PREVIEW: Y2 CABARET

 

When I first heard about Kate Peters and her partner Doug Simao applying interactive technology to Cabaret, I could only think of my own experience with computers and the pending anxiety of Y2K that has been the topic of discussion for so many organizations. One can only imagine a cabaret performance gone awry with technological complications; Godzilla pounding through the streets belting out his favorite Liza Minelli tune while street lights flicker and little children cry. Not to worry. Kate premiered her project "Sojourn", last June 26th at the Cinegrill in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to a capacity crowd of enthusiastic supporters. This event marked the release of "Sojourn" on CD-ROM and gave Kate an appropriate format for her opening monologue about the indestructible nature of CD's.

You can't destroy them, they're not biodegradable. Kate says this with dry humor knowing her mistakes as an artist have been immortalized on CD. Her first song is a Joni Mitchell composition that Kate recalls listening to on a road trip in college. The screen behind her displays images of mountains, clouds the winding road and VW bug that carried her into that day break; the only one awake. As she journeys through the monologue and song, Kate's delivery has the connection that comes with survival. She believes in her story as a means of "facilitating connections" with those who have similar experiences. The inclusion of team cabaret gave the audience an opportunity to see the effectiveness of Kate's performance philosophy. Founded by Doug Simao and Kate Peters, Team Cabaret is a program for teenagers-encouraging artistic expression in musical theater/cabaret. Kate tells the audience that each performer will deliver a personal monologue followed by a song (of their choice). These young people are genuinely sincere and engage the audience with descriptions of peer pressure, image, and expectations.

The show concludes with a song featuring Kate, her daughter and members of Team Cabaret. Inspired by Kate's memory of her own mother, the aural tradition continues with the role of mentor going to Kate and the clear evidence that artistic expression is cathartic and something a young as well as mature audience can connect with.

It seems art and artist are continually making sense of our changing environment; more than a mirror, the artistic reflection is often transcendent. Kate explains, "For their part, the audience is there to remember what life is about." The Art of Cabaret is a process that removes the walls that separate performers from audience. Directed by Jack Wrangler, produced by Doug Simao, with music by Shelly Markham, and featuring Kate Peters, "Sojourn"

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