Bye-Bye Michael” to Jordan himself. He received an autographed photo but more importantly, self-confidence.

“One of the nice things about that is I got the bug after writing that song,” he said. “I wasn’t great at it yet, but maybe I have some sort of knack for this.”

His older songs commented on the “external world,” Chaseman said, but those off “Secrets, Lies, & Alibis” come from personal experience and a desire to mine his vulnerability — “what’s going on inside me.”

In “Nights Like These,” he writes:

Nights like these always make me sad

I think about the family that I never had

How I (expletive) up everything

It’s probably best I ain’t a dad

“I think there’s a certain rawness in what I do,” Chaseman said.

“It’s easier for me to be more revealing when I put three chords behind something in a conversation.”

• • •

Stuart Chaseman with The Born Again Sinners

When: Doors open at 6:30 p.m., concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26

Where: Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights, (224) 202-0750,

Tickets: $15-$35

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