BWW Interviews: Sara Farb Talks Ben Folds - Cabaret Evening 02/16

BWW Interviews: Sara Farb Talks Ben Folds - Cabaret Evening 02/16

The third entry in the Acting Upstage Theatre Company's "Dark Night" Cabaret Series is next Tuesday, February 16th, when Toronto up and comer and audience favourite Sara Farb takes the stage to present "Sara Farb Does Ben Folds." The evening will be an entire night of Ben Folds' songs, old and new, as interpreted by long-time fan Sara Farb. Mark Selby will play the keys and Anton Rubisov will be on the drums.

Sara Farb has been performing professionally since the age of nine, when she starred as Young Jane in the world premiere production of Jane Eyre at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre. Growing up, she also appeared in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond, Cameron Mackintosh's Oliver!, and Canadian Stage's A Midsummer Night's Dream in High Park. Making the transition into her adult career, Sara has been seen all over Toronto, in LKTYP's The Wizard of Oz, Harold Green Jewish Theatre's The Sisters Rosensweig, Acting Up Stage's Edges, which she also co-produced, and the Rose Theatre's Songs for a New World, as well as numerous film and TV appearances. Sara is one of Toronto's best-loved young cabaret artists, and has performed alongside some of the country's leading theatre stars. A few years ago, Sara had the privilege of performing at Joe's Pub during an evening of her friend Paul Gordon's music. Sara's Dark Night cabaret last year, "Songs By People I Dig", was a huge success, and she is thrilled to be working with Acting Up Stage once again on this wonderful series. She took a few minutes to talk with BWW about her love of theatre and about what to expect at this Cabaret evening:

Your performance is going to consist entirely of Ben Folds music, are you a big fan?

I am a big fan. Ben Folds was the first recording artist I developed a legitimate appreciation for, and it happened when I was in high school, so pretty late. I think it may be because I only listened to musicals. But I discovered Ben Folds and fell in love with the honesty and wit of his lyrics and how incredible his melodies were. I knew, and still know, his Rockin the Suburbs album pretty much off by heart.

Your performance is the third in the new "Dark Night" series; do you think this is something that can be expanded into an on-going event?

I hope so. Toronto performers are really into doing cabarets lately, which I think is awesome. The thing about this specific event is that it belongs to Acting Up Stage, so it only occurs when that company is doing a show. Which makes it only ongoing until the show closes and they don't have the theatre anymore (they are currently producing Light in the Piazza). But I think it's certainly a wonderful example for any theatre company out there looking to maximize public appeal. Having artists perform on a show's off night is a great opportunity for the company and for the artist.

A lot of people aren't very familiar with these types of "cabaret" style performances, what can someone look forward to if they come out to see the show?



What's great about cabarets is that each one is different. The performer puts together a show that relates to them specifically in some way, so no two cabarets are the same. For this particular show, I've chosen not only some of my favourite Ben Folds songs, but ones to which I have a certain relationship. What makes a show more interesting than if a person were to simply stand and sing (this would be a concert more than a cabaret) is when a performer involves its audience and allows it access to his or her life, likes, dislikes, experiences, etc. My relationship with Ben Folds' music covers a variety of aspects of my life. So the audience can expect to get to know me and Ben Folds all at the same time.

The "Dark Night" series runs when Light in the Piazza is dark, have you had a chance to see that show and what did you think of it?

I adored it. It is I think the best production Acting Up Stage has produced. Everything about it was so beautiful. A show like that shouldn't be done unless it's done right, and everything about this production is right to me. Loved it.

Who are your favourite up and comers on the Canadian theatre scene right now?

Well, I'm biased because so many of them are my friends! Michael Hughes, Gabi Epstein, Jeigh Madjus, Allie Hughes (she's not really cabaret, she is an exceptional singer/songwriter) to name just a few. There are so many amazing young people getting their names out, which is a wonderful thing.

If you had to pick a favourite Ben Folds song, what would it be?

That's hard! I guess The Luckiest and FrEd Jones Part 2, both off of Rockin the Suburbs. Both are quite simple but such beautiful pieces because they tell such gorgeous stories and are capable of having an enormous impact on their listeners.

Do you have a dream theatre role you would love to play?

Currently it is Natalie in Next to Normal. It switches from time to time. Elphaba would be cool, Fanny Brice... Pretty much any heroine from a Paul Gordon musical. I have time in my life though, those goals pretty lofty.



What are your plans for what you hope to do next?

I'm getting very excited about the prospect of becoming a producer. I love producing my own work and seeing people's work that I believe in produced. I'm currently working with two very talented writers to help them get their show up in early summer. So there's been a lot of focus on that aspect of my career. Basically, I hope that I can keep doing work that I love and am fulfilled by. No, I plan on it.

When and Where?
Sara Farb Does Ben Folds

Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs - 26 Berkeley Street
February 16th, 2010 at 8PM

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the box office, or by phone at 416-368-3110

For additional information on Sara Farb Does Ben Folds or Acting Up Stage's Production of "Light in the Piazza" please visit their website at

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