Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Merry Measures in Chicago

Another event circulated from the Windy City. Details of our holiday gathering are coming out in the next few days, but here is their take on how to fit cabaret into the holiday season. 40 members will perform classics, chestnuts and oddities over two days at Davenports Cabaret in Chicago. All for the purpose of benefiting Hands Together, Heart to Art - a summer camp for young theater students.

I know assembling a Showcase can be a monumental undertaking - but as we continue to grow this might be a nice take on our holiday cabaret cheer here in the Twin Cities.... Loving their logo of a mic in Santa costume, which at first looked like a Pez dispenser :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Keepin In Touch recap

For those that missed our Fall Showcase performance last Sunday on a chilly November evening, here is a quick recap.

TCCAN is evolving, both to challenge our members as well as a small loyal audience. This showcase bent the rules of our typical cabaret evening where performers would tell a personal story to set up their song. It took a bit more of a non-linear approach and the thread was a common theme of "how do we each practice the concept of keeping in touch." There was a trade-off where one member's dialogue often set the stage for anothers vocals.  For Rhonda it is about journaling thoughts into poetry or relating back to pay telephones and her father. For Jonathan it is about keepsakes that connect him to his family while forging an independent existence. For Barbara it is about grounding to the earth and taking her own personal space.... All things that are not the first that come to mind when pondering the theme.

Musically, we had highlights from a broad range of genres - standards, to folk-pop, to art songs. Jennifer brought a poignant Dar Williams story to stage in "The Babysitter's Here" as well as a Bacharach gem about leaving in "24 Hours From Tulsa." Connie had great variety from Mancini's "Two For the Road" to Frishberg's chipper commentary on insincerity in "Blizzard of Lies." Janet delivered charms of a letter abroad in Lloyd Webber's "Song & Dance Letters" and the simplicity of a relationship not bound to technology in Cosy Sheridan's "Carphones & Airplanes." Dean opened us up on a medley of tunes about the excitement of Travel. Barbara introduced us to some offbeat and humorous tunes by William Bolcom and also shared the stage with Joey in a Maltby & Shire piece that exposed a relationship where keeping in touch was obviously a snag. Gently and spiteful way to say goodbye.... On and on in a great evening that was all woven together by the tremendous Tom Linker at the piano and the generous crew at Bryant Lake Bowl. Both TCCAN and cabaret were well represented.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Keeping In Touch

You have heard about it in the press, on our Facebook page, radio interviews and recent TCCAN mailings. But this is the last call to get your tickets for our fabulous Fall Showcase. It is Sunday Nov. 17th @ Bryant Lake Bowl; 7:00 PM. It feauters 8 of our members - Jennifer Eckes, Janet Skidmore, Connie Dussl, Jonathan Peterson, Dean Elwell, Barbara Meyer & Joey Babay with Tom Linker at the piano. It is stories and songs all around the concept of keeping in touch and what that phrase means to us. The song range is from standards, to 70's pop to musical theater. Please come out and join us for a great evening of cabaret. 

Here are a few candids from our last run vocal run through.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Nightmare of Cabaret


With our own local show having it's premier this week (it will get it's own shout out in the next day or two), here is another buzz item from New York that sounded very interesting. For two reasons:

The piece itself has the long title Humpty Dumpty Cracks Up, The Nightmare of Cabaret. The press release is a bit sprawling and I am trying to get the scope of what exactly it is. But it mentions Christine Lavin as a cameo performer, which is bang for the buck alone. Then it also mentions "nightclub singers" which is a bit obsolete as well as musical theater - so I am not sure what it is attempting to be.

But I am also curious about one of the two venues it is presented at. The Duplex has long been a cabaret standby. But it also references a new place called the Playroom Theater on 46th. Although their website is not real flashy, it touts that it's a small and intimate destination for cabaret performances. Exactly what we need here in the Twin Cities.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Chicago Cabaret Documentary

This is a share from our own member Janet who still has ties to the cabaret scene in Chicago. The premise is great and aligns itself exactly with one of the TCCAN goals of bringing both awareness and an audience to what we do. Many are not familiar with the genre and confuse it with a jazz gig, a musical theater revue or sometimes even a burlesque show. So the idea of using media as a tool to "sell" our product is a no-brainer.

Of course that takes a different talent as well as resources. Chicago videographer Eric McHenry Brown is undertaking an indiegogo crusade for some of that assistance. It is another arts philanthropy site like Kickstarter which seeks investors for a project. He is centering on the small culture of artists in the Chicago area which should give him a wealth of opportunities.

As a side observation - I wish he would have sought out some of that same talent for his pitch. A few clips of sizable Chicago talent would be much more captivating than him sitting on his small sofa expounding the virtues of cabaret. It comes across more like an essay assignment instead of bells and whistles that might make someone say "sign me up!" Here is the link and wishing him luck on the project.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Patter Workshop

For anyone that follows the blog steadfastly, we do have a Patter Workshop coming up this coming Monday. Our Education committee is making great strides to make sure this component is a valued part of our mission.

This particular session is for members that want to invest time into the storytelling aspect of what they do. A chance to try sampling some of their writing in front of supportive peers. How do you make a seamless transition from your story into your song? This one is being hosted by Janet Skidmore at her home in S Mpls; 3029 3rd Ave S and will be moderated by Rhonda Laurie. Priority will be given to those performing in our upcoming Showcase this Nov. But any members are always welcome also. A reminder that any workshop is open to colleagues of current membership who want to attend on an audit/ observer option.