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The Return of Cabaret

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's been on the rise for a few years, but 2010 marks a tipping point: Cabaret and variety shows are everywhere right now. Involving elements of jazz, stand-up, dance, acrobatics, and risqué, circus-like theatrics, the shows can be found at major international festivals (including the New York Fringe Festival, underway this week) and in smaller settings like the “Spiegeltent” at the Bard Music Festival.

We hear what’s behind the revival from Adam Feldman, a theater critic for Time Out New York and president of the New York Drama Critics' Circle; and Elena Holy, the producing artistic director of the New York International Fringe Festival.


Adam Feldman and Elena Holy

Comments [7]

DaddYO from West Coast

Wow, that wacky Lady RIzo has them all beat. What a vocal vamp. Can't wait to see all of their assettes.

Aug. 23 2010 10:34 AM

Since when is $600 nominal?

The Fringe is part of a terrible trend in which venues (often downtown) who transfer financial stress to the artist.

Yes, they provide an "opportunity" to college grads and "eighteen year olds coming to follow their dreams". Let's get more specific: wealthy/privileged grads and teens....

Aug. 22 2010 01:18 PM
RLewis from the bowery

Rafifi is gone. The Slipper Room is gone. No Speigel Tent at the Seaport.

Thanks to the high real estate prices in downtown manhattan, hasn't Burlesque jumped the shark?

Aug. 19 2010 02:25 PM
Stephen from Manhattan

I suspect the real reason your two guests are on today is that they just LOVE to say "genre."

Aug. 19 2010 02:25 PM
Frank Grimaldi from East Village

If you think Lady Rizo's version of Black Hole Sun was interesting, check out her version of Blame It (on the alcohol) on YOUTUBE.

Aug. 19 2010 02:24 PM
a g from n j

lets be honest,growing up on nyc basketball courts,one does not talk about cabaret while choosing up a team. there is a stereotype,of a gay culture. i'm not passing judgement,i'm just stating the on the ground obvious reality. any dudes that would have been into it would not have admitted to it.

Aug. 19 2010 02:13 PM
Ted in Atlanta

Kelly Hogan who you've had on your show was part of the swing revival years ago with several other bands here who would often play together. This included The Action Slacks / Useless Playboys featuring Big Mike Geier. These guys used to have fantastic swing dancers show up at the dates, and soon they became an established part of the performance. As Mike evolved his schtick, which had always included donning props for the songs and wild antics by his sidemen, he began side projects with more and more performance elements (clowns, in fact?) and eventually the swing dance performers became burlesque performers. Now I see Big Mike as a perfect storm center for all this, finding his niche in Trader Vic's some of the time with the Dames Aflame “terpsichorean” act doing savage sideshows to the wacky lounge covers, to his Elvis homages, to his theater filling extravaganza holiday shows; very theatrical and larger than life inclusive and an Atlanta establishment. - he's a character.

Aug. 19 2010 02:11 PM

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