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What Made Milwaukee Famous
Mid-City Theatre Hosts Passionate Performances All March Long
Music, comedy, dance and drama all come together on the Mid-City stage this March as Mid-City Theatre hosts its first full month of cabaret. Su Gonczy, General Manager at Mid-City Theatre, has used her extensive cabaret past to organize a set of 20 captivating shows in 23 days.
“Cabaret is wildly in my blood,” said Gonczy, whose clear passion for the art comes through in both her enthusiasm and knowledge of the art.
Gonczy has worked with everyone from Ricky Graham and Becky Allen to Barbara Motley of the former Le Chat Noir, who helped bring the art form of cabaret to the forefront. Many of this month’s performers are familiar faces from Gonczy’s history at Le Chat Noir.
At Le Chat Noir “I was in the box office by day and cabaret techy by night,” said Gonczy.
As a lighting and sound tech in one of the premier cabaret venues in New Orleans, she has seen numerous performances, and studied the various nuances of their movements, voices and their engagement with the audience. Often it is the reaction of the audience that commands the stage and feeds the performances. With songs by Kurt Weill, the Beatles and Hal David on the docket to be performed throughout the month, the crowds should have plenty of recognizable material to get fired up about.
“In cabaret there is no fourth wall. It is all one experience,” said Gonczy referring to the invisible barrier between the audience and performers. “If there’s someone on stage right that is really into it the performer is going to be drawn there.”
Unlike in a play, which sticks to the script for the most part, Cabaret is much more a free form art. Aside from audience reactions, the performers are drawn in one direction or another by their own emotions.
“A performer is led by their heart,” said Gonczy. “In cabaret things happen around you. It’s not always as scripted.”
Performers follow their own whims, knowing the spotlight is close behind, she said.
“Cabaret is an emotional art form,” said Gonczy. “I think that’s what attracts the audience. They come for an experience. You get a political and social commentary and it’s lovely.”
Although hesitant to commit completely to cabaret, her decision paid off. Not only has there been a demand for another month of cabaret, but the cabaret category in the Big Easy awards, which came to an end with the demise of Le Chat Noir, has been reinstated.
Saturday night's offering sees a visitor to the Crescent City, as Baltimore's Jennifer Blades sings the songs of Gershwin, Weill, Rodgers and Hart and many more. The show is centered on love, and its many complicating elements.
A bevy of other entertaining shows follow Blades. From Edith Paif to through-and-through debauchery to New Orleans' own Running with Scissors troupe, no subject is safe from a send-up.
Check out a full list of this month’s cabaret events:
March 1 The "Quarter" Rat Pack starring Marshall Harris, Jason George & Robert Facio
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,
Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson
Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall
Michael Weber, B.A.
B. E. Mintz
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