March 30, 2006


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Cabaret is Manchester bound
Sultry, sexy act to debut at Piccola Italia
By Robert Greene

Cabaret de Boheme, part of the entertainment line-up at Fody’s Tavern in Nashua, is heading to Manchester as of April 1.

The group — a mix of show tunes and sultry sex appeal — will debut at 8:30 p.m. April Fool’s Day, in Picolla Italia’s new function room on Elm Street. The $65 tickets include dinner, a glass of wine, the show and dancing. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. The event will likely be the start of a monthly gig at Picolla. Hippo took a minute to chat with founders Andrea Albright and Brandon Mallard.

You guys are, as far as I know, the only active cabaret group in the state. Am I wrong?
Andrea: I’d heard about something in Vermont, but that is awfully far away for anybody to go for adult who actually want to hear what the performers are singing — for song and dance, blues and jazz. There’s lots of blues a jazz clubs out there, but I don’t think there is anything like what we do, bringing this kind of entertainment back. In the 1930s and 40s you could have found cabaret clubs everywhere.

Give me the idiot’s guide to what cabaret is.
Andrea: It is blues, jazz, swing — it’s all done a little edgy, very sexy. You’ve got singing and dancing, and you have a lot of movement. Performers actually go into the audience. We actually use the audience with our singing. It’s very edgy and sexy.

Brandon: The idiot’s guide to cabaret ... Historically cabaret is one or two people. We’ve kind of taken the art of cabaret and twisted it up to make our own little version of the cabaret world. We’ve added costumes, choreography and lighting, characters, stage personas and storylines. We use all sort of music — Broadway, jazz, bebop, swing, big band — and mix it all together in our own little version of cabaret. It’s sexy not sexual.

What kind of costumes do you use?
Andrea: A lot of black, sometimes with a little bit of red thrown in there. When I sing “Why Don’t You Do Right?,” I wear a Jessica Rabbit dress. We wear heels, we dance in heels. We have lots of leg showing. We have short skirts, long dresses, even dresses with fringe.

What was the evolution of this group?
Brandon: Two years ago a couple of people — I was working with some people to start a new theater company. And it started as a fundraiser; we came up with a cabaret act as a fundraiser. And we couldn’t find a theater to do it in, so we started doing it in restaurants. Here we are two years later.

So the group has a couple of regular gigs now; is the goal here to quit your day jobs and make cabaret a full-time thing for you?
Brandon: Without a doubt.

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02/23/2006 Yellow Taxi's Theater Festival opens March 1
02/16/2006 Herding CATS
02/09/2006 An actors' studio
02/02/2006 A thing about love
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Under the Caribbean with the little mermaid

Wake up to ‘night Mother