Cabaret Boheme To Present ANYTHING GOES!
Vaudeville gets a Revival in Tucson Local actor and producer brings the variety show back to the Old Pueblo [Tucson, Arizona, May 1, 2009] - For four nights in June, stepping into the Cactus ballroom in the Cushing Street Ramada Inn will be like stepping back in time.
The addition of a lighting grid, sound system, 70 by 30 stage and eight piece-band will transform this venue for conferences and proms into a 1920s-esque speakeasy, reminiscent of the Kit Kat Klub where Liza Minnelli poured her heart out in the 1972 film version of Cabaret. It's an attempt to revive vaudeville in the Old Pueblo. Vaudeville is a variety-show theatrical genre that got its start in Paris in the late 1800's but quickly gained popularity in the United States and Canada, with troupes of singers, musicians, impersonators, comedians, magicians, burlesque artists, and others touring the continent well into the 1920s and 30s.
Vaudeville was especially popular in frontier settlements, and could be found in venues from beer halls to the famous Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone. Acts were meant to appeal to lower class audiences, often including vulgar and sexual humor, political satire and scantily dressed women, interspersed with more classical performances. The point was often serious, to mock the norms of elite society and highlight systemic racism and classism. Local theatre and film talent, Cindy Blue, founded Cabaret Boheme in 2007, to create vaudeville style theatre productions in Tucson, under the catch phrase "Naughty! Naughty!".
Blue was drawn to this genre both because it brings performers of all kinds onto a single stage and because "it can offer a form of social commentary", giving room to include Johnny Cash impersonators and burlesque artists in a single production. Although the cast opened new shows every three to four months to sold out theatres, Blue slowed production due to other life commitments. Blue revived Cabaret Boheme in 2014, keeping its older vaudeville format while bringing on new acts and talent. Another new edition: all live music, provided by Big D and the Love Muscles, under the musical direction of Darin Guthrie. According to Guthrie, "the vaudeville format forces us to work across multiple musical genres, from country, to jazz, theatrical, swing, and even Egyptian folk. It pushes us as musicians to explore a variety of rhythms and styles, and to do so while working in collaboration with actors, dancers, magicians, and other artists".
The band is up to the challenge, featuring local celebrity musicians like Jake Hacker and Anita Hershey - staples in the Tucson music scene - and Harriet Siskin, music director for local productions like Always, Patsy Klein and The Fantasticks, and cofounder of Desert Melodies. The production also features HipNautique, a professional belly dance troupe housed under HipNautic Studios, L.L.C. Belly dance was often included in vaudeville shows, with many dancers gaining fame dancing under the moniker "Little Egypt". Belly dance was brought to the United States from Egypt for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, providing a venue for elites to gawk at the supposedly more "primitive" dances of the men and women of the Middle East. Anglo women soon copied the movements, which could not be done wearing formal corsets, to reject the stiffness of more rarified dance forms like ballet. HipNautique members have performed across the United States and in Europe, and although they typically perform classical and folkloric styles, for this show their choreography features "belly dance with a twist" in order to better fit the vaudeville genre. Every summer, shows open with a new theme. This year, it's Anything Goes, a moniker that both invokes the variety show format and hints at the adult nature of a true vaudeville production. What: Cabaret Boheme presents, "Anything Goes" Vaudeville Variety Show
When: June 21, 22, 28, & 29, 2019, curtain at 7:30 pm Where: Ramada Tucson, 777 W. Cushing St. Cactus Ballroom Cost: $15 General, $25 VIP in advance (+$5 at the door) Tickets: Anything-goes.brownpapertickets.com