For the next three weeks the Mad Cow Theater is offering great cabaret entertainment from all over the world. This is the 8th annual cabaret festival hosted by Mad Cow. Cabaret offers a celebration of song and personality; musical entertainment in a intimate setting. I saw Zac Alfson who works at the Mad Cow at the WPRK radio station and he invited me to go to the opening night performance by K.T. Sullivan which would then be followed by a cabaret party. I have never been to a cabaret before, so I jumped at the opportunity. I got a seat in the back row and that worked out great since I needed to use a book light to see the pages the whole time I sketched. This is the first time I have done a sketch with a book light in a theater and I was a bit self conscious. When the house went totally dark I would shield the light with my hand.
Just as the show was about to get started two young women in fluffy night gowns and high heels got into the row in front of me. One of the girls got up probably to go to the rest room and she pranced down the steps theatrically as if trying not to make a sound. Half of the audience was able to see her stealthy comical movements and they started laughing uncontrollably. The woman had to be an actress and I wondered if she had been planted in the audience.
K.T. Sullivan's performance was both sultry and humorous. Jon Weber accompanied her on the piano. She sang the songs of Dietz and Schwartz who she said wrote the songs late at night. One song written around the time of WWII was about a woman having to date young boys and old men since all the best men had been shipped off to war. The lyrics were very funny. Seeing her performance from the back row let me focus more on the overall feeling of the intimate setting of the space.
After the show was over everyone gathered in the lobby and I was surprised that no one left. I noticed one of Terry's friends named Eileen and I went over to say hello. She had just gotten back from Louis's funeral in New Orleans. She is selling her home in Chuluota and will be moving to New York City soon. I offered my condolences and told her a bit about my trip to Pennsylvania. She was with a large group of people and they left for another venue.
There was to be a Cabaret House Party starting at 10PM and so everyone waited in the lobby for the next half hour or so till that started. I got a chance to talk to Genevieve who is now working with Aradhana Tiwari on Project F. Genevieve is the choreographer of Voci Dance and she is excited about the Facebook themed show she is collaborating on. She told me about a rehearsal I missed in which everyone on stage had yarn and as they walked on stage they would leave a trail behind them. All the actors became entangled in this web and it affected their movements. I can kick myself for missing that rehearsal.
I got a white wine when the Cabaret House Party began. Seth Kubersky carried a clip board and wandered the crowd looking for people to sign up for Karaoke Cabaret. Tod Kimbro took to the piano and entertained the audience for a while. The first singer that took to the stage was seventeen year old Samantha. She said she was a bit nervous because she had never been to the Mad Cow Theater before then she quietly began to sing "Till there was you." She began tentatively but then her voice rang clear and beautiful. She had a gorgeous voice. What a fabulous start for the night! Another couple that I absolutely adored sang "Suddenly Seymour" from Little Shop of Horrors. I love this show, and used to sing the songs to myself as I painted in my rundown apartment in New York City. The notion of finding romance in the ruins of New York appealed to me, as did the idea of escaping to find a better life somewhere else. Who would have imagined that might be Orlando. They finished their song and kissed. She quietly said to herself,"He's so adorable." I found myself humming "Suddenly Seymour" to myself on the whole drive home.