In cities like
In cities like
“I think it is exactly the kind of entertainment that
Although song is certainly a predominant feature in cabaret, the style of performance is a departure from what one would typically think of musical theater. For one, a cabaret show is shorter (usually 12-13 songs) and less expensive than a theater performance, with a significantly smaller-sized audience. But more striking is that there is no cast and there are no characters. Cabaret is typically one person telling their own personal story to an audience through a mix of dialogue, song and story-telling. The idea is for the performer to convey their story with such a deep level of honesty and vulnerability, that the ambiance in the theater and the audience’s comfort level is actually driven by this performance.
“You have to have a certain level of life experience and maturity in order to relate to the audience on this kind of level,” explained Kerrykate. “There is an intimacy, a sophistication, about cabaret that you simply do not find in any other genre. The seasoned performer can make the air in the room change just by the slightest movement of their hand and, when the audience/performer connection is truly superb, you find yourself hanging on every word, every note, every blink… it’s a very raw, personal, soul bearing experience that cannot be ‘faked.'”
Cabaret gained popularity in
In its simplest and truest form, cabaret got its start in what was known as “supper clubs” – secluded joints jammed with people at small tables with ultra dim lighting, a smoke-filled haze and just the right amount of seediness. A piano player sat up front with a singer sprawled atop, spotlight on them and (if they were lucky) a microphone in hand. Michelle Pfeiffer in the Fabulous Baker Boys comes to mind. An even better visual is Moulin Rouge in
Traditional American-style cabaret features songs from the Great American Songbook, which includes artists ranging from Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington to Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Jazz heavily influenced cabaret, which you can hear in traditional speakeasies. Today, cabaret has expanded its repertoire the way most other musical stylings have over the years and incorporates some rock in its line-up. The type of music you get from a cabaret show, of course, solely depends on the performer and what they feel most accurately represents their story.
“We at BUA have only just begun and I hope for the series to continue to grow and prosper; to enjoy a host of different personalities and talent styles and to welcome
To help celebrate Cabaret Month, BUA is putting on the third show in their Cabaret Series, Chuckie and the Rack, based on the life story of one of
The fourth show in BUA’s Cabaret Series is on the horizon for May featuring Kerrykate Abel herself telling her story through some Springsteen (when telling one’s life story, utilizing The Boss seems aptly appropriate to me).
And while smoking in public places may no longer be allowed and the joints may be less seedy, every bit of the intimate ambiance of a traditional cabaret is still at the heart of each performance.
For more information on the Cabaret Series or for tickets, e-mail the Buffalo United Artists or call 716.886.9239.
Image credits: March is Cabaret Month by Stu Hamstra’s Cabaret Hotline Online; Chuckie and the Rack cast by Michael Walline.