I had a lovely evening Saturday night thanks to KT Sullivan and Jon Weber. We were perfect strangers when the night began, actually, but somehow through the evening, I grew to know them both as if old friends. I’ve been told that happens, though. At a cabaret show.
When I first heard about the 8th Annual Orlando Cabaret, hosted by Mad Cow Theatre, I was not exactly excited. Cabaret was not really my style…or at least I didn’t think so. (But, to tell you the truth, I wasn’t exactly sure just what cabaret was!) So, with hubby and good friends on hand, we dined like royalty before heading downtown to Magnolia Street, right near the scene of Brian Feldman’s 67 Books.
Mad Cow Theatre has more of a Chicago feel to me, tucked away in a classic, old building. The size of the room which KT Sullivan was playing felt intimate and comfortable. We had great seats and when Jon Weber came out first to play, my interest was peaked. For those of you unfamiliar with his name, Jon has been called the “Greatest Living Jazz Pianist.” Well, let’s just say he was impressive and effortless.
Then KT Sullivan made her entrance…better than Dolly Madison as she strolled in with her evening gown and high heels. And then she began to sing with her smokey voice. Some songs I knew, others I’d never heard. But each was thoroughly entertaining, as was her banter in between, giving history about each song and tune. She focused on Howard Dietz songs…a guy I’d never heard of, but before the end of the show, I’d come to recognize his comic genius with lyrics. With lyrics like “I go to bed at 10 but I don’t get home until 4 am” how can the guy not be likable?
While all the songs were enjoyable, KT shone brightest with the slower songs, like “Dancing in the Dark.” The show lasted just over an hour, which was the perfect length, and then both KT and Jon greeted showgoers in the lobby. There, both KT and Jon treated me like an old acquaintance, which of course, I felt like after the hour we spent together. I’ve heard that happens, you know. At a cabaret show.
The Orlando Cabaret will be playing over the next three weeks, featuring a variety of acts including the Broadway Boys. There are evening shows as well as lunchtime shows, where you can even purchase a box lunch or bring your own. Whether you think you like cabaret style music or not, just go. I promise you’ll be glad you did.