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Review: Craig Horsley Debuts LOVE AND OTHER FEELINGS REVEALED at The Hidden Cabaret

Review: Craig Horsley Debuts LOVE AND OTHER FEELINGS REVEALED at The Hidden Cabaret

Craig Horsley is an interesting character... a popular one too. So when he cooked up this new cabaret space for performers, it seems like the entire town came out to see what he had cooked up for his own show. Perhaps he might be a little self-critical as he greeted the entire room of this massive venue, and then read off script for just the first intro. However, after the performers started, and he got a chance to admire his work while things fell into place, the lively side of Horsley took over and he ditched the paper notes too. Although, when he was the singing, nobody (including himself on stage) would have called his voice angelic, he ultimately put together a decent lineup of songs, some jokes the audience laughed at, and a talented bevy of co-stars.

The songs of his show represented the many different emotions of love, following the arch of a relationship as it goes from the first meeting ("Feelings" and "You're the One that I Want") to the eventual end in "Move On" by Stephen Sondheim. As with any show featuring a handful of performers, there were some performances on the night that were more complete than others. Altogether, I think it came together nicely, with each performer having a distinct style and working well within their place in Horsley's song series. I'd put Shane Weisman and Ruby Rakos first on my own list with Roderick Lawrence a close third, although to be fair, Weisman primarily sang Bruce Springsteen songs. He did these well (a solid tribute to the boss) and was a definite highlight during the first round of songs, setting a new, more sultry mood with "I'm on Fire." Rakos' early performance on "I'm Too Young to Go Steady" showcased ample vocal talent, but it wasn't the same type of attention-grabbing song. Later, when she played the spiteful lover, singing "Goody, Goody," I felt like her well-orchestrated combination of stage movement and theatrical flair hooked the crowd. Getting into a song was one thing, though, that Roderick did better than anyone. When singing "F You" by Cee Lo Green (a precursor in this show to the Moving On moment), he stormed around the stage, flipped the audience the bird, and then wailed on his back bursting with the lyrics, "If I was richer, I'd still be with ya."

Sarah Parnicky, Marcie Henderson, and Stephen Miller also performed well in their own right, each with a slightly different style. Parnicky had a more active stage presence and also had one of my favorite individual performances of the evening with the aforementioned, "Move On." I feel like she poured passion into the lyrics as she implored the audience, "Anything you do, let it come from you, then it will be new!" Henderson too, had two solid songs in the classic hit, "Fever" which followed Weisman's first Springsteen hit and "Could I Leave You?" from the Follies. I'd love to hear her perform it again as her performance was close to being the best all-around moment of the show. Making his cabaret debut, and hopefully having a few more shows in him, Stephen Miller rounds out the list by the virtue of process of elimination. His early performance of "Feelings" seemed to be the clinching factor in focusing the mood in on being entertained.

Terry Burrus was musical director and pianist for the evening and seemed to have an easy rapport with his cadre of singers as they fed off each other's energies on stage. It remains to be said that with one show done, what emotion(s) will Horsley take a deep dive into next?

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