Upstairs in Mary’s Attic, on a Saturday night, when a drag show is typically the evening’s main squeeze, a cabaret of musical theatre and stand-up comedy kept a packed audience wildly entertained. There was pounding applause and whoops of enthusiasm, and it wasn’t surprising, considering the cheeky raw talent onstage. What really stood out was hilarious LGBTQ-themed comedy and powerful performances. Emilie Modaff, the show’s musical director, frequent piano player, and breakout singing talent, opened the show with a song called “God,” from Hollow.
An Existential Cabaret suggests something already in existence, or, in a philosophical sense, something presented in an existential fashion. Yet in this case, it was actually a 2-night preview of shows for the upcoming season at Brown Paper Box Co. Songs from well-known shows such as Wicked, Sunday in the Park with George and SpongeBob Squarepants were presented, in addition to "musical stylings inspired by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Pulitzer Prize finalist EVERYBODY’s characters including Love, Death, Stuff, Friendship, Family, Understanding, and even 'God.'”
Singer and actor Hannah Starr performed “Freeze” (one-part song, the other candid commentary) from BOOMBOX. Also noteworthy was witty lesbian comedy from stand-up comic Rachel Reiman, and the singing duo of host Kristi Szczepanek and Anna Schultz performing the song “Kinship” from I Will Never Leave You. Singer Ben Kaye was equally entertaining and stand-up Greg Mills provided funny food for thought about being the odd man out (single white heterosexual male) in the crowd. The cabaret was a fun diversion--a solid preview of impressive things to come.
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