Creator/director MICHELLE DANNER discusses A Night At The Black Cat Cabaret, by Brian Drillinger, extended through Apr 30 at Edgemar Center in Santa Monica.
“This takes place during World War II in Paris,1943, although in the world of cabaret, we can time travel a bit, musically. We have original songs [by Jose Promis] and classics, such as La Vie en Rose, Those Were the Days, Blue Skies and modern tunes like All About That Bass. There are 26 people on stage, dancing, singing and acting. It is a wonderfully provocative and seductive night of music and dance. And there is a storyline about this underground cabaret that was a front for the Resistance. It actually starts with a scene where a grandfather [played by Len Magnus] is talking to his grandson, reminiscing about being an American soldier in Paris and how he met his wife at this cabaret. Len is a World War II vet in his 80s I met when I directed Senior Moments, an evening of storytelling. He had formerly been an actor and journalist and he is wonderful on stage. We created this show from scratch and it is still evolving. Brian [Drillinger] wrote the book and we have a wonderful choreographer, Amanda Ritchie, who used to be with Cirque du Soleil. Our musical director is Hudson Long. This show is evolving as we go. I have extended it. I am having a rehearsal tomorrow where I’ll be making some changes. And this will probably continue as the show progresses. That is one of the amazing things about doing this cabaret. The vitality just grows as it evolves.”
Julio Martinez-hosted Arts in Review—celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area—airs Fridays (2-2:30pm) on KPFK (90.7FM).