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Caberlesque!
Presented by BSide Productions

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Reviewed: 2006-07-25 13:37:57
Rated: 9 out of 10 [4.5 Stars]
By: John Chase (Director@winnipegonstage.com)

The word "burlesque" invokes many images: old-time comedians, strippers, singers and dancers... As its fusion with the word "cabaret" suggests, it is on the music of an era that Caberlesque! firmly sets its focus -- three eras in fact, beginning with 1933 Berlin, then passing through Amsterdam with Jacques Brel and Henry Mancini before arriving in the present day.

Much more than a mere collection of music, the arrangement is excellently crafted to tell a story as it progresses through thirteen songs: of the characters, of people who lived then, and of the eras that produced the music themselves.

There is splendid diversity -- from the sad to the upbeat, the psychedelic to the romantic, and a little of the downright hysterical. As we transitioned to 2006, there was even a solo dance number performed using glow rods that puts many of the fire-spinners I have seen to shame.

The five-handed cast of one actor, three actresses, and a live onstage musician are superb. The characters remain unique and universally strong from beginning to end, and earn extra points from me for breaking down the "fourth wall": mingling with the audience even in the parking lot before the show began to create the intimate atmosphere desired. That there is no weak link in the group is reflected doubly in the fact that they wrote, produced, directed, and choreographed the show amongst its members.

Caberlesque! is a virtually-perfect 4.5 out of 5, and earns a standing ovation from me for transporting me to times I have always wished to visit. Thinking of it, this would have been a five star experience if only I could have spectated with several stiff drinks and a smoke. Ah, those were the days!

John Chase
July 22, 2006

This production is part of the 2006 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival.
Visit - http://www.winnipegfringe.com/

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