Cabaret comeback

March 20, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Since I first started writing about arts in Indianapolis in the mid-90s, I've been baffled as to why the American Cabaret Theatre offered so little traditional cabaret.

The format of cabaret is fairly simple: A singer and an accompanist (sometimes a small combo) offer an intimate hour and a quarter or so of music, with, usually, a bit of banter as caulking between the songs. These up-close-and-classy shows tend to have a high by-the-minute ticket price, but the rewards can be wonderful.

The American Cabaret Theatre as we knew it -- greatest-hits revues and the occassional book musical at the Atheneum with, usually, distracting slide projections and the sounds of the beergarten band leeking through the grand walls -- is gone. But out of it seems to be coming a leaner ACT, now anchored in that word at the center of its name.

Led by former ACT star Shannon Forsell, the company will be presenting staight-up cabaret at The Connoisseur Room, a just-over-100-seat venue at 115 E. Ohio Street. Each mont, Forsell promises both a headlining national act and a showcase for a local performer. Plus, music-plus-poetry events that the former ACT was just getting off the ground when it collapsed.

The opening show in the new format--a $100-a-seat benefit show on March 31--features French singer Jil Aigrot, who supplied the singing in the Edith Piaf bio film "La Vie En Rose."  The good news (at least, for the new ACT): The show is nearly sold out. Call 294-7005 quickly if you want to try to get in.

The good news (for the rest of us): Is that Forsell is in talks with some of the top names in the cabaret world to perform here. To that end, she's also circulating a list of potential acts to interested parties to get some feedback on local preferences. Those shows, to be clear, will have lower ticket prices.

Is it fair for me, a critic, to pick some favorites from her list? Perhaps not. Instead, I'll dance around the issue by saying that some outstanding, exciting talent is on her maybe list, including Liz Callaway (whose sister, Ann, headlined the ISO's Yuletide show in '08), goofball Jason Graae, Darius De Haas (who knocked me out years ago in the original U.S. production of the musical "Children of Eden), and Sally Mayes? Even if these don't make the cut, though, I'm looking forward to seeing who Forsell and company do bring to town. And which Indy talents they showcase in the promising new (old) format.

Your thoughts? Anyone you'd like to see at the Cabaret at the Connoisseur?
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Mark Nadler should be on this list. He's fantastic!


  • Yes! Let's definitely get Liz Callaway, Jason Graae and Sally Mayes to Indy! How about Judy Kuhn, too?
  • Haven't heard Nadler, but Kuhn would certanly be a good choice. Lately, she's been performing a set of Laura Nyro songs and sounds great.
    --Lou
  • Madelaine Peyroux!
  • Jane Monheit!
  • Thanks for the great feedback everyone! Please know that I am writing all of your
    suggestions down and will add them to the wish list!
  • Jason Graae, definitely - but I'd say, quickly before it's too late, Barbara Cook! That woman can sing anything, and break your heart doing it!

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT