Friday, June 26, 2009

We have a Cabaret again!

Years ago, I worked for the American Cabaret Theatre. It was horrific, in ways it's probably not wise or legal to talk about even now. Back in those days, they did big not-very-original original musical-revue theater with some very good performers under some truly horrible management. My last gig with them was on New Year's Eve 1995, and I swore I'd never work for them again. They couldn't afford me, by definition; if they had called and wanted me to work, and they actually agreed to the outrageous fee I named, I would've raised the fee until they couldn't afford it, or until I couldn't afford to turn it down.

Since then, the American Cabaret Theatre has been through two changes of management and a change of venue. And, most importantly, a change of style. They're now The Cabaret, and they're doing actual cabaret-style shows: a cabaret singer, a small band, a small stage, an intimate space, subdued lighting, a well-stocked bar. It's now co-managed by Shannon Forsell, who I worked with in the ACT days; she's one of my favorite singers in town, and she's working hard to turn the Cabaret around, to reinvent it as a true cabaret-style company. So I did a show for them tonight, and it was great. Brenda Williams -- another of my favorite singers -- did two sets, just under two hours of music, and she was everything a cabaret singer should be. And the venue, the Connoisseur Room, is as close to a perfect venue for this kind of performance as you'll find anywhere.

So, in short: if cabaret shows interest you, Indy now has an actual cabaret! In every important aspect, it's no longer the American Cabaret Theatre we knew and abhorred. It's a new creation, and they do wonderful shows in the perfect setting. Shannon and Trina are doing something great downtown, bringing something new and cool to the city, so go see their shows and support them.

And, might I suggest, it's an ideal activity for a date: dim lighting, romantic atmosphere, good music, snacky food....

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