Interview: Gloria Bangiola Is Bringing Cabaret Show A LITTLE BROAD Back to Don't Tell Mama

The cabaret, an hour about self-exploration and living in the moment, will play at Don't Tell Mama on 2/1, 2/9, 3/8, and 3/17 at 7 pm.

By: Jan. 30, 2024
Interview: Gloria Bangiola Is Bringing Cabaret Show A LITTLE BROAD Back to Don't Tell Mama

Interview: Gloria Bangiola Is Bringing Cabaret Show A LITTLE BROAD Back to Don't Tell Mama

Singer Gloria Bangiola is off to a great start to a busy year with four upcoming performances of her show A LITTLE BROAD at Don't Tell Mama coming up on February 1, February 9, March 8 and March 17 all at 7 pm. This is her second time performing the show, which she's revised and refined since last year's debut. Bangiola is fresh off the making the semifinals of Mama's Next Big Act 2023. We spoke about the process of putting together A Little Broad, the inspiration behind it, and what's coming up next for Bangiola.

RK: Do you want to tell me a bit about the show you have coming up?
Yeah, absolutely. It's called A Little Broad. It's my second cabaret. I did my first one, which was called Back to School with Gloria Bangiola, in 2022.

That one was a show about children, about all that I've learned from working with kids and teaching children for the last eight or so years. And so it was a really outward show. And this one is much more about my own journey and the place I am in life. So it's much more about how I'm a big personality, a little broad, and how bizarre it is to be, I guess, anyone at all, but also anyone at all at 30 years old at this particular moment in history, if that makes sense [laughs].

RK: So it's kind of a bit about growing up or reaching an adulting place?
Yeah, exactly. It's about reaching an adulting place. And also whether or not you reach it at all, right?

RK: What drove you to put this specific show together?
Not to get morbid, but this year my godmother, Molly Moroni, passed away, and she was a really important person in my life. She was really a central kind of defining person and a very big personality as well. Very smart and complicated with a lot of opinions and thoughts about the world and it kind of brought into stark relief that we're not guaranteed any amount of time. You know, she died at 65, so none of it's guaranteed. And so what does it mean to be all of yourself for as much as you can be of yourself, or your best self? And what does it mean to live today while also squaring with the future?

RK: Do you think that this show is something that might help people who are processing their own losses?
Yeah, I think the show came out of my own processing of this death. It's funny because I don't talk about that a great deal, because she wasn’t somebody who thought about it either, right? I think it's a show about life. That's where I found a lot of solace.

I found a lot of comfort and hope in exploring more of myself and exploring more of the world, and kind of taking, I guess, initiative is the right word. And so I'm hoping that it would be a comfort and encouragement that maybe there's no right way to be. I don't know if I'm trying to provide any answers in this show, you know? But I guess I'm trying to provide encouragement, if that makes sense.

RK: What types of songs are you doing in this show?
A Little Broad is a fun title I think, because it means so many different things. I’m a little broad as a personality character. The song selections are all over the place for the show itself. Across the evening I’m doing songs from the ‘70s, I'm doing some Linda Ronstadt, I'm doing some Partridge Family. I'm doing a bunch of classic show tunes. I'm doing some

Green Day. It's all over the map.

RK: What are some of your musical inspirations right now?
I'm very much a Joni Mitchell girl. I love Joni Mitchell and I similarly love Paul Simon, so I always look for an opportunity to pull out a guitar and do some of that Americana style. I also really love old school American Songbook stuff, and I feel like that's kind of my bread and butter. In building the show, I kind of started from those two places and then tried to see where they converged, and where I needed to fill in the holes with other genres.

RK: What's on the horizon for you this year other than this show?

GB: Well, I am producing a play. I'm on the hunt for a venue right now, so I'll keep some of that under wraps, but I'm producing my first stage play. And right now, I'm in a girl trio called G.A.L. [with Avery Nusbaum and LaRaisha DiEvelyn Dionne]. They're featured in my show. We're going to be doing our first show in September. And I'll probably be doing something else in the fall, another cabaret of some kind.

I starred in my first movie Glue Trap, which should be coming out this summer. It's on the festival circuit right now. My partner Justin Geldzahler directed and wrote it. He also wrote and punched up some of my patter for A Little Broad. So it's a busy year.

RK: That definitely sounds like a packed year. Is cabaret at the center of everything you’re doing?
Yeah, it's kind of become the center of it. I feel like, you know, I'm an actor in New York and so the appeal of cabaret is that it's mine. I get to decide when and where, I can decide what version of me or how much of me I'm going to share and what I want to say, and that's really exciting as an actor. Right now is audition season, so it's kind of top of mind. I'm going into a lot of rooms and looking for other people to hire me, and I would absolutely love to be anybody’s ingenue for a summer stock, always. But also I like having agency in my work. I'm a go getter and I love that cabaret as a center of me and a center of my artistic work kind of gives me a space to say something that I decide to say, if that makes sense.

RK: That definitely makes sense. Is there anything about the show that you want to share?
Yeah, absolutely. So, the show is directed by Scott Robertson, who is just so funny and has such a wealth of musical theater and theater knowledge and just a dear friend. He's just lovely. And it's musically directed by John Fischer, who is a staple of cabaret and has taught me so much and become again, a dear friend as well, but has also taught me so much about the art of cabaret and what it means to hone a great show.

I'm so proud of what the show has become. This is the second time I'm doing it. I did two nights in the fall of last year and it felt like kind of rough draft, a first go, and this is the revision and I feel like it's a really good revision. I'm very proud of it. I have wonderful people that I'm working with, and I learned so much from them and from the process about myself and I think that it's a great thing. I'm really excited to put it on again.

RK: That’s great. What are some of the things that you've honed since the last time you did it?
I’ve added some numbers, particularly a new opening number that is a banger. I’ve tuned the patter so that the show is much more of a continuous throughline. One of my goals with this show, when I first began working on it, was I wanted to create a really entertaining night more than I wanted to have everybody walk away with something they had learned. Though I did want them to learn something, my real central goal with this show was to entertain, and I think I was successful. It was a really entertaining first go at it.

And now I've come back to it, having succeeded in that, and I wanted to hone the point of the show more. And so now I feel like I'm coming into this last week of rehearsals with a show that both is musically super varied and really entertaining and funny and all over the place and a great hour and also a show that really is about something that I believe about self-acceptance, living deeply, and trying to shake off the ticking clock that we all live with.

This conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Tickets for A Little Broad are available on Don't Tell Mama's website. The show will play 2/1, 2/9, 3/8 and 3/17 at 7 pm. 

Follow Gloria Bangiola on Instagram: @gloria.bangiola