Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Review: VICTOR CUNO'S BROADWAY CABARET at Théâtre des Voyageurs

Soon to open in a big theater in Paris.

All through lockdown, many French musical theater performers have been lucky enough to be able to go on developing their craft, tapping their troubles away with master teacher Victor Cuno, who in turn took the opportunity to use their talents to create a new show, simply called Victor Cuno's Broadway Cabaret, showcasing many triple threats who took advantage of their time off from theater commitments to rehearse at Swing Tap Studio near Bastille in Paris. Beginning with a showstopping new version of "Anything Goes", musical arrangement and choreography by Cuno himself. A delightful special event for the Maison de la Radio's "42ème rue fait son show" was performed last December, and Cuno decided to expand this success into a full show.

BWW Review: VICTOR CUNO'S BROADWAY CABARET at Théâtre des Voyageurs

The large company of 22 dancer-singers accompanied by a 5-piece band managed to perform an evening show in front of an invited audience at Théâtre du Voyageur on May 2nd. We have been missing live performance so much here in France that electricity was in the air from the beginning, with Cuno's opening overture composed by himself, leading to Cy Coleman's "It's Not Where You Start, It's Where You Finish", from the musical Seesaw, with the whole company on stage. A very funny comedy number involving a 4-hand piano with the versatile Dalia Constantin and Agnès Pat the led to "Just Dancing", a tap class number highlighting the showoff taps of the young Robin Jobert, Matthieu Chambon, and Marius Schmidlin (Cuno's son).

BWW Review: VICTOR CUNO'S BROADWAY CABARET at Théâtre des Voyageurs

A singing class followed, with, in the role of the teacher, Edouard Thiébaut, leading man of the Singin' in the Rain tour, opening at the Massy Opéra on June 24th, with some clever harmonizing of "Mister Sandman," leading to another song from Seesaw, impeccably performed by Constantin, perhaps the most promising leading lady in French-produced musical theater, as she made clear last year playing Babe in The Pajama Game and Cinderella in Into the Woods the year before. Triple threat young ballet dancer Alex Alvarez showed off his talent next in "Let Me Dance for You" from the movie version of A Chorus Line, at the crossroads of ballet, tap, and musical theater.

The second part of the show started with a bang, as Canadian born Thomas Boutilier, the great discovery of Wonderful Town at the Opéra de Toulon three seasons ago, led a large girl-ensemble in a bit soft shoe number to "You Do," followed a "Hula Hoopera," a specialty number by Pat, recently seen in The Sea Girls at the Trianon and currently in Frou frou les bains at Théâtre Edouard VII, both nominated for Molières, mixing hula hop with high notes well worthy of Kristen Chenoweth!

BWW Review: VICTOR CUNO'S BROADWAY CABARET at Théâtre des Voyageurs

A father and son duet part began with Cuno spectacularly singing and tapping while playing the piano to "I Want to Be Happy", foreshadowing the big ensemble number from the Broadway revival of No No Nanette, later opening the third act. Schmidlin's amazing talent was showcased in his solo "I'm the Greatest Star" from Funny Girl, leading on to a charming duet with his father to the jazz standard "Cute."

The mood changed to pure jazz with the climactic Fosse-inspired "Misty," brilliantly choreographed by the rising Sixtine Vanderschooten, showcasing the talents of Alvarez, with Toscane Fischer, Adrien Picault, Maxime Pannetrat, and Guillemette Buffet, among others. "Good Morning," from Singin' in the Rain, with Constantin, Boutilier, and Thiébaut, was a perfect second act conclusion.

BWW Review: VICTOR CUNO'S BROADWAY CABARET at Théâtre des Voyageurs

The shorter third act left the world of cabaret for the great white way with 2 Gershwin moments, "The Man I Love," again with Constantin on vocals, and "Rhapsody in Blue," setting a classy mood for "Before the Parade Passes By" from Hello Dolly, sung by Thiébaut, leading on to a Gene Kelly tap tribute by the amazing Kelly look alike Alexis Thomas. "Hotter Than Hot" a girl-ensemble number to new music composed by Cuno led on to "Anything Goes," an apt finale with "Sur les planches," another Cuno original, as an encore.

BWW Review: VICTOR CUNO'S BROADWAY CABARET at Théâtre des Voyageurs

Of course some trimming needs to be done, especially in the transitions, as this really was a first performance, but, remembering the smoothness of Cuno's first musical theater venture From Harlem to Broadway back in 1983 at the Théâtre Daunou, one can imagine how easily those problems will be solved! The overwhelming talent on stage guarantees a bright future for Victor Cuno's Broadway Cabaret, which can also educate the public in the different forms of tap dancing, old and new, and introduce them to some neglected Broadway gems sung by Broadway-caliber soloists and perfectly accompanied by maestro and piano lead Patrice Peryiéras, with Thierry Chauvet-Peillex on the drums, Marc Michel Lebevillon at the bass, Sebastien Debard at the second piano, and Sophia Martin on the marimba. The joy of seeing such versatile performers having so much fun on stage was simply exhilarating, especially after all these months of virtual only, no live entertainment. So, we can't wait to see them again in a big Parisian theater or on tour. It really deserves it!

BWW Review: VICTOR CUNO'S BROADWAY CABARET at Théâtre des Voyageurs


Related Articles View More France Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

From This Author Patrick Honoré