Capital Fringe Fest 2008

by Terri Allen, Psycho Cabaret producer

It’s Fringe time!  This year we’re a bit psycho!

We’ve started work on our Fringe Festival show.  If you don’t know, this will be the DC Cabaret Network’s third year to participate in the DC Capital Fringe Festival.

This year, we’ve changed the concept a bit and the show is called Psycho Cabaret.  The premise:  the world is crazy; people are stressed; up seems like down and down up – everyone is . . . yes, just a bit psycho!

We’ve just started rehearsing.  Everyone’s material is really interesting – a few well-known songs (I don’t want to divulge them just yet!) and songs from Fascinating Aida, a great one by Jason Robert Brown and much more.

Cast members are: Terri Allen, Chris Cochran, Emily Leatha Everson, Arlene Hill, Michael Vitaly Sazonov, Judy Simmons and Lonny Smith. Judy Simmons is directing the show and Helen Hayes award-winner George Fulginiti-Shakar is musical director.

This year the Festival is expanded, and will run three weeks – July 10 – 27. That’s good news and bad news – we’ve got six shows to sell out over 3 weeks!

We have another challenge this year, because we are not in our beloved Warehouse venue, but have been moved to Chief Ike’s Mambo Room, 1725 Columbia Road in Adams Morgan.  For those of you who aren’t 20 or trendy and don’t know this venue, it is a cool, hip bar.  But, it is a bit off of the beaten track —  even for Adams Morgan, and parking is extremely limited.  So, we’re going to encourage everyone to support cabaret and bring 20 of your closest friends to the show!  We need to sell seats.

Here are the Psycho Cabaret show dates:

Thurs. July 10, 7:45 PM
Sat., July 12, 7:30 PM
Thurs.,  July 17,  6:00 PM
Wed., July 23, 7:45 PM
Thurs., July 24, 6:00 PM
Friday, July 25, 5:30 PM

The box office opens officially on July 10 at Fringe Headquarters at the old AV Ristorante at 6th and New York Ave, NW.  But, you can go online NOW at www.capitalfringe.org and buy tickets.  Or call 1-866-811-4111.

Buy tickets; buy them often; encourage your friends to attend our show!

Think Fringe! Think Psycho Cabaret!

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Psycho Cabaret @ the Capital Fringe Fest

The DC Cabaret Network presents its third entry in the Capital Fringe Fest!

Get the lowdown and your tickets at Ticketmania.

Check SongSpeak for more details blog posts from cast members, producers, and directors.

Open Mic Night Report

Our friends Michael Miyazaki and Kathy Reilly give the report from our June 2008 Open Mic Night. Read all about it on Michael’s Miyazaki Cabaret Update: DC and Beyond.

Open Mic Night — Monday, June 16th

Come sing with us at the Warehouse Theater! The next DC Cabaret Network Open Mic Night is Monday, June 16, 2008. Our accompanist for the evening is the wonderful Alex Tang. Sign-up starts at 7:30 p.m. The singing begins at 8:00 p.m.

Admission is a suggested donation for the pianist and to cover the rental fee: $15 for non-members, $12 for paid members of the DC Cabaret Network.

The Warehouse Theater is located at 1021 7th Street, NW, across from the new Convention Center.

Everyone is welcome. Our Open Mic Nights are a great opportunity to try out new stuff, take out an old friend, or just hone your skills in a friendly and supportive environment.

Visit www.warehousetheater.com for directions and more info about the space.

Pastiche

by Kathy Reilly, May 2008 Guest Blogger

In my last entry as guest blogger, I decided to present a mixed bag of ideas and information that I think might be of interest to singers and performers.

To begin with, while trying to keep up with reviews of shows and performances by a wide range of singers, song writers, etc. I came across a May 22 New York Times blog entry by Rosanne Cash titled, “The Ear of the Beholder.” I think it is worth reading. It can be found here.

In it, Cash discusses the art and craft of song writing and how she strives for artistic accomplishment. She advises writers not to get caught up in with the idea of being truthful and says that truth and facts are not the same, performers should live with questions and find their own truth through creation and discovery.

I extract one quote here from the blog: “Real artistic accomplishment requires a suspension of certitude. E.L. Doctorow said that ‘writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.’ ”

This thought leads me to some comments on “A Catered Affair,” a show I saw last weekend in New York . Faith Prince and Harvey Fierstein were the headliners with others. The show is Ms. Prince’s and I am glad that I had a chance to see her as Aggie; she was great. Leslie Kritzer as Janey, Aggie’s daughter, was excellent and most of the cast was believable. The show is about the impact of Janey’s upcoming nuptuials on family members.

The story, an age-old one, did not have any fresh insights, nor did it take advantage of an opportunity to present a new perspective on what the lives of closeted homosexuals must have been like before it was OK to come out. Harvey Fierstein, who wrote the book for the show, gave a cameo performance. He was sometimes hard to understand and the audience was supposed to know that he was gay because Harvey was playing the role. At lease it seemed that way since the fact was never relayed in the story. He was just an odd-ball bachelor uncle. One irritatingly and corny scene, [which receives an ‘I know you Harvey” laugh], has the uncle returning home drunk to a family dinner where he behaves badly in front of the soon to be in-laws. He is frustrated because he has been left out of the wedding plans and, I assumed, because he is angry about his own thwarted love life and narrow heterosexual views of love. The scene didn’t work and, for me, Harvey ‘s Uncle Winston was extraneous to the story. We knew what the subtext was supposed to be because Harvey was in the role, not because we got to know of like Winston.

I did like the unusual sometimes operetta style of this musical and there were some very nice songs. One great song for young women singers is “One White Dress,” sung by Janey. I found Tom Wopat’s father – cab driver a bit too down trodden and Brooklynesque. He is up for a Tony for Best Male Performance in a Musical, and Faith Prince is, as well, for Best Female Performance in a Musical.

Finally, for the past month I have been looking for good resources for sheet music and lyrics. I was planning on sharing what I learned with the DC Cabaret Network blog readers. I did not really get to master or work with the new resources but I did notice that there seem to be more online resources available, which I have yet not tried. New to me are Sheet Music Direct and Sheet Music Plus. I have used Sunhawk and Musicnotes many times but there are still many songs that are difficult to find. Maybe Cabaret Network singers could share a listserv?

For lyrics, I learned that by using Google search for lyrics, one can find the lyrics to lots of songs and some of these are even translated into other languages. I tried to get “Lullaby in Birdland” in French and did but it was NOT a real translation written by a lyricist or the composer. The translation was a word for word one similar to what I would do. It lacked idiomatic phrasing and a sense of how things are expressed in French.

As for new (to me) technology, I found eMule, which I am still learning how to use. A friend got some sheet music on this site. It is described as “one of the biggest and most reliable peer-to-peer file sharing clients around the world.” Thanks to “it’s open source policy many developers are able to contribute to the project, making the network more efficient.” Limewire is another resource I heard about.

Would anyone care to elaborate on sheet music, lyric and technology resources? I would be happy to hear or read your ideas. Thanks and good luck.

DC Cabaret Network June 2008 Newsletter is Now Available

Get all the latest info on the cabaret scene in Washington with our monthly newsletter. The June 2008 issue is now available.